Not a few people have written me e-mails along the lines:
"How could the Holy Father appoint to New York a bishop who celebrated Mass wearing a ‘cheesehead’ hat?"
The reference is to Archbp. Timothy Dolan who has been moved from Milwaukee to New York.
Back in 2002, right after he arrived in Milwaukee, the new Archbishop, very aware of the relationship people in Wisconsin have with the Green Bay Packers, momentarily put on a ‘cheesehead’ hat at the beginning of his sermon time.
He did not say Mass wearing a ‘cheesehead’ hat.
Should he have done that? I wouldn’t have. To my mind it was infra dignitatem, both for the moment, the congregation and his person.
But I am not the brand new Archbishop of Milwaukee, just arrived after years and years of mismanagement under Weakland and the scandal at the end. Facing these circumstances, he made a decision at the moment to brighten the atmosphere in a time of pain and uncertainty. It is hard to fault his reasoning.
One lives and one learns.
Even bishops have to have some on the job training. They must learn from reactions to their decisions. They make mistakes and hopefully, with grace, grow in their ministry.
So if you are really upset about the ‘cheesehead’ hat thing, I suggest that you cast your first rock at yourself.
Unless of course you have never made a mistake you eventually learned from.
Good luck to Archbishop Dolan! He’ll need both luck and prayers.