Friday, August 7, 2009

Cardinal Sean's Anniversary

I am a member of the Archdiocese of Boston, MA. Our current Archbishop is Cardinal Sean O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap. In August, he is celebrating his 25th anniversary of his consecration to the episcopacy. It occurred on August 2nd, 1984, when he was made coadjutor bishop of St. Thomas, in the Virgin Islands. He would later be transferred to the Diocese of Fall River, MA; and then to Palm Beach, FL. In both dioceses, he received credit for helping to heal the wounds created by the clergy sexual abuse scandals. Because of his skill in handling these situations, he was appointed Archbishop of Boston, to replace Cardinal Bernard Law. Most Catholics in Boston, myself included, thought he did a masterful job in beginning the healing process. During the U.S. visit of Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal O'Malley arranged to have the Pope meet with some of the survivors of clergy abuse.
Cardinal Sean has had to also deal with a financial crisis in the Archdiocese, directly or indirectly brought about by the abuse scandal. There has also been a significant decline in the number of clergy available to staff the parishes. The Cardinal had to institute a Archdiocesan restructuring process, that many feel was ill-conceived, poorly implemented, and caused only more harm to an already wounded community. Still the Archdiocese seems to be on the mend, and moving forward.
A Franciscan Capuchin, Cardinal Sean continues to wear his habit during his workdays. He sold the Cardinal's mansion to Boston College, and I believe has taken residence in the rectory of Holy Cross Cathedral. He comes across as a gentle man, comfortable with people, firm in his teachings, but definitely not a fire and brimstone preacher. He is one of the earliest members of the episcopacy to enter into the world wide Web, writing his own weekly blog. Here is a link to his blog entry on his consecration anniversary.
Happy Anniversary, Your Eminence!

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