Wednesday, October 31, 2012

After the Storm, "Our Hearts Are Broken"

Much as today was supposed to bring the Halloween Story into print, suffice it to say, the scenes and stories 'round these parts seem to make for quite enough horror for this year on their own. What's more, with a good quarter or so of our normal crowd seemingly still without power or otherwise out of range, it just feels better to not do it without 'em. (Once you're back up, please send word.)

In any event, clad in an FDNY jacket bearing his name while leading the spiritual response to the superstorm that's ravaged much of the Mid-Atlantic, the Cardinal-President took to Fox News this morning with his impressions....

In light of the continuing difficulty of getting around across much of the 10-county archdiocese of New York, in a statement released this morning, Tim Dolan dispensed the 2.5 million-member church from tomorrow's obligation to make Mass for All Saints' Day, "advising people only to [attend] if safety is not at risk."

"Yes we've got so much to pray for," the cardinal said, "as we mourn our dead, pray for their families, and for those injured, and without homes. We also pray in thanksgiving for the heroic service of so many entrusted with our protection. Praise God that, once again, this community has united in selfless service to those in need."

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Across the Hudson, meanwhile, having already weathered one storm over recent weeks – the release of a 16-page pastoral letter on marriage which stoked considerable debate among his 1.3 million-member fold (and, per usual for the moment, drew a retort from his Episcopal counterpart) – Archbishop John Myers was still hunkered down in his residence at Newark's cathedral rectory which, like 95 percent of Jersey's largest city, remained without power for a third day. (Located within the Newark archdiocese – by land area, the US' smallest local church – a scene from Hoboken is shown above.)

Regardless, the Garden State metropolitan – who marked his silver jubilee as a bishop last month – used the remainder of his quickly-draining cellphone battery to fulfill a previously-scheduled commitment to appear on today's edition of Relevant Radio's morning show, during which Myers talked the storm's impact on his end:

And perhaps most prominently of all, at the close of today's General Audience at the Vatican, the Pope said that "Conscious of the devastation caused by the hurricane which recently struck the East Coast of the United States of America, I offer my prayers for the victims and express my solidarity with all those engaged in the work of rebuilding."

Perhaps with Sandy in mind, Vatican Radio reported that, as the pontiff looked out on the St Peter's Square crowd huddled under umbrellas amid Rome's October rain season, he couldn't help but remark off-the-cuff that "It could be worse."

PHOTO: Doug Mills/Pool(1);AP(2)