BY A STAFF REPORTER
BISHOP PATRICK CASEY, Vicar-General to Cardinal Heenan for the past six years, is to be the new Bishop of the Brentwood Diocese in succession to Bishop Wall, who resigned earlier this year.
It was in Brentwood Diocese that the Council of Clergy last summer launched a survey among the priests to discover the type of bishop they would like to have.
A majority of the replies opted for a man who was of a "relatively progressive" theological outlook, with considerable parish experience, likely to speed liturgical reform and progress to Christian unity.
Most of the priests preferred a bishop who would operate in close consultation with his clergy. regard the laity as much valued collaborators in his work, and give more scope to women's activity.
WORK FOR POOR Bishop Casey, who is 56, was born at Stoke Newington, North London. and educated at St. Edmund's College, Ware, Herts.
Ordained on June 3, 1939, he served as an assistant priest for 22 years at St. James's, Spanish Place. After the war years he was principal assistant in that parish to Bishop Craven.
It was during his years at Spanish Place that Fr. Casey established his reputation for unobtrusive work among the poor and in nursing homes and clinics. In 1961 he became parish priest of Our Lady of Dolours, Hendon, and helped to create the parish of West Hendon.
In 1963 he was appointed Vicar-General of Westminster by Cardinal Heenan, and served as chaplain to the convent in Horseferry Road. On February 2, 1966. he was consecrated Titular Bishop of Sufar by Cardinal Heenan.
"DEEP HUMANITY" A friend describes him as "a man of deep humanity and compassion, always accessible, with a sound judgment tempered by a keen sense of humour, and a total absence of triumphalism.
"He is not a theologian in a specialist sense, but he is an enthusiastic reader and keeps himself abreast of theological developments. His outstanding quality is his lively and adapt
able concern over a wide range of interests."
After the announcement of his appointment on Tuesday, Bishop Casey said:
"The labels conservative and progressive, sometimes attached to bishops, mean very little. Every bishop wishes to maintain some things unchanged and to press ahead with development in others.
"In the Brentwood Survey there is a very great deal which is positive and good, and I would hope to live up to the very high expectations of a bishop there set out."
PRIESTS' LOYALTY Fr. John Hayes, one of the Survey editors, commented: "The purpose of the Brentwood Survey was to help those who were responsible to choose the right man as Bishop of Brentwood. Bishop Casey will be assured of the loyalty of the priests of this diocese and we hope to find in him a bishop capable of being a leader and understanding . his priests and people. We hope that he will utilise all the talents of the people for the good of the Church in Essex."
Reports reaching the CATHOLIC HERALD from different parts of the Brentwood diocese indicate that Bishop Casey's name has been the one most canvassed in the area during the months of waiting, and that his appointment is likely to be widely popular among the diocesan clergy.
Bishop Casey will be succeeded as Vicar-General by Canon Victor Guazzelli, parish priest at St. Thomas of Canterbury, Fulham, who takes the title of Monsignor.