Yes, sometimes funerals need to be used opportunistically.
The funeral of Justice Antonin Scalia was an opportunity to put the Traditional Latin Requiem Mass in front the broadest audience since 25 Nov 1963. The opportunity was missed, or rather more likely, forbidden by +Wuerl as a condition of the site. Impossible, you see, just so complex, we could never pull it off, we don’t have the staff, how would the bishops even know what to do? All that Latin, all that silence, how could we expect people to sit (kneel) through all that?
Thanks be to God, this miss was brilliantly remediated by Father Paul Scalia. He was absolutely masterful in his execution of the entire Mass, and the homily was exactly what you expected it to be, in a most excellent way. Bravo, faithful son.
Which brings us to Mother Angelica’s funeral yesterday. It was viewed by a mere fraction of the numbers garnered by Scalia, only on EWTN, and likely by not a single non-Catholic. It was nonetheless a beautiful Mass, ad orientem, incredible music, plenty of Latin, with Archbishop Chaput as the main celebrant and Father Wolfe on the homily. Father Wolfe has had a busy week, and he’s pulled it off with grace and tranquility. Nothing was spared in sending Mother home, a fact mentioned in the homily as Father Wolfe contrasted the events of the day with that of Mother’s description of the paucity of precision at her own Solemn Profession 65 years ago.
Speaking of paucity, did anyone else notice what I did yesterday? With all of the abounding beauty, maybe you missed it. But to me, it was very telling.
There was a paucity of prelates.
Let’s break down the roll call:
+Chaput, Philadelphia, on the board of EWTN, his presence wasn’t announced until Wednesday (maybe late Tuesday), yet there was little doubt he had to be there, given his board status.
+Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio, given no one else from Rome attended, he had to be there.
+Rodi, Mobile, Metropolitan Archbishop, had to be there.
+Baker, Birmingham, Diocesan Ordinary, had to be there.
+Foley, Birmingham Emeritus, see previous post.
+Stika, Knoxville; and +Olmstead, Phoenix. Thank you, good men, your presence was noted.
That’s it. That’s the extent of support for a woman who arguably did more good for the Church in North America in the last half century than any other person. A woman who withstood countless attacks from the modernists in her tireless effort of evangelization. This was an opportunity not only for a show of force in support of Mother’s insistence on orthodoxy (otherwise known as Truth), and therefore a show of force for Truth itself, but it was also an opportunity for the bishops on the right side of things, so to say, to give a huge middle finger to the devious bishops who tried to crush her and her apostolate. It was an opportunity to show, for all the world to see, which side you will take in the coming war. It was a missed opportunity.
And the timing was perfect, because war is at hand. The dreaded Apostolic Exhortation on the family is due to be released in less than one week HERE. We are going to find out really soon which side everyone is on. It will be just like the pub scene from Inglourious Basterds.