This morning I had the pleasure of being present when Bishop Robert Gugliemone announced the creation of (yet another) St. Peter’s Basilica, suitably proclaimed on the feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the diocese of Charleston’s patron saint.
Updated to share a link to the proclamation:
And Bishop Gugliemone’s homily:
Here are a few quotes from the bishop’s homily, pulling inspiration from the example of St. John the Baptist. On the miraculous conception of the saint, but applying that to the lives of every Christian:
“God’s word can break through any human barrier.”
On how God stills speaks through people today, the bishop listed among others:
” . . . those who can challenge people to change their evil ways.”
And on the difficulty of discerning how to respond to evil:
“The only bad way is not to do anything.”
So that’s the standard Bishop Gugliemone set for himself this morning.
Why does it matter? Because Bishop Gugliemone comes from the Diocese of Rockville Center (that’s Long Island to the rest of us), where he was made director of clergy personnel after the grand jury report on that diocese’s sex abuse scandals came out. As with the bishops who’ve made official statements on Cardinal McCarrick’s case, Bishop Gugliemone can’t know nothing.
What he knows and what he thinks, I could not say. I don’t have any inside scoop on the man. From what I have seen in his years as bishop, Gugliemone is a diplomat’s diplomat who wants to peacefully preside over the work of enabling decent Catholics to do what Catholics do.
He is not a hard hitter. I’ve never heard a forceful word out of the man in my life. Speaking candidly about what substance lies behind the allegations made by Rod Dreher and Julia Duin is the exact opposite of Bishop Gugliemone’s usual modus operandi.
But as the man himself says: We need to challenge people to change their evil ways.
Updated to share a related link: Jesus Doesn’t Need Your Lie.
Here are a couple snapshots from today, as taken from the Seating for People Who Were Late to Mass. (I know!) For a slideshow of the new basilica, look here. If you’re wondering whether the new basilica’s liturgy was really all that, here’s (someone else singing) the Sanctus and Agnus Dei from today’s Mass.