[Updated Thursday, Jan 9]
As Kansas Citians who read this blog know, it's nearly impossible to get into downtown KCMO from the south these days, what with streets closed for the development--Bartle Hall, the Hotel President, H&R Block, the Power & Light District, and the Sprint Center--going up along the south loop. Central? closed. Baltimore? closed. Main? closed. Walnut? closed. Grand? closed. McGee? closed. Oak and Broadway? not closed yet, but I fear they're next.
Those of us who work downtown and live south have had not only our usual route to work blocked, but also our primary alternate route, our secondary one, and some days, even our tertiary one. At this point I'm approaching my office from the 12th Street exit from the west loop--Quality Hill--and I go home via the east loop and Des Moines, Iowa, or so it seems.
At a stoplight this week, I looked up from my car as I was fumbling with my Rosary on the drive in, and a friendly face looked down. There, on the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception that Bp. Boland had wrecked before he retired (another post), or more precisely, up about 30' on the south wall of the daily Mass chapel appended to the Cathedral, stood Pope St. Pius X, life size, in stone, looking down at me. Those of you who know a little about the recent history of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, and the Cathedral in particular, are probably as surprised as I was to know that he, of all saints, is perched on the Cathedral overlooking 12th Street. It's a shock that the iconoclasts didn't get him down when they gutted the interior.
To have the greatest of the great antimodern popes still standing outside a church that has been victimized by architectural barbarians, and has been served by clergy who flaunt so many liturgical abuses that I wondered, the one time I went there for daily Mass a few years ago, whether the Mass was invalid for defect of intention, and has been the home of questionable (to be as charitable and generous as possible) homosexual ministry programs has to mean that the gates of hell have not yet prevailed in Kansas City.
Papa Sancte Pio X, Giuseppe Melchior Sarto, ora pro nobis.