A friend from Arlington, Virginia, passes this on:

Hey…on a similar note…we listened to Bishop Loverde interviewed on WTOP Radio this morning.  “Well,  we’ll have
to give him a chance…”  Big of him.  What happens if Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t pass?”

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • + Is it possible that he was referring to those who are wringing their hands over him? Loverde strikes me as in sync with everything Benedict has stood for, so I would think his words were an appeal to others, not an indication of a lukewarm response on his part.

  • + I thought Arlington’s high number of vocations reflected orthodoxy, and I understood that there was a wide smattering of Latin restored to the Liturgy—both good, no?

  • Ever since Loverde replaced Keating, Arlington’s number of seminarians has plummeted. They only have a few vocations now. Same with the Liturgy—some holdover from the previous bishop, but not as much anymore.

  • The vocations in Arlington are on track because of his predecessor.

    Just maybe what happens if Benedixt XVI “doesn’t pass” is that Bishop Loverde will be looking for a job!

  • The vocations boom experienced in Arlington at one time, can be attributed to Father James Gould, vocations director under the late Bishop Keating. This group of “young bucks” is coming of age, and are moving into the “pastor” positions. To give Loverde some credit, he’s more accessible to the faithful than his predecessor, and he listens to his priests, and most of them don’t want altar girls. As to how he will fare under the new papacy, I really couldn’t say.

  • Bishop Loverde has been here since 1999.  He instituted a five year program for seminarians instead of four so last year we had only one priest ordained (the first year the change was in full force).  This year there will be seven.  I don’t know quite how many there are in the pipeline but it is several for each year. (I just remember seeing pictures.) There is certainly a holdover of reputation so to speak but some of this good is attributable to Bishop Loverde.  He definitely has a thing against kneeling but we *are* using patens at Mass.  He wrote a good letter just before the election about Communion and pro-abortion politicians but only in the Arlington Herald.  (I have no idea if it made any difference.)  After two dreadful misfires he has a really good priest running the Child Abuse program.  He’s very hard to peg.  Sometimes I think that people who chafed under Keating got to him initially; if so things should get better.  If not….  I am still seriously excited about the new Pope.

  • Greetings Dom et al:

    Sadly, Dom was being fed disinformation.  Bishop Loverde in the WTOP radio interview said, “I truly believe he will be a blessing for us.”  And he means it.  The line about “give him a chance” was said when the Bishop was being critical of the quick negative reaction to the new Pope in certain dissident circles.

    Want proof of this—spend the 4 minutes and 31 seconds it takes to listen to Bishop Loverde’s comments.  The full audio feed, in different audio formats is at:

    And then read his statement, “With great joy I welcome the news that Benedict XVI has been called by the Lord to lead the Church as the Successor of Saint Peter and Vicar of Christ. On behalf of the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Arlington, I offer our new Holy Father the support of our prayer, loyalty and fidelity.”  It’s at:

    The Bishop has gotten tagged unfairly many times since he has arrived by the left and the far right, often I don’t understand why.  Well, OK, I know why those on the left are unhappy, e.g., no female alter servers, strongly pro-life.  But I also have trouble with many of the complaints of the far right.

    Like every Catholic I know from the Pope on down the line, he is (surprise!) not a perfect human being.  And on the prudential matter of bringing construction projects throughout the diocese to a halt, many of us are very concerned.  But on matters of faith and dogma, and the key challenges the Church faces, how does he stand?

    Not pro-life enough?  Take a guess where he spends many of his Saturdays—outside of abortion clinics leading a prayerful witness against this great sin.  How does he feel about politicians and life issues?  I urge his critics to read his statement before the last election and then to please post their criticisms of the Bishop at Dom’s site.  The statement is at:

    BTW, this Saturday, April 23rd, Bishop Loverde will say an 8:00 AM Mass at All Saints, 9300 Stonewall Rd., in Manassas, and later pray the rosary in front of a Manassas abortion facility.

    Vocations?  The previous post speaks well to that.  Let me add that his diocese has an excellent outreach to those interested in vocations.  Father Bashista and his staff are fully engaged in helping men and women, boys and girls, in their discernment.  More evidence:

    Just two weeks ago Vocations Office sponsored the fantastic Catholic singer, Nancy Scimone, in her one woman performance of Saint Faustina: Messenger of Mercy.  Is this characteristic of a liberal diocese?

    And per an earlier comment on accessibility, yes, this Bishop is accessible.  I would guess that a tremendous percentage (most?) of the Catholic kids in the diocese have seen him.  He is always available in support of Boy Scout and Girl Scout functions, they often have Mass for the Scouts at the Cathedral.  And he stays on afterwards to meet every child.  BTW, see:

    Bottom line—IMVHO, I think Bishop Loverde will strongly support Pope Benedict XVI.

  • But I also have trouble with many of the complaints of the far right.

    One issue is that he refuses to allow the celebration of the traditional latin rite anywhere in his diocese.  But I should add that at the confirmation mass last month his homily was very orthodox.  Feed the poor and no abortion/divorce/gay marriage: enough to needle dissenters of all stripes.

  • Zippy:

    There are several priests in the Diocese of Arlington who would do the classical Roman Rite in a heartbeat. All are busy on Sunday mornings with the normal demands of parish life. In downtown DC is a beautiful old German church, with its marble high altar well-preserved, which has served the needs of the Indult since the mid-1980s. Most who attend are from across the Potomac in Virginia, and their presence is essential to maintaining that parish. On the other hand, Arlington is a young diocese, and there are no churches in urban areas which have lost their residential population. As a matter of principle, it may be unfortunate. But as a practical matter, the current situation is meeting the needs of the area.

  • I should add that at least two parishes in Arlington already offer a Solemn High Latin Mass, according to the reformed missal, with the altar “facing east.” That number may rise soon.

  • The fact that Arlington has no Tridentine Mass is indefensible.  The Pope asked the Bishops to allow the Tridentine Mass in 1988!!!  I know people who drive to Washington from Front Royal and Charlottesville, VA to get to the Latin Mass. (Over an hour away)  The Bishop of Arlington could care less. 

    Sorry, Mr. Alexander, the current situation is NOT meeting the needs of the area.  It is pastorally cruel to deny permission for even one Tridentine Mass at Christendom College in Front Royal where there are hundreds who seek it.  I asked the Bishop about this issue two years ago and I was told, “He is studying the issue.” by his Office of Liturgy.  Well, why he continues to “study” the Pope’s clear instruction to give permission and while members of his flock wake up in the middle of the night to drive to Washington for the Latin Mass, Bishop Loverde sleeps well and bans kneeling for Holy Communion. 

  • Charlottesville is actually in the Diocese of Richmond.  Interesting that we in Richmond have two Tridentine Mass chapels, one in Richmond and one in Tidewater.  They were started by Bishop Walter Sullivan, who was quite liberal in many respects (to put it mildly, though he does have a great devotion to the Blessed Mother).  Bsp. Sullivan even celebrated the old mass at St. Joseph’s chapel at least once a year himself. They have been continued by the new Ordinary, Bishop
    Di Lorenzo, who has been shaping the diocese up.  IIRC, Bishop Keating did not allow the Tridentine mass in Arlington in his day either.  Apparently, his take was that he did not tolerate liturgical abuse so there was no reason for people to flee to the Tridentine Mass.  This is interesting in that as far as orthodoxy goes, Richmond was supposed to be the “bad” diocese and Arlington the “good” one.  I have never actually been to a Tridentine Mass, but if the Pope says the Bishops should make it available, they should do so. 
    Boy, am I happy, though, first we in the Richmond diocese get Bishop Di Lo (our nickname for him) and then Ratzinger succeeds our beloved JPII as Benedict XVI!!!!  Maybe, that new springtime of the church predicted by JP the Great is just breaking out……..oremus!

  • True, Charlottesville is located in Albemarle County within the Diocese of Richmond, but the county just to the north, Orange, is the Arlington Diocese.  The family I was referencing lives just over the county line.  My point still stands that Bishop Loverde cares little for these families that travel great distances.

    Yes, I have heard good things about DiLorenzo.  He has so much work to do cleaning up the mess he inherited from his predecessor.  Richmond suffered greatly under Sullivan who ran the diocese as a left wing activist.

    Honestly, Marty, you owe it to yourself to check out the Tridentine Mass at least once.  It was the sole Mass of the Latin Rite from at least the 1500s to about 1970 although its main form was set around the year 800.  Many aspects of the new Mass have their roots in the Tridentine liturgy.  It is also cool to see Mass the way some of the most famous saints saw it as well as your Catholic ancestors.  Just a suggestion.

  • Yeah, I would like to go to one sometime.  They’re all about 2 hours away.  Have been to the current mass in Latin, though, found it quite beautiful.  I really find nothing wrong with the “new” mass if it’s celebrated properly. 

    Not sure why somebody in Front Royal would find it necessary to drive up to DC for a Tridentine Mass.  I would think that the mass at the Christendom College Chapel would be quite fine.  It has been reported to me to be so, as well as the masses at the parish church in Front Royal.  And then there’s the price of gas…..the mass in my parish would have to be horribly bad before I’d do that.
    As for Charlottesville, well, yeah, I could understand that….

  • “Sorry, Mr. Alexander, the current situation is NOT meeting the needs of the area…”

    If by that you mean there isn’t a Trid Mass in every parish, I’d have to agree with you. Personally, I would have hoped for one to be offered in the Blue Ridge area. If I lived near one in that region, I’d probably offer to serve for the Mass, as I have in the past.

    If you mean that the distances driven for some are too great, I’d agree with that too. But are there enough of those people in a specific region? Is there a suitable location within that region? Is a priest who is suitably equipped, with a facility suitably equipped, justified given the above?

    And how do you know the Bishop doesn’t care? Has he actually said so? (We’re not talking about Keating here, remember? Loverde allowed a Trid Mass in Ogdensburg before coming here.)

    I’m wondering where it would be offered. We have a lot of new churches that look like barns. How long before you think our mutual friends would be whining about that? (Hint: They already do.) What priest would be able to be assigned what would have to be a specific assignment, as it would occur on a Sunday morning?

    I’m familiar with petitions that have been circulated over the years. My name has appeared on them. But I also know something of a parish priest’s schedule on a Sunday. If this is going to work, you have to have a suitable facility, in the place where it will do the most good, and enough people getting their needs met to justify assigning someone specifically to meet that need.

    St Mary’s in DC is an urban parish, with very little residents to serve. It stays open because it meets a different set of needs that a conventional parish. Were that situation duplicated on our side of the Potomac, you’d have an easier time convincing whoever has to fulfill that need.

    Please tell me how this would happen, ‘cuz I’d really like to know.

    And try using your real name, unless you’re too afraid of your own convictions to use it in a forum where no one can hurt you.

  • To the person identified as “Restoration”:

    Since the subject of the Latin Mass is quite dear to me, I’ve thought about our exchange since I made my way into it. It occurs to me that the original church building at Sacred Heart, located south of Manassas, would be ideally suited for such a Mass. There might even be one or two other locations.

    Tell ya what. I’m meeting with a priest of the diocese in the next week or so. If I get a chance, I’ll ask about this, and if anything interesting comes up, I’ll tell you.

    Whoever you are.