Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Greetings from Chicago

No, I'm not at the USCCB. But my guys are -- and they're checking in.

(For the curious, this is done alphabetically by province to avoid logjams. The newly-split San Antonio being completed, we're now at Santa Fe.... Thank God Texas got divided; it used to be a bit much all at once.)

I just heard from a mitred one dearly special to me. When I told him to "have fun," he shot back that "Bishops' meetings aren't really what I'd call 'fun.'" Even before 2002, membership in the Conference has been likened to public penance. And I really feel for the newbie bishops who had nothing to do with what came before, but the sight of that collar and chain just gets the lobbying groups in the hallways of the hotel all hopping mad.

Now, if people on all sides took time, calmed down and studied who these men are, maybe their screaming would have a bit more credibility? Maybe they might not scream at all and actually attempt a conversation. How refreshing.

Bishops' meetings aren't what His Good Excellency would call "fun" because I'm not there to set up a salon. When that day comes, fun will be had -- Jimmy Buffett blaring over loudspeakers and Parrotheads and Margaritas for everyone, even the press.

The first blogger to get accreditation? Maybe for November... depends who goes to DC.

When that happens, the floor will never be the same again, in the best possible way. We'll be like cons celebrating the fall of Bugnini.


But yet again, I do need to bleg. If I were in this for profit, I would've gone to Wharton, not sacrificed any chance of a lucrative living at Penn's College of Arts & Sciences.

However starving a Vaticanista I might be, I'd like to think I did the right thing.

I can tell you that big things are in the pipeline. As I mark six months of these daily chronicles, we're gonna celebrate. And we will have fun.

But as I strive to be comprehensive in having the resources to tackle all the news and personalities out there with fairness and the highest standards of accuracy and integrity, I really do need your help. "Pope-fatigue" does not hold sway here.

It seems the audience keeps growing. About 300 or so people come here every day, from around the world -- the Romans have expressed their joy, e li ringrazio moltissimo per questo.

Thanks to one and all for embracing me and my mission, and most of all for understanding it. Most of the people on the ground here don't. My diocese has its guns turned on me, I get confury (and threats) on a daily basis, and those closest to me keep thinking of this work as a "hobby," not an intricate professional task which requires every full measure of devotion and effort.

Candidly, all of that puts a lot on me; pressure, anxiety, you name it. And, as I've said before, I want to keep at this -- so long as you, my gentle snowflakes, will allow me.

Because of a panoramic photo I posted over the weekend, the traditional sidebar has been moved to the bottom right of the page; you'll find the donation button there. As you're able, please drop a couple coins in the guitar case. Your help will ensure that this work can continue and reach ever-greater heights.

There's a whole world out there left uncovered. I'm chomping at the bit to keep after it.



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