- Friday, 19 November 2010 12:39
Billed my some as extra-ordinary, but likely seen by insiders as ordinary, Pope Benedict met with his cardinals and the new cardinals –24 of them– he intends to make tomorrow, in a forum where information is exchanged and consultation given. The meeting of Pope and cardinals was conducted in the context of prayer. Prayer and exchange, not the making of decisions was the format. It is estimated that about 150 of the worlds 203 cardinals met today. Topics ranged from the sacred Liturgy and religious freedom, but also the exercise of religion, secularism, conversion and entering into full communion with the Catholic Church to healthcare. Since this is also the 10th anniversary of Dominus Iesus, the document which recalls that salvation comes uniquely and universally through the person of Jesus Christ, the Pope and cardinals will reflect on the impact this document has made since its publication.
Some cardinals expressed their frustration and exhaustion over the sexual abuse crisis, but their feelings aside, this is a central issue that needs to be corrected right now. Certainly people are worn down by the continuous attention the sex abuse crisis has garnered, but the credibility of the Church to proclaim the Gospel of Salvation is at stake if the immoral actions of priests, bishops and laity is not dealt with in forthright manner. Pope Benedict is doing the hard work now, as he has done in the past, to clean up the moral rot found in the Church.
- Thursday, 18 November 2010 19:53
The out-going chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, gave the following update to the USCCB today. Bishop Serratelli is now succeeded by the Archbishop of New Orleans, the Most Reverend Gregory M. Aymond. The USCCB press release is here.
There has been some discussion recently about a report
surfaced through some segments of the Catholic Press regarding the present
state of the text of the Roman Missal, Third Edition. A number of facts will
hopefully clarify the situation and, in so doing, give us the calm needed to
welcome and implement the new text.
First, it is helpful to keep in mind the
genesis of the final text that is now being prepared for publication. The International
Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) prepared for the English-speaking
Conferences of Bishops preliminary drafts (“green books”) of the 12 sections of
the Roman Missal. After incorporating the feedback and responses of the
individual Conferences of Bishops and the Vatican Congregation for Divine
Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, ICEL then prepared the final
drafts (“gray books”). These were approved by canonical vote by each of the
member Conferences. In approving the gray books, each conference also had the
opportunity to make further suggestions to the Congregation, as was done in
particular by our Conference. We submitted many amendments to the texts. The
Congregation, working with the Vox Clara Committee, carefully listened to what
the bishops said. The Congregation incorporated many of the suggestions of the
various Conferences (including our own), combined with their own review and
changes, and put forth the final text. The Congregation followed the principles
of Liturgiam Authenticam faithfully but not slavishly.
This is the final text
now being readied for publication. This process includes a final review and
copy edit which, given the size of the text, uncovers some minor questions of
consistency, typographical errors, and layout. Those questions are being
addressed by the Congregation for Divine Worship. This review has not dealt
with the translation itself. The critique that has circulated has necessarily
failed to take into account the final version of the text, which incorporates
some corrections issued by the Congregation since the transmittal of the full
text to the English-speaking Conferences of Bishops in August 2010.
To sum up,
there is a final text. It has received a recognitio. As the work of editing and
assembling nears completion, there is assurance that the published text will be
available in more than ample time for implementation in Advent 2011. It is good
to note also that the catechetical preparation for implementation is already
underway and has proceeded with much enthusiasm and wide acceptance by both
clergy and laity. It is clear at this point in time that there is an attitude
of openness and readiness to receive the new text. Let us pray in this time of
transition and change that the Roman Missal, Third Edition, will enable all to
understand more deeply the mysteries we celebrate.
Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli
Chairman, USCCB Committee on Divine Worship
November 18, 2010
- Tuesday, 09 November 2010 07:39
Jerusalem, city of God, you will shine with the light of God’s splendor; all people on earth will pay you homage. Nations will come from afar, bearing gifts for the King of Heaven; in you they will worship the Lord. (the lamp-lighting antiphon from the Dedication of a Church)
At first blush some people will ask, why is the Church celebrating the dedication of a church building. The answer is, she’s not. Some history is crucial in understanding today’s liturgical observance.
The cathedral church of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, is Saint John Lateran, not Saint Peter’s Basilica. And by extension, the Lateran basilica is the head of all churches in the world. The confusion between the Lateran and Vatican basilicas is a common and understandable mistake since Saint Peter’s is the place where the bones of Saint Peter are buried and it’s the place where the Pope most often celebrates ecclesial events. The Lateran was a church built by the Emperor Constantine and consecrated in AD 324 by Pope Sylvester. Notice that the church was consecrated 12 short years following the Edict of Milan.
The feast honoring the role of the basilica church in Christendom, indeed, the entire world at one time, is understood in the aphorism: omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater et caput (the mother and head of all churches of Rome and the world). The Lateran is the place that symbolizes the ministry of bishop as teacher, servant and sanctifier; it’s the place where charity is most identifiable.
Pope Benedict said it well in his 2008 Angelus Address for this feast: “Dear Friends, today’s feast celebrates a mystery that is always relevant: God’s desire to build a spiritual temple in the world, a community that worships him in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:23-4). But this observance also reminds us of the importance of the material buildings in which the community gathers to celebrate the praises of God. Every community therefore has the duty to take special care of its own sacred buildings, which are a precious religious and historical patrimony. For this call upon the intercession of Mary Most Holy, that she help us to become, like her, the ‘house of God,’ living temple of love.”
- Wednesday, 03 November 2010 14:04
Not long ago a friend asked me why Catholics don’t celebrate
the Jewish holy days. Good question.
A response to the question as to why we
don’t celebrate the Jewish holy days would be along these lines: the Paschal
Triduum is the Christian Passover, the true Pasch. Even the Greek and Latin
name for Easter tells us that (as also the derivation of the name for Easter in
Spanish, French, Italian from the same root).
In one sense, Jesus’ teaching was
in continuity with Judaism (Mt 5.17: “Think not that I have come to abolish
the Law”); but he also in Matthew 5 puts himself forward as a higher Lawgiver
than Moses (“you have heard it said, but I tell you…”). I suggest
reading Rabbi Jacob Neusner’s book, A Rabbi Talks with Jesus, which makes this
point very clear. The Pope himself said in Jesus of Nazareth that Neusner’s book is
an excellent example of honest and reasoned argument between a believing Jew
and the Jesus of the gospels.
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