Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Speaking of Bishop's

Here was a great post about the8 Habits of Highly Effective Bishops

1. A bishop must be personally holy.
2. A bishop must promote and defend the authentic Catholic Faith.
3. A bishop must be committed to Catholic education.
4. A bishop must work to strengthen the Catholic family.
5. A bishop must foster vocations.
6. A bishop must love the Mass.
7. A bishop must be willing and able to start from scratch.
8. A bishop must be vocal in the public square.

I guess we must all do this, not just bishops. I fail as well as the next man. However, I am not a professional catholic like Bishops.

Two things worth reading on the role of the Bishop are the Enciclycal Letter of JPII Pastores Gregis

and the great Bishop Carlson's letter on a Bishop's Duties which in some ways prefigured JPII's letter.

Lincoln Nebraska has best Priest/Parishoner Ratio

See Article

"According to the Official Catholic Directory of 2005, the authoritative guide to the Catholic Church in the U.S., there are 121 active diocesan priests in Lincoln and 89,236 Catholics.

Those numbers indicate there is one priest for every 737 Catholics, which is far greater than the total national statistic of one priest for every 4,723 Catholics. The New York Times reported Oct. 7 that in 2003, there was nationally one priest for every 2,677 Catholics, meaning the U.S. priest shortage has nearly doubled in the last two years.

In Omaha, with one priest for every 1,755 Catholics, the diocese is slightly behind Lincoln but still far above the national average.

The directory also shows that some of the lowest ratios of active priests to Catholics tend to occur in larger dioceses.

The Diocese of Los Angeles has only one priest for every 12,217 Catholics, and the Diocese of El Paso, Texas, has one priest for every 11, 927 Catholics."

In Lincoln Nebraska not only is the Latin Mass encouraged but the Society of St. Peter has a major seminary there. Their website

With all due respect for Cardinal Mahoney but one source says that three people are ordained in the largest catholic diocese in the U.S. See notes in this link

Cardinal Mahoney told one group that the Parochial ministry is changing. He was refering to his pastoral letter, As I Have Done For You

“The pastoral letter does not chart out a course for dealing with the ‘vocation crisis,’ but is, we believe, a Spirit-assisted response to the deepening awareness that it is in the very nature of the Church to be endowed with many gifts, ministries and offices,” he said. “Consequently, mere adjustment and small shifts in practice will not do. What is called for is a reorientation in our thinking about ministry, as well as in our ministerial practice.”

I guess if you cannot inspire men to become priests you tell people that the Holy Spirit doesn't need Priests but needs us to change our thinking. The Bishop of Lincoln has another approach, Pray for vocations

I am sure that Cardinal Mahoney is sincere but Lay people need leadership and the sacraments so that they can go out an save the world, they don't need to compete with priests for jobs in the sanctuary.

Latin Mass encouraged at the Synod

Propositions from the Synod

"Proposition 36 suggests that in international celebrations the Mass be said in Latin, apart from the readings, the homily, and the Prayers of the Faithful, and that priests be trained from the seminary to use Latin prayers as well as Gregorian Chant. It also recommends that the faithful be educated to do so as well.John Allen's original

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a nice priest who was training major seminarians. I asked him what they teach for liturgical music at the seminary and he said that they really didn't teach anything and the music was chosen by the seminarians from a song book for their Sunday liturgy. Hopefully this will change and the seminaries will hire music directors to teach Gregorian Chant. This is a long rang proposition.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Tridentine Mass in Fargo ND

Bishop in Fargo says he will deny Funeral rites to Catholics who attend St. Pius X Latin Mass

In contrast, this is how our current Pope Benedict XVI viewed these people:

The Holy Father (then Cardinal
Ratzinger) wrote in 2002:

"For fostering a true consciousness in liturgical matters, it is
also important that the proscription against the form of liturgy in
valid use up to 1970 should be lifted. Anyone who nowadays advocates
the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is
treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been
anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising and
proscribing the Church's whole past. How can one trust her present
if things are that way? I must say, quite openly, that I don't
understand why so many of my Episcopal brethren have to a great
extent submitted to this rule of intolerance, which for no apparent
reason is opposed to making the necessary inner reconciliations
within the Church."

The best option is to 'generously allow' (JPII) the indult mass in the diocese for those Roman Catholics who feel an attachment to the 1962 liturgy. Our good and gracious Lord can see from his throne in heaven all of the licit and illicit ways in which the church bends over backwards to try and make itself inclusive for people of progressive sympathies.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Communion in hand versus on tongue gets attention at synod

Two things to keep in mind when reading this article

The Melkite Patriarch is right and wrong. Communion in the hand existed but it was the exception not the rule. St. Basil admitted it for times of persecution but there is no evidence that it was a universal custom in the church.

The use and abuse of ancient history as it relates to the liturgy is amusing. People with no real evidence imagine an idyllic past from fragments that are at best questionable and recreate a past based on a view of the present that makes them happy. When confronted with the difficulty of establishing their view as historically defensible they just ignore the facts because that is too much work. They are using history to explain their views of today.

by John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- It was not listed as a topic for discussion, but the question of Communion in the hand versus Communion on the tongue received attention at the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.

Cardinal Janis Pujats of Riga, Latvia, was the first to raise the issue, telling the synod Oct. 3 that he thought Catholics should receive Communion on the tongue -- while kneeling. When communicants stand, Cardinal Pujats said, he feels like a dentist looking into their mouths.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, who heads the Vatican's worship congregation, responded by saying that arguments could be made for both Communion practices, in the hand and on the tongue, according to information released by the Vatican. Ultimately, he said, it's up to bishops' conferences to decide what is best in each country, but he added that Communion in the hand needs better catechesis.

Cardinal Arinze said non-Catholics in particular sometimes fail to understand Communion in the hand. He related a story about one person who went up and received Communion and then took it home and kept the host in his scrapbook.

The cardinal added that Communion in the hand does make it easier for sacrilege against a consecrated host. He reminded bishops that a host reportedly received at a papal Mass in 1998 was put up for sale on eBay earlier this year before being withdrawn by the seller.

Speaking Oct. 4, Archbishop Jan Lenga of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, called Communion in the hand a "fad." He proposed that the Vatican issue a universal norm to gradually do away with it and return to Communion on the tongue while kneeling.

The archbishop said Muslims in his predominantly Islamic country consider it disrespectful to receive Communion in the hand while standing. He said Catholics could learn a lot from Orthodox Christians and Muslims about how to show reverence to God.

He added that Communion in the hand adds to the risk of host fragments breaking off and falling to the ground and to the risk of profaning the consecrated host.

One synod participant noted that objections to Communion in the hand were coming from bishops in Eastern Europe, where the liturgical changes introduced by the Second Vatican Council have been implemented only recently.

A different perspective was offered by Melkite Patriarch Gregoire III Laham of Damascus, Syria. He quoted the fourth-century writings of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, who described how Communion should be received in the hand as if the hand were a throne for the Lord. Communion in the hand was the common practice in the early centuries of the church.

The Vatican opened the way for a return to Communion in the hand in 1969, allowing local bishops' conferences to adopt the practice as an option. At the time, the Vatican cautioned that the change should be introduced gradually and with instruction, so that a sense of reverence was preserved.