Listecki to Milwaukee: "Do You Love Me?"
First, Archbishop Pietro Sambi returned to his most favored text of recent months -- namely, the Pope's September homily at the ordination of bishops (i.e. the one that quickly became famous for condemning clerics who "seek power, prestige or esteem for [them]selves"... which could well explain why Sambi likes it so much), recycling the following passage verbatim as the heart of his talk:
In Greek, the word for "fidelity" coincides with the word for "faith". The fidelity of the servant of Jesus Christ also consists precisely in the fact that he does not attempt to adapt faith to the fashions of the times. Christ alone has the words of eternal life and we must bring these words to the people. They are the most precious good that has been entrusted to us. There is nothing sterile or static about such fidelity; it is creative. The master rebuked the servant who, attempting to avoid all risk, had buried the money given to him in the ground. With this apparent fidelity, the servant had in reality set aside the good of his master to dedicate himself exclusively to his own affairs. Fidelity is not fear but rather is inspired by love and by its dynamism. The master praises the servant who has invested his goods profitably. Faith demands to be passed on: it was not given to us merely for ourselves, for the personal salvation of our own souls, but for others, for this world and for our time. We must bring faith into this world so that it may become in it a living force; in order to increase God's presence in the world.And, maybe even more importantly, the papal bull of appointment -- which, notably, shone an unusual spotlight on the nominee's radio days in Chicago -- broke from its usual form, saying that B16 had chosen Listecki "with due consideration given to the recommendation of the Congregation for Bishops."
As a bull's customary script instead (99.9% of the time) speaks of the pontiff "accepting the opinion" of said dicastery, we can glean that....
Well, complete the sentence.
SVILUPPO: Lest anyone needed reminding of what (recent archbishops notwithstanding) remains the Milwaukee church's prevailing ecclesiology (read: Rembert Nation), those listening closely during the preface dialogue would've heard much (if not most) of the assembly respond as follows: "May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of God's name..." and then again "...it is right to give God thanks and praise."
SVILUPPO 2: And so, gang, after eleven months of hearing hundreds of ads for Russ Darow Mazda -- and capped off by two hours on live TV, over the phone, on this Installation Day -- everything returns to normal in the Beer City with the arrival of its eleventh archbishop... which means that our yearlong thrill-ride with the Milwaukee press has come to its close.
For those who missed any of it, local NBC affiliate WTMJ's got on-demand video of the archbishop's post-Mass press conference, the entire installation liturgy itself in one... two... parts... and, indeed, video of the former Boss' all-important conferral of the Timostolic Blessing on his successor.
One important thing we've learned about the church in southeastern Wisconsin: you don't say "archbish-op" there, you say "ARCH-bishop" -- that is, accent on the first syllable. Big time.
God love Packerland and all the wonderful folks there -- here's hoping to make it back to The Rafters again one of these days.... 'Til then, though -- at least, as the Man of the Hour would have it -- time for this "ecclesiastical pundit" to get back to "making book."
PHOTO: Benny Sieu/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel