Tag Archives: Vatican II

SSPX detente?

The religion editor for Reuters published an article “Catholic splinter group sees no Vatican accord” on the eve of Vatican-Society of St Pius X talks ending but with no resolution. Why this group of priests persists in living outside the Catholic Church and under the unity of Pope Benedict is beyond me. Hubris is a good word but the issues are complex. Certainly there are some legitimate doctrinal issues that have surfaced following the Second Vatican Council on which the SSPX adherents are correct in objecting to. But their manifest schism from the Church of Rome is not the way to renew doctrine and to have care for the salvation of souls. I think Bishop Bernard Fellay is too obstinate to accept any offer of Divine Grace from the Trinity.

Equipped for Ministry? Each person called by the Lord has work to do

Working in a great parish where it is difficult to get some of the simplest things done due to a labor shortage –that is, people giving their time for service– and getting other ministerial things accomplished for the good of the Church and the salvation of souls, thinking about the ministry of the laity has given me pause to revisit some personal thinking. Baltimore’s Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien wrote about lay ministry in the current edition of The Catholic Review where he acknowledges the great number of people who Christ and the Church in generous ways by living the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Archbishop puts his finger on a process, formation. Pay attention to what Pope Benedict has said about parish work.

Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien

One of the great joys I have experienced in my visits to parishes and schools in our Archdiocese over the past three-plus years has been the witness of so many dedicated lay Catholics who serve the Church in many and diverse ways. 

Much of the work of these lay ministers is visible to us. They share their gifts and talents as music ministers at Mass, making “a joyful noise to the Lord,” and as lectors, ushers and Eucharistic ministers who, Sunday after Sunday, show great care for the liturgy. Catechists minister in our parishes, passing on the faith to Catholics of all ages – from converts to “cradle Catholics” – who are hungry for spiritual nourishment. And the youth ministers of our Archdiocese share their enthusiasm for being Catholic and the Gospel message of God’s love with young people “on fire” for their faith.

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Blessed Pope John XXIII

John XXIII.jpgToday is the liturgical memorial of Blessed Pope John XXIII. It is an optional memorial on the liturgical calendar and so the memorial is left up to the discretion of the celebrant. But that today is Sunday, the prayers for his Mass are not prayed because Sunday takes precedence because it is a “Little Easter.” Today also marks the anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council.

Everyone remembers the image of Pope John’s smiling face and two outstretched arms embracing the whole world. How many people were won over by his simplicity of heart, combined with a broad experience of people and things! The breath of newness he brought certainly did not concern doctrine, but rather the way to explain it; his style of speaking and acting was new, as was his friendly approach to ordinary people and to the powerful of the world. It was in this spirit that he called the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, thereby turning a new page in the Church’s history Christians heard themselves called to proclaim the Gospel with renewed courage and greater attentiveness to the “signs” of the times. The Council was a truly prophetic insight of this elderly Pontiff who, even amid many difficulties, opened a season of hope for Christians and for humanity. In the last moments of his earthly life, he entrusted his testament to the Church: “What counts the most in life is blessed Jesus Christ, his holy Church, his Gospel, truth and goodness.” (Pope John Paul II)

Charity is the most important gift

Rouault head of Christ.jpg‘God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God,
and God abides in him’ (1 Jn 4:16). God has poured out his love in our hearts
through the Holy Spirit
who has been given to us (cf. Rom 5:5); therefore the
first and most necessary gift is charity
, by which we love God above all things
and our neighbor because of him. But if charity is to grow and fructify in the
soul like a good seed, each of the faithful must willingly hear the word of God
and carry out his will with deeds, with the help of his grace; he must
frequently partake of the sacraments, chiefly the Eucharist, and take part in
the liturgy
; he must constantly apply himself to prayer, self-denial, active
brotherly service and the practice of all virtues. This is because love, as the
bond of perfection and fullness of the law (cf. Col 3:14; Rom 13:10),
governs, gives meaning to, and perfects all the means of sanctification. Hence the true disciple of Christ is marked by love both of God and of his
neighbor. (Lumen Gentium, 42)

What does the Church say about the liturgical memorial of Blessed Virgin Mary?

Madonna with Child Granducca.jpgThis most Holy Synod [Vatican II] deliberately teaches this
Catholic doctrine and at the same time admonishes all the sons of the Church
that the cult, especially the liturgical cult, of the Blessed Virgin, be
generously fostered, and the practices and exercises of piety, recommended by
the magisterium of the Church toward her in the course of centuries be made of
great moment, and those decrees, which have been given in the early days
regarding the cult of images of Christ, the Blessed Virgin and the saints, be
religiously observed. But it exhorts theologians and preachers of the
divine word to abstain zealously both from all gross exaggerations as well as
from petty narrow-mindedness in considering the singular dignity of the Mother
of God. Following the study of Sacred Scripture, the Holy Fathers, the
doctors and liturgy of the Church, and under the guidance of the Church’s
magisterium, let them rightly illustrate the duties and privileges of the
Blessed Virgin which always look to Christ, the source of all truth, sanctity
and piety. Let them assiduously keep away from whatever, either by word or
deed, could lead separated brethren or any other into error regarding the true
doctrine of the Church. Let the faithful remember moreover that true devotion
consists neither in sterile or transitory affection, nor in a certain vain
credulity, but proceeds from true faith, by which we are led to know the
excellence of the Mother of God, and we are moved to a filial love toward our
mother and to the imitation of her virtues. (Lumen gentium, 67)

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]yahoo.com.
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