Our own Fr. Larry Lewis is returning from Rome and a meeting with Pope Benedict even as we blog. Ten days ago he called me up in a panic (Larry, not the pope) having heard from my classmate in Rome (Fr. Clyde Phillips, not the pope) that in the new dispensation, a suit and clerical collar are not sartorially sufficient to come into the papal presence.
"Joe, do you have a cassock I can borrow?"
"Actually I have three. Take your pick!"
He chose the one custom made for me some years ago by the mother of our late Br. Mike Greyerbiehl with the faux buttons hiding a full-length zipper (the cassock, not Mike) and a Maryknoll cincture complete with Chi Rho.
The purpose of Larry's call to Rome was a high-level discussion of Maryknoll's China Formation Project which has helped bring Chinese priests, seminarians and Sisters from the mainland to the U.S. so they could receive solid education in religious matters.
Four (or five?) alums of the program went on to become bishops in China with Vatican and PRC official approval. Larry went to give his assessment of the program.
Now, I'm not saying there's a quid pro quo, but my cassock may have just been the tipping point to the following press release from the Vatican. Just sayin'.
|Pope Appeals To China Over Naming Of Bishops|
|By Francis X. Rocca Religion News Service VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican on Thursday (April 14) lamented China's interference with the Roman Catholic Church, and...|
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