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Dallas’ former Bishop Farrell Gets Red Hat October 11, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, different religion, disaster, episcopate, Francis, General Catholic, Revolution, secularism, self-serving, the struggle for the Church.

I’ll admit, I was a bit shocked by the timing.  I’ve mentioned the wise local priest who more or less predicted the course of Bishop Farrell’s tenure here (in very broad, but accurate, strokes), and one additional thing he told me was that Dallas was viewed as such a hardship assignment after 17 disastrous years of administration by Charles Grahmann, and Bishop Farrell had such a golden boy aura about him, that his next sinecure would be a really plumb one, and would probably come with a red hat attached.  But he thought that would be several years down the road, not literally a few days after Bishop Farrell’s arrival in Rome.

Well, the ladder has been climbed.  I guess spending virtually no time as a parish priest has its rewards.

Snark aside, Bishop Farrell is, if nothing else, a relatively able administrator.  I think he could have done a very great deal more to reform and reorient this diocese in a much more successful and faithful direction, but apparently, the powers that be, be very, very pleased.  It is difficult to convey what a wreck he inherited here.  Grahmann was, as a commenter rightly noted, laying the groundwork for lay-administered Eucharistic services and basically priestless parishes a la Albany and Rochester (and Dallas was nearly in that league back in 2007 or so).  Farrell did stop that trend and emphasized the requirement for virtually all parishes (aside from some very small ones administered by priests from elsewhere) to have permanently assigned priests.  He also saw a number of relatively to strongly orthodox young men ordained, men who will one day form, it is fervently hoped, the backbone of a much improved clergy in Dallas.

It’s a bit interesting that Farrell gained his red piping along with a group that is widely viewed as exceedingly liberal, including two of the most liberal prelates in the US, Blaise Cupich and Joseph Tobin (not the relatively conservative Thomas Tobin of Providence, RI).  Just as interesting is who was passed over, again: Gomez, Chaput, and Vigernon, men who have led far larger dioceses for far longer than either Tobin or Farrell, and who serve in archdioceses almost always associated with a cardinal’s hat, historically.  But they are seen as conservatives, and thus out of fashion in this pontificate.  You can draw your own conclusions on where deep Church insiders view Farrell’s ideology/ecclesiology, since he was included in such a group.  He started out somewhat conservativish here, at least from a lay person’s perspective, but visibly swung liberal under Francis.  At least, that’s what I and my two friends think.

Pope Francis will conclude the Year of Mercy by creating 17 new cardinals, including three from the United States: Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago; Bishop Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the new Vatican office for laity, family and life; and Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis.

Announcing the names of the new cardinals Oct. 9, Pope Francis said, “Their coming from 11 nations expresses the universality of the church that proclaims and witnesses the good news of God’s mercy in every corner of the earth.”

The new cardinals — 13 of whom are under the age of 80 and therefore eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope and four over 80 being honored for their “clear Christian witness” — will be inducted into the College of Cardinals Nov. 19, the eve of the close of the Year of Mercy.

The next day, Nov. 20, they will join Pope Francis and other cardinals in celebrating the feast of Christ the King and closing the Year of Mercy, the pope said……..

……..In creating 13 cardinal-electors — those under the age of 80 — Pope Francis will exceed by one the 120 cardinal-elector limit set by Blessed Paul VI. The number of potential electors will return to 120 Nov. 28 when Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Senegal, celebrates his 80th birthday.

The youngest of the new cardinals — who will be the youngest member of the College of Cardinals — is 49-year-old Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui, Central African Republic……..

………Seven of the 11 nations represented by the new cardinals did not have a cardinal at the time of the pope’s announcement: Central African Republic, Bangladesh, Mauritius and Papua New Guinea will now have cardinal-electors. Malayasia [are there a million Catholics in all of Malaysia?  There are not], Lesotho and Albania will be represented in the College of Cardinals, although their cardinals will be too old to vote in a conclave.

Here is the list of new cardinals in the order in which Pope Francis announced them:

— Archbishop Zenari, an Italian who is 70 years old.

— Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui, Central African Republic, 49.

— Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, 71.

— Archbishop Sergio da Rocha of Brasilia, Brazil, who will be 57 Oct. 21.

— Archbishop Cupich, 67.

— Archbishop Patrick D’Rozario of Dhaka, Bangladesh, 73.

— Archbishop Baltazar Porras Cardozo of Merida, Venezuela, who turns 72 Oct. 10.

— Archbishop Jozef De Kesel of Malines-Brussels, Belgium, 69.

— Archbishop Maurice Piat of Port-Louis, Mauritius, 75.

— Bishop Farrell, 69.

— Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, 66.

— Archbishop John Ribat of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 59.

— Archbishop Tobin, 64.

— Retired Archbishop Anthony Soter Fernandez of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 84.

— Retired Archbishop Renato Corti of Novara, Italy, 80.

— Retired Bishop Sebastian Koto Khoarai of Mohale’s Hoek, Lesotho, 87.

— Father Simoni, 87.

Ever read The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber, and descriptions of how European liberals co-opted possibly naive third-world bishops to back their agenda?

And the boyos continue to have outsize influence on the US episcopate.  Both Farrell and Tobin are Irish, and I wonder if Cupich isn’t, too.


1. tg - October 11, 2016

Gomez is hardly conservative. He allows the rainbow flag on the altar in churches in his diocese. I would think he would get a red hat. (I read the comments in Church Militant from a Brother Chris in Gomez’ diocese. He has written Gomez about this but gets no where.)

Tantumblogo - October 11, 2016

As in all things, it’s relative. He’s much more so than Cupich or Tobin.

2. skeinster - October 11, 2016

Nice analysis, TB.

Not to give Grahmann props as a bishop, but his predecessor was even worse. Grahmann inherited the pervert priest scandal from years previous and had to deal with that right off the bat.

And Grahmann invited the FSSP in to create Mater Dei, so there’s that.

An OT thanks to all who prayed for our trip- everything went very smoothly and we are most grateful!

Tantumblogo - October 11, 2016

Yes Tschoeppe was the worst bishop this diocese has ever had. Amazing that he followed a very solid one.

boonie - October 12, 2016

“Amazing that he followed a very solid one.”

I’ve been in this diocese quite awhile, most of my life. I’m no chancery insider, just a boonies Catholic. What I’ve heard, whether it’s true I don’t know, is that the “very solid” bishop you mention as a predecessor to Tscoepe manipulated Tschoepe into the bishop’s hat knowingly, as a way to make himself look better by comparison. Gossip ? True ? I don’t know.

I’m sorry many of you didn’t have the chance to know bishop Tschoepe personally, as a priest. I was in the parish in which he served after he retired. [I was also confirmed by him.] After retirement he chose to be assistant pastor, which is all he said he ever wanted to be. Everyone I know at the parish thought and still thinks very highly of him spiritually. We have statue of him on the church grounds, commissioned by a former pastor who served when the bishop was assistant (i.e. Seitz – I know you have your objections to him as well. I will refrain from commenting although I will say at the time he was out here Seitz was very pro-life.) Seitz thought Tschoepe was holy man, and I agree. You can write my opinion off to me just being a hick. I suppose that’s your prerogative.

3. David - October 11, 2016

It’s also surprising that Bishop Lori didn’t receive a red hat. Lori is also a culture warrior, who is outspoken on the sanctity of life and upholding traditional marriage.

Two bishops I have high respect are Lennon and Burbidge. Burbidge literally inherited a diocese (Raleigh) that had a bishop for 30 years with the mind similar to Clark and Hubbard. Burbidge in a few short years turned it around by not being afraid to get his hands dirty. Lennon inherited Cleveland from Pilla (Pilla voluntarily resigned months after Benedict XVI became Pope) and Pilla was extremely liberal, like Sullivan was in Richmond. Cleveland is a much better place now, and if the C and E Catholics complain, a bishop is doing his job.

Richard Malcolm - October 11, 2016

“Lori is also a culture warrior, who is outspoken on the sanctity of life and upholding traditional marriage.”

Which is why he didn’t get a red hat.

At any rate, Baltimore is in rapid decline, numbers wise – they’re down to just one auxilliary bishop, and looking to lose over a third of active priests by 2024 – and it is no longer seen as “cardinalatial.” O’Brien did not get a red hat while he was there, either.

Tantumblogo - October 11, 2016

Yeah Baltimore is in the past, an increasingly distant past, as far as US power-sees go.

Richard Malcolm - October 11, 2016

Outsiders don’t typically realize how bad it is up here.

I know of a young priest being asked to take on seven parishes in a cluster. It’s considered stressful enough that it will only be a two year assignment rather than the usual six.

But aside from a few big suburban parishes and the controversial Nativity (of “Rebuilt” fame), what I am most struck by is the shrinking number of people in the pews, and how much grey hair (or no hair) I see.

Meanwhile, tradition is hermetically sealed up in its two long-standing parishes at St Al’s in Baltimore, and up in Hagerstown. It is not seen as part of any answer to what ails Baltimore.

DM - October 11, 2016

Richard that’s crazy to hear. Seven parishes for a new priest.

Is Monsignor Bastress still the pastor at St. Al’s? He must be close to 90 years old by now? Amazing man.
As Baltimore loses the remainder of its priests, they really need to consider bringing in a trad order. Maybe Msgr. Bastress could get the ball rolling on the ICRSS taking over at St. Al’s when he does retire. It would be the perfect church for them, and one less thing for Lori to worry about having to staff with his few remaining priests.

Richard Malcolm - October 11, 2016

“Is Monsignor Bastress still the pastor at St. Al’s? He must be close to 90 years old by now? Amazing man.”

He is amazing, and he’s still in the saddle. 65 years as a priest now. He was in the hospital a couple weeks back, and I wonder how much longer he will last, I did not think he would make it this long. But he seems determined to die with his boots on.

“Maybe Msgr. Bastress could get the ball rolling on the ICRSS taking over at St. Al’s when he does retire.”

Believe me, some of us have lobbied in that direction. The powers that be seem determined to replace him with a diocesan priest when the time comes, probably because it’s been producing vocations. An Ecclesia Dei group would make all the sense in the world given the priest shortage (among other reasons); but the thinking so far has been otherwise. IT i sa shame, since St Alphonsus is the sort of place made to order for the Institute of Christ the King.

David - October 11, 2016

About bringing in orders, wasn’t there a former Episcopal parish in the Archdiocese of Baltimore that became Catholic and is part of the Anglican Ordinariate? I know there was one in southern Maryland, but that’s part of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC.

DM - October 11, 2016

Richard I wonder if you might have better luck if you could get the Institute themselves to make an approach to the archdiocese re: St. Al’s. I know with Detroit it was a long, rocky journey to them finally getting a church there this year. The archdiocese had met with them and the FSSP years ago about possibly being given a church, but ended up declining to proceed with inviting them. Years later to now, I don’t know all the details, but I believe the TLM community in the diocese got the ICRSS to come forward again, and this time were able to save a beautiful church in danger of closure. If nothing else, it would just show Archbishop Lori their willingness and add some impetus. If he’s set on diocesan, maybe a future Oratory?
Sorry to derail the topic on your post, Tantum.

Richard Malcolm - October 12, 2016


“…wasn’t there a former Episcopal parish in the Archdiocese of Baltimore that became Catholic and is part of the Anglican Ordinariate?”

There were four Episcopal parishes that came into the Ordinariate, actually: Mount Calvary in downtown Baltimore; St. Timothy’s in Catonsville; Christ the King in Timonium; and St. Luke’s in Hyattsville (technically Archdiocese of Washington). St. Timothy’s lost their church building in a battle with the Episcopal Diocese; and St. Luke’s was only able to rent theirs, and now has moved into Immaculate Conception in downtown DC on a sharing arrangement with the existing diocesan parish, which was a better deal for them. Mount Calvary is probably the one you’re thinking of – a very “high church” parish liturgically, they were even celebrating the TLM for a spell until the Ordinariate ruled it out of bounds (a long story on that). Website: http://www.mountcalvary.com

There was also an Anglican women’s religious order in Catonsville with a long association with Mount Calvary, the All Saints Sisters, that came into the Church. They are a diocesan right order, however, not in the Ordinariate.

Richard Malcolm - October 12, 2016


“I wonder if you might have better luck if you could get the Institute themselves to make an approach to the archdiocese re: St. Al’s.”

It’s a thought; I know a little about how Detroit worked out. The Institute has built a rep for being unusually adept at getting into the good graces of bishops (certainly more so than, uh, some of the laity up there, alas). It’s….not impossible that an approach by Msgr Schmitz and Canon Talarico might get some interest at the right time. But that time will only come once Msgr Bastress is no longer able to do the job.

4. Richard Malcolm - October 11, 2016

“Ever read The Rhine Flows Into the Tiber, and descriptions of how European liberals co-opted possibly naive third-world bishops to back their agenda?”

Yes, and it is all the more urgent now, given that the European liberals are rapidly running out of Catholics – they being expert at nothing so much as creating ex-Catholics – and even the Kirchensteuer isn’t likely to last much longer.

5. c matt - October 11, 2016

As you say, it is relative – Chaput seems orthodox only by comparison to Cupich, et al. Farrell (any relation to Will?) may be a Dolan knock off – orthodoxish under one pontificate, progressivish under the next. A chameleon cardinal, as it were.

6. Tim - October 13, 2016
7. Tim - October 13, 2016

8. Tim - October 13, 2016

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