The Visit Over, It's Gong Time
At a Friday liturgy in the capital, Archbishop Donald Wuerl bestowed the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross on Knestout, who served as one of two co-chairs of the planning committee for April's papal visit to Washington. The group's 13 members -- four clerics, nine laity, countless hours of work between them -- each received the Benemerenti medal; among the latter group was the bishop-elect's younger brother, Fr Mark, the lead architect of the District leg's climactic liturgy at Nationals Park.
The first en masse papal honors ever given by Wuerl -- whose former diocese of Pittsburgh hasn't seen Purple Rain in over four decades -- it's worth noting that the DC class is a rare instance of secular clergy receiving those awards customarily conferred on the non-ordained; while permanent deacons and religious are essentially limited to the Pro Ecclesia or Benemerenti, the predominant honor given to diocesan priests would be one of the three grades of the honorary prelature.
That said, the post-PopeTrip torrent isn't over; expected in short order is a similar announcement from the visit's other stop... albeit -- as one would expect from the Big Apple -- a much larger list... knighthoods included.
And, speaking of Gotham and things military... come by way of the Vatican (...more precisely, the Secretariat of State)....
Actually, that can wait.