Monday, April 23, 2007

Green Bay and Pope Benedict

Really--there are a number of interesting connections.

Spent some time in St. Francis Xavier church, which is the Cathedral for the Diocese of Green Bay. They have a museum downstairs which contains a number of interesting curios from the history of the Diocese, all the way back to the late 1800's when it was created.

But to my eye, the most interesting stuff was on the main floor.

The main entrance to the building is still from the street, but another entryway was created from the side, off the parking lot. Inside that entry is a cabinet with a few statues, which we'll get back to shortly.

As you move from the vestibule into the Cathedral proper, you walk over a gravestone set into the floor. The stone memorializes the first Bishop of Green Bay.

He was ordained a priest in Regensburg, Bavaria. Hmmmm....

Until only a few years ago, the choirmaster at the Regensburg cathedral church was Mgr. Georg Ratzinger, who is the older brother of Pope Benedict XVI. Regensburg was also the home of the 'church music reform' movement which began in the mid-1800's and was sidetracked (really, aborted) by the Liturgeist-led perverse implementation of Sacrosanctam Consilium, the Vatican II document encouraging reform of the Liturgy.

But the Regensburg connection is not the only one Green Bay has with the Pope.

Because many of Green Bay's bishops and clergy came from the area surrounding Munich, the Bishop of Munich was invited to participate in the Green Bay Diocese' 100-year anniversary celebrations. He was all set to come over and visit, but a call from Rome changed his plans.

The call came from John Paul II, asking the Bishop, Josef Ratzinger, to come to Rome and take over the Congregation for Doctrine.

So the Cardinal-Archbishop of Munich sent his regrets--and also sent a statue as a gift.

That statue, a strikingly beautiful one, sits in that display case inside the vestibule.

Miscellany: Milwaukee's Bishop Messmer was the Bishop of Green Bay before returning to Milwaukee as the Archbishop!


Billiam said...

Have you ever been in St. Norbert's Abbey? The basement under the Church there is spectacular. Quite interesting.

Dad29 said...

Never been to the Abbey. Odd, since my wife grew up very near there, and one of the chilluns was at St Norbert's for 4 years.

Never made it a point to get over there and look around....