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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Awaiting Roman largesse

FATHER GENERAL left for Rome yesterday where he will, among other things, petition the Sacred Congregation for Maintaining Clerical Supremacy At All Times and In All Circumstances to accept the election of Br. Wayne Fitzpatrick as the first consulter to the U.S. regional superior. Just like the first time, Fr. Ed Dougherty expressed optimism that this time things will be different because there is precedent and if there's anything that gives the prelates in Rome warm tingles up their leg it's precedent. Unfortunately there is also a precedent, recently invoked, for giving us and the democratic process the Roman shaft.

Of concern, apparently, is what would happen should newly elected U.S. regional Fr. Mike Duggan be unable for whatever reason to finish his term. It clearly states in our rarely read Constitutions that the first assistant becomes regional, but I'm sure we can work things out so that under no circumstances can Miss Congeniality become Miss America.

Until such time as Rome settles this matter, ballots for the second assistant will not go out. At this rate, the election of the entire regional council could drag on well into the new year, just in time for our regional assembly in May to take up the question of whether we really want or need to be a region at all.

But the Dockster is up to other business in Rome as well and, God willing, Maryknoll's star may yet rise over the Eternal City.

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