Saturday, September 24, 2005

Filling the Newshole

The piece I wrote last week for Religion News Services has been published in its full, resplendent glory -- in Northwest Arkansas, of all places. Check it out.

It finally includes the close which was so dear to my heart

In contrast to his predecessor’s emphasis on the figure of the pope at the expense of local bishops, "Benedict is more of a ‘constitutional conservative’ type," said David Gibson, author of The Coming Catholic Church and a forthcoming biography of the pope.

The foresight of that "constitutional conservatism" was seen in a 1985 intervention made by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, reported in April by John Allen, Rome correspondent of the National Catholic Reporter.

When informed of John Paul’s intent to nominate the archconservative Austrian cleric Kurt Krenn as archbishop of Vienna, "Ratzinger actually blocked Krenn’s appointment," according to Allen, "[knowing] that Krenn would be a disaster in a highprofile forum such as Vienna."

Krenn resigned in disgrace last year from his rural Austrian diocese after scandalous disclosures of sexual misconduct by priests and seminarians under his watch. American Catholics will be looking to Benedict to exercise similar savvy as he begins to flesh out his vision for the future of the Catholic Church in the United States.




Blogger Jeff said...


An intersting diocese, Little Rock. They have Trid masses coming out the ears; the bishops mother loves the old Mass but she lives across the river and goes to Trid mass in Memphis.

But the Trid Mass in Memphis--Yuck!--is celebrated by a young priest who does it like a hootenaney

"Dominus VoBIIIIScum!!!!!"

a fearful experience.

Good to see the piece got picked up. Any chance we'll see it more widely?

24/9/05 17:00  
Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

Today, Arkansas.

Tomorrow ...... Die Welt!!!

24/9/05 17:04  
Blogger Iosephus said...

Krenn was an "arch-conservative"??? And how did he come by that label? It looks that Ratzinger helped to get the better man there to Vienna, namely Schoenborn, who is one of the best out there today. I would be interested to know what led you to the analysis that Ratzinger blocked an arch-conservative. From the little I know, it only looks as though he blocked a bad bishop from a major see.

24/9/05 17:25  
Blogger patrick said...

Actually, I think JPII appointed Groer rather than Krenn, who turned out to be even more disasterous as he was exposed as a serial sexual harrasser of novices and seminarians when he was a Benedictine abbot.

Krenn, theologically, was extremely conservative and hidebound which wasn't his real problem. His real problem was that he was reportedly a lunatic, a dysfunctional alcoholic, an incompetent, and had a habit of making outrageous inflammatory (even defamatory) statements in the press. He made his total and complete detestation of homosexuality and homosexuals, clear, but somehow never realized that the seminarians and clergy that he recruited for his diocese were most flamboyant "Daughter of Trent" gay clergy. In short, Krenn lived in a world existing only in his own mind (Krennland?) a nostalgic fairytale land divorced from the time and place of any era, and was completely clueless to anything and everything in The Real World.

But, he was an enemy of liberal trends, was patronized by the Habsburg family, and was a champion of the memory of now Blessed Charles of Austria, the last emperor - a cause that was near and dear to Charles's namesake, Karol Wojtyla.

24/9/05 18:12  
Blogger patrick said...

If you can read German, here is a link to Bishop's Krenn's webpage. To put it delicately, the picture of the Bishop's face must not be missed as it is quite striking in its own way.

24/9/05 18:19  
Blogger Gene O'Grady said...

I yield to none in my distaste for Krenn, but why the animus toward the Hapsburg family, particularly one member who's been dead for 80 years? It might do to remember the pre-racist tolerance of the dynasty, and Sigmund Freud's respect for old Kaiser Franz Joseph blocking the populist anti-Semite Karl Lueger (another namesake of the pope, if we want to get real silly) from taking office as mayor of Vienna.

24/9/05 18:26  
Blogger patrick said...

I'm actually a great admirer of the Habsburg dynasty, including Blessed Charles. Re Krenn, the family had bad judgment and I think it allowed him to rise to a level beyond his competence.
That's all.

24/9/05 19:02  
Blogger Sainte Chopin said...

Speaking of conservative, St. Poelten was a REFUGE for conservatives within the European seminary system, many Americans too.

One would do well to pay close attention to Lichtenstein now that it remains the last of "conservative" shelters. Please do not be surprised when it turns up MAJOR skeletons.

24/9/05 19:35  
Blogger Sainte Chopin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

24/9/05 19:48  
Blogger Henry said...

The glory of your Arkansas piece might have been still more resplendent, Rocco, if you had mentioned the pending U.S. appointment that Vatican watchers are watching still more than San Francisco -- Birmingham. In case you have trouble wrapping your mind around this, that's Birmingham in Alabama. If you'd like to do some investigative reportage, let me suggest some initial questions to explore. Which world television network does Rome view as central to restoring U.S. Catholicism? In a certain religious superior's travails with various U.S. bishops, which cardinal prefect in the Vatican was her strongest supporter, and what is his current position in the Roman Catholic Church? Which U.S. bishop was instructed by the Vatican that "individual diocesan bishops may not prohibit celebration of the sacred liturgy facing the apse (ad orientem)"? And what does all this have to do with the "reform of the reform" of the liturgy that apparently will be a center piece of the current papal agenda? There are some interesting subsidiary questions that you will discover once you identify the principal characters in this ongoing drama. So go to it, young man! You may find there's quite a story here. One that should run well beyond Little Rock.

24/9/05 21:44  
Blogger patrick said...

Henry must be referring to the apostolic visitation of OLAM and EWTN a few years ago which Mother Angelica cut off by removing EWTN from her and the monastery's control to a lay board that was completely independent of any oversight from the Holy See or any bishops. Of course, if a theologian tried to avoid a canonical mandate or if a seminary tried for foil an apostolic visitation in this way, the parties involved would be traitors to the Church, right???

24/9/05 22:21  
Blogger Henry said...

Of course, if a theologian tried to avoid a canonical mandate or if a seminary tried for foil an apostolic visitation in this way, the parties involved would be traitors to the Church, right???

Indeed! It seems to depend a lot on who does, and who does not, fully support the Holy Father and/or, conversely, enjoy papal support.

25/9/05 07:32  

Post a Comment

<< Home