Friday, November 11, 2005

Serving up the Word ...

... The Word From Rome, i.e.

John Allen has a big piece on the interview with the new US Ambassador to the Holy See, Francis Rooney. And then a kinda comparitive bit with the new Brithis Ambassador (the first Catholic emissary to the Holy See since the, um, recent troubles with Henry VIII ... :)). Both appointments have generated "croneyism" criticisms, apparently. Then there's this bit:

In his efforts to build relationships, Rooney's deep pockets afford him at least one advantage most ambassadors lack -- his own large sailboat, with its own crew, currently anchored off the island of Elba, which Rooney said he would like to use occasionally to entertain cardinals and other dignitaries.
"I don't play golf, but I could take them boating or scuba-diving," he laughed.
Now that would be a sight to see. Cardinal Medina Estévez, say, scuba-diving. Priceless.

John also talks about the decision of the Paulists to continue at Santa Susanna (John has served on the Pastoral Council there and it is his "home parish" in Rome), which has been run by the Paulists since the last time there was a Benedict in the Vatican, Benedict XV, i.e.

After a lengthy process of examining all current operations, the Paulist Fathers have reconfirmed their intention to continue to staff the Church of Santa Susanna, the American parish in Rome.

Founded by Fr. Isaac Hecker, a former Redemptorist, in 1858 as a missionary community for the Americas, the Paulists in many ways incarnate the history of American Catholicism. Ideas loosely derived from Hecker's theological writings would later form the basis for a system of thought called "Americanism," condemned by Pope Leo XIII in 1899 in the encyclical Testem Benevolentiae. Though most historians believe the episode was largely the result of misunderstandings, it nevertheless illustrates the tensions that have sometimes clouded the relationship between Rome and America.

Today the Paulists define their mission in terms of evangelization, reconciliation, Christian unity and inter-religious relations.
Though, I don't think Hecker himself was ever condemned as a heretic. :)

[Unfortunately, as part of the Paulist's retrenchment plan, they're leaving Clemson late August. A severe blow to ministry in this part of the world. They're also leaving three other foundations, at Tucson, Boulder and Santa Barbara.]

Speaking of Paulist connections, Augustine Francis Hewitt, one of Hecker's co-conspirators in the founding of the Missionary Society of St. Paul, has some interesting South Carolina background:

He then studied Catholic theology privately under the direction of Dr. Patrick N. Lynch, afterwards Bishop of Charleston, S.C., and Dr. James A. Corcoran, subsequently professor at Overbrook Seminary, Philadelphia. He was ordained priest on the first anniversary of his profession of faith by Right Rev. Ignatius A. Reynolds, D.D., Bishop of Charleston. He then became a teacher in a collegiate institute founded by Bishop England at Charleston, and assisted Bishop Reynolds in the compilation of Bishop England's works for publication.
And finally, this week's Word has some more news on that document.

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