instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The view from the tank

A few more observations on the appointment in Washington:
  • -Designate. It's "Archbishop-Designate." Not "-Elect." I have corrected my error.
  • A-D Wuerl has degrees from the Gregorian and the Angelicum. That's four decades of experience in ecumenism.
  • Want a hint about how well Cardinal McCarrick gets along with the local media? The Washington Post reports he "became eligible for retirement last July." None of this New York Timesy "submitted his resignation ... as church policy requires" guff.
  • Blog response has been milder than I expected. A few chuckleheaded Donatists have nodded in grim satisfaction, and the hardcore among them shook their heads in satisfied grimness, but on the whole St. Blog's is treating this more as just another change in episcopal leadership than the Bright New Dawn of the Catholic Church some seemed to think Cardinal McCarrick's retirement would mark. Early days yet, I realize.
  • As one informal and anecdotal datapoint, I last saw Cardinal McCarrick at a Mass last December, and he looked markedly older and more tired than the [handful of] other times I'd seen him. I was not at all surprised to read subsequent interviews in which he expressed a desire to retire. Even before then, he was telling reporters, "Most people my age are dead."
  • I made a joke in a comment below that the one question by which our new archbishop will be measured is, will he let my parish build a parish hall? For all the kibbitzing St. Blog's does while watching the American episcopate, for all the gossip about who is in favor in Rome and whose opinions are sufficiently orthodox to allow them to be repeated to children, I strongly suspect that for the vast majority of Catholics all that really matters is what happens in, and to, their parish. And, on this point, I strongly suspect the vast majority of Catholics have it more right than those of us who use words like "episcopate" and "orthodox."
  • Just as an FYI, the proper term is "boot-licking Vatican toady." This should not be confused with a boot-licking Vatican toad:

    A comparatively reclusive member of the family Bufonidae, of which the common toad (Bufo bufo) is perhaps best-known, the boot-licking Vatican toad, B. caligae vaticanensis delingeriscus, is shown above in this rare photograph.
(Idea and caption for final bullet shamelessly stolen from Marion.)