Rorate Caeli

New bishop in EWTNland

Yes, it is highly unusual for a Bishop to be transferred to a new diocese with a smaller population and an even smaller number of nominal Catholics. Yet, Birmingham, the new diocese of Robert Baker, the former Bishop of Charleston, includes one specific Catholic institution, which deserves special treatment (for better or for worse).

In a letter to priests of the Diocese of Charleston, SC, Bishop Robert J Baker takes a warm and positive position. Among the many good things he says are the following, "Let us use this time of reflection on the rich liturgical heritage of the Catholic Church to renew our commitment as priests, deacons, Religous, and lay faithful to ensure that our parish liturgies are celebrated well, whether in the 'ordinary form' or the 'extraordinary form' of the Roman Missal." Bishop Baker also addresses the issue of training and knowledge of Latin in a much more genuinely supportive way than do several other Bishops of recent note. "I would further request that any priest who may wish to celebrate Holy Mass according to the Missal of 1962 be certain that he has mastered the rubrics of the ancient Roman Missal and has a suitable grasp of the Latin language." He goes on to note that there are priests who have "graciously agreed to train others in the proper manner in which the traditional Mass is celebrated".

Recess continues for a few days; relevant news may be posted at any time.


  1. Good news.
    The 2000 "norms", hostile to traditional liturgy at large, imposed by the previous bishop, Bp Foley who had close links with the US litnik lobby, may evolved and be aligned with the most recent texts from the Holy See.

    It seems the Most Reverend Robert Baker has been a dynamic bp of Charleston.

    Let us pray that the weirdness in episcopal appointments is over.

  2. Anonymous4:05 PM

    I think the learned Alsaticus is right to have reason to hope: time will tell but the only really weird appointment in the States was that of Neiderauer to San Francisco. DC and Baltimore have been filled by company men; Detroit and New Yark presumably won't remain unfilled forever. In general, the new, younger bishops in smaller sees seem adequate to outstanding--and enough of them may prove to have sufficient backbone to stand up to the aging (these days, most aged) crackpot establishment.

  3. Anonymous6:57 PM

    This sounds like REALLY good news. Certainly, EWTN will take advantage of this new bishop's positive attitude toward the Extraordinary form of the mass, and we may start to see regular broadcasts of it on EWTN. This will only serve to accelerate the liturgical renewal sought by Pope Benedict XVI.

  4. We're going to miss him in South Carolina. He is a very holy man.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Thanks for pointing out EWTN is based in the Birmingham Diocese. I had been trying to figure out for awhile why they would move Baker to a smaller diocese, but the EWTN thing makes a lot of sense. Thanks!

  7. nota bene.
    on episcopal appointments weirdness, under pope Benedict XVI, I had in mind naturally SFco but also all ... but one new French bishops, several Brazilian bishops etc.
    Even the one and only supposedly trad-oriented new French bishop - he celebrates TLM privately - has made a tepid comment on Summorum Pontificum.
    Some new "Benedictine" bishops are among the more hostile, anti-trad French bishops ... so the weirdness. Plus the Polish mess.

    As I've written elsewhere, with Bruskewitz-Timlin-Chaput-Burke like of bishops, the recent motu proprio would have been requested only on the symbolic status of TLM. Good bishops have implemented the previous 1984-1988 canonical regime with genuine "generosity".

    So once again, the future of the Church is primarily linked to a sound policy of episcopal appointments. I cannot say I've been impressed in the past 2 years for the Church worldwide, or negatively impressed. It seems the most recent appointments, even in France, are not weird or at least less weird.
    Abp Ranjith called earlier this year for a "correction of course" in general : I feel this is urgent indeed. The motu proprio, I hope, is the first rocket ...

  8. Alsaticus,

    would you mind pointing out who the "tradition-minded" new French bishop is?

  9. Anonymous11:52 AM

    Absolutely Amazing. I sent a lette to EWTN askinf for the Old Mass to be broadcast. They said they had to follow local norms. Now that is undone............Let us not be confounded!!!!!!!!

  10. Anonymous3:59 PM

    As far as the TLM on EWTN, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    Summorum Pontificum doesn't go into effect until next month and Bp Baker will not be installed until October 2.

    My guess is that any statement about the TLM being televised on EWTN will not come until November.

  11. Bp Centène, of Vannes, the 1st bishop appointed under pope Benedict XVI in France.

    It's easy, he is the only one vaguely looking like trad-minded US bishops.

    Most of the other "Benedictine" French bishops would pass for Niederauer-Mahoney-Bernardin like bishops.
    It looks like a resurrection of the not-so-glorious 1960's and 1970's.
    In short, a prodigious regression, a giant step ... backward !
    As if French Church in decay could afford to be populated with 1960's minded bishops... John Paul II would have hardly appointed.

  12. Anonymous4:56 PM

    Did Bishop Baker bring in the FSSP to South Carolina?


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