In justice to Abp. Flynn:
A reader writes:
I read with interest your remarks concerning St. Joan of Arc Church in Minneapolis. I certainly concur with your feelings on the subject. That is until we get to your remarks concerning Archbishop Harry Flynn.
A little background on St. Joan of Arc (hereafter SJA) is in order. SJA has long been out on the extreme modernist end of the spectrum in this Archdiocese. The decline into heterodoxy was instituted by the Rev. Harvey Egan, long time “progressive” gadfly and leading champion of the “spirit of Vatican II” This occurred in the last years of Abp. Leo Binz, and continued under the leadership of Abp. John Roach; former president of the USCCB. In short, this problem long out dates the present pastor, having started over thirty years ago.
When Abp. Flynn took the leadership of this Archdiocese, he faced a priest shortage, problems of leadership and orthodoxy in our minor and major seminaries, and a Archdiocese rife with “liturgical innovation.” He chose a quiet incremental approach to these problems. The first thing he did was replace much of the seminary leadership with priests of proven orthodoxy.
Then without fanfare he changed many priests assignments, apparently to break up power bases. While doing this he was careful not to “spread the contagion.” For example, if a priest was considered liturgically suspect, but had good administrative skills, he might be moved to a parish that already had liturgy and administrative problems. Thus providing a stopgap solution for a portion of the problem. At the same time, a parish which lost a truly Catholic priest through death or retirement was provided with a replacement of the same caliber. While all of this has been going on, the seminary numbers, “orthodoxy quotient”, and quality and quantity of newly ordained priests has been steadily rising. As new priests become available they are being utilized to correct more and more of the problems which developed over the last thirty five years.
This is not the most satisfying solution to the problems our church is in, I know that the Celt in me often wants to “bare the blade” and have at them! On reflection however, Abp. Flynn’s approach has much more to recommend it that my inclinations. We will not fix problems that have developed over thirty five years overnight. Our Abp. is far from perfect, but I do not believe that he deserves the scorn that was implied on your blog.
Finally on a slightly different note, we ARE NOT the Archdiocese of Minneapolis!!!!!! This is and has been since its’ inception the Archdiocese of St. Paul / Minneapolis. The Cathedral and chancellery are located in St. Paul, which historically is the much more Catholic of the two cities. St. Paul is no more Minneapolis than Seattle is Tacoma!
Yeah. Like I said yesterday, I think I was way too swift to gripe at the Archbishop. My archbishop is in a similar position: trying to clean up a big mess left him by his predecessors. And I thing swift draconian measures usually create more problems than they fix. Mea culpa.
Sorry about the nomenclature mixup. I thought your cathedral was in Lake Wobegon.