Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Fruits of Archbishop Fiorenza

Most Reverend Joseph A. Fiorenza, Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, recently had a mandatory retirement last year. His term in my archdiocese witnessed the transformation of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston into an archdiocese that was recognized by Pope John Paul II. In recognition of the rising status of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, legend has it that His Holiness words to Archbishop Fiorenza was (paraphrasing here), 'yes, Houston needs a new Cathedral'. Or something along those lines. Well, the new Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is currently being built right next to the current building under the personal guidance of his excellency, Archbishop Fiorenza. I must say that whomever picked the design, I'll give credit to Archbishop Fiorenza here, it was an excellent choice. Keeping to the traditions of the Church while mixing in the best of post-Christian design, the city of Houston will be proud of its greatest (new) landmark in this cathedral. Avoiding the mistakes of Cardinal Mahony's abomination of innovation in Los Angeles, the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart will grace the Houston skyline. Thusly adding a certain sense of sophistication to the ever-growing rich character of Houston. Archbishop Fiorenza's legacy will well be established at the completion of this magnificent structure in the heart of Houston. As far as discernible numbers to measure the success of his excellency's reign, I was only able to research a pamphlet from Crisis magazine called 'The State of the Catholic Church in America, Diocese by Diocese' by the Reverend Rodger Hunter-Hall and Steve Wagner.

So without further delay I have pulled out the highlights as well as the lowlights concerning our great Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Remember, these rankings were compiled by these two authors based on the actual number of Catholics, number of ordinations, and the number of converts. I have pulled only the extreme most rankings for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston as pertaining to the top ten best and/or worst, wherever we fall in. So here are the cold, hard statistics as follows:

The Worst Dioceses - Ratio of adherents per Priest. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston ranked 169 out of 176. One (1) Priest per 10,170. Fastest Growing Dioceses, 1995-2000. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston ranked eight (8) out of 176. 89% increase in total numbers. The average rating of all categories from 1995 to 2005. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston dropped from 76 to 100 out of 176. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is the sixth (6) largest diocese in America out of 176. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston has the worst ordinations of all 176 dioceses of America in 2005. (to be fair we are tied last with about ten other dioceses).

Anyhoo, the Most Reverend Daniel N. DiNardo succeeded his excellency last year with great fanfare. I've personally met his excellency, read his many statements, and have listened to many of his speeches and talks as well as heard from many others close to him of his modus operandi. Archbishop DiNardo seems very orthodox in his Catholicism, for instance he voted for all the proposed amendments to the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) translation of the Order of Mass (all passed except the consubstantialis, which his excellency argued for while Bishop Trautman rebuffed him arguing that us American Catholics were to stupid to understand consubstantialis - final vote 81 for, 109 against). I also want to add that the good Archbishop DiNardo is an ardent liturgist that has made it clear to all parish priests that liturgical purity is one of his highest priorities in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Thus he joins a growing chorus of bishops in the United States for a reform of the reform of Vatican II. Not necessarily rejecting Vatican II, but perfectly implementing what Vatican II was all about, a return to the early Church to better engage the post-Christian world. Thus the gross miscalculations of many misguided clergy and laity in incorrectly implementing these 'reforms' will be turned back. And the correct implementation of Lumen Gentium and Gaudium et Spes will bring a springtime in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. A boom in vocations and a rise in conversions to the Bride of Christ.

To read my posting on Vatican II click here.

To read the Curriculum Vitae of Archbishop Fiorenza click here.

To read the Curriculum Vitae of Archbishop DiNardo click here.

To read about the new Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart click here.

To read Lumen Gentium click here.

To read Gaudium et Spes click here.

To read The State of the Catholic Church in America, Diocese by Diocese click here. (Hat Tip: The Cafeteria is Closed)

To read Built on a Rock's posting on this study click here.


Matt said...

Thus he joins a growing chorus of bishops in the United States for a reform of the reform of Vatican II

I'm not sure it's fair to categorize the Abp.'s liturgical viewpoint as calling for the reform of the reform that Pope Benedict XVI has urged. He is no friend of the TLM, or Novus Ordo in Latin. His own masses have involved guitars and drums (Cafe Catholica), he likes to casually greet the crowd at the opening prayer, and wander the aisle during his homilies. While he does seem to adhere to many of the liturgical rubrics, he has done nothing to stem the massive abuse of the use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion.

Outside of the liturgy, he has shown little visible leadership, and he currently permits a fallen away Catholic pro-abortion politician (Rick Noriega) to sit on the board of Catholic Charities, and a member of the board of Planned Parenthood (Carol Alvarado) to scandalously hold herself out as a good Catholic and recieve communion. He had no qualms about a Catholic businessman approving the sale of a property by Sterling Bank for the purpose of murdering babies. A bishop in Austria has stated that a man there is automatically excommunicated for similar commerce with evil.

I wonder if we told him that most of the babies murdered at Planned Parenthood are illegal immigrants he might take more notice of the carnage which occurs within a mile of his chancery, about 6000 a year by last reports.

Well the new abortuary courtesy of Sterling Bank and their Catholic president is well away from the Chancery, it's actually not too far from his own residence and across the freeway from the Catholic Charismatic Center... perhaps the new location will be more convenient for his excellency to stop by and pray for the dieing babies.

So, no. I don't share your optimism.


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