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February 07, 2007


Christopher Johnson

I think that "sunrise" bit refers to this;


Kate's worn it more than once.

Ed Mechmann

Does it strike anyone else as strange that reporters routinely refer to Episcopal bishops by their first name, even in the abbreviated form -- "Tom", Gene", etc.?

Do reporters refer to Catholic bishops that way? I understand the practice among reporters of referring to most people, bishops included, by their last name alone (e.g., "Wuerl", as opposed to "Archbishop Wuerl"). But would any reporter ever speak of Archbishop Wuerl as "Don Wuerl" or just as "Don"?

John V

It's the reporter's theme for the whole piece, which does seem to follow symbolism invoked by Bishop Schori herself. Read the first couple of sentences again:

"Every time Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori dons her personalized vestments, there's a vision of sunrise.

Colors of the "new dawn," cited so often by the prophet Isaiah, are sewn into her personalized mantle and bishop's hat — an orange glow rises from a green hem to a dawn-blue band below purple heavens.

Jefferts Schori herself stands for a new day in her church . . . ."

Randolph Nichols

In an effort to take the sting out the ill-feelings directed toward the leadership of the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal O'Malley has encouraged the use of "Archbishop Sean" and "Cardinal Sean." To their credit, the local press usually addresses him by title and full name. Call me old-fashioned, but I find the first-name only usage, whether it be in the classroom or in the chancery,inappropriate.

Mike Petrik

Mr. Nichols, you, sir, are old-fashioned.


Dresses like a sunrise? Like heck. That garment -- I won't call it a vestment -- looks like a purple sky before a thunderstorm.

RP Burke

I read that his whole life in the clergy, he has been "[Title] Sean." So, Brother Sean, Father Sean, Bishop Sean, Archbishop Sean, and now Cardinal Sean. Nothing to do with "the ill-feelings directed toward the leadership of the Archdiocese of Boston ..."


Cardinal O'Malley has encouraged the use of "Archbishop Sean" and "Cardinal Sean."

Because he's such a bud. Just like us. No difference, really. Why he even uses the bishop title is a mystery, and while we're at it, what's with the crozier? It's threatening. And the hat: lose the hat thing, it's too "old church." Lose the big pectoral cross, too, because it's bling. Give the money to the poor. In fact, let's dispense with all the traditions and trappings of Holy Orders altogether, because "we're all one in Christ Jesus." Let's just have "Brother Sean," be congregationalists, and leave us alone.

Obviously, I'm kidding. Times have changed. It's time for "Cardinal O'Malley," Sean. Put away childish things. The world needs more leadership, not pals.


Now that I know the significance of her color scheme, I will be tempted to flip her photos upside down to signify the sunset - and the end of this particular "day" in her church.

F C Bauerschmidt

Well, saints are usually called by their first names, so I don't see any reason not to call a bishop by his first name, if that's what he wants. Also, religious are typically called Fr./Br.+first name.


Italics off.


Father Sean. It's a Franciscan thing. It always used to play strange tricks with my young mind that the priests at the neighboring parish, Franciscans all, were referred to by their first names. Father Jordan, Father Cornelius, et al. Their first names, being "names in religion" according to Franciscan custom, were easily confused with last names. What's a youngster to do, trying to sort that out? Sean at least is undeniably a first and not a last.


Instead of parsing Bishop Kate's clothing, I was wondering about N. T. Wright's remarks. I've read a great deal of his more informal writing (shorter books, editorials) and he always seems to be going on about American unilateralism. When he talks about the ECUSA, he might as well be talking about American involvement in Iraq. The issues are actually different!


As has been noted, the Capuchins, being Franciscans, always use their first names. It has nothing to do w/ the question of leadership or being a "bud" or a "pal". Nor is the Cardinal's use of his first name something childish which needs to be put aside. Some of the responses, however, seem fairly childish.

Red Cardigan

"I have often ... in the course of the session ... looked at that sun behind the President without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting. But now at length I have the happiness to know it is a rising and not a setting sun." (Benjamin Franklin, commenting on the carving on George Washington's chair after the Constitutional Convention)

I have to wonder whether Dr. Franklin would reach the same conclusion about that dreadful thing Jefferts Schori is wearing. I can't help but think he'd see it as a symbol that the sun is about to set on the ECUSA.


The Bishop and the Squid

“Jefferts Schori is as conversant on squids as on Scripture”

O glimmering squid, washed up on sunset sand,
You will expire, decay, but not alone –
All God’s creatures shine and die, and yet demand
Some greater joy than sin and death atoned:
Enrobed at sunrise I’ll to this gracious strand,
Rejoice, dear squid, I come, you’re not alone!


Rocinante, "Archbishop Sean" is a fine sequitur to Cardinal Law, but there will come a time when Boston will also need "Cardinal O'Malley." The Church needs both St. Francis and St. Ambrose.


Actually, Archbishop Wuerl is an interesting case -- some members (parishioners? subjects? what's the word?) of his previous See refer to him as "The Donald."

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World...)


Reporter said: She's sad to see them go, but not so sad that she won't fight for their properties. "The institution cannot give away its birthright and the gifts that belong to future generations. Our desire to reconcile continues, but if (the seceding churches) would prefer to be part of another tradition, then they are welcome to go. They just can't take what doesn't belong to them," she says, leaning forward.

"The church's laws are broad but they are there, and beyond these lines you cannot go. Crossing boundaries has consequences."

What!!! This coming from the CofE that still keeps the churches it stole from Rome in England and never gave any compensation for the destruction of monasteries and the filching of Catholic plate?

I thought they didn't like those rigid boundaries and threw them off?

Sorry. Sore point with me. Does she listen to herself?


forgot - they stole the churches in Ireland and Scotland, too.


I'm with Jacques here. Cardinal + surname implies deference and respect, Cardinal + Christian name implies familiarity (probably untrue) chumminess (thankfully almost certainly untrue) and a general dumbing down. It reminds me of when Tony Blair insisted his cabinet refer to him as Tony or Tone and not Prime Minister. Eventually resulted in huge scepticism of politicians and a growing call among Britons for more respect in society. A chum of everyone ends up being a chum of no one.


I was curious to see what the "other" strand of faith was, that was "more gracious" then Christ's suffering to atone for our sins (so impolite of Jesus to deflate our self-esteem with the suggestion that we are sinners in need of redemption). It was what I expected: It "is to talk about life, to claim the joy and the blessings for good that it offers, to look forward."

I don't know if this is good Episcopalianism but it sure sounds like orthodox Church of Christ Without Christ, Motes' church where there was no Fall because there was nothing to Fall from and no Redemption because there was no Fall.


I need to go to confession: this whole great discussion and all I can think about is this "Primates' meeting in Tanzania". Will George of the Jungle attend too?

I'm sorry, I'll scurry along... :)


When in Mass, do they pray for Bishop Sean or for Bishop O'Malley?
I am German, and it always strikes me as odd that the priest opens with "Der Herr sei mit euch" (The Lord be with you - ordinary plural) and then goes on with "Sie" (you - reverential plural). - Does anybody get that? It seems really unintelligible to me...
My point being: If during liturgy he is addressed as "Bishop Sean", I think it is O.K. to address him like that outside of liturgy, too. Especially if he wishes it...


I understand your point, Ted, but by that logic then the Pope should use his surname as well. What is important is how he lives out the office of cardinal, not whether or not he uses his surname or Christian name. It is in the living it out that one garners the respect of others and thus serves the Church.


Well as far as how he is addressed in the litugy, if he follows the same patter as is used in the Richmond Diocese it will be "...our pope Benedict and our bishop Sean..." still even though we pray to God for our bishop Francis I can't image anyone not calling him Bishop DiLorenzo.
Saying that, I can easily see how it might be a problem for a Franciscan. I only know a few, but each them is Father Stan or Father Tony. It's their culture.
As for TEC, It seems odd to me that while Catholic diocese are trying to convince courts that parish property is not owned by the diocese (so it is not open to siezure in pedophile lawsuits) that the TEC will ask the courts to declare that parishes are the property of the diocese.


Cardinal Sean has specifically directed that his Christian name rather than his surname be used as a marker of his Capuchin charism.

F. C. Bauerschmidt

Since our Christian name is, well, our Christian name (i.e. the name we receive at our baptism), it would seem appropriate that particularly in the context of the Church we ought to use that name in addressing each other.

That said, I never encourage my students to call me by my first name.


The Love Song of J. Katharine Schori

Brian John Schuettler

If and when Cardinal Sean becomes Saint Sean then we can call him by his first name. Perhaps Cardinal O'Malley, in the meantime, can do something about Ted and John receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ only after they publicly disavow their support of infanticide. Since they know what the Church teaches on this matter then I would think that they are both formal heretics. Is the good Cardinal prepared to do so?

Ave Maria!

As a Franciscan, I will say that it is a 'Franciscan thing' to use that first name so Cardinal Sean would not be out of line here.

Diocesan priests were more likely to use their last name--in days gone past.

I do write to a priest who always drops the 'father' and just signs his name. However I never address him by only his first name. And I have had priests say to not call them father but I still do. Always will.

As to the 'episcopalian communion'--I do not really care that much. I hope some will come home to Rome and quit trying to invent their own church. But I do not care what the lady 'bishop' in her rainbow clothes does, etc.

David Deavel

While I generally agree that we should refer to Cardinal O'Malley, Egan, etc., in newspaper discourse, let us remember that what we call "first names" are also called "Christian names." Our Christian-family name trumps our this-worldly family name when we are inside the Church.

And thus we remember Pope Benedict, our archbishop Sean, etc., etc.

Father Elijah

Does it seem strange to anyone else that no matter what the subject-certain bloggers here turn the subject around to either blasting
1) the bishops of the RC Church
2) or the Novus Ordo (misnomer by the

Last I looked this issue was about the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA and the ongoing and sad events in the wider Anglican Communion.

Oh the bishops are human like the rest of us and have their weaknesses etc but turning the above discussion around on one Cardinal Archbishop's preference for his own name---since it is not a matter of faith and morals- seems a bit much. Doesn't he have the right to 'his own name'?

Constant harping is-well just that---harping it is not constructive for the person always harping as well as anyone subjected to it

BTW I continue to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the present General Introduction to the Roman Missal-eagerly awaiting the new translation.

Sandra Miesel

The old rule was that secular clergy used an honorific + last name. (In medieval England, your pastor was Sir Smith.) Regular clerics used Father/Brother + first name, which in modern times would be their name "in religion" and not their birth name. Hence Don Bosco and Padre Pio, St. John Bosco having started out as a secular priest and St. Pio's christening name having been Franceso.

I've always heard the pope and the local bishop prayed for by their first names at Mass, regardless of vowed status. Around here, it's Bishop William and Archbishop Daniel even though the latter is a Benedictine.


The comment about Kate's vestments was written by a woman. I double-checked to be sure, but the comment alone screamed out "FEMALE REPORTER!!!"

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