Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hierarchs On the Lake

So my ears were ringing a couple hours ago... and then a call from Utah explained why.

In a word, blame Boise.

The circuit has converged on Salt Lake City for Bishop John Wester's installation. The Mass, scheduled to begin at 1.30pm local time (1930GMT) tomorrow, will be streamed live from the resplendent Cathedral of the Madeleine via the website of the diocesan paper, the Intermountain Catholic, which has gone gangbusters with its coverage.

Tears are being shed in San Fran at the loss of Wester, its popular auxiliary of almost a decade and firstborn of the prelate still known in local circles as "Darth." (That's "L'Em.mo Darth" to the rest of you; conspicuous by his absence on the Wasatch, he'll be in Louvain for this weekend's 150th of the American College.) But there's relief in Mormon Country -- and not just because of the new arrival whose coming ends 15 months of interregnum, either.

On this installation eve, the Utah Supreme Court turned back a suit from two brothers who sued the Salt Lake diocese in 2003 alleging abuse by a priest three decades ago, on grounds of the statute of limitations. (The perp has been laicized and is serving a 40-year prison sentence for a conviction in another case, in another state.)

In other things Wester, word is that Gordon Hinckley, the 96 year-old head of the First Presidency of the LDS (Mormon) church, will not making tomorrow's liturgy due to an illness. The other two members of the faith's three-member top body are still slated to show, and the Roman heavy-hitters -- Cardinals Roger Mahony, Theodore McCarrick and papal nuncio Archbishop Pietro Sambi -- will all be wheels-down in the morning.

It'll be quite the event. Get pumped for the Madeleine Choir.

The Intermountain Catholic