Cardinal DiNardo speaks on President Trump, immigration, abortion
Mar 02, 2017
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, speaks on a wide range of issues in an exclusive KPRC2 interview.
HOUSTON - DiNardo sat down with KPRC2's Bill Balleza to discuss his relationship with President Donald Trump's administration, immigration, abortion and refugees.
PHOTOS: Cardinal DiNardo speaks with KPRC2's Bill Balleza
ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS
Balleza: What does it mean to you to be named President?
Cardinal: I was Vice President, elected vice president, a little over three years ago, and the natural progression is that if you've been vice president when the elections come up in the third year, you tend to be elected president. So, though I am honored that the bishops elected me, it was not, as they say, totally unforeseen that I was going to be elected president. My work as president, it may actually sound a little more formidable than it is. It's a job, though, and a job part of helping to deal with a bureaucracy of the bishops conference. I call in every morning at 7:40 to 7:45 am. We have a general secretary who helps me to see what issues need to be worked on. The bishops conference in the United States works by committee, though. The chairs of the committees are really crucial. The president is there to hear them out and to get ready for the two big meetings we have every year. One in November and one in June. In fact, we will be meeting in March to do all of the agenda for the June meeting...Because I'm president, for instance, I get letters and correspondents from presidents from other bishops conferences throughout the world, asking for something, or wanting to meet, things of that nature...So, I have to say it's busy, it's a job I am honored (to do). I do run the meetings during the three years that I am the chair of the Bishops conference. So, it's a responsibility... I always like to say to people here: "Remember what Rome says is true: Your first job is being bishop of Galveston-Houston." So, don't forget that, and so I keep that in mind all the time.
[WATCH: Cardinal Dinardo interview with KPRC2's Bill Balleza]
MEETING WITH THE POPE
Balleza: I understand you had a meeting with the Holy Father shortly after becoming president.
Cardinal: My meeting right after I became president, I have to say was pretty quick... And it was good. We are planning for a meeting for October, and that will be probably more substantial.
MEETING WITH CONGRESS
Balleza: One of the things you do as president is to liaise with the government.
Cardinal:The bishop of the conference will, on occasion, meet with the president of the United States, and we're hoping that... It's a new administration, it takes some time to do something along those lines. I've also met, for instance, with the Speaker of the House and the head of the Senate... Though we deal with the administration, obviously, you know Congress is pretty important... And I've been able to do some of that. That's part of the role the president and vice president have in meeting together with the various heads in the government. We have some interest, they obviously have interest. In any given administration or congress, there's things we can agree on and work on. There's obviously some issues we maybe disagree on, and that just requires patience and perseverance.
MEETING WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP
Balleza: If and when you do meet with President Trump, what will you talk to him about with regards to immigration and refugees?
Cardinal: I think people would imagine every government has a right to protect its borders and its citizens. We don't dispute that. Our problem is some of the recent government intervention. Let's say, the executive orders of the president we think may ultimately hurt our security. It is setting a lot of the immigration people and some of our immigrants, documents and undocumented into intense anxiety. Let me give you simply an incidental thing. I do meetings with our schools offices and schools, and a number of our teachers have expressed to me that some of the children, even in our schools, worry, "Is mommy and daddy going to be home tonight?" It's that kind of thing are they overly pre-occupied (with) because they read too much into the news, that's probably true, but that's not conducive to families. We want to see families stay united. It's one of our concerns. It would be one of the things I'd bring up. I'm also interested in DACA. As you know, those were young people who did come forward when they were asked under the Obama Administration, there was a rule put together that they could have a little bit more freedom, e. Even though they are not technically documented. Now, there is some concern by them. Are they going to go after us now that they know all about us?
Balleza: Are these things you're actively talking with Members of Congress about?
Cardinal: We are talking about it now. On the point of view of the refugees, a number of the refugees, I think it's clear they're coming in, it's very clear thing what's happening with the courts what the president did in January, for our point of view, a lot of the people have been waiting, lots of time, for years. And now they're in limbo in many ways. Our refugee resettlement, there are lots of groups that do it throughout the United States. But to give you an example of our Catholic Church, our Catholic Charities has been settling refugees for 50 years... We make sure when someone comes in, we have a case worker. You don't just bring them in and just leave them. We work hard... We think these people are desperately waiting to come in. Three months may not sound like much, but it could be really bad for some of those coming in. Whatever religious faith they are, Islam, religious minority group, may I add in light of that though, we have some also pre-occupation with the Christian groups. Whether Catholic Orthodox, Protestant in the Middle East. I mean, they've literally been decimated. And we have some concerns about this and bringing them in, and so those would be issues I would bring up with everybody. Everybody when we meet.
Balleza: Abortion has been, has always been a major issue.
Cardinal: First, we're grateful there are signs from the new administration they are much more positive toward Pro-Life things than would've been true before... We are trying to work quietly on some issues, particularly relative to health care and religious liberty for our Catholic hospitals. We will always work on that. Some people have said you've got so many big issues. But we'll never leave aside the human person and the issue of abortion and euthanasia. That's still big for us.
Balleza: Do you have any hip pocket issues you'd love to talk to the president about when you meet with him?
Cardinal: An issue that both right and left in recent years have begun to see that maybe we need to do something, some renew and refinement, is prison rReform. We have a huge number of prisons within the territory of the Archdiocese of Galveston Houston -- I regularly go and visit the prisons. I think we need to do something in prisons, the people should be there, I'm not questioning that. What I'm saying is we can help people do better so when they come out, we do not have this constant circle of people returning to prison. We need to do something to help the prisoners get rehabilitated. I'd like to see some work done on that.
HOUSTON'S GROWTH AND DIVERSITY
Balleza: I turned around and I look at this city and I go, "Gosh, this has turned into a huge city!"
Cardinal: It's huge here. Bill and this is the United Nations... We say mass in 14 to 16 different languages every week, just for us. And the public school system has 58 or 60 languages. We are the United Nations. We are growing. We are getting bigger. I say, I could open up two new parishes tomorrow morning if I had more priests. I've dedicated 26 new church buildings in the last 10 years. So we're in growth. It's beautiful, I love Houston. Houston is a city you can come to, and after a year and a half, you're a native! So many new people here.
Cardinal: Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, and it's time to tell my Catholic community... It's a beautiful time of the year for us, and a blessed time. To all the people in Houston who have been invariably kind to me since I've been here. The day I was named a Cardinal, that very day, I got a phone call from a Baptist woman in town. I took the call. And she said, "You know what this means, but is this good for Houston?" I say, "I think it's okay." "If it's good enough for Houston, it's good enough for me!"
Stati Uniti. Il neo presidente dei vescovi: a Trump dico che la vita va tutelata tutta
Nov 17, 2016
Intervista al cardinale DiNardo: con la Casa Bianca vorrei parlare del mandato contraccettivo imposto ai datori di lavoro, dei fondi federali per l'aborto e dell'accoglienza agli immigrati
Il cardinale Daniel Nicholas DiNardo, neo eletto presidente dei vescovi Usa.
Elena Molinari, inviata a Baltimora giovedì 17 novembre 2016
Il cardinale Daniel Nicholas DiNardo, neo eletto presidente dei vescovi Usa (Ansa)
Si può intravedere una missione che i vescovi americani si sono dati eleggendo i loro nuovi leader. Il presidente, in carica da oggi, è Daniel DiNardo, guida dell’arcidiocesi di Galveston-Houston, in Texas, dove «ogni domenica si dice Messa in 65 lingue diverse» e dove la metà dei cattolici è di origine latinoamericana. Il vicepresidente è José Gomez, arcivescovo di Los Angeles, dove i latinos rappresentano il 70 per cento dei 5 milioni di cattolici.
Cardinale DiNardo, pensa che i suoi confratelli vescovi le abbiano assegnato un mandato di particolare attenzione ai migranti?
Vedo il mio ruolo nel senso di accrescere la capacità della Chiesa americana di guardare alla persona umana e di rispettarla, indipendentemente dalla sua condizione di immigrato o meno, con o senza documenti. Siamo prima di tutto pastori. Se qualcuno è straniero lo accogliamo e lo facciamo sentire benvenuto, è sempre stato così e continuerà ad esserlo.
Fra i suoi compiti figura anche la gestione dei rapporti istituzionali con la nuova amministrazione. Crede che ci sarà spazio per una collaborazione sul fronte delle politiche per l’immigrazione?
Credo che ci possa essere un dialogo con la nuova amministrazione. Continueremo a dare voce a chi non ha voce, ma lo faremo in modo rispettoso. La nostra missione è aiutare la gente a unirsi, sottolineando l’importanza della dignità umana attraverso la preghiera.
In quali ambiti crede che le politiche di questa Amministrazione possano allinearsi con la missione della Chiesa cattolica americana?
Non sono sicuro dove questa amministrazione voglia dirigersi. Ci sono stati vari commenti fatti durante la campagna elettorale che hanno dato adito ad ottimismo, ma è presto per capire se saranno messi in atto. La mia speranza è che possiamo sederci attorno a un tavolo con l’amministrazione e parlare dell’Affordable Care Act (la riforma della sanità del 2010 nota come Obamacare, ndr.), parlare del mandato contraccettivo che questa ha imposto ai datori di lavoro anche cattolici. Vorrei vedere l’emendamento Hyde, che proibisce che fondi pubblici federali vengano usati per l’aborto, esteso ancora una volta, ma senza le difficoltà che ha incontrato durante gli ultimi anni. Le nomine di giudici, poi, sono molto importanti, soprattutto del nono giudice della Corte suprema, attualmente mancante. Ma ci sono anche i temi di difesa della vita. Ho alcune idee di azioni esecutive che il presidente può intraprendere per proteggere il nascituro anche senza far ricorso al Congresso e spero di avere occasione di condividerle con lui.
Parlando di Obamacare: in che direzione può essere riformata?
Il punto di un sistema sanitario è che tutti siano curati e nessuno venga ucciso. Noi vescovi abbiamo difeso questa posizione e il nostro desiderio di un’espansione della copertura sanitaria ai più vulnerabili praticamente dalla fondazione della nostra conferenza, quasi cent’anni fa. Il problema che si è creato negli anni è il diverso concetto di “cure” che ci viene proposto. La contraccezione, l’aborto per noi non sono cure.
I cattolici sono emersi divisi da queste elezioni, come il resto degli americani. Come risanare le ferite?
Non si può pensare ai cattolici solo come a un gruppo demografico di elettori. Siamo una Chiesa, siamo uniti in Cristo, nei suoi insegnamenti e nella preghiera. Il nostro lavoro è aiutare i fedeli a vedere che condividono la stessa attenzione per la dignità umana.
Come aiutarli a superare una campagna elettorale così polarizzante?
È un lavoro che esige disciplina. La nostra priorità come pastori è riportare i cattolici a uno stato d’animo di ascolto gli uni degli altri e di proclamazione della fede di base della nostra Chiesa. Vengo dal Texas, dove si dice Messa in 65 lingue diverse e dove la diversità sociale, economica e etnica è enorme. Eppure la mia esperienza mi dice che i cattolici hanno molto in comune. Non si sentono lacerati dalla passione per un candidato o l’altro, piuttosto cercano modi di vivere la loro fede nel contesto in cui si trovano. Sono preoccupati di dare un’educazione di fede ai loro figli, o di trovare modi di aiutare i poveri. Certo per creare questo terreno di ascolto è importante continuare l’azione di catechesi, affinché i cattolici conoscano bene la loro fede e la sappiano condividere.
Cardinal DiNardo to lead U.S. bishops
Nov 16, 2016
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this morning elected Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who grew up in Castle Shannon and now leads the large Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston in Texas, to be its new president.
By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
And in it elected another archbishop from a heavily Hispanic archdiocese, Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, to be its vice president.
The election comes just days after Archbishop Gomez made an impassioned plea for immigrants, many of whom lack legal status and face deportation or family separations if President-elect Donald Trump follows through on the most draconian of his campaign statements.
“Tonight in America — children are afraid; men and women are worried and anxious, thinking about where they can run and hide,” Cardinal Gomez said at a service called last week after the presidential election. “This should not be happening in America. ... We are better than this.”
Cardinal DiNardo, elected to a three-year term, succeeds the outgoing president, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky.
Cardinal DiNardo himself just wrapped up a three-year term as vice-president, and bishops usually elevate their vice president to the presidency as a matter of formality.
So in some ways the greater suspense was on who would become vice-president this year, and what message it might send about the bishops’ responses to the agendas of both Pope Francis and President-elect Trump.
Archbishop Gomez’ visibility on the immigration issue, which harmonizes with Pope Francis’ stance and is a challenge to Mr. Trump’s campaign rhetoric, is an early indication of the bishops endorsing that priority.
Some of the other candidates on the slate for vice-president included archbishops known for a conservative social agenda and who, despite presiding over historic seats of Catholic power, were not promoted by Pope Francis to the rank of cardinal during the pontiff’s recent series of red-hat appointments.
Cardinal DiNardo was born in Steubenville, Ohio, and grew up attending St. Anne Church in Castle Shannon in Pittsburgh’s South Hills.
He graduated from Duquesne University and was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1977. He served as a seminary professor and administrator both in Pittsburgh and in Rome, and his work as pastor included the 1994 founding of SS. John and Paul Church in Franklin Park in the growing North Hills.
He became a bishop in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1997 and later moved to Galveston-Houston, an archdiocese of 1.3 million Catholics, becoming archbishop in 2006 and a cardinal in 2007.
Liturgical music crucial to grace, participation, says Texas cardinal
Jul 21, 2016
Leading some 1,500 pastoral musicians in song, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston reminded attendees of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians 39th annual convention to “lean on the everlasting arms” of God in their music ministries.
By James Ramos • Catholic News Service • Posted July 20, 2016
HOUSTON (CNS) — Cardinal DiNardo celebrated the convention’s multilingual Mass for unity July 14, where he said he was the chief cheerleader of the musicians’ association and felt privileged to host the gathering.
“I think the ministries that you do in music are so crucial in the trickling increment of grace and participation,” he said during the homily. “I use the word trickling increment because it’s slow, but it’s very real.”
The convention also marked a historical collaboration with another conference celebrating liturgy and culture called Unity Explosion, sponsored by Region X of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops. One of the USCCB’s 15 episcopal regions, Region X includes Texas and Oklahoma.
Unity Explosion started in 1989 with the vision to liturgically recognize, embrace and share the gifts that Catholics of African descent bring to the universal church.
Cardinal DiNardo also reflected on church’s diversity and the sweltering Texas temperature, saying though people were “melted outside by Houston heat,” inside at their gathering all were one. “The warmth is from the Holy Spirit,” he noted.
“We are gathered by the Lord in this liturgy tonight, a beautiful time, people of every land, tongue, nation and race,” he said. “What a beauty and energy, a song of praise.”
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston delivers his homily during a July 14 Mass for diversity and unity celebrated during the 39th National Association of Pastoral Musicians annual convention in Houston. (CNS photo/James Ramos, Texas Catholic Herald)
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston delivers his homily during a July 14 Mass for diversity and unity celebrated during the 39th National Association of Pastoral Musicians annual convention in Houston. (CNS photo/James Ramos, Texas Catholic Herald)
The National Association of Pastoral Musicians seeks to face the challenges of serving these increasingly diverse communities and included a new multicultural intensive track that offered language specific liturgy and music courses.
Cardinal DiNardo also focused on the beauty and unitive aspect of liturgy.
“Realities that cannot occur simultaneously on earth can do it in heaven,” he said. “The banquet of the Lamb, music and silence occur in succession here to enrich each other’s poverty, but where all is unity at the lamb’s banquet, they coexist, we wait and anticipate that now and we do it intensely in every celebration of the liturgy.”
Cardinal DiNardo also called for prayers for the attack in Nice, France, invoking prayers of peace from St. Kateri Tekakwitha, whose feast day is July 14. The terrorist attack took the lives of scores of people when the driver of a large truck plowed through the crowd celebrating Bastille Day.
“Realize that our unity in Christ is something deeper, higher perched, more deeply rooted,” he said. “Just remember it’s not just you, it’s not just me; it’s Father, Son and Spirit just pushing us on in the everlasting arms. Let us remember being lifted up, let the broken heart of the Father who loves us so intensely that his Son is offered up, and let the gift of the Spirit shine in us.”
Ramos is a staff writer and designer for the Texas Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Houston cardinal signals no retreat on religious freedom
May 12, 2016
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, vice-president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, spoke to Crux in a May 5 interview, insisting that “religious freedom is a genuine issue.”
May 9, 2016
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo is vice-president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, and, if things hold to form, he’s likely to take over the top job in November. Assuming that happens, one thing seems clear: criticism notwithstanding, the American bishops will not be dialing down their push on religious freedom.
Responding to one pundit who recently described a video from the U.S. bishops on the subject as a “ham-fisted attempt at propaganda,” likening it to Nazi filmmaking, DiNardo insisted that “religious freedom is a genuine issue.”
He cited assaults on Christians around the world, and also domestic church/state tensions.
“It’s not just the contraception mandates, but it concerns the future of Catholic charities and our other institutions,” he said. “Increasingly, the government seems to be trying to constrict religious institutions. It’s so coercive.”
“There has to be more leeway, more freedom,” he said.
DiNardo is realistic about the bishops’ success in making that case to a broad public, conceding, for instance, that if the current dispute over the mandates before the Supreme Court were “Bishops v. Obama” rather than the Little Sisters of the Poor, perceptions might be different.
“You can’t dislike the Little Sisters of the Poor, it’s just impossible,” he said.
If the bishops were the face of the fight, he acknowledged, “people would probably say, this is about religious interests, institutional interests, and so on,” adding he’s not really sure if public opinion is turning.
On other points, Di Nardo said:
Catholics in the United States should work closely with the Vatican and its diplomatic corps to raise awareness of persecuted Christians around the world.
Pope Francis’ advocacy on behalf of immigrant rights could have “long-term results” after the 2016 elections, he believes, no matter who wins, in creating momentum for comprehensive immigration reform.
On the other hand, DiNardo isn’t sure whether the pope’s example has moved the needle in terms of Catholic opinion at the grassroots: “I sometimes hear Catholics quoting the latest thing Francis said, but then others say, hey, we’re the ones feeling the crunch of all this, and they’re not always really happy.”
In Houston, the pontiff’s Year of Mercy has encouraged “practical ways of living the faith,” including charitable works, such as a parish becoming a Red Cross center, and also hunger for the sacrament of confession.
Overall, Francis remains a somewhat controversial figure among some Texas Catholics: “Some people … think the pope’s too vague,” DiNardo said.
When he runs into those concerns, DiNardo said he delivers a clear message: “We have to walk with people in difficult situations, but there’s a difference between accompanying people and approving everything they do.”
Born in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1949, DiNardo came of age in a Pittsburgh suburb in the Golden Age of American Catholicism in the 1950s, when the northeastern part of the country was its demographic core.
He entered the seminary in 1967, just after the Second Vatican Council, and after studies in Rome at both the Jesuit-run Gregorian University and also the Augustinian-run institute on patristics, he was ordained in 1977.
Today, DiNardo is based in the American southwest, where the new center of gravity of the Catholic population has likewise shifted, having become the first cardinal from the southern United States in 2007. He was elected vice-president of the bishops’ conference in 2013.
Cardinal DiNardo lectures on Vatican II liturgy document
Oct 18, 2013
The chatter and excitement continued to build in the St. Francis Center on the Briar Cliff University campus in Sioux City on Oct. 9 as hundreds awaited the arrival of Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo.
Applause echoed through the room as Cardinal DiNardo, former bishop of Sioux City who now heads the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, entered the room to present his lecture for the Sister Ruth Agnes Ahlers Lecture Series.
Bev Wharton, president of Briar Cliff University, said this time of year is always a time of joy and celebration at the university as they just, days earlier, celebrated the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
“Your presence, Cardinal DiNardo, has magnified the level of excitement. We are so grateful you will share your gifts once again with us,” Wharton said. “Cardinal DiNardo, one of the key principles of Briar Cliff University is our openness to all. Tonight, people of all faiths have come to hear your words of grace and we are blessed to have you with us.”
Prior to the lecture, Bishop Walker Nickless offered the opening prayer and theology professor Linda Harrington introduced Cardinal DiNardo.
Before delving into his theological talk centered on the Second Vatican Council’s document on the liturgy, the cardinal opened on a light note. He said the Friday before coming to Sioux City, he was checking the weather station because he is very worried about hurricanes and something felt as if it was brewing.
“And what’s on? Nothing about hurricanes. ‘There’s a great problem going on in northeast Nebraska and northwest Iowa.’ I said, boy do I feel at home, I remember those things,” Cardinal DiNardo said.
Cardinal DiNardo described the opening of the Second Vatican Council in October of 1962 as possibly the major event of the Catholic Church in the 20th Century.
“The progress of that council – its meanings, its commissions, its documents and yes, even its intrigues - constitute a remarkable richness for the renewal of the church throughout the world,” he said.
That renewal, he added, was picked up intensely by the church in the United States.
Cardinal DiNardo explained the first major constitution to be voted on and approved by the (Vatican II) council fathers in 1963 was the constitution on the sacred liturgy.
“It was to set the tone for much else that was to follow in the documents of Vatican II,” he said. “We cannot underestimate the importance of this document, not just for what it says but also for the way it spoke about renewal and reform.”
The documentary on the liturgy, the cardinal noted, set a course that guided all future documents of the council – 16 in all.
During this Year of Faith, Cardinal DiNardo said it provides an interesting position, 50 years after Second Vatican Council, to look at what was happening then, what has happened in subsequent years as well as current conversations and debates.
One of the greatest debates, he said, centers on the continuity/discontinuity interval.
“Most everyone agrees that the church was in need of reform and that the council fathers wanted renewal and reform,” said the cardinal, but added there are questions if the sense of renewal was something the church was already living – a renewal within continuity – or was it more of a rupture?
Cardinal DiNardo said it is clear to him that this Vatican II document had the most direct effect and change on the life of the faithful – especially in the United States. It was also the one area where there had already been much preparation and thinking.
During his lecture, the cardinal did three things: 1) Present a backdrop of the movement that existed prior to Vatican II. 2) Analyze a few significant global concepts of the liturgy constitution and the direct reform items the council fathers mandated. 3) Identify three particular aspects of the liturgical reform which he considered to be crucial in the last three years – the vernacular (language of the people) in the liturgy, the expanded use of
Scripture by the use of the Lectionary and the introduction of multiple Eucharistic prayers into the rites of the Mass.
Cardinal DiNardo explained in the late medieval period during the time of the Council of Trent, there was so much variety in liturgy that the council introduced a liturgical commission. Unfortunately, though, that commission was not able to meet often so the pope moved forward and promulgated the missal of 1570.
“Pope Pius V did a very important thing – he stabilized the situation. He brought sanity to the liturgy,” said the cardinal, who added the pope began to standardize text and rubrics.
The speaker also noted even at the Council of Trent, St. Charles Borromeo asked for the vernacular for the first part of the Mass. The response through the Holy See was that while it could be done, the timing wasn’t right.
That saint also asked that Communion from the chalice be delivered to the people, but again it was an inopportune time.
“My point is that some of the issues we have spoken about were already being spoken about in the 1570s and ‘80s,” Caridnal DiNardo said.
He cited other noteworthy movements and individuals through the years. For instance, the 19th Century was known for revival of the biblical movement and interest in chant. Experiences with immigrants here in the U.S. even had impact. The cardinal said in this country, social justice played a large part in liturgical reform.
The speaker went on to say the Second Vatican Council did something significant by theologically identifying the liturgy as the work of both the head and members.
“It then goes on to state the Holy Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to full, conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations demanded by the very nature of the liturgy,” Cardinal DiNardo said.
He acknowledged that for some, this was earth-shattering – a big change.
The fathers of the council only made general statements about what they wanted to see done and the speaker highlighted a few of them.
“The council stated that Latin was to be kept in the Latin liturgy and is to be upheld in honor,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “Then it goes on to say that because of pastoral concerns, the vernacular should be utilized in the liturgy and should be asked for by conferences of bishops. This was in 1963. The bishops of the United States immediately asked for the vernacular for the first part of Mass.”
By 1965, the first part of the Mass was in English and the second part was in Latin. Then, by the time a new missal was published in 1970, it was published as a complete English translation.
The cardinal said he thinks the use of the vernacular in liturgy is very good and important. However, he does not believe that the council’s first statement about not losing Latin in the Mass has not been upheld. The way he believes this can be done is through Latin songs.
His address then moved into discussion about the expanded Lectionary and the move to a three-year cycle to open up the richness of Scripture.
“What they tried to do in the new Lectionary was give us more Scripture, to give us a richness of Scripture so that the Liturgy of the Word would indeed be a way of instruction God’s people,” said the cardinal, who mentioned most Christian, non-Catholic western churches adopted a similar Lectionary.
Cardinal DiNardo said this change revealed a weakness in preaching because priests were not prepared to unpack the readings.
“If you ask me what I consider to be one of the greatest results of Vatican II, it is both faithfulness and innovation in making sure God’s word gets heard by God’s people,” he said.
The lecture then turned to his final point about the addition of Eucharistic prayers. The cardinal noted that for 1,500 years there was only one prayer. Rather than changing that prayer, they opted to keep the original
Roman Canon as is and add three more versions.
Given that there were already 100-plus renegade Eucharistic prayers circulating, the cardinal noted the pope didn’t object. Since that time, a few more additions have been made.
While some still think there should only be one Eucharistic prayer, the cardinal said, “I disagree with that. I think there is beauty in the richness that has been added to our Eucharistic praying.”
Cardinal DiNardo said the vernacular, expanded Lectionary and use of multiple Eucharistic prayers in the long run have been a great reward for the church. He said, “The council set in motion a renewal of the church, not just a reform.”
The cardinal said while there were ups and downs with the vast and fast pace of the changes that took place during the 1960s, he added, “From the point of view of 50 years, I think the gains outweigh the losses and the church is more enriched and better for the kind of liturgical renewal that we have had.”
Cardinal DiNardo Impresses Crowd at Briar Cliff University
Oct 11, 2013
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who spoke in Sioux City Wednesday, captivated the nearly 500 member crowd at Briar Cliff University.
nd, while he had great stories to tell... Siouxlanders have stories of their own about the former Sioux City Bishop.
Melvin Wieseler will never forget his first interaction with the now–Cardinal Daniel DiNardo.
He was working maintenance at Nativity Parish in Sioux City when then Bishop DiNardo stopped by while he was moving the church lawn.
"He came walking across the parking lot and stopped and I shut the tractor off and he came over and started talking to me and I'll never forget it, he sat down on the front tractor tire and we sat there and talked for over and hour," said Wieseler.
An informal, personal story about a man who's already made a mark on the Catholic faith.
Cardinal DiNardo returned to a "home" of sorts Wednesday to speak at Briar Cliff University... about some of the changes that came out of Vatican II and their impact on the liturgy of today.
"The Second Vatican Council did something very significant by theologically identifying the liturgy as the work of the whole Christ, head and members – you have to have both," Cardinal DiNardo remarked.
Cardinal DiNardo was bishop of the Sioux City Diocese from 1997 to 2004 before moving to Texas to be the Archbishop for Galveston–Houston.
He was elevated to Cardinal in 2007 and just this year was part of the conclave that elected the 267th leader of the Catholic Church– Pope Francis.
And members of the Sioux City Diocese who have followed the Cardinal's career since he was in Sioux City. Well, they knew long before tonight that he was special.
"I heard him speak and I thought – that man is awesome and he is really going to go places," says Velma Ludwig, a member of Immaculate Conception.
Cardinal DiNardo pushes special session to revive abortion bill
Jul 07, 2013
Catholic Cardinal Daniel DiNardo joined a chorus of abortion opponents asking Gov. Rick Perry to call a second special session after a filibuster Tuesday night killed Senate Bill 5.
“I talked to our Texas Catholic Conference about a week ago and I was under the impression the votes were there,” DiNardo told the Houston Chronicle. “I was very disappointed when I woke up.”
An 11-hour filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth and a chaotic, confusing atmosphere with hundreds of demonstrators yelling from the gallery killed the measure, which a majority of lawmakers supported. It would have banned most abortions after 20 weeks and required clinics to make costly upgrades. Perry is expected to call a second special session for the abortion measure, as well as bills on transportation funding an a criminal justice matter that died with the filibuster.
“We will continue to pray for the protection of all life from conception to natural death, as we also continue our ministry to women who are considering, or who have had, an abortion,” wrote DiNardo in a press release.
Cardinal DiNardo prods Congress to address contraception mandate
Sept 16, 2012
Washington D.C., Aug 4, 2012 / 05:06 pm (CNA).- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston urged members of Congress to take swift action against the federal contraception mandate as it goes into effect for many employers around the country.
The cardinal emphasized that the U.S. bishops “continue to advocate for life-affirming health care for all, especially for poor and vulnerable people,” but added that they “do not see this policy as a step in that direction.”
In an August 3 letter to members of Congress, Cardinal DiNardo, who chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, spoke out against a federal mandate that requires employers to provide health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and early abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences.
The mandate’s initial implementation began on August 1, and the regulation now applies to the majority of U.S. employers as soon as they begin or renew their health insurance plan. Non-profit employers that do not already provide this coverage due to religious convictions are given a “safe harbor” from the mandate until August 1, 2013.
The cardinal lamented that “despite widespread opposition to this coercive policy by religious organizations, lawmakers and the general public, Congress has still taken no action to counter it.”
He noted that the Senate tabled a “corrective proposal” by a mere 51 votes, after false claims arose that it would prevent Americans from receiving the health care protections they have under existing laws.
And while the House has incorporated a similar proposal into its Health and Human Services appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013, it appears that “this legislation will not be considered until next March, months after the mandate has been imposed on most employers,” he said.
Insisting that Congressional action is “overdue,” Cardinal DiNardo observed that the mandate also requires coverage of “counseling and education” to promote the objectionable products to women and girls of childbearing age.
And this coverage will be “automatically” imposed on employees and their dependent teenage children, despite any religious or moral objections they might have, he said.
Furthermore, with its “grudging and arbitrary” view of religious freedom, the mandate completely lacks an exemption for non-religious businesses operated by “devout individuals and families” whose moral convictions forbid them to offer the required coverage, the cardinal warned.
Even though these employers have been offering health coverage that they find acceptable without any complaint from employees, they will now be penalized with a tax of $100 a day per employee for continuing this practice, he said.
He pointed to four pending lawsuits against the mandate, filed by Catholic business owners in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri and Pennsylvania, as well as Legatus, an association of approximately 2,000 Catholics who are committed to operating their companies in accordance with their faith.
The administration argues that these businesses are entirely secular and therefore have “no claim on religious freedom,” he said. “In effect, if an organization is ‘for profit,’ it is not allowed to be ‘for’ anything else.”
The cardinal welcomed a July 27 decision by federal district judge John Kane to grant a preliminary injunction blocking the mandate from being enforced against one Catholic-owned company that makes heating and air conditioning units in Colorado.
However, he noted that this injunction is only temporary and does not apply to the dozens of other nonprofit organizations and for-profit employers that have filed lawsuits against the mandate. These plaintiffs will continue to press for the courts to protect their right to religious liberty.
Recognizing that “timely and uniform protection of these rights cannot be expected from the current lengthy judicial process,” Cardinal DiNardo urged lawmakers to address the issue without delay.
“The fundamental importance of the religious freedom issue at stake demands a timely congressional response,” he said.
Cardinal DiNardo talks about his meeting with the pope
Apr 22, 2012
Area Catholic leader continues to resist Obama mandate, and reveals what he gave up for Lent
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, is the first and only cardinal from the Southern United States. He oversees 1.2 million Roman Catholics in the largest and oldest diocese in Texas - one that is growing rapidly.
DiNardo, 62, also chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is resisting a White House mandate that most employers provide health-care coverage that includes contraception and sterilization. These practices are forbidden by Catholic teaching. In March, DiNardo returned from a visit with Pope Benedict XVI. During Holy Week, he sat down with Chronicle reporter Lomi Kriel.
Q: Tell us about your visit to Rome.
A: It's supposed to be every five years to report on the condition of your local church. The first thing you do is visit the tombs of the apostles, Peter and Paul. It's important for us to get a sense of spiritually why we are there. The second aspect is to meet with the Holy Father. We had about 35 minutes with him.
Q: What was it like to meet the pope?
A: The pope is very shy. But when you get into a discussion with him, Pope Benedict is very animated.
Q: What did he say?
A: He was delighted that we have large numbers of young people … we have growth. Part of it is people moving here from other parts of the United States. A large portion of it is immigration from Mexico, Central and South America. But also we are getting more Catholics from the Pacific Basin. We even have a Chinese parish here that celebrates Mass alternate weeks in Cantonese and Mandarin. We celebrate Mass every week in between 14 to 16 languages in this diocese.
Q: How big an issue was the health care/contraception mandate?
A: The archbishop in charge of that section was pretty well aware of what we were doing and simply encouraged us.
Q: When the Obama compromise on contraception first came about, it was endorsed by the Catholic Health Association, and Cardinal Timothy Dolan (of the Archdiocese of New York) called it a "step in the right direction." What has happened since?
A: Cardinal Dolan immediately received a call from the president and he called the heads of the various committees, including me. We had not seen what the rules were … so our initial statement that morning was that this could be a step forward but we're concerned.
Q: What is the concern?
A: This federal mandate has a very narrow definition of what constitutes a religiously exempt institution. Colleges, universities and hospitals are not exempt because their major service is not just to Catholics, nor is their major service to impart just the doctrine of Catholicism. We do not consider our universities and hospitals to be adjuncts. We consider them instead to be part of the very definition of who we are. Also outside of the mandate would be individual conscience.
Q: As part of the compromise, third-party companies could administer coverage for self-insured faith-based groups.
A: Yes, but we still pay for it. In effect, by this government mandate, what constitutes a religious institution is willy-nilly being defined. Secondary is, of course, being forced to pay for what is, according to our teaching, not a moral activity.
Q: According to a 2011 study by the Guttmacher Institute, sexually active Catholic women use contraceptives as often as non-Catholics.
A: That a number of people use it, including Catholics, that is not the point of this issue. The point of this issue is the religious liberty of institutions to define its teachings and its objections.
Q: What is the church's teaching on contraceptives?
A: That contraceptive actions - let's say, using the pill - that they help to pull apart the unitive and procreative dimensions of sexual activity in marriage, that they are wrong.
Q: In all instances?
A: We're speaking about the use of contraceptive drugs in sexual activity for reasons of avoiding pregnancy. There are a wide variety of natural family planning options. We are not opposed to family planning, per se. What we are opposed to are those chemical methods.
Q: What's next?
A: We continue to be involved in discussions with the White House, but simultaneously we have been working with (Congress). They can pass laws that take precedence.
Q: What did you give up for Lent?
A: I usually give up Snickers. People kid me about that mercilessly. But I also do some things for Lent, not just negative things. More time for prayer. More attention to people in need.
Q: What is your message for this particular Easter?
A: My message is that Christ is always at work in the world.
Cardinal DiNardo Issues Respect Life Month Statement
Oct 15, 2011
WASHINGTON (MetroCatholic) – In a statement to mark Respect Life Month, October 2011, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston addressed multiple direct threats to human life as well as threats to religious liberty and conscience rights. Echoing Pope Benedict XVI, he invited Catholics to “pray and reflect on how each of us might renew our commitment and witness to ‘respecting, promoting and teaching the transcendent nature of the human person.’”
Cardinal DiNardo chairs the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
In his statement, Cardinal DiNardo reflected on the Respect Life Program’s theme for 2011-12: “I came that all might have life and have it to the full.” “Jesus’ promise of ‘life to the full’ is especially poignant today,” he wrote, “when our culture and sometimes our government promote values inimical to the happiness and true good of individuals and society.”
“The unborn child, the aging parent who some call a ‘burden’ on our medical system, the allegedly ‘excess’ embryo in the fertility clinic, the person with a disability, the cognitively impaired accident victim who needs assistance in receiving food and water to live—each today is at risk of being dismissed as a ‘life unworthy of life’,” Cardinal DiNardo said.
Cardinal DiNardo highlighted factors that undermine efforts to build a culture of life: “We face increasing attempts to expunge God and religious discourse from public life. … Some now even seek to eliminate religiously motivated people and organizations from public programs, by forcing them to violate their moral and religious convictions or stop serving the needy,” he said.
Cardinal DiNardo objected to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requirement to cover all forms of contraception and sterilization as “preventive services for women.” “The decision [by HHS] is wrong on many levels. Preventive services are aimed at preventing diseases (e.g., by vaccinations) or detecting them early to aid prompt treatment (e.g., screening for diabetes or cancer). But pregnancy is not a disease…. Mandating such coverage shows neither respect for women’s health or freedom, nor respect for the consciences of those who do not want to take part in such problematic initiatives,” he said.
Cardinal DiNardo specifically countered claims that contraception is necessary for women’s health, and that it reduces the abortion rate. “Far from preventing disease, contraceptives can have serious health consequences of their own, for example, increasing the risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease, such as AIDS…,” he said. “Studies report that most women seeking abortions were using contraception in the month they became pregnant. Again and again, studies show that increasing access to contraception fails to reduce rates of unplanned pregnancies and abortions.”
The HHS’s “religious employer exemption” is “so extremely narrow that it protects almost no one,” he said. “Jesus himself, or the Good Samaritan of his famous parable, would not qualify as ‘religious enough’ for the exemption, since they insisted on helping people who did not share their view of God.”
“Catholics must not shrink from the obligation to assert the values and principles we hold essential to the common good, beginning with the right to life of every human being and the right of every woman and man to express and live by his or her religious beliefs and well-formed conscience.”
Begun in 1972, the Respect Life Program stresses the value and dignity of human life. It is observed in the 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States. The full statement follows and may be found online in English and Spanish at www.usccb.org/respectlife.
STATEMENT FOR RESPECT LIFE MONTH
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo
Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
September 26, 2011
This October the Catholic Church throughout the United States will observe Respect Life Month, an annual tradition now in its fortieth year.
Beginning on October 2, 2011—Respect Life Sunday—Catholics across the nation will join together to witness to the inherent equality and transcendent value of every human being.
In countless liturgies and events we will give thanks to God for the gift of human life, and pray for his guidance and blessings on our efforts to defend the most vulnerable members of the human family.
We will voice our opposition to the injustice and cruelty of abortion on behalf of those victims whose voices have been silenced. At the same time, we will remind the living victims of abortion—the mothers and fathers who grieve the loss of an irreplaceable child—that God’s mercy is greater than any human sin, and that healing and peace can be theirs through thesacrament of reconciliation and the Church’s Project Rachel Ministry.
The theme chosen for this year’s Respect Life Program is I came so that all might have life and have it to the full. In this brief explanation of his mission (cf. John 10:10), Jesus refers both to our hope of eternal life, to be restored through his death and resurrection, and to our life in this world.
By following Jesus’ new Commandment of unselfish love, our lives can be richly fulfilling, and marked by joy and peace. In contrast, treating others as either means or obstacles to one’s self-serving goals, while never learning to love generously, is an impoverished way to live.
Viewing life as a “zero sum” game, in which advancing one’s interests requires putting aside the needs of others, can lead to callous unconcern for anyone who is especially weak, defenseless, and in need of our help. The unborn child, the aging parent who some call a “burden” on our medical system, the allegedly “excess” embryo in the fertility clinic, the person with a disability, the cognitively impaired accident victim who needs assistance in receiving food and water to live—each today is at risk of being dismissed as a “life unworthy of life.”
Jesus’ promise of “life to the full” is especially poignant today, when our culture and sometimes our government promote values inimical to the happiness and true good of individuals and society. We face increasing attempts to expunge God and religious discourse from public life. This promotes the dangerous proposition that human beings enjoy no special status by virtue of their God-given humanity. Some now even seek to eliminate religiously motivated people and organizations from public programs, by forcing them to violate their moral and religious convictions or stop serving the needy.
The same forces, aided by advertising and entertainment media, promote a selfish and demeaning view of human sexuality, by extolling the alleged good of sexual activity without love or commitment. This view of sex as “free” of commitment or consequences has no place for openness to new life. Hence contraceptives are promoted even to young teens as though they were essential to women’s well-being, and abortion defended as the “necessary” back-up plan when contraceptives fail. And fail they do. Studies report that most women seeking abortions were using contraception in the month they became pregnant. Again and again, studies show that increasing access to contraception fails to reduce rates of unplanned pregnancies and abortions.
Both these trends—a distorted view of sexuality and a disdain for the role of religion—are exhibited by the Department of Health and Human Services’ recent decision on the “preventive services” to be mandated in virtually all private health plans under the new health care law. The Department ruled that such mandated services will include surgical sterilization and all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices—including the abortifacient drug “Ella,” a close analogue to the abortion pill RU-486.
The decision is wrong on many levels. Preventive services are aimed at preventing diseases (e.g., by vaccinations) or detecting them early to aid prompt treatment (e.g., screening for diabetes or cancer). But pregnancy is not a disease. It is the normal, healthy state by which each of us came into the world. Far from preventing disease, contraceptives can have serious health consequences of their own, for example, increasing the risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease, such as AIDS, increasing the risk of breast cancer from excess estrogen, and of blood clots that can lead to stroke from synthetic progestin. Mandating such coverage shows neither respect for women’s health or freedom, nor respect for the consciences of those who do not want to take part in such problematic initiatives.
The “religious employer” exemption offered by the Department is so extremely narrow that it protects almost no one. Catholic institutions providing health care and other services to the needy could be forced to fire their non-Catholic employees and cease serving the poor and vulnerable of other faiths—or stop providing health coverage at all. It has been said that Jesus himself, or the Good Samaritan of his famous parable, would not qualify as “religious enough” for the exemption, since they insisted on helping people who did not share their view of God.
All these misguided efforts to foster false values among our youth, to silence the voice of moral truth in the public domain, and to deprive believers of their constitutionally-protected right to live according to their religious convictions, must be resisted by education, public advocacy, and above all by prayer.
The founders of our nation understood that religion and morality are essential to the survival of a freedom-loving society. John Adams expressed this conviction, stating: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.”
Catholics must not shrink from the obligation to assert the values and principles we hold essential to the common good, beginning with the right to life of every human being and the right of every woman and man to express and live by his or her religious beliefs and well-formed conscience.
As Pope Benedict XVI reminded us last year in one of his Ad Limina addresses to visiting bishops, “a society can be built only by tirelessly respecting, promoting and teaching the transcendent nature of the human person.” That common nature transcends all accidental differences of age, race, strength, or conditions of dependency, preparing us to be one human family under God.
During this Respect Life Month, as we celebrate God’s great gift of life, let us pray and reflect on how each of us might renew our commitment and witness to “respecting, promoting and teaching the transcendent nature of the human person,” thereby shoring up the foundations of a society sorely in need of this guidance.
Cardinal DiNardo Urges Support for 'Respect for Rights of Conscience Act'
Apr 17, 2011
WASHINGTON, April 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has written to urge all members of the U.S. House of Representatives to support a bipartisan bill protecting conscience rights in health insurance. Introduced by Reps. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Dan Boren (D-OK), the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011 (HR 1179) "will help ensure that the new health care reform act is not misused to violate the religious freedom and rights of conscience of those who offer and purchase health insurance coverage in our nation," Cardinal DiNardo wrote.
"Federal law, until now, has never prevented the issuers and purchasers of health coverage from negotiating a health plan that is consistent with their moral and religious convictions," Cardinal DiNardo explained. "This could change, however, with implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as now written." He noted that the law "establishes a new list of 'essential health benefits' that will be mandatory for most health plans throughout the United States," and also "requires all group and individual plans to cover general 'preventive services,' as well as additional preventive services specifically for women."
"For months," Cardinal DiNardo wrote, "Planned Parenthood and other groups have been urging that mandated 'preventive services for women' include all drugs and devices approved by the FDA for contraception—including those that can prevent the implantation and survival of a newly conceived human being, and hence are seen as abortifacient by the Catholic Church and many others."
"Mandated inclusion of contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs in health plans poses an obvious potential conflict with rights of conscience," Cardinal DiNardo wrote. "Such conflicts would also arise if HHS mandates inclusion of some fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization, treatments using material from deliberately killed unborn children, or other procedures specifically rejected by the teachings of some religions."
PPACA "arbitrarily and inexplicably does not protect the many religious denominations – including those providing the backbone of the nonprofit health care system in this country – whose moral teaching rejects specific procedures," Cardinal DiNardo said. "If religious and other stakeholders are driven out of the health insurance marketplace by this aspect of PPACA, legislation whose purpose was to expand health coverage could have the opposite effect."
The Respect for Rights of Conscience Act "is modest and well-crafted legislation…it only prevents PPACA itself from being misused to deny Americans' existing freedom to seek health care coverage that meets their medical needs and respects their deepest convictions," he wrote. "I am sure that most members of Congress voting for PPACA did not intend that it should deny or take away this freedom. Therefore I hope and expect that Representatives who supported PPACA as well as those who opposed it will join in co-sponsoring the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act and in helping to ensure its enactment."
The full text of the letter may be read at: www.usccb.org/conscienceprotection/DiNardo-ltr-HR1179.pdf.
SOURCE U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities
Vigile pour la Vie : le cardinal DiNardo souligne l’initiative « sans précédent » de Benoît XVI
Oct 14, 2010
Notre Saint Père a demandé à tous les évêques du monde de s’associer à la « Vigile pour le commencement de toute vie humaine » qu’il célébrera à Saint-Pierre de Rome le samedi 27 novembre, en même temps que les vêpres du premier dimanche de l’Avent. La Congrégation pour le culte divin et la discipline des sacrements et le Conseil pontifical pour la famille ont fait parvenir à tous les évêques des préconisations pratiques et spirituelles pour que toute la catholicité s’associe à la prière du Successeur de Pierre.
Le cardinal Daniel du Nardo, archevêque de Galveston-Houston (Texas) et président de la commission pro-vie de la conférence épiscopale américaine, a qualifié de « sans précédent » l’initiative du Saint Père, et invite tous ses confrères dans l’épiscopat américain à organiser des vigiles de prières dans leurs diocèses : des suggestions leur ont été déjà adressées. Le cardinal DiNardo précise : « Devenir une voix pour l’enfant à naître et pour l’embryon humain menacé de devenir un simple matériau de recherches, et une voix pour les malades négligés et les personnes âgées, sera une des nombreuses manières d’apprendre à nos concitoyens que “La mesure de l’Amour, c’est d’aimer sans mesure” ». Que l’initiative de l’Église en Amérique, ne demeure pas lettre morte en France.
C’est à chacun d’entre nous d’écrire à son évêque diocésain pour lui demander respectueusement quelles initiatives il compte prendre pour répondre à la demande du Saint Père, et l’assurer que nous sommes prêts à y participer de toutes nos forces.
Cardinal voices 'grave concern' over drug known to cause abortion
Jun 25, 2010
Catholic Cardinal positive about the future of Anglican Ordinariates
Feb 04, 2010
The evening started with the sustained reverberating echo of the bell emanating forth from Our Lady of Walsingham's (OLW) bell tower calling the Catholic Anglican Use congregation to communal Evening Prayer.
Catholic Cardinal positive about the future of Anglican Ordinariates
By Mary Ann Mueller in Houston
Virtueonline Special Correspondent
HOUSTON, TEXAS---The evening started with the sustained reverberating echo of the bell emanating forth from Our Lady of Walsingham's (OLW) bell tower calling the Catholic Anglican Use congregation to communal Evening Prayer.
A hush fell over the assembling flock. The silence grew more profound as the deepening darkness grew. Each low-pitched resonating sound of the bell eventually turned the jeweled stained glass windows into blackened geometric shapes.
Choir candles were lit on Our Lady of Walsingham's golden reredo, leaving the Eucharistic wicks flameless. Silently, two Catholic saints from the English Reformation struggle, St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher -- both depicted in their distinctive 16th Century English garb -- watch as preparations are made for the recitation of Evening Prayer from the Book of Divine Worship.
Finally, the deep-throated gong of the massive church bell faded, leaving behind a pervasive silence that penetrated the soul and readied it for an evening encounter with God through metered prayer.
The Rev. James Ramsey, OLW's pastor entered from the Gospel side sacristy. He was dressed in a coal black cassock topped with a long flowing white surplice. Around his neck was a wide black tippet, sans any embroidered seminary patches. He doffed his black pom-topped biretta to the Tabernacle, acknowledging the Eucharistic presence of the Lord behind the small locked doors. To the Epistle-side of the Altar, a suspended sacristy candle's tiny flame danced and flickered within a ruby-colored encasement affirming Christ's hidden presence.
The Rite I Anglican Use Evening Prayer was about to commence.
"Let my prayer be set forth in Thy sight as the incense, "Fr. Ramsey said thus starting an ancient prayer ritual which has tumbled from Anglican lips for centuries. Dropping to his knees, he led his congregation in the Penitential Rite, his voice joined with those of others to form a blended unified voice of joint public confession.
"...we have erred and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep ... we have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts ... we have offended against Thy holy laws ..."
Then all too soon, Evening Prayer was over. The Psalms appointed for the day have been antiphonally recited, the twin lessons for the evening have been heard and the familiar words of the Magnificat, the Nunc Dimittis, the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed have all been prayed, perhaps from memory.
Even the Suffrages and General Thanksgiving are known by heart. The various collects are also familiar to the ear save perhaps for the Collect seeking the Lord's favor on the Anglican Heritage in the Catholic Church.
"... Watch over the Anglican heritage within Thy Church, we pray Thee, that, led by Thy guidance and strengthened by Thy Grace, that [Anglican] Use may find such favor in Thy sight that its people may increase both in holiness and number ..."
"Let us bless the Lord," Fr. Ramsey urges.
"Thanks be to God," comes the rich response, followed by Fr. Ramsey's benediction dismissing the people to reassemble in St. Jude Hall where a special visitor is waiting.
When this honored guest is formally introduced to the Anglican Use crowd, he receives an immediate standing ovation. This mysterious person is no stranger to Our Lady of Walsingham and has even celebrated Mass at the church's high Altar, albeit with a deacon whispering cues in his ear. He is a slender man and is dressed simply in the well-tailored black clerical suit of a priest, but the silver chain, which is draped across his chest and is attached to a pectoral cross, hidden in his pocket, belies the fact that he is more than a neighboring cleric.
However, last Wednesday evening this extraordinary individual did not wear the vivid scarlet silk cassock, another visual clue to his identity. There is no denying that the man-of-the-hour is a Cardinal Prince of the Catholic Church and OLW's reigning archbishop -- His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo.
Cardinal DiNardo inherited Our Lady of Walsingham Anglican Use Catholic Church when Archbishop Joseph Fiorenza retired in 2006. OLW has a long history with bishops, archbishops, and now the cardinal of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston stretching back to its very foundation, more than 25 years ago under the episcopal leadership of the late Bishop John Morkovsky.
Because of this rich history, OLW and the two other thriving Anglican Use parishes in Texas, Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio and St. Mary the Virgin in Arlington, are perhaps taking a leading visible role in the implementation of the recently proposed and promulgated Anglicanorum Coetibus thus forming the Anglican Ordinariates.
Already William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has travelled to the United States to personally discuss the implications and implementation of Anglicanorum Coetibus and the resulting Anglican Ordinarites with his brother bishops in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Our Lady of Walsingham is very fortunate to have Cardinal DiNardo as her episcopal Latin Rite leader because the good Cardinal looks with favor upon his Canterbury children, and as their spiritual shepherd is more than willing to help his Anglican Use family make their way safely into the Anglican Ordinariate with as little difficulty, snafus and trepidation as possible.
The Cardinal would not hazard a guess as to when the Anglican Ordinariate would be formally established other than to say that Pope Benedict XVI in the Anglicanorum Coetibus has mandated the Ordinariates, therefore, they will happen in Rome's good timing. He urged abundant patience as Vatican wheels churned out the details.
In fact, the Cardinal hopes that his established warm relationship with OLW will continue even after the Anglican Use parish becomes a formal part of the Anglican Ordinariate. He would like to have a close fraternal bond with the first Ordinary -- whom he hopes is a Catholic bishop and not a Pastoral Provision priest, even one who formerly may have been an Episcopal bishop -- of the new Ordinariate. He would welcome invitations to visit OLW since the church would remain tucked within the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston much like the Vatican is located within the city walls of Rome.
Looking towards the future actuality of an American Ordinariate, Cardinal DiNardo has already joined with Archbishop José Gomez of the Archdiocese of San Antonio -- home to Our Lady of the Atonement Anglican Use Catholic Church and OLA Academy -- and Bishop Kevin Vann of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth -- home to St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Use Catholic Church in putting their mitered heads together and forging a way for the three Latin Rite jurisdictions to transfer their Anglican Use parish and school properties to the Anglican Ordinariate when the Vatican-designed ecclesial structure gets up and running.
"Who gets the property?" Cardinal DiNardo asks teasingly tongue-in-cheek, sounding much like an Anglican in so doing.
For the Catholic Archdioceses of Galveston-Houston and San Antonio and Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth the transfer of established Anglican Use properties to the new Ordinariates will be relatively smooth.
However, in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, where there is some notable interest in entire Episcopal parishes converting such as St. Bartholomew's did in 1994, thus becoming St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Use Catholic Church, the smooth transfer of property could be more problematic with The Episcopal Church's on-going property litigations in that diocese.
Although Cardinal DiNardo is very supportive of the Anglican Use personal parish and the fruition of the Anglican Ordinariates, he advises caution in the fleshing out of the skeletal structure put into place by Pope Benedict with the Anglicanorum Coetibus and its accompanying Norms.
He noted that the Anglicanorum Coetibus was not only a work of the Holy See, but more importantly the document was a work of the Holy Spirit seeking unity.
Cardinal DiNardo also sees the Anglican Use parish as an effective Catholic evangelization tool to not only reach out to the spiritual marooned Episcopalians in this country and Anglicans abroad to bring them into the fullness of faith in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church through the See of Peter and to also bring those disenfranchised Catholics who have left the Church and discovered Her again through the beauty and majesty of the Anglican Use liturgy.
However, the Cardinal warned against Anglican Use parishes becoming a select group and failing to enter into the cross pollination of liturgical and spiritual enrichment with the wider Latin Rite Catholic Church. He did note that the Liturgy is celebrated in at least 15 different languages within his archdiocese.
A check with the Galveston-Houston Archdiocesan directory shows that Mass is celebrated in several languages and dialects including but not limited to: English, Spanish, Latin, Chinese, Korean, Polish and Vietnamese. So the Anglican Use Elizabethan English adds a nice complement to the multi-linguistic Archdiocesan liturgical celebrations.
Cardinal DiNardo feels that it would be very prudent if once the Ordinariate gets up and running that the transferring Ordinariate priests continue to receive some monetary assistance from their local Latin Rite dioceses for on-going financial support at least in the terms of health insurance and retirement benefits until the Ordinariate can afford to foot the entire cost of a married priest and his family needs. He explained that in the beginning the Ordinariate will be small with few self-sustaining parishes and would therefore be financially strapped while the Ordinariate will have to immediately be able to support its own Ordinary and his immediate chancellery structure.
"Go slow." Cardinal DiNardo emphasized, reminding his Anglican Use audience several times to be patient as the internal workings of the Ordinariate are developed and put into place, reminding the group that the Anglican Ordinariates are a work in process.
He noted that patience, common sense and good humor will be needed by all as the details of the Ordinariates are developed and hammered into place while imploring the intercession of the Virgin Mary under her title of Our Lady of Walsingham and realizing that eventually things will fall into place.
"Everything can be worked out," the Cardinal explained.
Cardinal DiNardo's positive enthusiasm and passion for his Anglican children was evident. His dark Italian eyes danced as he freely moved away from the podium to personally interact with the members of his audience. He would return frequently to scribble notes to himself about a comment made, a question raised or an insight gleaned from this interchange of thoughts, ideas and concerns with those for whom the Anglican Ordinariate would most impact spiritually.
He readily admitted that there are some American bishops who do not share his favorable impression of the Anglican Use parish structure perhaps borne out of some less-than-positive past experiences with faults falling on both sides.
Noting that the United States already has a long history of Anglican Use personal parishes, he said that he would like to see the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops form a commission to help implement an American Anglican Ordinariate; however, due to his own hectic schedule and other episcopal and cardinalate commitments, he would not be able to directly participate on such a commission, but would be willing to lend his personal insights gleaned from having an Anglican Use parish within the confines of his archdiocese.
He said that Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church would serve as a laboratory of how well an Anglican Use Pastoral Provision parish functions in developing a canonical structure.
He has also consulted with former Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande Bishop Jeffery Steenson who is now a Roman Catholic Pastoral Provision priest and is a visiting professor of Patristic Studies at the University of St. Thomas Center for Faith and Culture in Houston and who was in attendance at the Cardinal's presentation. Fr. Steenson is able to clue Cardinal DiNardo in on some the internal canonical workings of The Episcopal Church, which helps the Cardinal better understand the spiritual and temporal needs of his Anglican Use flock.
The Cardinal noted that Texas is unique in all the United States because the state already has three established and thriving Anglican Use personal parishes as well as St. Anselm of Canterbury Anglican Use Catholic Mission in Corpus Christi, thus giving the Lone Star State the largest concentration of Anglican Use groups in the US.
In addition to OLW's co-founding and current pastor Fr. Ramsey, other clergy on hand Wednesday evening with OLW ties were: co-founding pastor the Rev. James Moore; former pastor the Rev. Bruce Noble and his twin brother the Rev. David Noble; and the Diocese of Victoria's the Rev. Wayne Flagg, who was OLW's first priestly vocation.
At least two Anglican Use deacons were in attendance at the meeting including: the Rev. Mr. Michael Noble (no relationship to the Fathers Noble twins) from Corpus Christi's St. Anselm; and the Rev. Mr. James Barnett, OLW's own permanent deacon.
Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) priest the Rev. Lewis Berry, who lives in Texas, was also in attendance last Wednesday night to interact with his Anglican Use brethren. TAC has been most urgent in seeking reunion with the Pope Benedict XVI and the Holy See of Rome.
Quietly remaining in the shadows and observing were: the Rev. Michael Earthman, Cardinal DiNardo's chauffeur and Our Lady of the Atonement Academy's headmaster Ralph Johnston from San Antonio.
Following Cardinal DiNardo's question and answer presentation, he spent another hour intermingling with his flock focusing on each person and making them feel as if they were the only other person in the room.
-----Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline
Cardinal DiNardo urges thousands at shrine vigil to embrace life
Jan 31, 2010
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Rosary in hand, Tom Pottratz surveyed the throng gathered for the opening Mass of the annual March for Life Jan. 21 at the Basilica of National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
What he saw gave him a sense of satisfaction.
Mixed among the crowd were more than 1,000 people, many of them of school age, from his hometown of Indianapolis.
Twenty years ago, when Pottratz started attending the March for Life, Indianapolis was not well represented.
After a few years, Pottratz recalled for Catholic News Service, he wondered what could be done to bring the same enthusiasm for making the annual trek to Washington that he saw in people from other parts of the U.S. to the young people of central Indiana.
Pottratz, a member of St. Louis de Montfort Parish in suburban Fishers, Ind., approached Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein of Indianapolis, offering to organize bus trips for teens to attend the march and its related activities. The archbishop gave his blessing. Then recently retired, Pottratz went to work.
The first year, 1996, he was able to get about 180 teens to fill four buses. Thereafter the project grew. He stepped back from the effort a few years ago when parishes, schools and deaneries began sponsoring their own buses. This year about 25 buses made the trip from Indiana to Washington.
"I've always known most kids are pro-life but they're a little reluctant to get up and stand in front because of what the popular media says," Pottratz said. "That's until they come out here one time and they see 150,000 other youth. They say 'Wow, it's kind of cool to be pro-life. OK, I can do it now.'"
The teens from Indianapolis helped generate an atmosphere of excitement in the basilica as the Mass neared. The congregation filled the aisles, side chapels, the vestibule and even part of the crypt level below the upper church.
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, presided at the Mass. He was joined by Cardinals Francis E. George of Chicago, Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, William H. Keeler, retired archbishop of Baltimore, and William W. Baum and Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishops of Washington.
In his homily, Cardinal DiNardo welcomed the thousands of Catholics from across the country who made the trip to Washington for the annual vigil and march marking the 37th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion.
The cardinal said he was particularly grateful for the presence of thousands of young people, whom he called "a sure mark of infectious joy, the sign of life."
He recalled the martyrdom of a youthful St. Agnes -- Jan. 21 is the feast day of the Roman saint -- saying her witness to faith as a child can be an inspiration for all Catholics in the continuing campaign to protect life.
"St. Agnes was so small that the chains intended to bind her hands and wrists slid off," he said. "Unfortunately, in our culture we have grown into the chains that bind us and hold us fast in a grip of deadly attitudes about human life, about the human person, especially in the moments of his or her beautiful but fragile beginnings and in those vulnerable times of old age and illness."
The cardinal offered his views on the current health care reform legislation before Congress. He said the House and Senate versions of reform fail to uphold the dignity of people and freedom of conscience.
He said that while the House version of the bill reaffirmed the long-standing policy against using federal funds for health plans covering elective abortions, the Senate stripped that provision from its bill.
"That (Senate) bill is also less successful in making health care affordable for all who are poor or vulnerable, especially immigrants," he said. "Neither bill has sufficient conscience protections at this point.
"Our response must be clear and articulate to Congress on the essential criteria for genuine health care reform. Abortion is not health care. Health care is about saving and preserving lives not destroying lives. As our president before Congress recently said, everyone should be cared for and no one should be deliberately killed," he said.
Cardinal DiNardo urged the thousands in the basilica to embrace life willingly and earnestly, as did the saints who span the centuries.
He said the actions to influence lawmakers on abortion -- lobbying, public marches, writing letters -- are important. But so, he said, is prayer and embracing Jesus on the cross.
À Washington, le cardinal DiNardo redit le “non possumus” de l’Église à l’ObamaCare
Jan 31, 2010
Lors de l’homélie qu’il a donnée à l’occasion de la Messe de vigile pour la Vie à Washington le 21 janvier (voir article précédent), le cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archevêque de Galveston-Houston (Texas) et président de la Commission des activités pro-Vie de la Conférence des évêques américains, a redit, sans ambiguïté, le “non possumus” de l’Église à l’ObamaCare.
Après avoir rappelé qu’alors que la version Chambre de Représentants de l’ObamaCare réaffirmait heureusement la politique traditionnelle de la non utilisation de fonds fédéraux pour financer la couverture de l’avortement à la demande, et que celle du Sénat l’avait ignorée, le cardinal a dénoncé l’absence de dispositions protégeant la dignité de la personne humaine et la clause de conscience dans l’un comme l’autre des deux projets de loi.
« Notre réponse au Congrès doit être claire et compréhensible quant aux critères essentiels d’une authentique réforme de la santé. L’avortement n’est pas un soin médical. Le soin médical consiste à sauver et à préserver la vie, pas à la détruire. »
An audience of more than 500 Jews and Catholics came together for an early Hanukkah celebration Thursday afternoon and to hear keynote remarks by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo.
The highest-ranking Catholic leader in Texas, DiNardo spoke of his admiration for the prophet Isaiah and the miraculous story of Hanukkah in which one day’s supply of oil kept burning for eight days during the rededication of the temple in the second century B.C.
DiNardo recalled visits during his childhood in Pittsburgh to a Jewish community where he said he first learned of Jewish rituals such as Hanukkah.
The Hanukkah menorah “is not lit to provide light within a Jewish household or synagogue and temple but rather — I have been told — the light is lit to shine to the outside to manifest,” he said, “and give public witness to the God of the covenant of the Torah, to the remembrance of God’s great deeds for Israel.”
DiNardo, who is head of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, was taking part in the eighth annual Joint Catholic-Jewish Hanukkah Commemoration. The menorah is lit by rabbis, priests and Jewish and Catholic lay leaders.
The event, held at San Fernando Cathedral’s AT&T Community Centre, reflects the long friendship between the Jewish and Catholic communities of San Antonio and is believed to be one of a kind in North America.
Interview with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
Oct 13, 2008
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Texas, is the only Catholic cardinal in America’s Bible Belt, which gives him a unique perspective during this Synod of Bishops on the “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.” On Sunday, DiNardo celebrated Mass at his titular church, St. Eusebius, and later in the afternoon he sat down for an interview at the North American College.
(National Catholic Reporter, October 12, 2008) The conversation covered a lot of ground, including charismatic preachers such as Joel Osteen, the death penalty, and immigration, as well as a subject that’s been conspicuous by its absence in the synod, even though it’s a source of much heartburn in the wider world when talk turns to the Bible – creationism. DiNardo also commented on the aftermath of the recent floods that struck the Galveston-Houston area.
The following is a complete transcript of the interview.
By this stage in the synod, you’ve sat through 234 speeches – 149 formal interventions, and 85 comments during the free time. That’s a sort of tsunami of verbiage. Sorting through it all, what has struck you?
Initially what’s struck me is that much of the content of the speeches is the same, but what’s different is the angle of vision because of where people come from. You pick that up right away. When you hear the bishops from South America talk, there’s always a certain focus on the poor, the difficulties of people just trying to live, so the Word of God becomes a basis for small group communities. They talk about the formation that’s necessary to do that well. If you hear a bishop talking to you from Oceania, any of those islands, you get another distinctive sense of the Word of God. Their people are either reading the Word of God or not, but they have another perspective. Poverty affects them too, but it’s a different kind of poverty. They live in a context with a lot of non-Christians, as you can imagine. Therefore, they’re very interested in inculturation … that seems to be the big word that they use a great deal. When the bishops of Europe get up, they’re obviously concerned about secularism, and the reduced saturation of the Word of God in the culture.
In terms of content, what I hear most of the bishops saying is this: the Word of God is extremely important for people, there is thirst for the Word of God, but there isn’t always a clear understanding of the relationship between scripture and daily life. The biggest thing that has come out is that we all have to do more about preaching. Also, there’s a concern for translations of the Bible … if I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times, especially from countries where there are multiple languages.
Papua New Guinea, as we heard, has 837 languages.
They just keep saying, ‘We need Biblical translations.’ At one level, the Protestant churches are a little ahead of us here. They’re very, very good at getting translations of the Bible out, and the bishops are saying that we need to be more a part of that. Of course, then some of the African bishops say, ‘A lot of our people are illiterate.’ So, in a lot of ways, accessibility of the Word is an issue.
I’m surprised at how much attention lectio divina is getting. That’s considered to be an extremely important form of Biblical thinking, getting people to appreciate the scriptures. Also, in South America and Africa, the challenge of cults is obviously important. It’s pretty common to hear about that.
Is there anything you’ve heard that you think you’ll take back and that will make a concrete difference in the life of your archdiocese?
One of the things I notice in developing countries is that there is a great hunger for the Word of God, which often takes the form of people meeting in small groups. They want to hear the Word of God. We have to do this in a way that’s a little more ecclesial, but also in a way that’s vivid in people’s lives. Where this happens [Bible reading in small groups], it’s a great help for the church.
I live in the Bible Belt, which is what I talked about in my intervention. Catholics are used to hearing people quote scripture in the Bible Belt. In fact, it has an effect on them. What I’d like to see are some practical things to help Catholics deal with this situation. A number of our Catholics are involved in Protestant Bible studies, there’s no question about that. I mentioned something about a kind of Compendium, that would be addressed not to clergy but to ordinary people … simple, straightforward, our classic ways of reading the scriptures, why we read them the way we do, in order to give people what St. Luke calls that “assurance” when they’re meeting with others, so that we can bring our point of view to them.
What I’m thinking about is giving our people a little greater sensus ecclesiae, the “sense of the church.” It isn’t that some of them don’t want to do that, but the particular way that many Baptists – and, of course, it’s more than Baptists – read the Bible is as a personal inspiration, and of course there’s no problem with that. But then they begin interpreting texts as if this is the meaning, and we have to show them that there’s context, that there’s the greater context of the whole book, and that there’s a living tradition of faith that’s interpreted it. That’s what I think would be very helpful.
One of the things I notice among the synod fathers is that they want their people to read the scriptures. They think it’s a great idea.
No one seems to be debating that.
There’s no one that’s opposed. If there are any concerns, it’s about reading the Bible within the bigger context of the church.
As you mentioned, you’re the Cardinal of the Bible Belt. In some ways, you’re therefore a point person for relations with Evangelicals and Pentecostals. There’s been a lot of talk at the synod on that subject, not all of it positive. What can you tell me about the relationship in Texas?
Some of the people in the synod have been quite critical of them in certain parts of the world. I guess I’m less critical. I suppose if I have any criticism it’s that some of the Evangelicals, out of their concern for knowing Jesus Christ, will take advantage of people coming from, let’s say, Mexico or South America. These people come into a place like Houston … you’re new, you’re frequently illegal. [Evangelicals] are going to offer you some help, some assistance, and of course I have no objection to that. Then they read the Bible, and they tell you that this is the only way to know Jesus Christ. May I also add, John, that they’re not totally without some sense of the background. We have churches in Houston that are Protestant Evangelical, and they have pictures of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A lot of people are attracted to them, and maybe part of that is our fault. Our formation in the faith, particularly, perhaps, in Central and South America, is not as well developed as theirs. So, they get ‘em.
Cardinal Pengo from Tanzania talked about an ‘exodus’ of Catholics across Africa moving into Pentecostal groups. Do you lose a lot of people in Houston to the Pentecostals and the Evangelicals?
We have some. I talk to some of our priests, and they say, ‘Yes, we’re losing some.’ I can’t say we’re losing a huge amount right now.
Would you use the word ‘exodus’?
I wouldn’t use the word ‘exodus’ in Texas. I might use the word ‘trickle.’ Maybe even a big trickle in some areas. If they come to Houston in certain areas, the parishes are very good, and they’re a force of stability for a lot of people. We have a parish south of the stadium in downtown Houston that lists on its books 2,200 families, but it had a thousand baptisms the year before last. They’ve obviously got more than 2,200 families. They’re not going to register because people are too afraid. So, we do have some exits, there’s no question, but …
But you also have an enormous number of people coming in, most of them immigrants.
It’s huge, and you know it’s not just the Hispanics, though they would be the largest single group. We also have to be concerned about the Filipinos, for example.
You’ve talked about the ‘happy chaos’ in Houston.
That’s what it is. There are so many different kinds of people in the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston right now … I always say that if I’m not aware of a particular group, it’s only because I haven’t yet heard about them. They’re either coming or they’re already here.
In your part of the world, creationism is a fairly powerful cultural, even political, force. Are you surprised there really hasn’t been any discussion in the synod on creationism?
I think it’s been mentioned maybe once, in a minor point by one of the bishops, but basically you’re right, it hasn’t come up at all. Partly, this may be because it’s a local issue in the United States, in parts of the country, but it's not a big concern in much of the rest of the world. It’s an issue in Texas at times, though you should know about Texas, as someone once said to me with a straight face: ‘You know, we’re our own separate nation.’ Texas is somewhat unique. I see this issue more in West Texas and other parts of the state, but it doesn’t come up as much in Houston. You have to remember that the role of the Baptists in Houston in this regard has been significant. It’s kept the issue from becoming too intense, because they don’t let it get out of hand.
When someone in the Bible Belt asks you what the Catholic church thinks about creationism, what do you say?
I actually don’t know that anyone’s ever asked me, but if someone did, what I would say is that the Bible tells us the ‘why’ of things. The importance of the Book of Genesis is on the ordered character of God’s creation. For the rest, the Catholic church is receptive to the role of reason, and reason tells us ‘how’ things go. To us, the ‘why’ is more important, and that’s what religion answers. Of course, there are some people, whether in the state of Texas or outside, who want to use the creationism question to attack the notion that God has any role or any agency in the world at all. That’s not true with all people who argue for evolution, but it’s true of some of them. You have to realize that in Texas, those would be fighting words among the politicians.
There are some Catholics in the United States who are very attracted to the idea of ‘intelligent design.’ What do you make of that?
If ‘intelligent design’ is used as a philosophical argument to talk about the foundations of how we understand science, I have no problem with it. Some people are using it as a scientific explanation per se, but it’s really not. It’s a philosophical explanation trying to show the presuppositions by which we can talk about divine purpose or providence in the world. I think that’s great, that’s very important.
The problem I see on both sides –both with some of those who are pushing the evolution agenda and with intelligent design – is that they’re really arguing philosophy, they’re not arguing science.
Of course, the intelligent design people understand themselves to be making a scientific argument. They contend that you can’t explain the transition from simple to complex species in terms of a linear progression driven by random mutation and natural selection, that there’s an ‘irreducible complexity’ to life that requires the hypothesis of a designer.
Some of that is probably true, though I don’t know that it necessarily leads to intelligent design. Of course, you can take an alternative explanation [to evolution]. You could use Aristotle’s notion of substantial forms that are just always around, for example, and explain the results that way, which wouldn’t necessarily give you a theory of design.
I think we have to be careful in our public schools that when people are teaching evolution, they’re not teaching metaphysical evolution, but rather methodological evolution, which is okay.
Is the bottom line that when we teach Genesis we should focus on the theological content, and leave the mechanics of the science alone?
As I recall when I took my exam here on the Pentateuch, a professor asked me if I’d ever read Bertolt Brecht’s play ‘Galileo.’ I had read it in high school. In the Book of Genesis, at its time, what would be known as any kind of cosmology and science is at home in theology. That is to say, the Book of Genesis is trying to indicate to us that there is order in creation. Science obviously becomes more sophisticated about the manner of the order of creation, and how we would discover it. The notion of order is an important issue, which to my mind isn’t purely theological.
So you would say there’s a kind of natural theology implicit in Genesis?
There is, but today we’re fighting certain aspects of science we really shouldn’t be fighting. Let the scientists fight out some of the methodological battles they have over some of these things. In the state of Texas, this whole thing is also played out on the political level.
The broader issue the debate over creationism raises is what it means to call scripture ‘inerrant.’ Cardinal George has suggested that perhaps the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith might want to put out some kind of document on inerrancy. What do you think of that?
The way [inerrancy] is phrased in the English translation of our Instrumentum Laboris makes the issue, to my mind, a little more clear-cut than it is. Inerrancy affects every word of scripture. We have to ask, what’s the inerrancy for? Of course, it’s for our salvation. But that itself is a bigger issue than purely conceptual terms about how we are saved.
The Second Vatican Council phrased Dei Verbum carefully, and left the question partially difficult. Should the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issue something? It could be helpful. Do we need further theological analysis before they even speak on it? Maybe. I’d be one willing to wait, though there are people who think we should make something much clearer right now. I remember before coming to the synod I got a lot of letters, and many of them dealt with this point. It has not emerged in the synod, however, as a major issue.
You live in a part of the world where the issue of scripture’s inerrancy is quite topical.
Yes, and it’s very straight-forward the way most people who use the term ‘inerrancy’ would mean it. The way we use it, and the way an Evangelical would use it, is obviously a little different. They won’t give, for example, on the seven days of creation.
To take a step back, in the United States today there are two poles in any cultural debate that involves the Bible: secular skepticism, according to which the Bible is an interesting piece of ancient literature but no more than that, and Biblical fundamentalism, which reads the Bible as the literal, face-value word of God. The Catholic church occupies a middle position between these two extremes. Could a document on inerrancy help lift up this ‘third way’ of reading the Bible in cultural debate?
If we end up doing some kind of document that’s a compendium on how we read scripture, and I don’t know that we will, this issue is going to have to arise. They would have to say something about it. I think the Catholic church’s position is nuanced, it’s faith and reason working together. Maybe it’s because of the way Catholics came onto the fields of form-criticism and literary criticism under Pius XII, but when the question comes up of whether something is literally, factually, true, we ask, ‘What’s the literary form of the document? What is the sacred author trying to get at?’ That’s the truth it’s trying to express. That may involve more than, ‘God saves.’ That may involve, as you said earlier, some natural truths that natural theology can bring out.
Of course, members of our church run the gamut on these questions …
Do you think a document on inerrancy is coming?
I don’t know. It’s possible that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith may decide that now is not the time to do it. I have some indications of that, that there will be more reflection… they’re not going to rush into it.
You know, I find that with most people, if there’s ever a battle, these days it’s not over religion and science so much as religion and history. It’s the problem of historical consciousness. What brings it to light are some of the points of the gospels where there are tensions, seemingly, in the narrative, or varying portrayals of what Christ said or did. These are good questions. I think if they’re read in light of lectio divina and the bigger spiritual tradition of the church, they’re less intensely problematic, but I don’t know that they’re questions which will go away.
Walter Kasper wrote years ago that the problems in relationship among theology, religion and science will be considered more minor in the future, in comparison to the problems in the relationship between religion and history. That issue is still a vexing one, still a tough one.
Let me ask you about whether there are ways the Bible can be brought to bear on a couple of social issues that are important in Texas. What about the death penalty?
The Catholic bishops in Texas have been opposed to the death penalty for 30. The polls have moved from about 90 percent approval to around 85-82 percent approval, which means that there’s the beginning of some people starting to question the death penalty. You have to keep in mind the people who have lost their loved ones. For a lot of people, it’s that emotional issue that gets to them. The second issue after that is that they took someone’s life, so they give theirs in return. That’s a kind of justice, of redress.
It’s often informed by a kind of Biblical morality, isn’t it?
I guess some do, though what I’ve heard on the TV a lot, and one hates to say it, is – along with the reaction to the loss of a loved one – just simple vengeance.
Have you had much luck using scripture to make the case against the death penalty?
We’ve tried to do it in terms of the forgiveness of enemies, and love one another. Among the Catholics in Texas that I’ve met, I’ve found that most of them are favorable to the death penalty, but they’re not absolutely attached to it. They can be worked on, but it’s going to be a long time.
Does reading and praying with scripture have any effect at all on their attitude toward the death penalty?
I can’t say that I can answer that, to be honest with you. We have some very intense small groups of people, like Pax Christi and others. The effect of some of the anti-death penalty thinking has been good in some of our schools. In looking to the future, I’ve been talking to someone who’s been at it for years, Archbishop [Joseph] Fiorenza. He told me that this is going to take a long time to reach Texas. People there are very traditional and just say, ‘If you do this, you’ve got to pay for it.’ It’s almost primitive at times, but we’re making a dent. The fact that support has gone down is indicative. Part of it is the scientific stuff, where people found out that the DNA didn’t match, things like that. Part of it, too, is the kind of people who are on death row in Texas. Let’s face it, they’re the poor. Some of them may have had bad representation.
One man was recently given a reprieve, a sad case. He drove the car, and in Texas we have that law where if you’re in the car when somebody commits a crime, you’re part of it. He has a mental capacity that’s not so strong, and he was given a reprieve to life in prison. That’s unusual for this governor, who’s pretty tough.
Can scripture help you with the question of immigration?
My hope would be yes, insofar as people read both the Old Testament and the New Testament … whether it’s the great Pentateuchal/Deuteronomic language on the widow, the stranger, and the orphan, or whether it’s the prophetic cry against the exploitation of those who are strangers in our midst. Not least of all is the powerful parable, which I think is indicative of a whole frame of mind, of the Good Samaritan. The more we would read the scriptures, the more we are involved in them, we could make a very, very good case, and I think we’ve tried, for immigration.
Is it bearing fruit?
Just look in Texas. I’ve had people come to see me from the building trades, from the Chamber of Commerce … there are lots of people getting on board and saying, ‘We can’t continue to live with what’s going on in Texas and elsewhere.’ But it has to be handled at the federal level. You know, I’ve talked to senators who are very sympathetic when you approach them one-on-one, but the pressure’s on them in Washington, D.C. Some people are saying that once the election is over, there may be some window of opportunity to do something with the lame-duck congress, in late November or December. I’m skeptical about it, having dealt with it the last couple of years, but we’ll see. In any event, it certainly has to be on the agenda of the next congress. We can’t continue to live this way in Texas and California. It’s crazy.
For instance, I’ve talked to people who are in the building trades, in construction, and they tell me that they go to all the job fairs. People say [about immigrants] that they’re taking away jobs from Anglos, but these guys tell me that no Anglos show up. One guy told me that some of the people who work for him have been working for him for twenty years, and they’re master craftsmen and builders. He said, ‘I don’t know how many of them are illegal. I thought they were all legal, but I’m finding out that some of the papers they hold and give to me are false.’ But, he said, that doesn’t take away from the good work they do. They’re productive citizens. We should get their situation regularized.
Another theme that has emerged in the synod is the persecution of Christians in various parts of the world, in India, in the Middle East, and so on. For American Catholics, that can seem fairly remote. Concretely, what can Americans do?
First of all, we should make sure that word gets out. In Houston, that’s less difficult. I have a large number of Indian Catholics in Houston, and they make what’s going on known to others. We also have to make ourselves heard. Sometimes you have to say something, about India, about the terrible situation in Darfur, and so on.
We also have heard a great deal about the terrible loss of Christians in the Middle East, which I’m aware of since I’ve been dealing with the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher. That’s the Holy Land, Jerusalem, and of course Iraq. We have a growing Iraqi, and also Maronite, community in Houston because they’re leaving.
We can let our representatives in government know about this. The government has some influence, for example, with what we can do for the Christians in Iraq. It’s been a sadness … as you know, that constitution was supposed to protect minorities, but it has not de facto worked out in practice. The Christian community there is very productive, which is not unusual. It’s like the Copts in Egypt. I also feel bad for the Maronites in Lebanon, because that was always a 50/50 arrangement, but they’re suffering.
I suspect a lot of Catholics feel sympathy, but don’t know what to do with that sympathy.
What some of the bishops have asked me to do is to make their plight known, beginning with my own Christian community, when I write pastoral letters or when I talk.
One concrete suggestion that has come up with regard to the Holy Land is the importance of pilgrimage.
Keep going over, keep sending people over. That’s probably the most important thing we can do right now. Houston is very good about that, lots of people go to the Holy Land. By the way, a lot of Evangelicals go to the Holy Land. This is one concrete thing someone can do, if they have the means … just go.
How did you react to Bishop Kicanas’ proposal to make 2009 a ‘Year of Preaching’?
It’s probably a good suggestion. As a bishop in the United States, if you get letters that complain about priests – and you always get them – one of the complaints you’ll get is about preaching. A priest’s ability to connect with the people in terms of the word of the day, the scriptures that are being read, is something our people want. Of course, there are also people who will excuse bad preaching by a priest if they love him otherwise.
There’s been a fair bit of complaining in the synod about the quality of preaching. Is it really all that bad?
It’s uneven. We have priests in Houston, for example, that people go to because they consider them such fine preachers. We have other people that go to the parish because, they say, I’ve just always gone to this parish, and they roll their eyes about the preaching. Plus, we have so many languages. There are some Spanish-language preachers who are very good. In other cases, the priest isn’t such a good preacher, but the people are from the same country and so they just tolerate it, they don’t ask for much.
Is there a danger of making the homily carry more weight than it was meant to bear?
Could be. We always say that we’re fed by two tables, and the first table is to get you hungry for the second one. We’ve always gone to the Eucharist. I have to say that we’ve got some Catholics in Houston who have told me themselves that they go to Mass on Sunday at 8:00 am, and then they go to another church at 11:00 am so they can be “uplifted.”
Probably a number go to Joel Osteen?
Sure. Now, I would not put forth Joel Osteen as a way to be lifted up, because it’s just self-help. All it is, is self-help. That’s not good. The point is, however, that while they know that the Eucharist is something pretty important, they feel there’s something missing in the preaching. This intrigues me to no end.
In Houston, we’ve already done things on preaching. We’ve had days at our convocation dedicated to it. We have regular workshops on scripture. In fact, they’re doing a state-level; event next year in Houston. It’s not that we don’t provide opportunities. Of course, what strikes one person as a good homily will cause somebody else to say, ‘Oh, this guy is just foaming at the mouth.’ Yes, we have to always improve the quality of preaching, but they do so much preaching practicum at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston already.
Is there some practical step you haven’t taken?
There are some priests who subscribe to homily services, or who read a bit of exegesis, and get up there and sort of bumble through, just making a series of statements. What’s probably necessary is a better defined rhetoric, bringing out the spiritual dimension in a way that isn’t moralizing. That would be wonderful … mystagogy is the way the liturgical people describe it, the idea that the text is being realized right now as you’ve heard it proclaimed, and as I try to unpack it. Though the text will say something to you about your moral life, it isn’t moralizing and wagging your finger. It has something to do with what you meet in your life. It’s like today, the reading about the marriage banquet … Jesus is telling a parable about salvation history. Jesus went to so many dinners in the synoptic that you almost want to ask, ‘Why is he always going to supper?’ It’s because it’s a sign of the kingdom, that there’s a joy in meeting Jesus Christ. That’s the kind of stuff we should put out there.
I recently spoke at a conference on Catholic preaching, and there was a lot of conversation there about preaching by the non-ordained, especially women. Obviously the liturgical rules forbid this in the Eucharist, but do you think it would be desirable to promote preaching by lay people in non-Eucharistic settings?
In non-Eucharistic contexts I think it’s a great idea, because some of them are very talented. Although people don’t look at it as preaching, I often say that some of the finest preachers we have are some of our volunteer catechists in some of our religious education programs. They keep those kids coming and buoy them up. I have the greatest regard for them, and I think what they’re doing is a kind of preaching. In that sense, lay preaching has always been around in the church. Some of the people in charge of our RCIA are very good. What some people are asking is to do it in the liturgy, but the Roman liturgy is pretty intense on this, that the person who presides is the one who preaches…. Outside the liturgy, I’d be favorable to looking for creative ways [to encourage lay preaching], with laity who are trained and formed and who can speak well. Some of the laity on Spanish-language radio are very good.
I might add that we also have over 250 permanent deacons in Houston, and some of them are good preachers. I hate to say it, but some are better than the priests, in part because they spend more time preparing the text. Some of our priests just don’t prepare as well as they should. Is that sometimes their fault? Yes. But if you have 5,000 families in your parish, it may well be that you were so overwhelmed with everything else you were doing that …
That it’s a miracle you showed up on Sunday at all?
Right. Also, we have to remember that God’s Word proclaimed is pretty good. As long as the lector is good, God’s Word sounds pretty good even if the preaching is terrible!
In your experience, what are the big differences in approaches to the Bible between Hispanics and Anglos?
Hispanics tend to read the Bible and see themselves in it immediately. It’s amazing. They’re an oral people, and the stories and the oral narratives speak to them. I don’t find that Hispanics have any trouble recognizing themselves in scripture passages. I find that the Anglos are a little bit more reserved. That’s not to say they don’t find meaning in the text, but …
Let me put it to you this way. I do so many confirmations every year it isn’t funny. I did 60 last year. When I with the Hispanic kids, at first they’re very reserved, because the cardinal is there. Once they get used to it, however, if you ask them to say something about the scripture text, they’ll do it, and I always have good exchanges with them. When I go to the Anglos, it concerns me. It’s not true across the board, but it’s true often enough … they don’t know the Bible at all. I ask them, ‘Tell me your favorite Bible passage,’ and nothing comes to mind. With the Hispanics, maybe it’s the way they do their songs, maybe it’s the way they train them at Sunday Mass or the way the priest preaches, but once they get over their initial shyness and respect for authority, I find those kids love to talk from their heart about Jesus did this or that for them. At times, they can almost sound like fundamentalists.
That probably helps explain some of the appeal of the Evangelical and Pentecostal churches to the Hispanics.
Yes, exactly. The trick is to draw them more into the sense of the church. When it comes to the Anglos, the ones who will say something to you about the Word of God are some of the Life Teen crowd. Of course, they also have a pretty Evangelical mind, except for the Eucharist. The one difference is that their piety is Evangelical-Eucharistic. Of course, it’s not that the Hispanics aren’t Eucharistic, but they have a feel for the text because it’s a narrative.
It’s not just that it’s narrative. The thought-world of the Bible tends to reflect the view of the poor, people who are close to the earth, who don’t take a skeptical stance towards the supernatural, and often that’s a better fit for Hispanics, isn’t it?
They’ve never asked about inerrancy, that’s for sure! No one even bothers about it. For them, miracles happen all the time.
At the end of my intervention in the synod, which was on the Bible Belt, I told a story about Galveston-Houston and the floods. Three weeks ago, after the floods, I got permission from FEMA and I went into Galveston. I had to have the police with me, and so on. I went into the cathedral in Galveston, where there was eight feet of water … it was just horrific. There was a woman there, a Catholic woman, whose house was gone. She came up to me and said, ‘You see, cardinal, Mary the Star of the Sea is on top of the cathedral. Blessed is she among women … we’ll be okay.’ She quoted the Bible, in a very distinctive Catholic form. Then I went into another church four blocks away, flooded with three feet of water. A woman came from across the street, obviously a non-Catholic, whose house had flooded up to the second floor. She said to me, ‘The Lord done saved me from the miry clay and the dark pit, bless you Jesus!’ Those two responses were equally beautiful, equally Biblical, one Catholic and the other more Evangelical. Both were the little ones, the ones to whom Jesus says in Matthew 11, ‘Come to me you who labor and have a heavy burden.’ Both had confidence in God’s Word. It’s amazing. Some people would simply laugh at those two responses to the floods, some Catholics even, but I saw in them a deep respect for the Holy Spirit’s beauty in making scripture something they carry with them.
So a Biblical imagination is alive and well in Texas?
It is absolutely alive … it may be crazy sometimes, but it’s alive and well. I don’t see that in the Northeast. I really don’t see it. I don’t see it among our leaders, I don’t see it among some of the university people, and I don’t even see it among all of our Catholics. But when you go south of the Mason/Dixon line and get into the Bible Belt, it’s still there. The Biblical vocabulary and imagination is alive.
In the Northeast, for example, they simply ridicule creationism. In Texas it’s argued in a different way, because the Biblical imagination is still strong. There’s a different way of approaching it, even intellectually, than in the Northeast. I was so impressed by these two women. They had lost everything, but they were not going to lose their sense that God is with them. I just think that’s magnificent. One threw out the Lucan Marian hymn, the other Psalm 40, and I loved them both.
Cardinal DiNardo Honored During Local Visit
Sept 05, 2008
The Mass this evening at St. Paul Cathedral honored a man who grew up in the area and is now a Cardinal in the Catholic Church.
PITTSBURGH (KDKA, Aug 23, 2008) ― Cardinal Daniel DiNardo grew up in St. Ann's Parish in Castle Shannon.
He is on a visit this weekend to Pittsburgh and took part the in Mass in Oakland on Saturday night.
Before leaving the area, Cardinal DiNardo studied with Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik and served several parishes in the area.
He helped to form Sts. John and Paul in Marshall Township back in 1994 and also served at Madonna del Castello in Swissvale.
Cardinal DiNardo now serves as the Archbishop of Galveston/Houston.
Before his visit ends, he will say Mass on Sunday morning back Sts. John and Paul Church.
Cardinal DiNardo speaks to media
Mar 25, 2008
In a meeting with the media in the Cathedral’s basement, Cardinal Dinardo was jovial and excited.
(siouxcityjournal.com/blogs) He expressed happiness to be back in Siouxland, where he said he his experience as a “baby bishop” prepared him to be Cardinal.
Dinardo talked about a visit to Pope Benedict where he met the Holy Father and was impressed with his listening skills and ability to discern advice from around the globe. “The Pope is a keen listener and observer and knows how to synthesize things very well.”
Larry Wentz asked about similarities and differences between his Texas and Sioux City positions.
“I have a church with 7,000 families in a parish of 23,000 people that speak 70 different languages. It’s quite different from Sioux City in that level. … I have 1.5 million Catholics in the archdiocese.”
As for what he will speak on: “I’m going to speak on how much I love Houston, but how much I miss county blacktops and Caseys doughnuts. … It is those things that are very dear to me.”
His thoughts on his calling: “When I was sent here, you could get to know your parish priests. I really enjoyed myself here. So did I ever think I’d be named a Cardinal? Absolutely not. … I was in a state of shock to surprise. That way it is all the grace and gift of the Holy Father.”
“The United States as a nation probably has an understanding of the Catholic faith, yet only 6 percent of the Catholic population lives in the United States. Many live in some of the poorest countries of the world.”
I want to thank you all. its great to come back to Sioux City - there are a lot of familiar faces and some new ones. God Bless.
Use the media well to teach the faith, cardinal encourages Catholic leaders
Mar 19, 2008
It seemed only fitting that a fundraising luncheon for the archdiocese’s television station would serve up a little drama.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Today’s Catholic, 3/18/2008) - The seventh annual Catholic Television of San Antonio (CTSA) leadership luncheon, which honored program hosts Deacon Tom and Mary Jane Fox, was held Feb. 25 at the AT&T Centre at San Fernando.
While the day was sunny in the Alamo city, fog was socking in the airport in Houston, delaying the arrival of the keynote speaker for the event by more than three hours. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston was scheduled to be in San Antonio at 9 a.m., well in advance of the noon gathering downtown. However, the cardinal’s plane did not touch down in the city until 12:15, delaying his appearance at Red McCombs Hall until 12:45.
Thanks to a quick adjustment in which event organizers just reversed the order of the program, the archbishop of Galveston-Houston made it to the podium not a minute too soon, and even brought the gathering to a close at its regularly scheduled ending time.
Cardinal DiNardo served as a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh before being named bishop of the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa in 1997. In 2004 he was named coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Galveston-Houston. With the elevation of the diocese to an archdiocese, he automatically became coadjutor archbishop, and in 2006, Archbishop DiNardo succeeded Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza. Archbishop DiNardo was elevated to the status of cardinal at the Vatican in 2007.
On making disciples
He began his comments by quoting Matthew 28, the “go and make disciples” passage. “You never meet the risen Christ without getting a job,” he laughed. Cardinal DiNardo said he was speaking not as an expert in media, but as a pastor, citing his experiences in beginning a new parish in Pittsburgh, “overseeing 15,000 miles of corn fields in Iowa,” and shepherding 1.5 million Catholics in the Houston area.
“The media has been crucial to the church since the moment St. Paul sent a letter,” said the cardinal. “Paul changed the format of an epistle for what he needed to do.”
After congratulating Catholic Television of San Antonio for 25 years of perseverance, Cardinal DiNardo explored some of the areas in which the media could help the church.
“One of the things the media can help us to do is to provide instruction,” he said. “That may seem to be droll or unimportant, but I have done 240 confirmations in four years and observed that young people raised on media have an incredible enthusiasm for the Catholic faith, a desire for prayer and catechesis, but an abysmal knowledge of the faith.”
The cardinal lamented that the media disparage religion in general and dismiss Scripture, giving young people an understanding of the faith that is not Catholic.
“There is a rich, evocative understanding of doctrine, but the problem is that it is not being communicated,” said Cardinal DiNardo. “I will always salute catechists. They are the unsung heroes, and they can be assisted by the media, which is sophisticated in form and can help with context.” He continued, “We can all use and stand a dose of what media can provide, especially TV and radio. It can be done in an entertaining fashion. It can be beguiling and inviting. Then we can give the substance of faith. The form of presentation needs constant adjustment.”
‘It’s all about the human person’
The archbishop of Galveston-Houston emphasized that it was especially critical for Catholic media to “allow the liturgical life of the church to come through. That is very important for a fuller understanding of the Catholic faith. They will also continue to report the news about us — whether good or bad — but in a better context than other media.”
He also stressed the importance of the church’s communication tools providing good, pure entertainment. “That is difficult to find,” he said. “There is a richness of catechetical stories among our families, who provide a great deal of wisdom.”
The former Pittsburgh priest told attendees that, after serving as bishop of Sioux City, Iowa for six months, he had an ad limina visit in 1998 with Pope John Paul II. The pope’s parting comments to him were, “It’s all about the human person.”
In 2004, in a document on social communications, the pontiff urged the media to be in service to the human person, in formation and serving in charity and love. “The document is still clear, scintillating, and extremely important,” explained Cardinal DiNardo. “Because of singularity, the human person uses the word, ‘I.’ The one who says ‘I’ is so important to the sharing of truth. We need to talk to each other. The media is going to do what it does, and we will put first the priority of the human person. I will pray that all Catholic media represented will be here for the human person.”
Cardinal DiNardo calls on Texas Episcopalians
Feb 18, 2008
Malcolm Gee of Texas City seemed just a little bit nervous at Moody Gardens on Friday night — and with good reason. He was at the head of a 150-yard long procession that included hundreds of Episcopal priests and deacons drawn from throughout the Diocese of Texas, along with one Roman Catholic cardinal, Daniel N. DiNardo.
(The Daily News, February 17, 2008) GALVESTON — As the diocesan council convened, Gee was leading this line of notables with an ancient banner from the first Episcopal congregation in the Diocese of Texas, Christ Church, Matagorda. Dressed in a traditional off-white cassock with rope belt, he supported a 7-feet tall staff that displayed the embroidered symbol of church history, which was handmade in 1838 for that initial and successful Episcopal mission effort to evangelize early Texans.
“I’m really kind of afraid of it,” said the tall teen, referring to the revered, rectangular, cloth. “I mean, if one little thing were to fall off it and — gosh.”
Located a long “Hail, Mary” pass beyond Gee, far down the hallway, was Cardinal DiNardo, who not only was not nervous, but also clearly was at home among friends. He worked the assembly of Anglicans, greeting many of the Episcopal leaders warmly by name. He moved quickly through the massed clergy with the fluid grace of an experienced public person.
Dressed in the unmistaken orange-red shoulder cape and cap of his office, his vestments seemed electric in contrast to the far more muted beige worn by most of the other clergy lined up in the outside hallway of Ballroom C.
Although his dress may have set him apart, he made it clear that he was there to encourage unity among Christians.
“It’s an honor to be here,” DiNardo said. “It’s the first time I’ve been at anything like this here in Texas. I appreciate the invitation of Bishop (Don) Wimberly. We pray that the Lord Jesus bless us all and keep us one — particularly in the middle of this Lenten season.”
Wimberly led the liturgical services, which included the Eucharist and a renewal of baptismal vows, that opened the council.
When asked about internal controversies in both faiths, the cardinal responded, “When you’re in your own church, sometimes you fight more than you do with outsiders — some of our own priests might say the same thing.”
This opening event was followed Saturday by a day of business and budget meetings. No controversy was in view this year, and all the clerics interviewed said no matter what fireworks may occur at the national level, they were looking for unity and not division as far as the Diocese of Texas was concerned.
The congregation of clerics received DiNardo’s speech with rapt attention. There was frequent laughter at his studied informality, his dynamic delivery and emphatic directness.
He began by displaying the bright green budget book, which the convention was considering during the council meetings.
“It is Lent; I must confess my sins,” the cardinal said in beginning his homily. “I first opened to the page with the bishop’s salary on it.”
The remark was met with loud applause and laughter.
“Bishop Don, not bad!” he said referring to the annual earnings listed for Episcopal bishops. “Then I looked at the diocesan assessment on local churches. Now you know that I’m a very good bishop.”
Speaking of Houston’s Bush Intercontinental airport, DiNardo noted that the Latin word for baggage is “impedimenta,” meaning something that needed to be left behind. He characterized the disciples’ hesitation to leave behind their preconceptions about Jesus, even referring to them as both “wimps” and “clueless.”
At one point, he gently struck the podium for emphasis. The motion was magnified by the sensitive sound system, which shook the loudspeakers and sent a small shudder rippling through the audience.
“When you come to Jesus, you get a job,” DiNardo said. “It may not be an official ministry, but you’ll be called and sent. The world wants to hear that Christians are sent, (are) credible and will do what we say.”
Michael Jackson of Galveston’s St. Vincent House watched from the front row, but it wasn’t the first time he’d seen a cardinal or experienced a service with a Catholic bishop. He explained that he had long ago found advantages in cross-denominational worship.
“It’s good to see people of all faiths come together,” Jackson said. “I’m from Washington, D.C., so when I wanted to go to Eucharist, I’d often go to a Roman Catholic church.”
Jackson noted that Catholic churches then offered services all day long.
“I could go at 5:30 and have my Sunday taken care of,” he said. “There was a Catholic cardinal at the church just up the street. So I could go play ball afterward; I’m a pragmatist.”
Jackson was not only matter-of-fact when it comes to interfaith worship; he’s also focused on meeting practical needs locally.
“St. Vincent’s House is our primary outreach to the poor in Galveston, and it is supported by both our local (Episcopal) churches and by the Diocese,” he said. One of the ministries in view this year will be children’s health.
“We’re on the task force for lead testing and we’re pushing for all kids in Galveston to get tested.”
Jackson isn’t the only one who has seen high-ranking Catholics at Episcopal meetings. The Rev. Joe Chambers, the associate rector at Holy Comforter Church in Spring, said that as early as the 1960s, a Catholic archbishop was addressing Episcopal conventions in Louisiana.
“To come and preach is a big thing, and I’m excited about the cardinal being here,” he said. “The Catholic archbishop in Louisiana participated with us as much as he was allowed back in the ’60s. I’ve been in five diocese and I’ve seen it all.”
New role hasn’t changed first Texas cardinal
Jan 19, 2008
Even in the full attire required for a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, Daniel DiNardo appears completely at ease.
(The Huntsville Item, January 19, 2008) With a sincere smile that reaches his warm, dark eyes, he carries himself as though he is surrounded by close friends, and he speaks with an affection both for those around him and for his new position.
“I’m still the same Dan DiNardo,” he said prior to baptizing and confirming nine inmates at the Wynne Unit. “While being a cardinal is a heavy responsibility, and I consider it a great honor to be a cardinal, I wouldn’t want to change my personality.”
DiNardo, who was elevated to cardinal on Nov. 24, 2007, is the first cardinal named from Texas.
In fact, he said, he is the first cardinal named who is from the southern United States.
“I was shocked when it was announced,” DiNardo said. “Now that it has happened, I find people who are both Catholic and non-Catholic are very pleased.
“I think it really says something that Rome has recognized this great growth in the Catholic population in the South — the faith is here and people recognize it.”
DiNardo, who is originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., served as a priest for 20 years before becoming a bishop in Sioux City, Iowa.
He later became the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, which he continues to oversee even with his new title.
With his new standing, DiNardo will serve as a member of the body of advisers for the pope.
While he will travel to the Vatican approximately twice a year for that purpose, he will remain a chief pastor of more than 1.3 million Roman Catholics in the Galveston-Houston area.
“Even though I had the title of cardinal added, I’m still the archbishop of Galveston-Houston, so it’s been awful busy,” he said. “Your schedule gets kind of messed up, but this is a great honor both for the diocese and for me.
“I’ll also have to go to Rome occasionally for meetings with the pope, because as a cardinal, you become more of a special adviser to the pope.”
During one of his meetings with the pope, DiNardo said the pope gave him a very straightforward reason for his new title.
“The pope said to me, ‘Texas needs a cardinal,’” DiNardo said. “Needless to say, I didn’t disagree with the pope.”
Not only does DiNardo take his interaction with the pope seriously, but he also places importance on how he relates to those he works with on a daily basis.
“Because I’m in the South, I have to make sure I’m paying attention to the pastoral and the human needs of people,” he said. “As a cardinal, if I sign a letter, it may have some effect and I take that very seriously.”
Since being elevated to his new position in the Catholic church, DiNardo said he has experienced things he may not have gotten to experience as an archbishop.
“Without being too specific, a national legislator wanted to talk with me recently,” he said. “We had a very frank but a very pleasant discussion, and I feel like we talked about a lot of issues that needed addressing.
“I don’t think, if I weren’t a cardinal, that it would have happened.”
Overall, DiNardo said his priorities have stayed close to the same principles he has always maintained.
“My major reason to be with the church is to preach, teach, celebrate the sacrament and to be with people,” he said. “Being with people is the part I love the most. In my opinion, it’s the best, most wonderful part of my job.”
THE CHURCHMAN OF THE YEAR: The Reluctant Prince
Jan 08, 2008
2007 CHURCHMAN OF THE YEAR -- US
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo
Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
Whispers in the Loggia, January 5, 2008
"Se ve. Se siente. DiNardo está presente."
"You see it. You feel it. DiNardo is here."
Just six weeks ago, that was the word from Rome. The surroundings might've been Italian, the chant Spanish, but its voice was catholic as, by the hundreds, a diverse group from the American South stormed the Vatican to mark their arrival on the stage of the global church.
From relative obscurity (at least, in the public mind), the Pope had tapped Archbishop Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston -- head of the US' youngest archdiocese, 31st in rank of the 34 archbishops -- to enter the papal senate. In a church where seniority and precedent often trump all else, the move has continued to find not a few of its establishment claiming "surprise," as states of shock or confounded silences continue to linger on the scene.
From every angle, however, it was a destiny years in the making.
In barely three decades, the mother see of Texas -- home to the nation's fourth-largest city, an emerging capital of international transport, migration and commerce -- had rocketed to a place among the nation's ten largest dioceses by population, its Catholic presence quadrupling to 1.5 million. The last American see to receive its first cardinal was Washington, where Archbishop Patrick O'Boyle received his red hat in 1967. The scarlet hadn't traveled to a new region of the country since 1953, when Los Angeles' James Francis McIntyre became the "Cardinal of the West." And among the chronicle of American Catholicism's 46 princes of the church since New York's John McCloskey was called to the college in 1875, a Southern prelate's induction into the Roman clergy joins the elevations of McCloskey, McIntyre and the 1924 rise of the first "Western" cardinal -- Chicago's George Mundelein -- as the watershed moments when the faith's pilgrimage across a continent earned its vanguards a place on the universal scene.
At the audience for his newly-created lieutenants, Benedict XVI might've told DiNardo that "Texas needed a cardinal." But its
fruition was the climactic stroke of a Roman design a decade in the works.
Its script: to catapult the Curialist who picked parish ministry over a Vatican post from his founding pastorate in suburban Pittsburgh to an elector's seat in the conclave.
It all happened before his 60th birthday. And little of it as the wiry, unassuming cleric would've wished.
Lone Star Country needed a cardinal before 2007. Rome just bided its time 'til its choice got there. And, in a rare triumph of Vatican clairvoyance, the bet has paid off spectacularly.
They say that "everything's bigger in Texas," and the customary bounce of energy that a local church gets from the red hat is no exception. According to the locals, the elevation "has breathed new life" into an already booming, energized fold. Since arriving home, the new cardinal has been welcomed by crowds of thousands at every turn, his post-liturgy reception lines running into the early hours of the morning. A stronger sense of identity and unity is already being felt among the multiethnic mega-flock, and several parishes have noticed a curious uptick of calls about RCIA programs in the weeks following the November consistory.
The Houston press -- which had, according to one local, primarily "covered [the archdiocese] when the news was bad" -- provided acres and hours of the finest, most enthusiastic elevation coverage ever seen on these shores. And most significantly of all, in the very city where the first Catholic president sought to assuage panicked Protestant clergymen that the White House wouldn't take its lead from the Apostolic Palace, some of the most effusive testimonies to the advent of a Roman prince have come from H-Town's ecumenical and interfaith communities.
Texas -- and Houston in particular -- likes to view itself as the "New America," and not without reason. With Catholics recently edging out Evangelicals as the state's largest religious group, the new America has bred a model of American Church gaining in strength, size and reputation, an ascendancy now recognized with the elevation of a new breed of American Cardinal -- the post-institutional prince of the church.
Some might still be stunned, but it all happened in plain view. It just took a flash of scarlet to emerge to the fore.
And to think: it's only just beginning.
* * *
"This is Sambi. Sit down."
At mid-morning on 15 October, DiNardo was checking out of an Oklahoma City hotel when the papal nuncio to Washington, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, reached the Texas prelate on his cell-phone.
Due to a calcium buildup that requires hearing-aids in both his ears, DiNardo rarely uses his mobile; it mostly collects his messages, which he checks intermittently on a land-line.
Seeing the nunciature number, however, he picked up.
Having sat, Sambi dropped the bomb, telling him to return immediately to Houston. And everything afterward became a blur.
The announcement would be made 40 hours later. He told no one. By 11am Wednesday, five hours after Benedict revealed his list of 23 new cardinals during his weekly General Audience, the phone messages had already piled up by the hundreds at the Houston chancery.
Literally overnight, the quiet, relatively low-key life DiNardo loved was over.
Slight but intense, in contrast to some of his more overpowering peers, the cardinal cuts an inconspicuous figure. This was the prelate who, after a long day at last year's November Meeting, sat quietly with his usual Pinot Grigio in a corner of the Baltimore Marriott lounge, clad in a plaid button-down shirt and khaki Tommy Hilfiger windbreaker as, at the center of the room, a score of his confreres held court in their day-dress of collars, suits and pectoral crosses.
The hearing-aids were turned down, and the lone figure -- indistinguishable were it not for the same iconographic gold band he'd worn since his episcopal ordination -- almost seemed to be at prayer.
He's not one to seek out attention. But seek him out and, like a light switch, the "nervous energy" jump-starts itself.
He's a figure of wild contrasts: the Basselin Scholar given to earthy, dynamic preaching from the middle of church aisles; fluent in Latin but devoted to the spirituality of the Eastern tradition; loved in the Curia but wary of the trappings of high office; the staunch defender of Summorum Pontificum who spent a whole week last summer "singing his head off" and mixing with attendees at the Indianapolis conference of the National Pastoral Musicians, of which he's episcopal liaison. (A music fan who's spoken of singing as "the elevation of the human voice," DiNardo's motto -- "Ave Crux Spes Unica" ("Hail, O Cross, Our Only Hope") -- is taken from a sixth-century Roman hymn.)
The catch-all nature has baffled more than a few. At his 1997 ordination as coadjutor-bishop of Sioux City, the clergy of the Iowa diocese attempted the standard practice of figuring out their boss-in-waiting from his choices of co-consecrators and attending chaplains.
The "read" might usually be a reliable indicator. On this occasion, however -- and to the frustration of the local clergy -- the exercise proved futile.
Assisting then-Siouxland Bishop Lawrence Soens were DiNardo's former ordinary, then-Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh, and the new bishop's classmate and longtime friend, then-Bishop Raymond Burke of LaCrosse.
The chaplains made for an even harder read. At one side stood the delicate, straight-laced Msgr Leonard Blair of Detroit, the onetime secretary of Cardinal Edmund Szoka and current bishop of Toledo. On the other was his best friend since high school -- the ponytailed, Harley-riding Fr Lou Vallone of Pittsburgh, known in the South for his proficiency at giving Black church revivals.
In the place he's spoken of as "14,000 square miles of cornfields, that just happened to contain 93,000 Catholics," the Iowans eventually came to recognize their bishop as "the most gifted man of the church we have ever experienced."
It was something they only would learn, however, once he hit the ground running.
* * *
In a column for Sioux City's diocesan paper, DiNardo once wrote of learning what true darkness was as he drove down Iowa roads to get home.
The straight, unlit drags through cornfields were a far cry from his hometown of Pittsburgh, and even further removed from the cramped and winding streets of Rome. But, so he says, it was in the Heartland that the onetime director of the English desk at the Congregation for Bishops actually learned how to be one.
In 1984, the newly-arrived bishop of Pittsburgh, Anthony Bevilacqua, found a request from the Vatican dicastery requesting one of his priests for a five-year tour of duty.
Bevilacqua's predecessor, Bishop Vincent Leonard -- who ordained DiNardo six years earlier -- invariably refused the feelers from Central Office. But the Brooklyn-born, Rome-trained canonist -- who would, in time, go on to become cardinal-archbishop of Philadelphia -- was more given to the bigger picture of the church than Leonard, a native son who, DiNardo said, "taught me the value of being local, of belonging to a place."
After a canvass of his senior staff, the bishop offered the assignment to DiNardo, then 34 and doing double-duty as vice-chancellor and a professor at St Paul Seminary.
Marked out from his high school days as a standout talent, he was no stranger to the Eternal City, having spent his seminary days at the Pontifical North American College, studying in turns at the Gregorian and the Augustinianum, where he earned his licentiate in Patristics. The timing of his return, however, would prove fortuitous.
In a historic move months earlier, Pope John Paul II had appointed Cardinal Bernardin Gantin to head the congregation. Born in Benin, Gantin was the first African ever named to lead one of the nine top-level offices overseeing the internal matters of the worldwide church.
As minutante, or desk officer, DiNardo was responsible for processing the case-files pertaining to episcopal appointments in the US, Canada, Britain and Australia. The reports would then go to the body's membership of cardinals, who would vote on a nominee to recommend to the Pope.
Since the dicastery's work was a topic of intense focus around the globe, the job didn't just require a work ethic diligent enough to pore through ceaseless reams of documentation -- the 1985 selection of a new archbishop of Los Angeles, for example, saw a dossier that measured some two feet high dropped on his desk -- but the utmost discretion, to boot.
Every public, and some not-so-public, details of candidates' lives and careers lay on the junior cleric's desk, and whatever he saw would have to go with him to the grave. And, day after day, the files gave their reader a unique glimpse into the church's universality. Even more usefully for the road ahead, it allowed him to see that the church in the States was less a monolith than a tapestry of cultures, administrative models, pastoral ideas and the faithful's needs. As if the day job (on the usual curial schedule of six days a week) wasn't enough, he took on two other commitments: the directorate of Villa Stritch, the residence for American priests in the Vatican apparatus, and an adjunct position on the faculty of the NAC.
Both on the job and off, DiNardo's qualities of mind and spirit won a keen admirer in Gantin, among other curial chiefs and staffers. As 1989 approached and the early birds outside the walls began speculating on possibilities for John Paul's successor, the African cardinal had appeared on not a few lists of papabili. More concretely, however, his American aide's five-year term was ending.
It could've been renewed, and seemingly would've been without a flinch. If not, that is, for one minor issue: having served his stint, the Pittsburgher wanted to go home, back to the life of a parish priest.
"Dan will obey, but he'll say what he wants," a friend noted. The almost unheard-of wish to bolt Rome for the trenches was something of a brutta figura move -- if anything, most curialists would give anything to spend their lives in the Vatican offices, a quality especially true of non-Italians. Then again, honesty was one of the traits that won him his superiors' regard to begin with, even if it cut both ways.
It took a year of resisting the attempts to keep him from leaving, but his bosses realized he wouldn't be changing his mind. In 1990, Wuerl -- who had succeeded Bevilacqua in the Steel City two years earlier -- named DiNardo co-pastor of an Italian parish, Madonna del Castello, on the outskirts of Pittsburgh.
At the time, friends recall him saying that "I've got everything I want in my life."
But there was more. Alongside the parish duties, he was named the diocese's #2 official in Wuerl's specialty area: education. DiNardo shared his bishop's devotion to catechesis -- one that, the former said, could only be rooted in "knowing the face of Christ" if it sought to be effective -- and to the formation of the young.
While Wuerl built a national following as the "education bishop," the younger official who ended up leapfrogging him to the Sacred College was honing his approach on ground level.
After four years juggling his first pastorate and the office, the teacher-prelate handed his lieutenant a new lesson.
Twenty miles outside Pittsburgh, the suburban community of Marshall Township was expanding at a rapid clip. In early 1994, Wuerl announced that 12 acres there would be home to a new parish, Saints John and Paul. Named in tribute to the then-pontiff -- who had ordained Wuerl to the episcopacy eight years earlier -- it also evoked the Passionist church on Rome's Coelian Hill (which, since 1946, has been the titular parish of the archbishops of New York). Appropriately, DiNardo was tapped to found it.
In his Whispers interview, the newly-named designate said that, among his models of ministry, one of the most powerful came from the pastor of his first parish assignment.
Fr Tom Marpes would always be on the lookout out for regulars who were missing from Sunday Mass. Without fail, the next afternoon found the Lebanese priest at the table in the rectory kitchen as he called the absentees -- not to chide, but simply to make sure they were OK.
"It might sound unusual today," his former associate said, "but it was his way of showing that he cared."
The example proved particularly useful in keeping tabs on a new community's growth. No buildings existed on the parish plot, so "Father Dan" -- though made a monsignor in Rome, he shirked the title -- and a core group from his 650 families began tracking down a starter site for Masses and offices, eventually nabbing a 300-seat makeshift "chapel" and two smaller rooms on the lower level of a local office complex.
While DiNardo came to realize the one easy part of founding a parish -- "you don't hear 'But, Father, we've done it this way for years' for the first six months" -- every so often, the ghost of Rome would reappear and see if he was still enjoying himself at home.
Just in case he wasn't, "something" -- most likely an episcopal appointment in the Curia -- could always be arranged. Gladly.
The pastor was happy and the parish was growing -- a return trip wasn't wanted or needed. But his fans along the Tiber hadn't given up finding something he'd finally see fit to accept.
* * *
By 1997, it was no secret in Rome that Gantin's 13-year stewardship of the Congregation for Bishops was nearing its end. He had been elected Dean of the College of Cardinals some years earlier, but longed to pull a DiNardo of his own and return to his homeland (a request John Paul would only approve when, after his 80th birthday in 2002, he retired from the latter post).
No curial don leaves office without shepherding a handful of cherished projects to fruition, and the Dean from Benin was no exception. His friend from Pittsburgh had been given seven years to live the dream and work quietly on the ground at home, but the reserved cardinal known for his prayerful spirit and gentle touch wouldn't go until he ensured that his former aide's talents had been put to the church's wider service.
By then, the task DiNardo once performed alone required not one Pennsylvanian, but two. The staff was on board, as were the four American cardinals who sat on the congregation's voting membership. And, in a facet that wouldn't come to full bloom until a decade later, undoubtedly aware of -- and sharing in -- the departing prefect's esteem for the Pittsburgher was the cardinal who was the congregation's best-prepared, most observant member: Gantin's closest ally in the Curia's top rank, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger.
Knowing of the candidate's fondness for intense study before acting, the pitch was sweetened by making his appointment not a direct one to the bishop's chair, but as successor-in-waiting to a cooperative 71 year-old ordinary, providing a learning period that would allow for the most seamless transition possible.
In the dead of summer, as much of Pittsburgh was making its annual pilgrimages to South Carolina and Stone Harbor, the call was placed to Marshall.
A year earlier, Fr Dan had overseen the completion of a multi-use building of classrooms, offices, a temporary church and pastor's apartment, and had the project's debt paid off within months.
The nominee had to check his atlas to find Sioux City. But this time, he accepted.
"We knew he wouldn't be here long," one Siouxlander said. As for what the new arrival brought to the table in a place that was "certainly not the center of the universal church," a local priest brimmed to overflowing.
"His intelligence, wit, and ability to passionately and persuasively preach the Gospel are unmatched," the cleric said.
"He is also a genuinely humble man -- there's no way that he could be unaware of his gifts, [but] he never made a fuss over himself, and was visibly uncomfortable when other people did.
"Before all else, he is a shepherd."
Without fail, the bishop cris-crossed the diocese relentlessly: present at every function, taking time with every person, sometimes getting an earful (and doing what he could about it), keeping contacts across the turf, and sticking around 'til the last person had gone. (The only people he was known to avoid: politicians... who tend to be especially abundant in Iowa every fourth winter.) The priests' monthly deanery meetings would be a double-bill of business and down-time with the Boss, small-group dinners were routine at the simple house in a suburban development he called home and, with his distaste for handlers, his entourage was never more than himself.
The mark of the pastor, however, lay away from the big-print. While churchfolk can easily be tempted to measure leadership by the yardsticks of grand initiatives, big numbers or public flourishes, the record shows none of these. A pastor knows that the commission to teach and preach -- to lead and give life -- isn't done in the wholesale, nor through policies, nor at the desk, but one by one, person to person. The policy is the Gospel, the most priceless asset is faith; live by and invest in those, and the rest just has a way of working itself out.
(The closest thing to a diocesan initiative DiNardo sought in Sioux City was an effort to train his priests in spiritual direction, with the hope that his clergy and the people could easily find regular, sound guidance.)
The bishop's interest in a low profile extended practically to everything outside his diocese. The congregation, however, kept its eye on Iowa, and barely five years after succeeding Soens as diocesan bishop, another phone call was being prepared.
By late 2003 -- after a spate of rumors had the Siouxland prelate in the mix for the bishopric of Brooklyn -- Gantin had gone home, replaced by his former second-in-command, Giovanni Battista Re. Ratzinger was still at the table, as were the four Americans. In the wake of the abuse earthquake of 2002, the nation's bishops felt under siege and, with American cases being placed under a closer microscope, the appointment process had started to go beyond the usual six to nine month time frame.
One succession, however, was settled before it could even be broached.
A leader of the US church's "good-governance" wing, as Bishop Joseph Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston approached his 73rd birthday in early 2004, he sent a letter to the congregation advising that it might want to start considering the appointment of a coadjutor for Texas' largest diocese.
The flock was booming at a staggering rate, with domestic transplants and an international mix of immigrants pouring in to an extent that the church was hard-pressed to keep pace with. A former president of the US bishops, Fiorenza often mused that he could open seven parishes the next morning -- if he had the priests to staff them. Religious and foreign clergy outnumbered the incardinated presbyterate by about 2 to 1. And on top of all that, already sharing the episcopal duties with two auxiliaries, the coming of an heir apparent would make the burden easier still.
Just two months after Fiorenza's note to Re, the native-son bishop was reportedly taken aback when the congregation sent word that his coadjutor had been named.
The bishop of Sioux City had never set foot in the Lone Star State. Heading to the home of the nation's second-largest Hispanic community, he couldn't speak Spanish extemporaneously.
But yet again, the vote of confidence was there where it counted -- and, yet again, the chattering circles registered barely a ripple as the design to make Houston the church's Southern hub had rolled into full gear.
There would be no dark roads in Southeast Texas. If anything, quite the opposite.
* * *
As in Sioux City, the deja vu coadjutor used the time to quietly visit each parish, take mental notes, get a feel for his new turf -- and, most importantly, dig in with the people. Or try to -- it was, after all, a mission-field with 15 times the faithful of Northeast Iowa.
Nine months after DiNardo's Texan welcome -- held in a large parish church as the 600-seat Houston co-cathedral was deemed too small -- the future came into an even wider view.
During the Christmas Octave of 2004, as John Paul's declining health loomed ominously over the Catholic world, the state's longtime metropolitan, Archbishop Patrick Flores of San Antonio, retired, with the Denver auxiliary Jose Gomez (a longtime Houston hand before his appointment to the Rockies) named to succeed him. But simultaneously, for the first time since 1980, an American province was split up -- San Antonio would keep the western seven suffragans of what had been the global church's largest metropolitan jurisdiction as the eastern six were siphoned off to the newly-elevated archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Within a matter of years, a chain of events unseen in US Catholicism since the overnight explosions of the dioceses of Los Angeles and Detroit in the early 1940s quickly became evident: first, the population rose, then the caliber of leadership, a pallium appeared... and the rest -- i.e. the red -- would soon follow.
Having visited all but a few of the new archdiocese's 149 parishes over the course of his two-year apprenticeship, on Mardi Gras 2006 -- ironically enough, also Opening Day of the city's biggest annual event: the renowned Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo -- DiNardo became the second archbishop as the newly-elected Benedict XVI accepted Fiorenza's retirement. To mark the transition, the new chief issued a video message via the archdiocesan website and set out immediately to work.
His journey to the corner office completed, the mental notes he'd been taking quickly became action items. Gently, but firmly, they came to light: insufficiently reverent tabernacle placements were to be rectified, and liturgical norms adhered to more faithfully; permanent deacons would start receiving assignments to archdiocesan ministries in addition to their parish duties; even more resources would be poured into young adult ministry -- and, especially given the dearth of homegrown clergy, priests belonged in the parishes, not the chancery.
The venue might've changed, his profile raised mightily, but the man and his hallmarks stayed the same: never an MC, driver, or priest-secretary hovering over him, no desire for a national profile or responsibilities outside the diocese (except NPM), out among the people whenever possible, appraised of the doings in the office but not immersed in them; and, when his presence was sought, seldom (if ever) saying "no."
As in Sioux City, following his succession the archbishop took up residence at another simple, small house, this time at St Mary's Seminary. (His first Houston home, however, was humbler still; Fiorenza had allotted his coadjutor a spartan two-room flat on the chancery's top floor.) Reflecting its occupant's Eastern affinity, iconography now decorates the chapel of the traditional Archbishop's Residence, which boasts just one accoutrement not often seen in his parishes -- a chalice veil.
His collaborators have described him in turns as "a gift of God," "a truly holy man," and "one who personifies Christ's love for the church." But that doesn't mean the experience has been without its bumps.
At a priests' gathering shortly after taking the reins from Fiorenza, DiNardo made a point of underscoring his seriousness about rubrics and well-celebrated liturgy. Channeling Dirty Harry, those who did otherwise were, he said, welcome to "make my day."
The remark sparked outrage among segments of the presbyterate. When asked about it at a subsequent convocation, he apologized. In the end, his ability to admit an error ended up earning more goodwill than the initial quote could've drained. Two years later, after pressure from his staff forced the naming of a priest-secretary on his elevation, he apologized again to his presbyteral council for drawing on the archdiocese's clerical resources. (The choice of aide fell on Fr Gerald Goodrum, who Fiorenza ordained in 2005.)
Not the greatest enthusiast for the administrative end of the office, the reshuffle of the archdiocese's central staff is ongoing. Keeping with the aim to not place any further strain on the already-stretched demand for clergy, Bishop Joe Vasquez -- the lone active auxiliary -- serves as chancellor and, in a first, DiNardo named a laywoman, Christina Deajon, as Vasquez's deputy on his first day in office. (A former assistant counsel to the archdiocese, Deajon is believed to be the highest-ranking African-American layperson serving in a US chancery.) At present, the archdiocese's top two financial posts are in the process of being filled.
He delegates authority willingly and expects the best -- and as one aide who's seen him in office mode put it, were anything less delivered, "I wouldn't want to be on his bad side."
That firmness, however, finds its flip-side in creativity. While many of his confreres either panicked at or turned a blind eye to the 2006 Vatican ruling revoking the permission for lay liturgical ministers to participate in the purification of vessels, the now-cardinal came up with a "third way" solution that both complied with the policy while avoiding post-Communion chaos, establishing a diocesan program for the formation of acolytes. Married men can be admitted to the order, and instituted acolytes were still permitted to care for the vessels by universal law.
While the predominant response sought to criticize the policy-change as pastorally insensitive or excessively rigid, a practical solution was present in the rubrics all along, it just took a bit of investment at the outset.
The Houston prelate saw the opening and ran with it. How many others did is anyone's guess.
* * *
As he was in 1997 and 2003, Joseph Ratzinger was back at the personnel table earlier this year when DiNardo's name came up. This time, however, his was the lone vote that mattered.
Never one to forget a name or face, Benedict XVI first met the young priest from Pittsburgh as he took notes for Gantin at the bilateral meetings between the top officials of the CDF and Bishops. The staff's job was to remain inconspicuous. Clearly, though, enough of an impression had been made.
Back in the States, the names proffered for the red hat were primarily the old guard of the church: Washington, St Louis, Baltimore. Not a few advocated San Antonio -- US Catholicism's Hispanic seat -- and Gomez as the more likely choice should a red hat travel. But in the end, alongside the chiefs of the Curia and the heads of the marquee sees of Paris, Bombay, Nairobi and Barcelona, it was Galveston-Houston's chief pastor who got the nod, completing its rapid ascent to the top tier of the global church.
But some things were still more important -- at least, for the figure at the center of the storm. As the chaos of Announcement Day bore down and cameras swarmed the chancery for a hastily-called, exuberant press conference (fullvideo), DiNardo kept a commitment to attend the installation of a Protestant pastor in the city. The following afternoon, with the frantic plans for the unprecedented consistory pilgrimage just beginning to take shape, he refused to miss a priest's funeral.
Twice a coadjutor, one thing DiNardo never had was a proper installation as a diocesan bishop. He ended up with a coronation instead as, over Thanksgiving Weekend, the threads of his life converged in the Eternal City.
To the amusement of Vallone's longtime sidekick, the sight of a cassocked cleric with a ponytail provided enough of an attraction to keep the crowd under control as almost a thousand well-wishers queued up for a moment with the new cardinal at the traditional post-consistory reception in the Apostolic Palace. And earlier that day, as the bareheaded cardinal-designate processed down the main aisle of St Peter's with the other 22 honorees, another pilgrim took to shouting "Hey, DiNardo!" over the basilica's barricades.
On his way to be inducted into the Roman clergy, the voice of Marshall was calling.
Since departing his founding pastorate for Sioux City, Fr Dan's initial flock of 650 families had more than tripled at Sts. John and Paul, and Fr Joe McCaffrey had been tasked with the construction of a permanent church.
Spotted by his onetime spiritual director, "he shouted back," McCaffrey told a local paper, "asking how things are at the parish."
Led by his twin sister, Peg, his three siblings and their families were there, as was his ordination classmate David Zubik, now Pittsburgh's 12th bishop, with a planeload from the Steel City. A low-profile retirement couldn't keep Bevilacqua from seeing the first of his proteges to don the "sacred purple" alongside him, and from the Heartland where he learned what episcopal ministry was all about, a group of 40 from Sioux City -- including his successor, Bishop Walker Nickless -- descended to honor the first American cardinal whose road wound through Iowa.
But for all these, the week belonged to the upwards of 700 Texans. The group's diversity and excitement turned heads even among their fellow cheering-sections, and as their chants bounced off the city's walls, one longtime Vatican hand said the "radiant" Houston crowd had provided the natives with a much-appreciated sign -- that, for all the bad headlines of recent years, "the church in America is still very much alive."
The show of unity wasn't a one-off occurrence. "Everyone really gets along here," DiNardo said shortly after the elevation was announced, ticking off a list of the archdiocese's cultural groups: the Hispanic majority, a historically prominent African-American contingent, vibrant Vietnamese and Filipino communities, the world's largest concentration of Nigerians outside their home country, and more.
Almost since the beginning, tensions between rival ethnic factions have been a mainstay of the church's American journey... that is, until the Southwest.
The region's newest honor isn't just papal recognition of a metropolis and its momentum, but of the energized, collaborative model that, following generations of Establishment suspicion, earned Southern Catholicism a place at the civic table not through confrontation, coercion or compromise, but a commitment to the common good and the credibility of its witness.
* * *
Returning home exhausted from the feeding frenzy of Consistory Week, the new cardinal received a card from a grade-schooler that summed up the expectations ahead.
"Congratulations, Cardinal," it said. "Now get to work."
Just when he thought his 2008 plans were "worked out," DiNardo told his flock that "a number of things have now been turned topsy-turvy.
"It should be an interesting time in the year ahead," he said. "I really need your prayers!"
As it wasn't just a matter of weeks ago, the ecclesiastical spotlight now rests squarely on what its new prince has termed the "happy chaos" of Houston, of Texas and the wider South.
The archdiocese's marquee event of the year -- the early April dedication of its first permanent Houston hub, the $64 million, 2,000-seat Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart -- now takes on the dynamics of a national, even international, event.
From near and far, the invites and requests have already increased, as has his public prominence on the local circuit, the once-averted political niceties included.
Earlier this week, DiNardo offered the invocation as Houston Mayor Bill White was sworn in for his third term. In mid-December, as Texas Gov. Rick Perry hosted a "private" lunch for 400 to welcome the new cardinal home, the guest of honor used the statewide coverage of the Austin event to tackle the controversial topic of immigration, advocating the moral imperative of family reunification and saying that "punitive measures alone" to the end of protecting the nation's borders "are going to be ultimately ineffective and, I think, counterproductive."
But, again, the ride is just beginning.
At 58, the youngest American cardinal elevated in nearly two decades has another 22 years of eligibility in a conclave. With 15 of the US' 17 red-hats now older than 71, his seniority in the top rank will accrue quickly. What's more, as the undisputed head of the Stateside church's most dynamic region and leader of the second-largest state grouping of the nation's Catholics, his potential degree of national influence -- already evidenced by the deference accorded him at November's USCCB plenary -- could be without peer.
Well, to the degree he seeks to use it. Time is, after all, on his side.
Seemingly overnight, much has changed for the pastor-turned-"Cardinardo." But the mind and approach of his parish roots remain unscathed.
Keen to put one on his rectory wall, a Houston priest recently asked his boss when his formal portrait in the scarlet would be ready. Never a fan of flashbulbs, DiNardo told him there were bigger things to think about -- even in the purple, he said "it's still me." (Six weeks since the consistory, the shot has remained untaken.)
And as he preached from the aisle to a group of young people, another of his clerics was overheard muttering that "This guy should be teaching high school religious ed., not running a diocese."
The line was intended as a slight. But as the nation's hierarchy struggles to restore its credibility, an American cardinal couldn't ask for a better compliment.
Governor, dignitaries welcome Texas' first cardinal of Catholic Church
Dec 14, 2007
Just over two weeks ago, at the Vatican in Rome, Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese, bent down to kiss the ring of Pope Benedict XVI at ceremonies to install DiNardo and 22 others as the newest cardinals of the Catholic Church.
(MyWestTexas.com, 12/13/2007) AUSTIN -- Just over two weeks ago, at the Vatican in Rome, Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese, bent down to kiss the ring of Pope Benedict XVI at ceremonies to install DiNardo and 22 others as the newest cardinals of the Catholic Church.
"I said to the pope, 'Holy Father, the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston loves you and wishes to be in communion with you,' and Pope Benedict looked at me and said, 'Texas needed a cardinal.'"
The story met with the loud approval of some 400 Catholics, interfaith representatives and Austin politicos gathered Wednesday at a luncheon, hosted by Gov. Rick Perry and honoring DiNardo, who with his installation last month became the first-ever cardinal, or "prince" of the Catholic Church from Texas.
DiNardo, who made it known as recently as during his time as archbishop, that he still preferred to be called "Father Dan," humbly gave credit to Joseph Fiorenza, his predeccesor as archbishop in the Galveston-Houston archdiocese.
"I feel I should take the red hat they gave me as cardinal, cut it in half and give half it it to Archbishop Fiorenza," DiNardo said.
Fiorenza, former Bishop of San Angelo, the diocese encompassing Midland-Odessa, presided over "the intense growth of the Catholic presence in the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston," according to DiNardo.
"He retired, and had to sit back and watch as the kid from Pittsburgh got the red hat," DiNardo quipped.
There are seven million Catholics in the state of Texas with nearly 80,000 in the San Angelo Diocese.
DiNardo noted a number of issues he would continue to work for as cardinal, including health care, working conditions, immigration, and pro-life issues, which all 15 bishops in the state work on passionately and in tandem.
"All these issues I find important and will work for, and I think I can state it all by saying we want to promote the human person," DiNardo said.
Formerly bishop of Sioux City, Iowa, who began his work in the church as a priest in Pittsburgh, DiNardo said he felt the pope has recognized that the state of Texas is crucial to the dimension and dynamic Catholic presence in the world. DiNardo said he hopes to work closely with Pope Benedict "as he has become an increasingly strong voice in his first two years in office for peace and accord among all nations."
DiNardo also said he felt part of the pope's reasoning for appointing him as a prelate was to take advantage of his leadership in the southern region of the United States, using it as a way to join the two Americas together and therefore further perpetuating the concept of what DiNardo calls "global faith and reason," taking advantage of the love and devotion of Catholics in the southern hemispehere with the progressive nature often found of those in the northern hemisphere.
DiNardo, who will continue to serve as archbishop of Galveston-Houston and in that capacity will serve as leader of that region's Catholics, joked that he wasn't sure exactly what roles he would be given as cardinal, but said, "As soon as I find out I'll let all of you know." Showing his jovial nature and sense of humor throughout his brief talk, DiNardo said his job now is to attend the untold number of functions being held in his honor and "try to look halfway intelligent in front of all these great Catholics."
"Honor is given me, but honor is also given to the dynamic Catholic presence in the state of Texas," he said. "We are now some seven million. We have taken our place in terms of working for the common good with the people of this state and to the extent that I can contribute to that, I want to do that."
In his introduction, Perry said DiNardo was "living proof that the Catholic faith is alive and well in Texas, and called DiNardo a man of faith, wisdom, courage and service; a blessing to our state and an inspiration to everyone."
Speaking with the media afterward, DiNardo said his notes of congratulations were numerous, but one in particular was memorable.
"I received one from a child at a school who wrote, 'Congratulations, cardinal. Now get to work.' "
New U.S. cardinal calls on flock to be energetic disciples like Mary
Dec 07, 2007
Celebrating a Mass of thanksgiving in his "favorite church in Rome," Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston asked his family, friends and flock to be energetic disciples like Mary was.
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
ROME (CNS, 27/11/2007) -- Celebrating a Mass of thanksgiving in his "favorite church in Rome," Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston asked his family, friends and flock to be energetic disciples like Mary was.
The congregation burst into applause when Cardinal DiNardo told them that, when he greeted Pope Benedict XVI after a Nov. 26 audience at the Vatican, the pope said "Texas needs a cardinal."
Joined by his brother and sister, friends from Pennsylvania and Ohio, and hundreds of pilgrims from Texas, the cardinal celebrated Mass Nov. 27 in the Basilica of St. Mary Major, which he said was "my favorite church in Rome since the day I walked in here in 1972 as a first-year student at the (Pontifical) North American College," the U.S. seminary in Rome.
Cardinal DiNardo said the basilica is a place where one is overwhelmed by beauty and serenity, rather than by majesty and space. It is the beauty of the story of God becoming human in Jesus Christ when Mary said yes, he said.
In the Gospel of Luke, he said, "everyone is always on a journey and traveling," beginning with Mary who goes to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, almost immediately after the angel Gabriel proclaims she will give birth to Jesus.
"Everything about the Virgin Mary in the Gospel of Luke is dynamic. There are people who have said that somehow the Virgin Mary is passive. You could never get that from the Gospel. There is always energetic acceptance" of God's will in her life and her action, he said.
"Mary is our queen and our mother," Cardinal DiNardo said. "She is the energy of the church. I beg you to stay close to her as she keeps pushing us in her Magnificat to magnify the Lord and to do his will."
Cardinal DiNardo and his group were welcomed to the basilica by Cardinal Bernard F. Law, the former archbishop of Boston who serves as archpriest of St. Mary Major. In addition to offering his prayers for Cardinal DiNardo, he also asked the congregation to pray for the success of the Middle East peace conference taking place in Annapolis, Md.
The Land of the Free... and the Home of the Red
Nov 25, 2007
With today's elevation of Cardinals John Foley and Daniel DiNardo, the all-time number of US prelates added to the Roman clergy now stands at 46 since John McCloskey of New York received the red hat in 1875.
Whispers in the Loggia, Saturday, November 24, 2007
The Land of the Free... and the Home of the Red
With today's elevation of Cardinals John Foley and Daniel DiNardo, the all-time number of US prelates added to the Roman clergy now stands at 46 since John McCloskey of New York received the red hat in 1875.
The new additions, however, set a record -- 17 American cardinals in all, thirteen of whom may vote in a hypothetical conclave.
DiNardo is the first US cardinal under 60 and the first Italian-American to be named to the college since Roger Mahony and Anthony Bevilacqua respectively brought those distinctions to the table in 1991. Foley is but the second Curial "lifer" from the States to enter the papal senate -- and, just like Cardinal Francis Brennan (the longtime dean of the Roman Rota elevated in 1967) before him, he's a Philadelphian. The River City can now boast of four native sons who've ended up in red, while DiNardo's hometown of Pittsburgh has its second.
Immediately following the consistory, as the rain teemed outside, the American honorees were quickly hustled up the Janiculum Hill to a press conference at the Pontifical North American College, where the "private" afternoon receptions were held for a combined crowd numbering about 2,000.
The National Catholic Reporter's John Allen has rushed a transcript of the meeting -- most of which, in keeping with the exuberant feeling of the day, kept things quite light.
Opening Remarks by Cardinal John Foley: I’ve been told I’m supposed to go first. I think I can speak for Cardinal DiNardo in saying that we’re very grateful to our Holy Father for this great honor, not to us personally but to the church in the United States. We’ve been very well-received by our fellow members of the College of Cardinals, and many of the American members of the College are here today. As one who has worked with the media for so many years, I’m grateful and happy to see so many of you here. It’s a pleasure to see you. Thank you for all the kind things you’ve said about both of us in these days. I said to John Allen yesterday that it’s nice to be canonized without the inconvenience of dying! We’re very grateful for all of your kindness and thoughtfulness and support. We ask you for your prayers. I know that both of us will be available to you as much as we can in these days. Forgive me for asking to be seated at this time, but some bug struck me a couple days ago and I haven’t been in the best possible shape. I’m just trying to survive through the ceremonies. Thank you for your understanding and your patience. I now give you to the man who was my boss here in Rome a number of years ago as director of Villa Stritch, where I live, the residence for American priests who work at the Vatican. Cardinal DiNardo was so kind to me when I celebrated my 25th anniversary as a priest. He had a special dinner for me, and invited other people. He was always very gracious, very thoughtful, so God has rewarded him for his goodness!
Opening Remarks by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo: I think Cardinal Foley has spoken for us both in saying how grateful we all are, first to the Holy Father, and to God’s people. We’re both humbled too by receiving this title, this honor. I would want to add along with Cardinal Foley my gratitude to those of you here with the press. I especially want to thank the press from Houston, if you don’t mind a plug, because they’ve come here from the city of Houston. It is a distinctive honor for not just Texas, but the whole south of the United States, but certainly for Houston. I’m very proud that a cardinal from the south has been named. It’s an honor, a responsibility, and pretty humbling for this kid from Pittsburgh. I’ve been so warmly accepted by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, and now to be selected to be a cardinal of the church. I’m delighted. It was a wonderful celebration today, beautiful words of the gospel, beautiful interpretation by the Holy Father today. Thank you.
Cardinal DiNardo, what did you think when the Holy Father put the biretta on your head?
I wanted to be very composed in terms of the sacred moment, but I have to admit at the very moment he put it on, my zucchetto was falling off. I had to push it back up. Once I stood up, he had a great smile when he said Pax Domini, “the peace of the Lord be with you.” That smile, that encouragement, were a great moment for me today.
Cardinal Foley, when you were the editor of the Catholic Standard and Times up there on the ninth floor of 222 17th Street, did you ever think you’d be wearing the red hat of a cardinal?
No, but I thank the members of the Catholic Press Association for having given me the clothes I’m wearing today! Is that your way of slipping that in? Bob Zyskowski is the President of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, and he worked for me in Philadelphia lo these many years ago, so he’s made good. Thank you. Do I look alright, by the way?
Both of you have given your lives to the church. Cardinal DiNardo first and then Cardinal Foley, would you say this is the happiest day of your lives?
DiNardo: It’s a very, very happy day of my life, but I’m going to be as frank with you as I can. The happiest day of my life was the day as a bishop I ordained my first priest. No day will probably ever equal that. I say that [because] it just simply affected me more than anything. But to receive this great title from the Holy Father … it’s really quite special. To have my family present, as well as the family of the church from Houston and Pittsburgh and Sioux City, made it an extremely fine, fine moment. So it’s on the edge of the happiest day of my life.
Foley: I also was on the edge of the happiest, but the happiest day was my ordination as a priest. That’s it. I keep saying that I’ve never had an unhappy day as a priest, and I mean that. It’s been a wonderful, wonderful blessing … including today!...
Cardinal DiNardo, as somebody who came into Texas from the outside, can you talk a little bit about what you’ve learned about Catholicism in Texas and the southwest, and what this day means for Catholics there?
Houston had half the number of Catholics twenty years ago that it has right now. There has been an incredible growth of various nations and peoples, plus people from other parts of the United States who have come in to the southwest, to the south, and specifically to the area around Galveston-Houston-Austin. They bring with them experiences of the Catholic faith, of their respective nations, which has been an enrichment to us. That’s particularly [the case] when you think of those from various parts of South America, and from the Pacific … Vietnamese, Filipinos, Chinese, Koreans. I see that as a great enrichment. What it has allowed us to do, but it’s also a challenge, is to see that the unity of faith can be maintained with a wide variety of cultures around. However, it requires purposive work to do that. The challenge I see in Houston is to celebrate the richness we have, with this great diversity and expressions of Catholicism. That’s also why I’m delighted that there’s a red hat. The unity of faith with the Holy Father is also extremely crucial if we’re going to keep all this working together.
I say this with great pride, that Houston to my mind in the Catholic church there strikes me as ‘happy chaos.’ It’s not the chaos of no one knows what’s going on, but the chaos of great enrichment. Coming from outside, I’ve been delighted and very impressed, particularly with the young people of the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Let’s not forget, may I also add, that there’s a rich tradition already in Houston of African-American Catholic culture, from Louisiana. That should be noted.
Cardinal Foley, you’ve been known as the voice of the Vatican through your Christmas and Easter commentaries during the televised Masses. Is there any way, with your new duties as a cardinal and with the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, that you’ll be able to continue that?
Foley: The Cardinal Secretary of State told me I could continue that, so God willing, at Christmas you’ll hear the ghost of Christmas past. By the way, not only that, but I had been previously invited to go to Houston for the dedication of their new co-cathedral and do television commentary for that. I said yes, and I’m going to keep that promise … whether he [DiNardo] wants me or not!
DiNardo: We always want you, Cardinal Foley. It’ll be good to see you, and to have a professional who knows what he’s doing.
Do you know when you’ll take possession of your titular churches, and do you know anything about them?...
Foley: My church is San Sebastiano al Palatino. It’s supposed to be the site of the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, who was first pierced with many arrows and nursed back to health. When they found he had been nursed back to health, they invited him again to worship the emperor, and when he refused to do so, he was beaten to death. His body was thrown into a drain right near where the titular church is. Then his body was taken out and buried at San Sebastiano on the Appian Way. So, San Sebastiano al Palatino is built on the site of the martyrdom, not where the saint is buried. It’s a very ancient church. It was redone in the 16th century, but it goes back much further than that.
Unity of faith with pope among goals for archdiocese
Nov 25, 2007
After kneeling before the pope as an archbishop and rising a "prince" of the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo said Saturday he felt humbled and honored.
Unity of faith with pope among goals for archdiocese
By TARA DOOLEY
Houston Chronicle, November 25, 2007
THE VATICAN — After kneeling before the pope as an archbishop and rising a "prince" of the Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo said Saturday he felt humbled and honored.
"It is a distinctive honor, not just for Texas, but the whole South of the United States, and certainly for Houston," the leader of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said. "We are proud of it, that the first cardinal ever in the South has been named. It is honor, responsibility and pretty humbling for this kid from Pittsburgh."
In a ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica, DiNardo officially joined the College of Cardinals, the top rank of the Catholic clergy. Its duties include advising the pope and eventually electing his successor.
Before an audience of thousands that had a gathered from around the world in the central basilica of its faith, Pope Benedict XVI gave 23 men including DiNardo the red hat symbolizing their new role. He told them that they must be willing to shed their blood for the faith.
The hat is "red as a sign of the dignity of the office of a cardinal, signifying that you are ready to act with fortitude, even to the point of spilling your blood for the increase of the Christian faith," the pope said.
DiNardo, a priest ordained in Pittsburgh and transplanted to Houston to lead 1.3 million Catholics, climbed the white marble steps to the altar. He knelt before Pope Benedict and was given a zucchetto, a red skullcap. The pope, draped in white and gold robes, placed the three-pointed biretta on DiNardo's head.
Applause from Houston-area residents traveled from the back of the basilica as DiNardo walked away from the altar, securing the new hat on his head.
"I wanted to be very composed in terms of the sacred moment, but I have to admit at the very moment he put it on, my zucchetto was falling off," DiNardo said after the ceremony. "I had to push it back up. But once I stood up, he had a great smile, and he said, 'Peace of the Lord be with you.' And his smile and his encouragement were a great moment for me."
The nearly two-hour ceremony began with remarks from the pope followed by the reading of the names of the new cardinals, who came from countries including France, Spain, Ireland, India, Mexico and Brazil. As each name was read, cheers went up from different sections of the basilica.
When the pontiff called DiNardo's name, Texans made their voices heard.
"I think Houston had the biggest" cheer, said Greg Friend of Spring, who was in the basilica for the first time with his wife, Beth. "I'm pretty sure we were the loudest."
Among the new cardinals was the Patriarch of Babylon for the Chaldeans, Emmanuel III Delly of Iraq. In his homily, Pope Benedict spoke of concern, affinity and solidarity with the Christian community in that country.
"Our brothers and sisters in faith are experiencing in the flesh the dramatic consequences of a continuing conflict and are living in an extremely fragile and delicate political situation," the pope said to applause from the crowd.
The number of cardinals in the college is now 201, including 120 who are younger than 80, the age at which a cardinal is no longer eligible to vote for the next pope.
DiNardo's appointment makes him the first to join the College of Cardinals from an archdiocese in the southern United States. In his remarks at a news conference after the ceremony, he talked about his experience in Houston since he arrived as coadjutor bishop in March 2004 and his new role. He described the cultural diversity of Catholic expression as "happy chaos."
"The challenge I see in Houston is to celebrate the richness we have in this great diversity of expression of Catholicism," he said. "But to remember — that is why I'm delighted that there is a red hat — that the unity of the faith with the Holy Father is also extremely crucial if you are going to keep all this working."
Saturday's ceremony originally was scheduled for St. Peter's Square. But Vatican officials moved the event inside, fearing rain, which didn't start to fall until after the service concluded.
Not all of the more than 500 travelers from the Houston area were able to make their way inside the basilica. Angelica Govea, 25, of Houston saw some of her group make the cut, but she was left outside to watch the ceremony on big-screen televisions in the square.
DiNardo and the new cardinals will return to St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday for the "Mass of the Rings," in which the pope will present each of them with a ring that symbolizes their connection to him.
In addition to his role as an adviser and papal elector, DiNardo also was assigned as the titular head of a church in Rome, St. Eusebius Catholic Church. DiNardo said he would not take immediate possession of it.
After the traditional ceremony with the pope, happy chaos ruled at a reception for DiNardo and visitors from his archdiocese at the Pontifical North American College, the American seminary in Rome.
For nearly two hours, the new Cardinal DiNardo greeted crowds of Houston-area faithful, shaking hands, exchanging hugs and posing for endless photos.
Families gathered around him for a memorable photo. A Spanish-speaking group periodically broke out in cheers as they processed through the receiving line.
"Se ve, se siente, DiNardo está presente," one group chanted. Or in English:
"You see it, you feel it, DiNardo is present."
DiNardo's change from archbishop to cardinal was not immediately easy for Kristine Gomez, 23, who came from Houston for the event. It was especially hard as she cheered for DiNardo as he processed out of the basilica.
"He finally came out and I said 'Archbish ... I mean Cardinal DiNardo,' " she said.
New cardinal from Texas ponders role in Catholic faith
Nov 19, 2007
The state's first Roman Catholic cardinal says that for now his primary duties will remain leading the 1.3 million Catholics in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston as well as pursuing his interest in Catholic education on a national level.
(The Associated Press, Nov. 18, 2007) HOUSTON — Some cardinals have used the spotlight to address social and political concerns, but others have carefully tried to avoid it.
Archbishop Daniel N. DiNardo said that on broader issues, he expects that Houston's diverse religious and ethnic landscape would draw him into more interreligious dialogue and issues of immigration.
"I guess I'm telling you in a way, that I haven't discovered any one thing yet, but this thing will probably grow," DiNardo said. "I'm relatively new. Who knows what will happen? I'd like to keep open to the spirit as we say."
DiNardo leaves Houston on Monday for a Vatican ceremony that will welcome him into the top ranks of Roman Catholic clerics.
On Saturday, DiNardo will kneel before Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square and accept the red biretta that symbolizes his membership in the College of Cardinals.
The cardinals take on additional duties at the Vatican and sometimes serve as advisers to the pope. DiNardo will be among 120 members younger than 80 who one day will choose Benedict's successor.
DiNardo describes himself as a traditionalist, a cleric in line with the doctrinal teachings of the church and its traditions.
On the church's positions against abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research, DiNardo said he would "be not only down the line but absolutely convinced of it."
But Catholic teachings and DiNardo's opinions on topics such as immigration would be considered relatively liberal by U.S. standards, he said.
"We put in our statements that a country needs to protect its borders," DiNardo said, "but the overly punitive way in which the issue of immigration reform is being handled today is just unworkable."
DiNardo will have plenty to do as administrator of the Galveston-Houston archdiocese, said the Rev. Leon Strieder, an associate professor of liturgy and sacraments at the University of St. Thomas School of Theology at St. Mary's Seminary in Houston.
"He hasn't done all that much in terms of the world stage," said Strieder, who has known DiNardo since they were students in Rome in 1972. "I think he is very much at the beginning. I will be curious to see what all he ends up doing."
DiNardo's new position gives him a visible platform from which to speak his mind.
"DiNardo is going to have to figure that out for himself, what kind of role he wants to play," said the Rev. Thomas J. Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. "There is no question that a man in a red hat sticks out in a crowd."
Cardinal-Designate's Family Prepares For Vatican Trip
Nov 13, 2007
Next Monday, 11 members of Cardinal Designate Daniel DiNardo's family will make the pilgrimage to Rome to see their loved one receive the red hat, KPRC Local 2 reported Tuesday.
(Click2Houston.com, November 13, 2007) HOUSTON -- The humble boy from Pittsburgh will become one of the princes of the Catholic Church.
DiNardo's twin sister, Peg Riesmeyer, told KPRC Local 2, "No way could I have anticipated this particular blessing on him and on our family, so it's extraordinary. We're thrilled."
Riesmeyer is older than her brother, whom she calls Dan, by just 9 minutes.
She said DiNardo, 56, was drawn to the church at a very young age and even said mass daily at a homemade altar in his childhood home.
Riesmeyer added, "We always knew that he was going to be a priest and I wasn't even as surprised when he became a bishop because I always thought he had the qualities to be a good bishop."
Riesmeyer said she will never forget that phone call just after 5 a.m. when her brother told her he'd been chosen to become a cardinal.
She said, "You always think there's something wrong when you get a phone call at 5 in the morning, but Dan called and first thing he said was 'This is not bad. Don't worry.' And then told us that he had been named a cardinal and it was just a stunning moment."
The family can only imagine how DiNardo's parents, Nicholas and Jane, now deceased, would react to his achievement.
Riesmeyer said, "That to me is one of the biggest thrills is how happy they would be. They were elated when he became a bishop, that their son received those honors, so I can imagine that they are just rejoicing in heaven that this happened to their son."
Archbishop DiNardo currently oversees a flock of 1.3 million Roman Catholics within the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
Next week, he will become the state's first Cardinal.
Steubenville Native Named Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI
Oct 20, 2007
Daniel N. DiNardo, one of 23 new cardinals appointed Wednesday by Pope Benedict XVI, is a Steubenville native.
(theintelligencer.net, October 20, 2007) STEUBENVILLE — DiNardo was born in Steubenville in 1949 to Nicholas and Jane Green DiNardo. He and the 22 other cardinals-elect will receive their red hats from Benedict in a Vatican ceremony on Nov. 24.
Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of the Diocese of Steubenville knows DiNardo from serving with him on the board of St. Vincent’s Seminary in Latrobe and from participation in events and meetings of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Diocesan spokeswoman Pat DeFrancis said DiNardo would often remind Conlon that he was born in Steubenville and because of that connection, Conlon and DiNardo routinely had conversations when they were together at events. Conlon most recently saw the cardinal-elect at the installation of Bishop David A. Zubik in Pittsburgh on Sept. 28.
“It is a great honor for the church of the United States and the church here in Steubenville that a native son has been made cardinal,” Conlon said.
DiNardo’s elevation came as a surprise to some church observers, but others said it shows an awareness on the part of the pope that growth in the Catholic church in the U.S. is coming in the Latin American areas. DiNardo has been serving as leader of the Galveston-Houston archdiocese.
“It says something about Texas and how wonderful Texas is in the terms of the growth of our Catholic faith,” DiNardo said.
Like many Catholic dioceses in the South, the Galveston-Houston area has witnessed a influx of the faithful from Mexico and Central America in recent years — so much so that it was upgraded to an archdiocese. There are about 7 million Roman Catholics in Texas, about 1.3 million of whom live in the Galveston-Houston archdiocese.
The new cardinals come from five continents and include Vatican officials, academics, church diplomats and archbishops. Eighteen of the new cardinals are under age 80 and eligible to vote in a conclave; five others, including the patriarch of Baghdad, were named in recognition of their service to the church.
The appointments bring the number of U.S. cardinals to 17 — second only to Italy — and increases the American contingent’s clout in any conclave to elect a future pontiff.
The other American appointed Wednesday was Archbishop John Foley, a longtime Vatican official who recently was named grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, a lay religious community that aims to protect the rights of the Roman Catholic Church in the Holy Land.
In addition to the Americans, Benedict named the archbishops of Paris; Mumbai, India; Nairobi, Kenya; Valencia, Spain; Barcelona, Spain; Monterrey, Mexico; Dakar, Senegal and Sao Paulo, Brazil; and the primate of Ireland, as well as a handful of Italians.
Benedict also named five prelates over age 80 who he said deserved particular merit, including the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, Emmanuel III Delly. Delly has been outspoken about the need to protect minority Christians from Iraq’s spiraling violence — a concern voiced repeatedly by Benedict in recent months.
Wednesday marked the second time Benedict has named new cardinals. His first consistory was held in March 2006, and he said Wednesday he hoped to name more in the future.
Cardinals have been the sole electors of the pontiff for nearly 1,000 years and it remains their most important job. For centuries, they have chosen the pope from their own ranks, as they did on April 19, 2005, when they tapped Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI.
Texan on list of new cardinals
Oct 18, 2007
Choice of Houston cleric shows state's importance to Vatican.
(The Dallas Morning News, October 18, 2007) Pope Benedict XVI is elevating the archbishop in Houston to cardinal, a historic first that church officials and scholars say underscores the importance of Texas and the region as growth areas for the Roman Catholic Church.
Archbishop Daniel DiNardo will be not only be the first Texan but also the first Southern or Southwestern cardinal when the appointment takes effect Nov. 24.
The archbishop, who oversees 1.5 million Catholics in the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese, called Wednesday's announcement "humbling and surprising."
Bishop Kevin Farrell of the Diocese of Dallas praised the move, adding: "The Holy Father has sent a strong message that he recognizes the ever-growing importance of Texas as a Catholic state."
Archbishop DiNardo will be one of 23 new cardinals, bringing membership in the College of Cardinals to 202, according to Catholic News Service.
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Upon the death of a pope, cardinals under the age of 80 elect his successor. Cardinals also closely advise the pope, though Archbishop DiNardo will continue to run the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese.
Cardinal appointments in the U.S. have historically been skewed to the East Coast, with exceptions for such cities as Chicago and Los Angeles.
"When I was in Texas, there was an ongoing gripe that the Catholic Church was growing rapidly in the Southwest, but the feeling was it was significantly slighted in terms of representation," said Richard Gaillardetz, professor of Catholic studies at the University of Toledo in Ohio and formerly a professor at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.
"This [the DiNardo appointment] is an important way for the Vatican to affirm the growing significance of the Southwest."
Bishop Farrell noted that the archbishops of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore were not elevated to cardinal in this round of papal appointments.
"He kind of passed over Washington and Baltimore and elected to honor the state of Texas," Bishop Farrell said.
Thanks in large measure to Hispanic immigration, Texas' Catholic population has reached nearly 6.5 million, more than double that of two decades ago. Catholics constitute the state's largest religious group.
The Galveston-Houston Archdiocese is Texas' largest and one of the largest in the country. It too has more than doubled in size since the late 1980s, said Annette Gonzales Taylor, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Dallas and former spokeswoman for the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese.
She said that though Hispanics account for much of the growth of Texas Catholicism, people moving in from Northern states are an important element. The Houston area, she added, also has large numbers of black and Asian Catholics.
Archbishop DiNardo, 58, was one of two U.S. archbishops tapped Wednesday to be a cardinal. The other is Archbishop John Foley, 71. He's a Philadelphia native who, according to Catholic News Service, is "known to millions of people as the English-language commentator of papal Christian midnight masses."
When they are installed in November, the U.S. will have 17 cardinals, Catholic News Service said.
At a news conference Wednesday, Archbishop DiNardo stressed his surprise at the appointment, calling himself "just a kid from Pittsburgh."
He earned advanced degrees at Catholic universities and was ordained a priest in 1977. He went on to serve in a variety of pastoral and administrative posts.
In 1997, he was named bishop of the Sioux City, Iowa, diocese. There, he said, he "had the great pleasure of shepherding almost 15,000 square miles of cornfields."
Upon arriving in Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, he joked that he told himself, "You know, DiNardo, I don't think you're in Iowa anymore."
He served as archbishop coadjutor (archbishop-in-waiting) for the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese beginning in 2004, and he became archbishop early last year.
"I would say he's a conservative but not an ideologue," Dr. Gaillardetz said. "He has a reputation for working well with the clergy and lay people in the diocese.
"He is, like many of the bishops being appointed right now, hyper-sensitive to issues of loyalty to the papacy. He's not going to have much patience for any overt criticism of Vatican policies."
Dr. Gaillardetz also predicted that Archbishop DiNardo would, as cardinal, be a strong voice in favor of immigrants' rights and against the death penalty – two key issues in Texas.
Bishop Farrell said that having a cardinal in Texas will give the state and region "a special place" in high-level discussions about church policy and allocations of resources.
A hint of the Vatican's awareness of Texas came in 2004, when Pope John Paul II designated Galveston-Houston as an archdiocese, because of its size and importance, Ms. Taylor said.
Texas became the second state in the country – California is the other – to have two archdioceses. San Antonio has carried the designation since 1926.