Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Year-End Wrap Up....

All apologies for two days of absence -- I guess my critics got the voodoo dolls out when they were reminded that Piero Marini is still felicter regnans, as I've been pretty sick, fevered and stuffed-up ever since. I'll be posting and, most importantly, taking care of my severely backlogged e.mail as coherence allows....

(Just so you know, the following was written late last week, but for some reason procrastinated on until now.)

OK, so when I started all this last year -- with a daily readership of five, mind you -- I took a swing at the Top Ten Stories off the Beaten Path to look out for in 2005.

The readership has grown over 400-fold since and, almost freakishly, though none of them were barely a blip on the general radar screen at the end of 2004, six of the First Annual Loggia Ten came to the fore in a big way:
  • The Apostolic Visitation of US Seminaries and Houses of Formation (need I say more?)
  • The continued pattern of unconventional episcopal appointments, veering toward younger and less-administrative types more flexible vis a vis governance (Alex Sample and Michael Jackels come to mind)
  • Ever-longer diocesan vacancies (Sioux City and Nashville, anyone?)
  • The continued downward spiral of the Society of Jesus (CDF v. America figured big in '05)
  • The frayed relationship between priests and bishops
  • And, of course, my home archdiocese's continued manifestation of a pre-Abuse Crisis mentality, as exemplified by its pitiful response to the grand jury report
So I'm compiling another list of the Big Ten to keep an eye on in '06..... Keep an eye for that as time and events dictate. I'll also be running some of the "Best of" for those latecomers to the party...

In keeping with the practice of the secular press, we will also name a Churchman of the Year. Well, someone who's not Joseph Ratzinger. The Pope would be the obvious choice, and the whole concept here is about the un-obvious which the rest of the world (read: media/instapundits) is missing, for the time being, until it happens and they're shellshocked ("NO!" ...umm, yes.).

What I'm looking for is someone who has had a uniquely high-profile year which (for good or ill) has influenced the wider course of things in whatever significant way. Nominations are being accepted via e.mail; anyone who feels so inspired to make a recommendation is warmly encouraged to drop me a line, with a 50-word or so blurb on why the nominee would make a good choice. (e.g. "Malcolm Ranjith, because he just loves, loves, LOVES the SSPX." Not that that's a good example, but still, it's an example.)

If I'm feeling particularly keen, I might well name a Rising Star to Watch as well.... Feel free to send noms for that as well. We'll see what happens.

And please don't forget the Fund Drive. If I worked for TIME or something, I'd get paid 800 times what I'm making to do 10% of the work, maybe even less than that....

Must be nice, right?