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Bishop makes changes to Diocesan leadership structure

MANCHESTER — Manchester Bishop Peter Libasci has eliminated the reigning position of the diocesan cabinet and decided to take over the day-to-day duties of running the diocese, his spokesman said on Wednesday.

The shakeup means the Rev. Robert Gorski will no longer hold the powerful position of moderator of the curia.

Tom Bebbington, spokesman for the diocese, said Gorski will be able to devote his full-time energies to running St. Pius Church in Manchester as pastor.

“I am deeply grateful to Father Gorski for his dedicated and generous service as moderator of the curia,” Libasci said in remarks distributed by Bebbington. “While we will miss his advice, wise counsel, and good humor, we recognize his desire to devote more time to the parishioners he serves in his parish.”

Bebbington said cabinet secretaries report to the moderator of the curia, and he compared the position to a chief operating officer in a corporation; someone who runs the day-to-day operations of the diocese.

The moderator serves at the pleasure of the bishop, he said.

Bishop John McCormack gave Gorski the job in May 2009. Bebbington said the cabinet secretaries — which include chancellor, finance officer, school superintendent, development director, director of Catholic Charities, the property manager and co-vicars of the clergy — will now report directly to Libasci.

Libasci is interested in flattening out the management structure of the diocese, Bebbington said.

“Bishop Libasci has his own management style. He tends to be very hands on,” he said. “He wants priests out there being priests, ministering to people rather than, to the greatest extent possible, stuck inside 153 Ash St.”

Bebbington said the the changes had nothing to do the recent sentencing of the Most Rev. Ed Arsenault on charges that include the theft of thousands of dollars from the diocese. Arsenault was McCormack’s right-hand man and had manipulated financial controls to access diocesan funds, the diocese has acknowledged.

mhayward@unionleader.com


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