|Personally I prefer the Marine Dress Uniform, but I understand Cardinal Burke needs a little more 'salad dressing'.
John Allen has another interesting post up at the NCR. This one deals with the gung ho wannabe marine bishops recently appointed to US Archdioceses. These include Cordileone to San Francisco, Lori to Baltimore, and Aquila to replace the first of these gung ho guys, Chaput in Denver. It looks like Sensus Fidelium is to be replaced by Semper Fi.
For me though, the really frightening part of Allen's missive came at the end:
.....In terms of church politics, most observers see Cordileone's appointment as a sign of a growing role for American Cardinal Raymond Burke, president of the Apostolic Signatura. Burke, currently the lone American heading a major Vatican office, sits on the Vatican's powerful Congregation for Bishops. (To be honest, and this is not a charitable thought, every time I hear this man's name I have an instant mental association to 'clown masses'.)
The tendency to credit Burke is augmented by the fact that the papal ambassador to the United States, Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, privately has expressed concern about "politicization" of the American church heading into the 2012 elections, suggesting a preference for a more diplomatic style of leadership. Some observers wonder if Viganò's involvement in the ongoing Vatican leaks scandal, centering on revelations of private correspondence he wrote to the pope charging corruption in Vatican finances, have diminished his influence in the nomination process. (Makes more sense to me that it's the unbelievable level of influence of Carl Anderson that is at work here, not Vigano's lack there of.)
Further opportunities to shape the direction of the American church are on the horizon, with three other archdioceses due for a new bishop soon. Indianapolis is presently vacant, while in Portland, Ore., Archbishop John Vlazny is already over 75, and in Hartford, Conn., Archbishop Henry Mansell turns 75 in October.
Even more importantly, Cardinal Francis George in Chicago is already over 75. Although most observers do not expect a successor to be named imminently, it's the next diocese traditionally led by a cardinal likely to see a change at the top.
Yet no matter what happens in those locales, the reins of the U.S. church now seem firmly in the hands of leaders committed to a "no retreat, no surrender" stance.
I agree with John that the US Church is in the hands of the 'no retreat, no surrender" crop of men. This is the major reason I don't think the LCWR notion of discernment and dialogue has a hope in hell of being successful. Men who are determined to conceptualize everything in terms of war and enemies are not known for their capacity to dialogue. We are about to see a concerted effort to turn American Catholicism into an actual sort of Church Militant. Frank Cocozelli's recent post on Open Tabernacle deals with this exact kind of thinking taken to it's ultimate end from the mind of one Fr. C. John McCluskey, an Opus Dei priest who seems to think the "Work of God' is armed civil war in the US.
One of the things that Sr Pat Farrel mentioned in her closing speech at the LCWR convention as a sign of the new consciousness was the term synchronicity. The common synonym for synchronicity is coincidence. A more accurate conceptualization would be coincidence with in a meaningful space of time. The usual NEW AGE example of this is the concept of 'parking angel'. Or how we all think it's a nice coincidence that a parking spot in front of Walmart is available right after we were thinking how nice it would be if we didn't have to walk with a cart full of groceries to the back hinterlands of the parking dodging 40' RV's. We like to think our prayer was answered by a 'parking angel'. Today I had one of those synchronicities.
I was thinking this morning about how the Cordileone's and Lori's of the USCCB and the Carl Andersons' of the K of C, and the Michael Vorris' of the Catholic media world have taken to speaking in military terms, and not just in military terms, but more like the bravado of the mythical Marine. As if somehow they were in God's Marine corps and were insisting real Catholics best get in shape and be real Marines like them. And then this morning John Allen posts of this exact same thinking, even right down to quoting a Marine hero. I took my thinking a little further though, and wondered if these Real Catholic Marines would ever give any credit to the thought the real Marines know they can't function without the Navy, the Air Force, or God forbid, the Army and that more often than not, these troops are now involved in peace keeping activities and humanitarian relief rather than actual war. So I thought to myself it might be nice if these wannabe's actually followed the real Marines around for awhile because they might learn what their own vocations are actually supposed to entail. And then when I thought about Cardinal Burke following around real Marines, I almost choked.