Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Blessed" Friday

(SVILUPPO: All as expected, the beatification of JPII and the appointments noted below have released.)

Just as a word of warning, the more news-crazed among us will want to be up early tomorrow.

For starters, numerous reports now echo that the morning will begin on a "blessed" note with the Pope promulgating the latest set of decrees from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints -- above all, the one affirming a miracle attributed to the intercession of Karol Wojtyla, Venerable John Paul II, thus securing the beatification of the late pontiff.

Though any official comment remains vietato pending B16's official sign-off, in a reply to CNN earlier today, the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, hinted that an imminent announcement was "reasonable to expect." Elsewhere, Italian reports note that workers have already been spotted preparing a side-chapel currently dedicated to St Sebastian on the main floor of St Peter's Basilica, to which the remains of the Polish Pope are said to be moving in short order to better facilitate the veneration of the faithful.

While the acceptance of the miracle will signal that the procedural hurdles to the penultimate step to sainthood have been cleared, the beatification must still be ratified at a subsequent consistory of the cardinals present in Rome, at which point the date of the formal elevation rites will be revealed. In recent years, these consistories for sainthood causes have been held toward the end of February.

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Beyond that, among other things, the morrow's likewise set to see a notable nod on these shores as -- for the first time in nearly eight decades -- multiple sources indicate that the archdiocese of Indianapolis will receive an auxiliary bishop, Archbishop Daniel Buechlein's initial petition for a coadjutor having been declined by the Holy See.

In the meanwhile, suffice it to say, the circumstances of the reported move are rather unique, and will require a more extensive explanation than a typical nomination of the sort.

As ever, you'll have the goods here when the appointed hour strikes; for now, what matters most is that a good priest -- one who's already had his share of challenging assignments -- has been called on to give another considerable, perhaps even difficult, "yes"... so in these last hours before the floodgates blow open and (as with every bishop-elect) the whole wide world suddenly comes out of the woodwork, smart, er, "money" says he could use the closeness and strength of all of our prayers.

Same goes in Altoona-Johnstown, where -- five months after reaching the retirement age -- B16 is expected to accept longtime Bishop Joseph Adamec's resignation and appoint the next head of the 100,000-member Western Pennsylvania church.

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Looking slightly further ahead, the weekend shows no signs of slowdown as one of this pontificate's signal initiatives is finally set to launch with the erection of a personal ordinariate for Tiber-swimming Anglican groups in England, signified by Saturday morning's ordination of Canterbury's three ex-"flying bishops" to the Catholic priesthood in a Westminster Cathedral Mass. (Received into the church on New Year's Day, the trio were ordained to the Roman diaconate earlier tonight (above); several accounts are posted at a site dedicated to the new venture.)

Expected to bear the name of the "English Madonna" Our Lady of Walsingham, with the English jurisdiction -- its liturgical and governing forms largely to be imported from the Anglican patrimony -- envisioned as the template for similar structures that'll come to fruition in Canada, Australia and the US over the months ahead, an extensive guide to the historic set-up was released earlier this week by the nation's bishops' conference. While firm figures remain elusive, the English group is expected to comprise some 30 parish communities, joined by roughly 50 clerics, all of whom are slated be received into full communion (and, in the clergy's case, ordained for Rome) by Pentecost. In the Stateside church, meanwhile, requests for integration from Anglican groups are said to already number in the hundreds.

SVILUPPO: The Indianapolis Star relays word that a mid-morning presser tomorrow will bring "an important announcement" from Buechlein... but the paper remains clueless about what it is.

As ever, though, you lot aren't.

PHOTOS: Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul, Indianapolis/The Catholic Photographer(2); James Bradley/Flickr(3)