Rome in November?


There is no doubt that Rome is a fascinating city and one that is always a pleasure to visit. But, most travels guides recommend travel in the spring or early autumn, when it is dry and pleasantly warm. November and December, being the wettest months, are not generally recommended for tourism or leisure travel.

Which is one reason that I was surprised to hear rumors that Bishop Piche and Bishop Cozzens were in Rome last week. It would make sense for Bishop Cozzens to have gone to Rome earlier in the fall for the seminar for new bishops, but for both bishops to have gone to Rome, in November, and without their Archbishop, seems odd to me.

I don't want to raise expectations that the situation in Saint Paul and Minneapolis is finally getting attention from the Holy See, nor do I think we can safely conclude that the investigation into Archbishop Nienstedt's conduct has been completed and some sort of resolution is imminent. After all, perhaps the rumors are false. Perhaps the only 'City of Seven Hills'
the bishops visited last week was Saint Paul. Or, perhaps they were in Rome, but were called there because the Holy See, like many of the rest of us, has questions regarding the landmark settlement announced last month. And, perhaps Archbishop Nienstedt was there with them, as he claims to have been when the two auxiliaries met with the Nuncio earlier this year.

It used to be that the calendars of the bishops were published in the archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Spirit, so that the faithful were aware of their ministrations on our behalf. That practice was halted during the campaign for the marriage amendment (out of fears that the Archbishop would be targeted for 'glitter bombing'), but after the campaign's defeat, the calendars were published again, at least for a time. I just checked the most recent online edition of the paper, but didn't find any of the bishops' schedules.

If it does turn out that the bishops were in Rome, the Archdiocese's silence on that fact will be yet another source of disappointment for me. Surely given the recent announcement of significant cuts to the Archdiocesan budget and staff, the faithful have a right to know
if its bishops are traveling abroad, and for what cause?



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    Jennifer Haselberger is a canon lawyer who served as the Chancellor for Canonical Affairs in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis until April of 2013, when she resigned in protest of the Archdiocese's handling of sexual misconduct by clergy.

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