"In the Breach of the Divide" – On Day One, ArchChuck Talks Indy's Checkered Flag
All of six years ago, Fr Chuck Thompson was a parish priest in Louisville and vicar-general to its archbishop…. And today, a rapid rise completes itself – across the Ohio River from his hometown, he’s now his former boss’ equal as head of Indiana’s metropolitan church.
For the first time in the reign of Francis, an appointee of his own holds the distinction of being the youngest American archbishop. Yet anyone who’d conflate the 56 year-old’s youth with “inexperience” is sorely mistaken; whether as an alum and professor of Indy’s Benedictine seminary at St Meinrad, his lifelong closeness to his now-predecessor, Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, or his time already served on the Indiana bench, as transitions go, this one’s as seamless as it gets.
Nevertheless, there are some things even the “ArchChuck” still has to learn – for one, the Pallium “nail” (pin) is worn over one’s left shoulder, not the right.
Having marked the hour of his June appointment by taking a run through the streets he’s long known as an “adopted son” of Indianapolis, after breaking into tears on being seated in its Chair, the Pope’s pick formally took the reins today with an unusual, but fitting break from custom, sharing his vision for the 300,000-member church’s road ahead – a call from polarization to reconciliation rooted in what (a decade ago this week) Benedict XVI once termed the church’s “Great ‘Et Et’”… and doing so as two of this pontificate’s Stateside “great powers” – one of them his cardinal-predecessor – approvingly looked on.
Given the possibility that the preach was really a stealth plea for BBN loyalties to be accepted in Hoosier Country, well, even an archbishop can dream….
For the substance, meanwhile, here’s the game-film: