Rocky Takes Toronto

  

In one unforgettable week, Archbishop Thomas Collins’ installation brought visits to S+L from Halifax’s Archbishop Prendergast and Denver’s Archbishop Chaput (who was interviewed for an upcoming Witness). The installation itself was heavenly—and not just for the Catholic press. Collins impressed with his accessibility and candidness to print, radio and television.

But there was another installation attendee and S+L visitor you may not have yet heard about. Rocco Palmo is the author of Whispers in the Loggia, a blog reporting and speculating on church appointments and pronouncements. The Church hierarchy can seem shadowy and impenetrable without the kind of analysis ‘Rocky’ provides. He counts Archbishops as friends, translates Church-speak for the mainstream media and serves as The Tablet’s American correspondent. With such credentials, the novel fact of his age–24 years old–is quickly forgotten.

Rocky, a fixture in our offices all week, taught me a thing or two about enthusiasm. Perhaps due to his familiarity with Church leaders everywhere, he understood better than I the immense significance of Collins’ arrival—not just for Toronto, but for the whole Church in Canada. His enthusiasm palpable, he showed no trace of the cynicism one might expect from an expert in Church politics. He’s the kind of guy whose stories frequently end with “I was moved to tears”—and you believe it. Critics are ubiquitous; rare is he who can recognize what is truly good, then rejoice rowdily, fittingly.