In an interesting and somewhat puzzling article I read in NY Newsday titled, "Choosing Long Island's Next Bishop," by Bob Keeler apparently 23 priests of the Diocese of Rockville Centre have signed and sent a letter to Pope Francis (with a copy to Bishop Murphy) asking how the priests can have "concrete guidance about how we and others here can meaningfully participate" in helping to choose Bishop Murphy's successor when he retires. Next year Bishop Murphy will reach the retirement age of 75, at which time he will submit his retirement letter to the Pope.
Firstly I don't understand why the priests didn't wait until next year. Seems like they are rushing things a bit, and perhaps I don't get it but I do think it's a little disrespectful to Bishop Murphy, but that's just my opinion.
I think the idea that priests, nuns and laypeople of a Diocese can offer suggestions as to the state of the Diocese and potential bishops who would be a good fit, is worthy of consideration, but timing is everything. It seems like the timing is off on this letter.
In the letter it stated, "We're looking to understand how the process works and how, not just us priests, how other groups in the diocese, like sisters and lay people, can insert themselves in the process."
Since Pope Francis might not accept the Bishop's retirement immediately, which has happened in other Dioceses' in the past, the letter seems premature. But to each his own.