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:
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!