Friday, September 30, 2005

American Opus Dei Bishops Outed!

With John Allen's new book on Opus Dei coming out November 1st, vaticanisti cannot let Allen have all the fun reporting on The Work's "secrets." Something that hasn't been widely reported are the number and identity of Opus Dei bishops in the United States. There are currently 4 American Opus Dei bishops. The only numerary priest who is a bishop is Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio. His affiliation with The Prelature of Opus Dei is well-known. The other 3 bishops are what's known as supernumerary priests because of their status as diocesan priests. They are members of The Work through the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross -- an association of clergy intrinsically united to Opus Dei made up of the clergy of the Prelature, who are automatically members, and other diocesan priests and transitional deacons. Archbishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey is counted among this group and his affiliation is fairly public. However, two other bishops have kept their connection very private: Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, New York.

According to the Opus Dei communications office, the diocesan clergy who belong to the Priestly Society seek exclusively spiritual help and strive for holiness in the exercise of their ministry, according to the spirit of Opus Dei. Their membership in the Priestly Society of the Holy Cross does not involve incorporation into the presbyterate of the Prelature. Each one continues to be incardinated in his own diocese and depends solely on his own bishop (or if bishop, to himself), to whom alone he gives an account of his pastoral work.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Canonical Abuse Trials Heat Up!

The number of canonical trials for those priests accused of sexual abuse have increased dramatically this month and will continue through November. Most of these canonical trials are occurring in Rome and many bishops along with the accused priests have been showing up lately in the Eternal City. Once again, Bishop Tod Brown of Orange is in the news. He is presently in Rome for a variety of matters, but most notably the canonical trial of former Orange Vocations Director Msgr. Daniel Murray.

The Orange Diocese had the record $100 million abuse settlement. In Murray's case, he is accused of sexually abusing a boy from the time the boy was 8 to his early teens, back in the 1970's. The Orange Diocese settled this particular case last December for $500,000. What makes this case interesting is because the settlement was unannounced for months and because the priest, Msgr. Daniel Murray, is technically still the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport Beach. Murray has denied the allegations and has been on paid leave for the past year and a half pending a church investigation. Well, now the canonical trial is occurring in Rome, and our sources say it doesn't look good for Murray.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Universal Indult in the works?

In the interests of stirring the proverbial bucket with more liturgical discussion, you can go here to read Karl Keating's recent ruminations on the question of a Universal Indult.

Keating makes the important point that current attendance at Indult Masses is not necessarily a reliable indicator of interest, given that the Mass of St. Pius V endures step-child status in most dioceses, having been relegated to crypt chapels in the mid-afternoon in many cases. However, his use of the economic analogy leaves something to be desired. Ultimately, neither popular opinion nor the law of supply-and-demand should guide what is done regarding the Liturgy: Truth must take the day!

Nevertheless, the faithful do have a part to play in the ongoing debates over the Liturgy and authentic renewal. The actions of the faithful can assist the bishops in discerning the deepest desires of their flock (e.g., beauty in the Liturgy matters, as indicated by the fact that people travel from around the Chicagoland area to get to St. John Cantius parish and others like it).

The vaticanisti, at least, are reminded of Cardinal Newman's perceptive analysis in his classic article, On Consulting the Laity in Matters of Doctrine.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

He's Got Style!


Many thanks to a faithful reader that passed along these photos of His Eminence George Cardinal Pell in cappa magna and biretta at WYD 2005. The vaticanisti would be remiss not to mention the exquisitely ornamented rochet, as well. Even if fashion alone were the measure of a good prelate, this guy would be the real deal.

Of course, fashion isn't enough. Thanks be to God that His Eminence shows himself to be the real deal in his pastoral care and theological acumen, as well.

Long live Cardinal Pell!

Monday, September 12, 2005

New Blood in the Secretariat of State

The vaticanisti have word from a reliable Italian source that Cardinal Sodano will soon be relieved from his duties as grandmaster of Vatican diplomacy by none other than Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin. Contrary to what others have said previously, we hear that the good archbishop will begin this work in the not-too-distant future.

The vaticanisti also hear that Martin is friendly with Communion & Liberation, the ecclesial movement that was the subject of one of our other recent posts. Does this mean anything, or is it merely coincidence? The vaticanisti don't always comment on the news; sometimes we just report it.

The big question, though, is what impact will the appointment of Martin have on the way the Holy See does diplomacy?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

More Bishop Gossip!

Yah, yah...reports surfaced this week that Cardinal McCarrick will be staying on as archbishop of Washington for a little while longer. Our sources told us back in July it looked like McCarrick's resignation would not be accepted this year. Bottomline: Pope Benedict has bigger fish to fry. Roman Curia reform and naming of new bishops for vacant sees takes priority. We do expect some movement by next summer, contrary to the 2 year timeframe published in the official Washington Archdiocese press release. Our sources tell us that the Vatican letter to McCarrick NEVER mentioned any length of time...yes, that's right...nowhere was there a peep of 2 years. Our best guess is that this was either McCarrick's personal interpretation (what's it with him and his interpretation of letters from Ratzinger?) or some wishful thinking on the part of some curial agent. We do wish His Eminence many years of good health.

On another note, before Archbishop Levada went to Rome last month, he vacationed in Maui with Bishop Tod Brown of Orange, CA. Rumor has it that Mahony was not to be found...unusual because they along with Neiderauer of Salt Lake City are old vacationing pals. So it was just the two of them...wonder if Levada was trying to close Brown on accepting San Fran? Brown has told numerous priests in Orange that he'd love to go to the City on the Bay. Some have even divulged they expect it.

Hitler's pope? A rabbi sets the record straight

Broadcaster and columnist Michael Coren has just reviewed Rabbi David Dalin's The Myth of Hitler's Pope for the Toronto Sun. If you have not yet read the review be sure to check it out. This book should prove to be an important antidote to the vitriol spread by the likes of John Cornwell about one of the twentieth century's great popes, Pius XII.