Pope Francis has appointed a new archbishop for Toronto, Auxiliary Bishop Frank Leo, after accepting the resignation of Thomas Cardinal Collins (Bishops are required to submit a resignation letter to the Pope on their 75th birthday, and the Pope is free to decide whether or not to accept the resignation; there is often some dialogue on that, one might imagine).
The archbishop-elect, who is on the young-ish side (born in 1971) will be consecrated to his see sometime in the near future. For now, we may take heart that he seems to tend towards the conservative – what that means in our ecclesia moderna is like the tallest building in Omaha – so we may hope, even against hope, as has become my obiter dicta.
According to the afore-linked biography, Bishop Leo is a scholar of patristics, which is good, for the Church has to become ‘radical’ – back to the roots of what made the Gospel a ‘fire upon earth’, contra mundum, the divine power that converted the pagan Roman empire. The status quo is not an option, as the Church in Canada is sliding off an apathetic abyss. Plummeting attendance; secularization and paganization of schools at all levels; the loss of Faith, especially in the young; the moral – or rather immoral – life of Catholics not much different, or worse, than those outside the Church; ignorance and apathy of even basic revealed truths ubiquitous and endemic; most parishes in palliative care mode, if not life support; obsequious submission to the state at all levels; Catholic politicians legislating the most evil of laws with impunity; and regular Catholics voting for them the same way; the devil roaming around looking for souls to devour, without all that much in the way of opposition.
We need an episcopal saint at the tiller of the barque in the midst of this perfect storm, willing to be a martyr. A new Saint Gregory, Augustine Ambrose – or, yes, Leo.
For now, pray for our newest bishop-elect. May the grace of God, and the prayers of Our Lady, Saint Joseph, Saint Michael and all the saints be with him. +