Category Archives: Church (ecclesiology)

Claim the Truth of Christ, says Archbishop Dolan in USCCB address November 14, 2011

You can read Archbishop Dolan’s presidential address in its entirety elsewhere; here I offer a few points from the address to reflect upon:

our most
pressing pastoral challenge today
is to reclaim that truth, to restore the
luster, the credibility, the beauty of the Church “ever ancient, ever new,”
renewing her as the face of Jesus, just as He is the face of God. Maybe our
most urgent pastoral priority is to lead our people to see, meet, hear and embrace
anew Jesus in and through His Church.

Because, as the chilling statistics we
cannot ignore tell us, fewer and fewer of our beloved people — to say nothing
about those outside the household of the faith — are convinced that Jesus and
His Church are one. As Father Ronald Rolheiser wonders, we may be living in a
post-ecclesial era, as people seem to prefer

a King but not
the kingdom,

a shepherd with
no flock,

to believe
without belonging,

a spiritual
family with God as my father, as long as I’m

the only child,
without religion

faith without
the faithful

Christ without
His Church.

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Vatican cardinal meets SSPX superior general

Card Wm J Levada.jpgThe Vatican office organizing the “talks” between the Holy See and the Society of Saint Pius X issued a press release going over some of the areas of concern between the two. William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith met today for two hours with Bishop Bernard Fellay. Among the issues presented and discussed was the set of principles called the “Doctrinal Preamble” which is outlining the ecclesial solution of bringing the SSPX into full communion with the Catholic Church. Some are thinking that the pastoral solution might be akin to that of a personal prelature like what the Opus Dei is in the Church.

Bernard Fellay.jpeg

The Doctrinal Preamble gives canonical and ecclesiological guidance for life in the Church, including principles for interpreting Church teaching since the Second Vatican Council, namely ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, religious freedom and the sacred Liturgy. This is understood in the saying: thinking (feeling) with the Church” (sentire cum ecclesiae).
No deadline was given but it is understood that a period of a two to three months is given to understand and pray about the issues at hand. It has been 21 years since the SSPX broke with Catholic Church.
Read the Vatican Radio’s announcement about the meeting.
Cindy Wooden of CNS covered the story.

SSPX insulting Pope Benedict?

I raise the question of the Society of Saint Pius X insulting Pope Benedict with a degree of seriousness. Why? Because when I read the article that was written by Father Regis de Cacqueray and published with the approval of the SSPX Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay, I thought while many of the ideas need to be understood better and are worthy of further investigation, de Cacqueray’s seeming intentions and tone are really offensive and unbecoming of a priest.

As Pope Benedict has said and indicated many times, no one is above scrutiny. Charity requires the teaching of truth; the first item of justice ought to be charitable discourse to correct error. I do, however, think Father Regis de Cacqueray’s rhetoric is rather inflamatory.
The National Review had an opinion piece on the issue, too.
AND all this around the days of serious conversation between the Holy See and the SSPX!!!
What do you think?

Chaput gives witness to the vocation of bishop

Charles J Chaput coat of arms.jpg

Yesterday’s installation of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput as the new Archbishop of Philadelphia was beautiful on all avenues: music, word, gersture. One of many beautiful parts of his homily was on the ministry (vocation) of the bishop. For that part he quoted the great bishop and Doctor of the Church, Saint Augustine of Hippo. You may think I am cynical by saying this, but I wonder sometimes how often our bishops live up to their vocation as the Church has expected and how often they reflect on the words of a brother such as the eminent Augustine. Perhaps not often enough. AND that is likely the reason Archbishop Charles mention the vocation his homily.

What follows is a terrfic teaching on this vitally vigorous vocation of the Church.

Thanks be to God for the Archbishop!

St. Augustine of Hippo, speaking in the 4th century captured the role of the bishop in these words: 

“Jerusalem had watchmen who stood guard . . . And this is what bishops do. Now, bishops are assigned this higher place” — the bishop’s chair in the basilica -“so that they themselves may oversee and, as it were, keep watch over the people. For they are called episkopos in Greek, which means ‘overseer,’ because the bishop oversees; because he looks down from [his chair] . . . And on account of this high place, a perilous accounting will have to be rendered [by the bishop] – unless we stand here with a heart such that we place ourselves beneath your feet in humility.”

bishops ceremonial dress.jpg

Another time, on the anniversary of his episcopal ordination, Augustine described the bishop’s duties in the following way: 

“To rebuke those who stir up strife, to comfort those of little courage, to take the part of the weak, to refute opponents, to be on guard against traps, to teach the ignorant, to shake the indolent awake, to discourage those who want to buy and sell, to put the presumptuous in their place, to modify the quarrelsome, to help the poor, to liberate the oppressed, to encourage the good, to suffer the evil and to love all men.”

It’s crucial for those of us who are bishops not simply to look like bishops but to truly be bishops. Otherwise, we’re just empty husks — the kind of men Augustine meant when he said, 

“You say, ‘He must be a bishop for he sits upon the cathedra.’ True – and a scarecrow might also be called a watchman in the vineyard.”

Archbishop Chaput is official! Off to Philadelphia

It is official…

Il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI ha accettato la rinuncia al governo pastorale dell’arcidiocesi metropolitana di Philadelphia (U.S.A.), presentata dall’ Card. Justin F. Rigali, in conformità al can. 401 § 1 del Codice di Diritto Canonico.

Il Papa ha nominato Arcivescovo Metropolita di Philadelphia (U.S.A.) S.E. Mons. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., finora Arcivescovo di Denver.

The Archdiocese has a page for Archbishop Chaput.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
coat of arms



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