A Very Positive Appraisal of Dallas’ New Bishop Edward Burns January 9, 2017Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, Latin Mass, Liturgy, priests, Society, true leadership.
One reason I’ve been behind the curve with regard to soon-to-be Dallas Bishop Edward Burns is because I was completely offline and out of town in North Carolina when the announcement was made. I missed out on a great deal of coverage, also, because I am not on social media. So, I was very glad to receive an appraisal from a local person who happened to have some interaction with Edward Burns on the day the announcement of his appointment as Dallas’ next bishop was made, essentially the only day he has been in the Dallas Diocese so far.
This individual was very impressed. They indicated Bishop-elect Burns is very prayerful. In fact, in spite of having an extremely busy day of travel, introductions, and press conferences/media interaction, he insisted on having a Holy Hour the night of the announcement. Some folks thought, it’s too late, it’s been a long day, but Bishop-elect Burns was determined to have a Holy Hour of prayer for thanksgiving and for Grace for his upcoming role, and so he had one. The impression my contact gained of Bishop-elect Burns is that he is a prayerful man, something that even I have been well aware was not an exactly overwhelming characteristic of either of his predecessors.
Bishop-elect Burns also showed a welcome pastoral touch. Even though he met hundreds of people on the day of his introduction to the Diocese, at the end of the day he thanked many involved by name. He had involved conversations with many local Catholics, from diocesan staff to lay people who had hurried to the presser to meet him, and all came away very impressed. He seemed to be happy to make time for local Catholics, to hear their views and any concerns they might have, and did not seem to be in a hurry to get away to more pressing engagements. That’s again a bit of a change from what has been the experience of local Catholics in recent years. I know I am far from the only involved local Catholic who found Bishop Farrell a man who was essentially impossible for most laity to reach, even well-connected, involved ones who had serious business to discuss.
It’s too soon to tell where Bishop-elect Burns lands on the matter of the Liturgy and Doctrine, but my contact is very hopeful there, too. I did get further feedback from local pro-life leaders that they are very excited and expect good things from Burns. Their brief introductions apparently gave them substantial hope for even more diocesan support of local pro-life, anti-abortion efforts.
Another hopeful sign is this: a local priest who has longed for years to offer Mass Ad Orientem is again doing so. This priest had introduced Ad Orientem at Mass in 2008, intending the change to be permanent, but he was apparently forced to desist after only a few weeks. You guys are well-informed readers, you can do the math from there. I know this priest very well and dearly love him, and am so glad he is again able to offer Mass facing the tabernacle as has been the default practice in the Church for 15 or 16 centuries.
Well, praise God, it looks like Dallas will have a bishop that is, if not a hero of orthodox doctrine, at least approachable, possessed of a solid prayer life, and seems to bend at least somewhat conservative. I know there are a few indications that have given some folks pause, but for now I will remain hopefully optimistic and give our new Bishop-elect Burns the benefit of the doubt, as he rightfully deserves. Never a Pollyanna, I’ll certainly be watching his actions with interest and will call things as I see them, but until then, I’ll take these positive assessments from people I know and pray they play out into reality over the next few years.
People often tend to want to give the newcomer, especially an authority figure, the benefit of the doubt, until evidence proves out the contrary, but I think there is a reasonable expectation of hope here.