Saturday, April 01, 2006

Kansas City's Cranmer & Msgr. Kearney

Well, not having grown up in Kansas City (I grew up in a very small, very pink diocese in the bible belt), I don't have any first hand knowledge of the goings-on in the Archdiocese of Kansas City or the Diocese of Kansas City St. Joseph. That is, of course, self-evident in reading my commentary as I've gone around town, discovering churches and gathering bits of other information here and there.

Anyways, some guy I know (we'll call him "Morris") was telling me a little bit about one old priest's battle against Bishop John L. Sullivan over the effort to maintain a sense of the sacred the other day. When he started in, he reminded me of my other acquaintence, Guido, who said someone at the Old St. Patrick's workday two weeks ago found a long-lost snapshot of Bishop Sullivan with Pope John Paul II during the pew demolition. Guido reported that one of the old-timers when he saw it said "Whad'ya know, a devil with a saint!" to which the guy who found it commented "One probably wasn't quite a devil, and was probably wasn't quite a saint."

In thinking back, there was another conversation I'd had with Orville about the old priest, the late Msgr. Vincent Kearney, and Bishop Sullivan some months back, and also another I'd had with a delightful woman over two years ago in which Msgr. Kearney's name was mentioned. No one ever told me any of the details about Msgr. Kearney's situation. I've been meaning to ask around.

But why ask about Msgr. Kearney, when you can Google him? At least Google him first, right? Well, finally I did.

Very interesting. Right away I found a three part series written by Michael Davies and published in The Angelus. Now, Msgr. Kearney wasn't a trad. He celebrated the new Mass, but he tried to do so reverently. He tried to accommodate himself, insofar as he could bring himself to do so, to the new order of things. He tried to obedient to men who were themselves disobedient, rather than obedient to the Church herself. And from what I've read so far, Davies shows us exactly where that sort of accommodation, and that sort of obedience leads.

I'm still reading this article, but for those who want to read it along with me, link to the following:

Part 1: Bishop Sullivan / Msgr Kearney article - Christ the King
Part 2: Bishop Sullivan / Msgr Kearney article - Christ the King
Part 3: Bishop Sullivan / Msgr Kearney article - Christ the King
Part 4: Bishop Sullivan / Msgr Kearney article - Christ the King

More later.


Orville said...

Orville laments as he reads these articles, for he was confirmed in 1976 (at the old St. James in Liberty) by His Excellency George Fitzsimmons, who later became the ordinary for the KS diocese of Salina. Did that diocese survive better than Christ the King parish?

Anonymous said...


It was Bishop John Sullivan who did the number on Mgr. Kearney. Bishop Joseph Sullivan is another guy who had a number done on him. Slanderous allegations were made against him, or so I've been told.

Curmudgeon said...

and further proof that I am an idiot. Thanks for the correction; sometimes my fingers just get behind my thoughts, and they type the wrong thing. The correction has been made, with embarrassed apologies to his excellency, Bishop Joseph Sullivan, auxiliary (ret) of Brooklyn, about whom I have no knowledge.

And as for the Fitzsimmons connection out in western Kansas ---- yeah, that your connection of the dots explains the curt reply when I wrote all the bishops in the province of Kansas about restoring Ascension Thursday. He's one of the really bad ones.

Anonymous said...

The Bishop in Salina is now Bishop Paul Coakley. He is from Johnson County, a KU grad and became a priest for the Wichita dioceses. He has his work cut out but he is wonderful priest and will be a good bishop. I am looking for one other bishop from Kansas in the next year. I think these guys have all come out swinging on some very important issues and who knows they may change the country from the inside out.