Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…

From the young Papist:

Bishop Loverde personally delivers 200k pro-life postcards to Congress

This is something I love to see: a bishop going the extra mile, even if it means going outside the box.

Or in this case, a bishop going a few miles, across the Potomac!

Diocese of Arlington Director of Communications Joelle Santolla explains:

This Thursday Bishop Loverde delivered our anti-FOCA postcards by hand to the offices of Senators Webb and Warner.

He was told how much weight comes with a personal visit to a lawmaker, and knowing how detrimental FOCA and its other iterations would be, he wanted to have a chance to speak directly with our representatives to convey the seriousness of these issues … taking with him nearly 200,000 post cards [pictured left].

He ended up talking about FOCA, the Conscience Clause and abortion (he met with Sen. James Webb and spoke with a policy representative from Warner’s office as well).

The Arlington Catholic Herald has a full article on the story. [photo credit: Dave Borowski]

Bishop Loverde has given us a fine example of using one’s episcopal station to help the plight of the unborn.

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44 Responses to Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…

  1. Tomas says:

    All well and good Father, but don’t ask the traditionalists in the Arlington Diocese about Bishop Loverde. You’ll get an earful.

  2. Josh says:

    Were there really only 200,000 participants in the FOCA postcard drive? That’s a depressingly small number, given the population of Catholics in the U.S.

  3. I am a traditionalist in the Arlington Diocese. Bishop Loverde is a wonderful bishop.

  4. Romulus says:

    Josh, I think those 200,000 cards come from the diocese of Arlington alone. Not at all bad for a diocese numbering 400,000 Catholics, according to the Catholic Hierarchy web site. This is an excellent move on Bishop Loverde’s part. I hope other bishops are watching, as we are more and more going to be finding ourselves having to engage the government head on.

  5. Boots says:

    I too am traditional in Arlington. There are more orthodox priests here than not. I NEVER fear visiting a new parish here.

    A healthy dose of Latin is common in every Ordinary Form mass, and I think I\’ve rarely heard Haugen and Haas at the Cathedral. Altar boys are the norm, I\’ve never seen an altar girl here.

    Oh and we have a very good Extraordinary Form mass at St. John the Beloved in McLean that has been there long before the Motu Proprio.

    I don’t normally comment a lot on this blog, but when people start trashing a great Bishop, one who is both orthodox in liturgy, but also in teaching I get a little pissed.

    The church has enough controversies and schisms, inventing crisis and discord does no one good. The only thing I really can think of is how good we have it here, and how the Devil must really be trying to tear it apart.

  6. mbd says:

    63,000 of slightly over 400,000 Catholics in the Arlington Diocese submitted cards according to the article (three each:one for each senator and one for the respective representive). Not bad when you consider that a large percentage of the 400,000 are probably minors.

  7. TomG says:

    I’m with Greg. I think the Bishop is a good and holy man.

  8. John Enright says:

    Just returned home to Philly from Alexandria, where my sister lives. Alexandria is part of the Diocese of Arlington, and St. Mary’s in Alexandria is a model parish. I just love that town!

  9. TJM says:

    Bishop Loverde is to be commended. He’s a sharp contrast to the loon at the Episcopal Divinity School embracing abortion as if it were a
    sacrament. Tom

  10. Ed says:

    Did he deliver them…gasp!…in a cassock?!

  11. Jim of Bowie says:

    Tomas
    I wish we had as many new TLMs across the river as they do in Arlington.

  12. Mary Ann says:

    If it weren\’t for your blog, Fr. Z, and other good sites my pastor has led me to, I wouldn\’t have a clue what is happening in the Catholic Church today. I finally cancelled Archdiocesan paper, partly because Doug Kmiec\’s column began occasionally appearing. Such a bully pulpit for our Archbishop to take a stand on so many issues today, but he doesn\’t avail himself. Thank you for helping to educate me & keep me informed.

  13. Laura says:

    I love Bishop Loverde and I am also pretty traditional.
    He is a wonderful shepherd.
    He works unbelievably hard for Christ and he is effective – we have so many people entering the Church this Easter and we have a good number of seminarians and amazing priests.
    Those postcards came only from his diocease not the whole nation!

  14. cuaguy says:

    He celebrates the mass the way he should. I have served 2 masses with him, most recently this past Thursday at the Basilica, and he is a great priest and a good homilist. He said a lot in about 5 minutes, and it made pretty good sense to me.

  15. Tom says:

    conveniently bagged for easy disposal.

  16. Francesco B. says:

    Tom,

    I’m not sure it is legal for them to be thrown away…

    Anyway, I hope he emptied the bags all over the senators’ offices — you know, “accidentally.”

    God bless the good bishop.

  17. Carol says:

    I’m sending this dear priest something for Easter. What a guy! God bless him.

  18. Last Trad Standing says:

    God bless this Bishop! A courageous witness to the sanctity of life!

  19. Laura Lowder says:

    The Raleigh Diocese took care of its postcard campaign early – in time for the cards to be hand-delivered to our Senators and Representatives on January 22, during the March for Life proceedings.

    I was told by a friend who was there that our wonderful bishop, Michael Burbidge, told Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), in no uncertain terms, that Catholic hospitals would shut their doors rather than violate conscience on the matter of abortion. I’m sure the same goes for euthenasia and other Life issues.

    Battle lines are being drawn, I think.

  20. ckdexterhaven says:

    Good for him! He’s takin’ it right to them, and using the media (to help get the word out). Envelope by envelope!

  21. RBrown says:

    I am a traditionalist in the Arlington Diocese. Bishop Loverde is a wonderful bishop.
    Comment by Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese

    If I remember what I was told:

    1. There are a lot of good priests in Arlington, mostly because of Bp Keating. (I won’t hang for this, but I was told that he was tapping Christendom College as a source).

    2. That same Bp Keating would not allow altar girls in the diocese.

    3. When Bp Loverde replaced him, he tried to force altar girls on all the parishes. One of his reasons was that he maintained that dioceses with altar girls have more vocations (Lincoln?). Anyway, the matter went to Rome, and the reply was that altar girls could not be mandated.

    Although altar girls are not now mandated in Arlington, they are permitted.

    4. The 2006 double clutch: Bp Loverde extended the use of altar girls while using the occasion of Summorum Pontificum to implement Ecclesia Dei.

  22. Boots says:

    RBrown:
    If you remember what you were told? Lets keep this out of hearsay, but to facts, and fact is its a pretty great diocese. Having been in Idaho (formerly Bishop Brown) and LA, Arlington is great in so many ways.

    Again I’ll repeat, attacking a faithful Bishop and diocese because they aren’t perfect does nothing but cause scandal and bring those on the fringe to the center. Creating controversy where there is none is to sow division.

  23. “Comment by RBrown — 2 April 2009 @ 8:01 am”

    Your source could use some clarification. Let’s review, if I may:

    1. “There are a lot of good priests in Arlington” due to several factors. During Bishop Keating’s tenure, it was one of the few dioceses in the country which maintained a true sense of Catholicity, and so drew candidates from around the country. They also had an outstanding vocations director in Father James Gould. He, of course, gave much of the credit to the prayers of the Poor Clares monastery in Alexandria.

    2. Bishop Keating did not allow altar girls in his diocese, mostly due to pressure from his priests, especially the younger ones. At the same time, I was removed from being a lay reader at a parish, for refusing to alter a text with “inclusive language.” I complained to Bishop Keating’s chancery. Their representative refused to get involved. This would NEVER happen under Bishop Loverde.

    3. “When Bishop Keating replaced him,” Bishop Loverde disciplined a pastor who was using altar girls during a year-long interregnum in the diocese. When he finally allowed them (despite the continued objections from his growing number of younger priests), there were guidelines put in place to ensure that girls would never dominate the ranks of altar servers in a parish. The girls can only wear albs, and are not permitted to vest in surplice and cassock, which convention properly identifies as masculine attire. To this day, out of nearly six dozen parishes and missions in the diocese, roughly one dozen use altar girls. For most of the diocese, it is a non-issue.

    4. While permission to use the traditional form of the Mass was extended at about the same time as female altar servers, this happened more than a year before Summorum Pontificum, under the terms of the 1988 Ecclesia Dei. After the later 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was decreed, full permission to use the older form was granted, and Bishop Loverde sent a number of priests to an FSSP seminary to learn it. Before SP, two parishes in the diocese had it every Sunday. After SP, a third was added (St John the Beloved, McLean, where I work), and there are now five parishes that have the TLM every Sunday. Six other parishes have it on occasional Sundays, and/or during the week.

    For whatever human failings he may possess, Bishop Loverde is a good man, a good bishop, and tries to do right by people. He did right by the unborn when he sent Capitol Hill a message like the one described here.

  24. TJM says:

    David L. Alexander, that sounds like a very positive report. Tom

  25. P Shea says:

    Bishop Loverde is a wonderful Bishop. I don’t really think it’s the “traditionals” that have a problem with him so much as it is the “traditionals-with-an-axe-to-grind” (that is, people for whom there will never be a Bishop in Arlington other than Bishop Keating). The Arlington “schism” between Church conservatives and their bishop is, to my mind, greatly overexagerated (by some very angry people on either side of the spectrum).

    God bless Bishop Loverde.

  26. “After the later 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was decreed, full permission to use the older form was granted…”

    I should clarify. “Full permission” was not granted by Bishop Loverde, but was acknowledged as an act of the Holy See.

  27. Nathan says:

    Spot on, David Alexander, especially regarding the Poor Clares in Alexandria. They are in my parish, and I can attest that their prayers are especially efficatious.

    I was concerned when Bishop Loverde was named for Arlington, given his reputation in Trad circles at the time. The diocese, though, continues to be an example for orthodoxy and for spiritual maturity. The bishop’s implementation of Summorum Pontificum is an example–he has empowered the pastors and priests of the diocese to live by it.

    When I read the string in the combox, I thought, “Well, Bishop Loverede hasn’t done everything the way I wanted.” I then had to conclude, “That’s truly a good thing.” Outcome–the opportunity to attend the TLM on Sundays at a parish 10 minutes from my house, to be able to see the TLM offered at my home parish every Friday evening, and (best of all) to see two of my sons serving the TLM in this diocese is so much more than I ever expected. Deo Gratias!

    Big kudos to my bishop for this brave pro-life act.

    In Christ,

  28. Ken says:

    I think we can both commend Bishop Loverde for this postcard effort, while maintaining he is no friend of the TLM. The entire TLM movement in the Diocese of Arlington was driven by good, holy priests and laymen, with the bishop doing everything in his power to stop them, including denying every single request for nuptial TLMs. This includes one requested (by friends) a week (!) before the motu proprio.

    BUT, we should not let that cloud the issue at hand. He is to be applauded for the postcard campaign. Let’s not, however, let that noble effort suddenly conceal the years of anti-TLM actions by His Excellency.

    Next step on the pro-life issue is to do something about the hundreds of pro-abortion Catholic officials in the three branches of government who routinely receive Communion in the Diocese of Arlington…

  29. Abe Tolemahcs says:

    Good job to Bishop Loverde for delivering the postcards to Webb and Warner. I’m glad he had the opportunity to speak with them also. I do hope he gave them an earful.
    In one sense I’m wondering whay alll the fuss over a Bishop who is doing what a Bishop shold be doing but on the other hand, when we have so many Bishops and Cardinals openly defying the Church and the Magisterium in general when one of them does something like this
    it is worth noting.
    Tomas is right. As far as Bishop being a good friend of the Traditionalsists, and I do not mean just the Angry Uber-Tridders but run of the mill Traditionalists, he has yet to allow or even genuinely encourage the implementation of SP. Just ask those Catholics in the Southern reaches of the Diocese of Arlington. I was deeply involved in trying to implement SP
    down here and my experiences with the pastors and the Chancery were less
    than encouraging. One Mass in the EF at 1330 ( a lousy time on sunday to have a Mass) every sunday at St. Patricks in Chancellorsville is better than nothing but the clock may be running out on this as well if the one priest we do have leaves or is transferred. We recently lost one priest to another parish in this diocese due to emergency circumstances which were actuallly in the best interest of that priest considering the circumstances.
    And then there is there Fr. Haley and Fr. Clark issue(s) still sitting at the Tribunal inrome
    awaiting final adjudication.
    In closing, Thank you Bishop Loverde for delivering these postcards to Webb and Warner.

  30. Annon says:

    He personally denied my son’s baptism in the traditional rite.

    He is no friend of tradition, regardless of his position on abortion.

  31. Annon says:

    And, let me add, that was AFTER I showed him a letter from the PCED saying he may allow it and even going as far as to name the priest in his diocese who was qualified to perform the baptism.

  32. Reminder: I do NOT allow “anonymous” comments. You need a name of some kind.

  33. RBrown says:

    If you remember what you were told? Lets keep this out of hearsay, but to facts, and fact is its a pretty great diocese. Having been in Idaho (formerly Bishop Brown) and LA, Arlington is great in so many ways.

    My source is an old, dear friend from Rome who teaches theology at the Mount. I qualified it by referring to my memory simply because it has been a few years since he told me about the situation in Arlington.

    I do remember, however, that he told me there were problems between the bishop and some of the clergy (not the liberals). I also remember that I was surprised at the situation because Bp Loverde’s reputation.

    Again I’ll repeat, attacking a faithful Bishop and diocese because they aren’t perfect does nothing but cause scandal and bring those on the fringe to the center. Creating controversy where there is none is to sow division.
    Comment by Boots

    I didn’t attack him. You have an active imagination–and a deficiency in knowledge of moral theology.

    BTW, I had dinner with Bp Loverde in Rome when he was still an auxiliary in Connecticut. Mostly, we talked about hockey, but I did bring up the problems with canon 230 (cf Ministeria Quaedam), which deals with acolyte and lector. I mentioned that it was ambiguous, and that Rome needs to decide what it wants. He readily agreed with both points.

  34. dymphna says:

    I live in Alexandria. I don’t think highly of Bishop Loverde but compared to the Richmond diocese or the rest of the country he’s not so bad. He’s kind of like Cardinal MaCarick was but without the Irish charm.

  35. “The entire TLM movement in the Diocese of Arlington was driven by good, holy priests and laymen, with the bishop doing everything in his power to stop them, including denying every single request for nuptial TLMs.”

    I know for a fact that this is not true. I was the master of ceremonies for two Nuptial Masses in the past year (unless one of you can prove I imagined the entire thing). Our parish has also conducted baptisms according to the traditional form on more than one occasion.

    Furthermore, it is not uncommon for locations closer to the city to benefit from certain amenities that are not available to those in outlying areas — whether it is twice-weekly trash pickup, or an extraordinary form of the Mass. The only real impediments to the Traditional Mass in the Diocese of Arlington are logistical. We simply cannot train priests and servers fast enough. I am in a position to know this as well, as I am involved in their training. A diocese must serve all the faithful, not just adherents to the Traditional Mass. A pastor must primarily care for the souls within his parish, and so a Sunday Mass schedule that is already full is often difficult to alter, never mind for a group composed largely of people from outside that parish. This is why such celebrations tend to go into the afternoon (a practice for which I don’t care myself).

    This is written in defense, not only of Bishop Loverde, but of the priests of the Arlington Diocese who are making their best efforts to make the Traditional Mass available. If you are not satisfied with that, then put your time, your talent, and your treasure, where your mouth is.

  36. Ms Jackie says:

    Abe Tolemahcs- I didn’t know St Pats has a TLM. Im in a neighboring county with a nice reverent NO but no TLM. I might have to come by one Sunday.

    As For Bishop Loverde- I think he is trying his best and is orthodox, which are to be commended and I respect him and pray for him because he is my Bishop. I did like the postcard campaign and appreciate the effort; however I personally don’t like the way he does things, and not just liturgically but for other reasons too.

    Jackie

  37. Ken says:

    David — news flash, the motu proprio came out more than a year ago.

    Good for you, with an active parish. Keep up the good work. But it has nothing to do with the bishop. When he had the power (pre-motu proprio) to block nuptial TLMs, he did so every time.

    I still commend him, though, for the pro-life postcards.

  38. Ken:

    There is no misunderstanding as to when the motu proprio was promulgated. My response to other comments implicitly reflected a change in attitude. Further, the ability for priests to be trained at another location has everything to do with the bishop, and his willingness to cooperate with the wishes of the Holy See. This, despite what I would readily concede is his own preference for the reformed liturgy.

    What is left for some, then, is a need to complain, without an understanding of why things are as they are, and what would have to change. For that, I wrote this.

    And if you’re not doing anything else on Friday nights, we could use men of all ages to serve at the altar. (For the sake of others, please respond off-site, if you must.)

  39. Michael J says:

    David:
    “What is left for some, then, is a need to complain, without an understanding of why things are as they are, and what would have to change.”

    Excellent advice. Perhaps, before attacking those who disagree with you and have concerns about Bishop Loverde’s actions, you might consider applying this advice?

  40. Chris says:

    dymphna: “I don’t think highly of Bishop Loverde but compared to the Richmond diocese or the rest of the country he’s not so bad. He’s kind of like Cardinal MaCarick was but without the Irish charm.”

    Huh?

    The Richmond Diocese has TWO fully traditional parishes and has had one of them since the early ’90s.

    It’s much more tradition friendly down there.

  41. Antiquarian says:

    So let me get this straight– if a diocese has no EF Masses and none in sight, that’s the bishop’s fault and we should criticize him. If there are a growing number of EF Masses in the diocese and more in sight, it’s not thanks to the bishop in any way, and we should criticize him.

    And if the bishop observes that some (SOME) traditionalists are hard to please, God help him.

  42. Boots says:

    RBrown, It’s hard to remain civil sometimes because sometimes words have more or less color than we intend here, its the product of the medium. Anyway, no intention to say you attacked him, but just a general observation to everyone here. We should give the benefit of the doubt when we hear stories about what happened in Fr. Funky’s or Miss Suzie’s parish. We ought to assume that our shepherds are looking out for us before jumping to conclusions from either out of context or unclear rumors. (Homer described rumor as the most hideous of the Greek gods, with good reason)

    Im becoming more convinced of how much the Holy Spirit must have to be there to call a man to being a Bishop, its probably the most thankless job out there. You have to work to preserve unity and love all of your sheep, even when they criticize you. You try to keep as many people as happy as possible AND maintain the truth. At least a politician can play with the truth to stay in office, or just get booted out of office.

    Instead a Bishop endures constant criticism for either doing too much, or not enough or how this or that appeared to slight someone. Most of the time when something appears to be done for no good reason it was indeed done for a very good reason that the average parishioner doesn’t know about or shouldn’t know about, for the sake of something like the confessional etc.

    All I ask is that we love our Bishops, they have a VERY hard job.

  43. Chris says:

    Antiquarian, I can’t speak for everyone, but there aren’t any blanket statements about bishops here that I can see.

    What’s being said is that, in Arlington, the TLM is picking up but not because of the bishop. And I also concur that is true along with the others that have said that. And, that in Richmond, the TLM is picking up and that it IS a result, somewhat, of an understanding bishop.

    If that’s confusing I apologize. But your generalization doesn’t really fit here with what has been said.

  44. “[I]n Arlington, the TLM is picking up but not because of the bishop… your generalization doesn’t really fit here with what has been said.”

    Neither does this one. Click here or here.