Thursday, July 3

The Word from Rome:

An interview with Archbishop Dolan:

The lone American to receive the pallium this year was Archbishop Timothy Dolan from Milwaukee, who brought some 600 pilgrims from the archdiocese to share the experience. Old friends of Dolan, including Archbishop Justin Rigali of St. Louis and Bishop James Harvey, a Milwaukee native who serves as the pope’s public secretary, concelebrated Masses for Dolan’s group.

Dolan, 53, sat down with me June 30 for an interview.

Actually, to be technical, he sat down only for part of the interview. For the first 15 minutes or so, we stood in the sacristy of the Church of St. Ignatius and spoke as Dolan took off his vestments after Mass. He was interrupted so often to shake hands and pose for pictures, however, that he offered to continue the interview in his mini-van on the way up to the North American College for dinner. I sat next to his mother and tried to keep things on track from the back seat.

Given those dynamics, the conversation was a bit scattered. Dolan speaks so fast and says so much, however, that we covered more ground in two 15-minute bursts than many press conferences do in two hours.

Also, Allen's story of his scoop on O'Malley, an interview with two Anglican clerics about their church's crisis over homosexuality, and some details about the upcoming document on liturgical abuses:

Because the participants take their obligation of confidentiality seriously, it’s difficult to pry loose many details. One point that can be reported with confidence, however, is that as it stands, the document contains no reference to wider permission for celebration of the pre-Vatican II Mass, the so-called “Tridentine rite.” Interest in whether the document would address the old Mass was generated by a May 13 news item published on the Web site of Inside the Vatican magazine, based on an interview with Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

CNS reports that a married Byzantine-rite priest will becoming pastor of a Roman rite parish in Denver:

Father Chrysostom Frank, 48, a professor of church history at St. John Vianney, began work July 1 as administrator of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in downtown Denver. His wife, Marica, a native of South Africa, teaches Greek and Latin at the seminary. The couple has three children. In addition to his seminary duties, Father Frank also has served as administrator of Holy Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church not far from the seminary. His new assignment downtown means a farewell there. Raised as a Protestant, the Pennsylvania native who spent many years in Great Britain and South Africa likes to say he "slowly progressed toward Catholicism."

Well this tiny little story only relates a tiny little part of the saga, which Our Man in Denver, Sean Roberts elaborates at his blog, Swimming the Tiber.. I was, as you might expect, initially intrigued by yet another category of married priests permitted to minister in Roman Rite parishes - married Eastern Rite priests!! - but the other details of the story go beyond that detail into the age-old question of ethnicity and liturgy, and are quite interesting. Follow Sean's links within his post to other articles on the matter, as well.

We're going away for the weekend, up Ontario way. We're taking this baby along, and I might, indeed post something, but I've disabled the comments because, after a nice, quiet lull, comments are getting heated, a bit long-winded, and some rather personal in nature. Today, I banned one person three times, and he or she keeps coming back, hurling personal insults at someone (not me). We can't have this. So, even though I might be checking in, I definitely won't have time to monitor comments, which, in moments like these, becomes an hourly necessity.

Don't worry. Your comments are still there, and will be restored on Monday.

Every once in a while in Fort Wayne, I see a Buddhist monk. Yes, in saffron robes and with bald head and everything. Walking around the park, in the post office. I always wondered where they lived. I assumed they were associated with the substantial Burmese community we have here, but never saw any sign of them as a group.

Well, today, on a back road, I found 'em - not that I was looking. There's a house with a sign in front with a sign in both English and, I guess, Burmese, identifying it as a "wat" (monastery), and just down the road is another house, identified as a Buddhist Temple, which was hopping today. Lots of cars, flags flying everywhere.

And here in America, I take the back way home from K-mart, and stumble upon two Buddhist monks standing in their front yard, studying a tree.

Well, good.

After a lengthy break, David Morrison is is back in the blogging business and has lots and lots and lots to say.

John Updike: America's most theological novelist

Hawthorne's protagonists seem fallen from a great height. They are tragic figures. Updike's characters seem merely stumble-prone, tangled up in their own feet, aimless and bored. They are quietly, subtly, pathetic.If we stop believing in God, are we free or ensnared? Do we become more courageous, or more anxious and timid? Do we become rulers of our own destiny, or victims of our own boredom and wantonness? Do we slip the burden of guilt, or become consumed by it, unrelieved by grace?Updike, like Hawthorne, is ambivalent about all this—he is no more nostalgic for Puritanism than Hawthorne was. But he is clear that in losing our sense of being a people under God—even if that God was the stern and meddlesome deity of Hawthorne's Puritans—we have lost something vital to our souls.

Is the Boston Globe's choice of Garry Wills to review Phillip Jenkins' book evidence of, well, anti-Catholicism on their part? No - it's evidence of laziness on the Globe's part, and, when you read the review, by Wills as well. . When in need of something Catholic, call on Wills, or so says the NYTimes and The Boston Globe a astonishing proportion of the time. What makes it even more astonishing is the poor quality of Wills' work in these short pieces. While I think Wills raises a couple of provocative points in this review, for example, it's actually a stretch to call it a "review." Sure, it engages one element of Jenkins' thesis, but that's it. One emerges from the review with no real sense of what Jenkins was saying except, as Wills characterizes it, a definition of "anti-Catholicism" that includes Catholics questioning their church.

Please. Let me get really famous and then get to coast on my reputation by having major newspapers inviting me to trash books that I've obviously barely read.

The National Catholic Reporter tracks stories related to O'Malley's appointment

Bishops boil holy water to protect fish

A gathering of 126 bishops and other Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox Christian leaders in the Norwegian city of Trondheim boiled flasks of holy water for 10 minutes to kill any bacteria before pouring it into the Nidaros River Wednesday. The delegates, at the Conference of European Churches, each brought about 0.1 liters of water from countries ranging from Greece to Estonia for the ceremony to symbolize unity.

A shrinking pool of qualified candidates?

Pope John Paul II picked Bishop O'Malley as Boston's next archbishop on Tuesday. Looking at church leaders throughout the country, Catholic observers say there were few other choices. Editor Tom Roberts of National Catholic Reporter, a newsweekly that has unearthed sex-abuse scandals since 1985, believes the past year "has pointed out how lacking in leadership the bishops' conference is." The Rev. Richard McBrien, an outspoken University of Notre Dame theologian, agrees. "There is little or no leadership talent in the hierarchy today," he says. Mr. Roberts and Father McBrien are liberals who often goad the bishops, but conservatives are worried, too. "When I look around at the current bishops and the ones I'd like to see promoted, I don't come up with too many names," concedes Philip Lawler of the Catholic World News Internet service. Russell Shaw, a longtime spokesman for the U.S. bishops' conference, says he came up with "six, eight or, generously, 10" persons among the 279 active bishops qualified to handle Boston.

Lots o' stuff going on.

I'm working on a Big New Project, which is very absorbing and very cool and lets me spend time researching stuff on the internet, and will let me read lots of books. But you don't get to know what it is yet. I'm also starting to write a book which is due in mid-October, so it's good I'm starting to write it. I've got some pamphlets and devotional things to write over the next month, too, and best of all, I've finally settled into a bit of a groove in The Novel I'm Going To Finish This Time, By God. I actually sort of feel like I kind of know what I'm doing, and while it's not easy, it's absorbing, and at this point, at least, it doesn't seem half as lame as the other five attempts at other ideas that are sitting in drawers as we speak.

Took Katie and a friend of hers to the hospital to visit another friend today. Poor little thing was violently ill last Friday and Saturday, ended up in the ER, where they diagnosed "appendix," then got in there and found, not a rupture, but lots of other strange funky stuff, had to do a lot of work, so here she still is, in the middle of summer, still stuck in the hospital, with lots of bedrest ahead even when she gets home. We only found out about it because last night, on a walk to the neighborhood store in a vain attempt to Wear Joseph Out, we stopped at this little girl's house. Katie's been out of town, just got back, and had contacted all of her friends except this girl because she can never remember her phone number (and can't look it up because, like us, she has a different last name from her mom, and Katie never can remember the mom's last we did what everyone used to do, and just stopped by. I've noticed that Katie and her friends don't do what we did - flitting from house to house, picking up friends as we went. They always have to call.).

So, today, I hauled Katie and her friend Leah over to the hospital where they sat and played Uno with their hospitalized buddy - I think they were a little scared at first, but when I came back, I could hear them laughing down the hall - a Madeline kind of scene, except no one said, "We want to have our appendix out too!"

And....we will be celebrating our freedom as Americans by ....going to another country for the weekend.

No trip to the zoo this week. Yet.


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