Cardinal Seán's Blog

Cardinal Seán O’Malley shares his reflections and experiences

Gathering with the Holy Father

Hello and welcome!

Last Friday, St. Valentine’s Day, we were happy to be a part of the celebration to install Bishop Robert Deeley as the 12th Bishop of Portland, Maine. DSC_2433DSC_2456DSC_2466

We were able to arrive in good time, despite the snow that had caused the cancellation of the Vespers Service that had been scheduled for the night before. The apostolic nuncio was also able to be there, however, I know a number of other bishops who had wanted to attend were unable to be there because of the snow.

One in particular I was disappointed to not see was the 8th Bishop of Portland, Archbishop Peter Gerety. He is over 100 years old, but the two other living former bishops of Portland, Bishop Richard Malone and Bishop Joe Gerry were there. It would have been nice to have all four living Bishops of Portland together, had the archbishop’s transportation not been knocked out by the snow.DSC_2483

Bishop Deeley with Bishops Malone and Gerry

It was a full church and a beautiful celebration. Portland’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a beautiful Keely church, like our own Cathedral of the Holy Cross.DSC_2603DSC_2801DSC_2809DSC_2813DSC_2820DSC_2837DSC_2902DSC_3005DSC_3126DSC_3068

During the Mass, Bishop Deeley used the crozier of the first Bishop of Portland, Bishop Bacon.DSC_3251

The Diocese of Portland has a great history with many ties to the Archdiocese of Boston. The second Bishop of Portland was the first Black bishop in United States and a former priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, Bishop James Augustine Healy. Also, Boston’s first cardinal, Cardinal William Henry O’Connell, had had previously been the third Bishop of Portland.

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The day after the installation, Saturday, I left for Rome for meetings with the Holy Father before this weekend’s consistory at which 19 new Cardinals will be created.photo2

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I met with the Holy Father and the other cardinals he has appointed to look into reforming the Roman Curia. It was the third round of meetings since the creation of the group last April. photo3

Of course, I cannot go into the details of our meetings, but we focused on financial matters, including the future of the IOR, more commonly known as the Vatican Bank. We provided the Holy Father with some recommendations for his review.

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Wednesday night, I went out to dinner with my good friend Mario Paredes and Father Christopher Hartley Sartorius, who is a priest of British and Spanish decent from the Archdiocese of Toledo. photo

He was a missionary with Mother Teresa and then worked in the Dominican Republic with the Haitians who worked in the sugarcane fields. He stayed in the Dominican Republic until it became too dangerous for him to work there and had to leave. He is now working in Ethiopia.

He was the subject of the documentary “The Price of Sugar”, that you can watch here:

There has also been a book about him written called “En el Púlpito de la Miseria” by Juana Socias.pulpito

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Yesterday and today, we gathered with the around 150 cardinals who are here in Rome for the consistory.POPE-FAMILYPOPE-FAMILY

Our conversation focused on the challenges faced by the family in today’s world. The Holy Father gave us a brief address the first day and Cardinal Walter Kasper gave an address about the biblical and theological understanding of marriage. POPE-FAMILYPOPE-FAMILY

Then the floor was opened to a number of interventions by cardinals. All this work is in preparation for the next synod of bishops that will focus on these matters.

Until next week,

Cardinal Seán