Saturday, November 26, 2011

In All Things and Above All Things: Charity...

Fr. Z's commentary today on the appointment of the new nuncio for Ireland reminded me of an incident at home back in 1976-77. Those were the days when the Apostolic Delegation in Washington encouraged dioceses to draw up a profile of the man they wanted as the next bishop without naming names. However it went, our bishop, who had just retired, got hold of the results and was very hurt to think that for those who had participated in the survey he had not been some of the things on the wish list, at least that was the impression given. The diocesan administrator who had run the survey and published the summary was mortified to discover how he had offended a man whom he really idealized.... What was the point of a survey which in effect backhanded the man who had given his all for that diocese and had never counted the cost? Charity in all things and above all things!

I'm not asking Fr. Z to assume responsibility for the off-hand and ugly comments his article occasioned and which are there for all the world to see, but as far as it goes.... cui bono? What was served by his pot shots or theirs? I'll quote a bit and underline:

Apart from the brains, I know Msgr. Brown to be a prayerful, devout and dedicated priest, very close to Pope Benedict for whom he worked for many years at the CDF.
Msgr. Brown is not from the diplomatic corps crowd.  [Yes? and?] He is an American.  He is young.  He has no diplomatic experience in the sense of having worked in nunciatures.  There are a lot of reasons why his appointment is a departure from the norm.  On the other hand, with his background in theology and his experience at the CDF, it will be nearly impossible successfully to lie to Msgr. Brown about the state of affairs in Ireland.
Perhaps it is time for less diplomacy and more Catholic identity? [Diplomacy has several meanings in the dictionary and not all are positive...]
One of the pressing tasks facing the future Archbishop Nuncio will be to help gather dossiers on new bishops for Irish dioceses.  About a quarter of the dioceses are now vacant.   It may also be necessary to determine whether all those dioceses are… well… necessary to maintain.
I ask WDTPRS readers to stop and, right now, say a decade of the Rosary for Msgr. Brown, also invoking Our Lady of Knock for him and for the reevangelization of Ireland. 

May I ask WDTPRS readers to stop and, right now, say a decade of the Rosary for all of us poor "diplomats" who have some idea of what Archbishop-elect Brown will be facing as he joins our ranks and strives to share in and sustain the Petrine ministry presently entrusted to our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI. And please: Charity in all things and above all things!


  1. The more I read you, the more I admire you, Excelence.

    I have been following you, by distance, for a couple of years, and I'm proud of our diplomats. I'm sure you are giving your best for the sake of the catholic Faith and the Church in Ukraine.

    Fr. Clecio
    from Brazil

  2. I agree with you, Your Excellency. I admit that I am not infrequently concerned about charity on that blog (and many other ones). At this busy time of year, I have elected to cut down on what I read online, whether forever or until Advent ends or some other period I do not know. (Note that I am still reading your blog!)

    I will say my decade of the rosary later today, for I presently lack even the time to read your more recent post, which I see refers to me at its very beginning. (Thank you, in advance!)

  3. And now I have some time. I have time, too, to fess up to a particular failing in charity of my own concerning 'Vatican diplomacy'.


    A couple years back, I had some idea of a particular important long-lasting situation relevant to the duties of the papal nuncio in a country that isn't my own. This was back when I used to blog - that blog is now hidden and I think the post was deleted quite some time ago - but in a general rant post on a number of topics I indicated that I wished that the papal nuncio in that country would be replaced. I didn't even know his name at the time; I merely assumed that he was part of the problem.

    I later learned that this particular man had been working quite hard to fix the situation in a manner similar to but better than what I had, at the time, desired. I eventually grew to rather like him, and "liked" his Facebook fan page... shortly before he passed away.

    Archbishop Pietro Sambi, requiescat in pace.

  4. I am sure you understand that I would be the last one to want to withdraw me/myself from criticism or fraternal correction when it is due. It's just that I found the above-mentioned article egregious and an invitation to snub (even in prayer) a group seemingly (in someone's judgment)far from the Face of God. I can't and won't write my memoirs as an apology for what I do or try to do for the Holy Father and the Church, but Charity would hope the Church would hold us too up in prayer and hope for the best from our toiling in the vineyard.


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