Two-Thousand Miles Closer To Rome

Go away for a few days, and look: a new archbishop an existing archbishop is moved from a see without a red hat to one that has traditionally gotten one. And even more surprising, the red hat see gets a bishop who globe-trots, writes books, accepts high-profile speaking invitations, and otherwise gets his name out there while going after Democrats, dead or alive.

Rock has full coverage, I’m sure. But I don’t think he’ll ask the hard questions on his web site:

Is the new see getting a celebrity or a shepherd? In other words, is the new see in enough trouble that its new bishop will be spending more time with his presbyterate, in the parishes, and working with chancery staff to revive a battered Catholicism? Or is it just 2,000 miles closer to Rome?

Rumor has it at least one bishop turned down the pope on Philly. That’s got to sting, on a few levels.

The outgoing archbishop offered an American-style apology, notable by the words “if I have offended.” I guess it’s plausible deniability: if he doesn’t hear, if he doesn’t get out with the people, he doesn’t know. If the lawyers offer a muzzle, the good bishop doesn’t protest, just queries about black leather or brown. The Catholic Right seems happy enough they have a black-n-white guy movin’ on up.

Cardinal Rigali got a reprieve at the end of a five-month stint as a piñata. Archbishop Chaput can take the train to the White House now. The Catholics of Denver lose their second-straight ordinary, though this one’s not going half a world away. Colorado’s half a million Catholics now get their first collective experience as being a starter wife, ecclesiastically speaking.

Except for the usual cheerleader chants of the far right or left, what’s good and bad about this appointment?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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8 Responses to Two-Thousand Miles Closer To Rome

  1. sd says:

    Your well-known antithesis to episcopal moves across sees is a perfectly defensible position. The snide tone isn’t. To analogize Denver to a “starter wife” is crass and imprecise, unless of course your position is that Chaput taking the Philly appointment is a mortal sin akin to adultery. In which case one wonders whether John XXIII ever repented of his abandonment of Venice (Or Aereopolis!)

    Catholics “on the right” do tend to look fondly on Chaput. But I would think that a guy who has said, more or less, that those who ignore the poor will go to Hell, wouldn’t fit so neatly into the “us vs. them” template transplanted from American secular politcs.

  2. John Drake says:

    Todd, you really ought to abandon the left vs right, Dem vs GOP whine. It’s orthodox vs heterodox.

  3. Todd says:

    I’ve also abandoned the ortho versus hetero whine. Nobody on Earth is entirely competent to render such a judgment, and the people who attempt it often fall short in method or praxis themselves, usually in terms of inhabiting an extremist fringe. Or flirting with it.

    Anybody interested in getting off politics and opining if Chaput is a good fit for his new see?

  4. Jimmy Mac says:

    If he’s so worried about the poor – telling us that we put our souls at risk by ignoring them – why is HE so focused on abortion and gay marriage?

    He’s just another upwardly mobile soon-to-be member of the Red Hat Club. Then he can join his buddies Pell, Burke, et al in prancing around singing “We’re so pretty, oh so pretty.”

    Is he a good fit for his new see? He’ll change it to fit him: “smaller, purer” church for the “faithful remnant.”

    Why are the people of Philadelphia, who suffered under the arrgoance, malfeasance and just plain incompetence of Rigali now being punished with a culture warrior? Are there NO pastors left in the frozen chosen set of papal wannabes?

  5. John Drake says:

    Jimmy Mac – It is possible to demonstrate concern for more than one issue at a time. I see no reason why Abp. Chaput’s concern for the poor should preclude him from also addressing arguably the two most fundamental issues of our time – the assault on the unborn, and the assault on marriage. The Lord spoke on eight beatitudes, not just one.

  6. Jimmy Mac says:

    Chaput is not the Lord, whether HE believes that or not!

    Same-sex marriage is not an assult on marriage. Divorce is an assault on marriage. Spousal and child abuse are assaults on marriage. Failture to adequately prepare, counsel and inform prospective married couples is an assault on marriage.

    Same-sex marriage is NOT an assault on marriage.

  7. Molly Roach says:

    Philadelphia sure could use a pastor. Justin Rigali was an absentee landlord who spent 2weeks out of every month in Rome. Archbishop Chaput was not on my short list but I certainly was touched by his personable and open behavior in the opening press conference on announcement day. In Philly, we haven’t had anything close to such open and human self presentation in an Ordinary. Plus he’s not a canon lawyer. First time since the 60’s we haven’t had a canon lawyer. All the other publicity—dismaying baggage and time will tell whose baggage it is.

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