Year-End Wrap Up....
(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
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?