No big deal for this cardinal-to-be

No big deal for this cardinal-to-be

When a diocesan ordinary is elevated to the College of Cardinals, it is usually a time of celebration, not just for the new cardinal and his family and friends, but for his entire archdiocese. It is traditional for a large traveling party to be organized with representatives from across the archdiocese, major benefactors, Knights of Malta, Knights of Columbus, and so on.

However, it seems that in Boston the mantle of cardinal will rest a little heavily on its archbishop. The way O’Malley spoke of it to reporters after his appointment, you’d think he was being sentenced to hard time.

Still it’s remarkable that, on the very day of the happy announcement, a prominent civic leader in Boston would say, for the record, that he was “uncomfortable” with this honor for the archbishop, in fact “very saddened by the appointment.”

Who would make such a gratuitously nasty comment? Some anti-Catholic bigot? A longtime enemy of the archbishop? A bitter critic of the Pope? No, it was Sean O’Malley.

More evidence that he’s going to be a different kind of cardinal comes from the fact that the Archdiocese of Boston has announced today that it is not organizing the traditional traveling party. If individuals and groups want to go to Rome on their own for the ceremonies, the chancery will release schedules and coordinate invitations, but that’s it.

Perhaps that’s some of O’Malley’s humility and lack of real desire for this honor showing through. Perhaps it’s a recognition that on the heels of the Scandal, parish closings, and public fights over gay marriage, gay adoption, and what not, an ostentatious celebration in Rome might be seen as being in bad taste.

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  • The archbishop’s secretary isn’t even going to Rome with him. 

    Also, I was sad to find out that the cover of the Herald with the thumbs-up was from a photo-file, from over a year ago.  I thought it was so funny.

  • I don’t get it.  If he’s really saddened by the appointment, why didn’t he simply decline it?  For of AB O’Malley’s humility, the fact remains that he didn’t have to accept.

  • I don’t feel as though I can speak for Archbishop Sean but I think he would say that because he is a Franciscan when he became a bishop his vow of obedience transferred to the Holy Father and he cannot tell him no because of it.

  • I think he accepted it because he knows it’s not about him, it’s about the Archdiocese he serves. The Cardinalate is part of it, and he respects that.

  • C’mon Arbishop, buck up, you’ll feel better when you start cracking heads.

    Your Lord was nailed to a Cross, and you’re moaning about serving him while wearing a red cap?

    Use that well-educated brain of yours to smash the heretics!

    The serfs like me will cheer you from the fields.

  • Dear Bishop Sean,

    You’ve got a tough job proclaiming the Gospel and governing the Church here in Boston, and it’s fitting that our dear Pope Benedict confirm you in your service by the new dignity he has chosen to give you.

    The faithful who support you want to rejoice in this event, so if you’re really saddened by it, please suck it up.

    United in prayer,