Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, Goodbye
There's been lots of talk around the Dallas Diocese about the imminent retirement of Bishop Charles Grahmann. The weekly church bulletin of the Cathedral has been announcing the big mass celebrating his Triple anniversary (75th birthday, 50th as a priest, 25th as a bishop) on July 7th for weeks now. But Bishop Grahmann's service has not been a smooth one; in fact, it's been littered with problems for many years. There's an interesting article in this month's D magazine that discusses the Grahmann issue.
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Miserere Nobis
This month Charles Grahmann will resign as Catholic bishop of Dallas. Even so, he thinks he’ll stay on for two more years. He’s wrong.
by Wick Allison
On July 15, a birthday will be celebrated that has been awaited by local Catholics with as much anticipation as Christmas. On that day, Charles Grahmann will turn 75. By long-standing protocol, he will offer his resignation as bishop of Dallas to the Holy See.
But before anyone pops a champagne cork, I must report—it is my duty—that there is little likelihood he will step down this year. That’s the bad news. The good news is that he will be replaced sooner than he expects.
Rome has been embarrassed by the good bishop four times. The Rudy Kos verdict in 1997, of course, leveled against the Church the largest judgment ever against a diocese. In 2002, the Dallas Morning News called for the bishop’s resignation when he refused to dismiss Rev. Ramon Alvarez, rector of the bishop’s own cathedral, for sexual misconduct. (Alvarez abruptly resigned this April; no reason given.) In 2003, after even more embarrassments, a large and formidable lay group made national headlines by petitioning the Holy See for his removal. Then last year, there was the district attorney’s investigation. It’s not for nothing that the authoritative Belief.net named Grahmann one of the 10 worst bishops in the United States.
Now, I've only been participating in masses in the Diocese of Dallas for less than a year. The main beef I have with the leadership of the Diocese is the fact that orthodoxy has a tendency to get punished, especially when it involves Latin in the mass. For example, when one priest began doing the Novus Ordo in Latin, he was quickly disciplined by Bishop Grahmann. He went to the Vatican with his case. He was allowed at that point to use Latin, but he got exiled to St. William, a small church in Greenville, TX (on the outer edge of the diocese). I also remember when Fr. C at St. Jude was dressed down for using as much Latin as he did in his masses, and was forced to use no Latin whatsoever or risk being moved from the chapel. He ended up being moved anyway due to health reasons, and the Dominicans completely lost control of the Chapel.
I hope that what the article says is true, and that we will get an orthodox, Latin-loving priest as a Bishop when Bishop Grahmann retires.