Friday, 26 June 2009

Seven signs of the counter-reformation...

Traddies are a often a depressed lot, convinced the end is nigh (as well it might be). And it is easy to find lots of things to be depressed about in the Church and outside of it.

Over at Creative Minority Report, they even have a Friday setpiece of the Eight Signs of the Apocalypse (well ok they might be a bit humorous...).

But really, traddies have a lot of things to rejoice about at the moment, so I've decided to try out a new series for Friday each week, viz the seven signs of the Counter-Reformation - collecting up the good news stories on the restoration of things Catholic. Do please send me suggestions to include...

7. A Bishop meeting with traditionally oriented Orders - and praising the use of chant and wearing of habits.

The Acatholicas are all het up about an entry from Cardinal Sean O'Malley's blog:

"On Wednesday morning I celebrated Mass and had breakfast with the Heralds of the Gospel, an International Association of Pontifical Right. They were first established by Pope John Paul II in 2001, and they already have thousands of consecrated men and women and are present in 57 countries world-wide.

They came to Boston for a visit, and to bring with them the pilgrim image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to various parishes and schools of the archdiocese. I was so impressed with their love and devotion for the Eucharist, the Blessed Mother and the Holy Father.

They sang beautifully during the Mass, and most of their repertoire was the old Latin chants I learned as a young friar.

It was wonderful to be with them and to hear about all the exciting things they are doing to evangelize in different countries. I also have to say that they looked pretty impressive in their very distinctive habits! "

6. Archdiocese of Manila decrees that only boys may be altar servers (with apologies to The Sibyl!).

Rorate Caeli reports that on 14 June Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales' of Manila issued a Pastoral letter on the Sunday Celebration of the Eucharist that includes a prohibition on female altar servers:

"28. From antiquity, the altars (sic) servers have exercised their ministry within the assembly and they have helped to enhance the quality of the celebration by taking part in processions and by ensuring that all the requisites for the celebration are available at the appropriate time. (GIRM, 100)

It is a proven fact that many ordained ministers developed their vocation to the priesthood because of their membership in this ministry when they were young. We therefore wish to continue the practice of reserving this ministry to young boys, in order to introduce them to the life and ministry of the Church. (Redemptionis Sacramentum)."

5. Record numbers attend Blessed Sacrament Processions for Corpus Christi this year

From Sydney the Catholic Weekly reports:

"More than 5000 Catholics braved the inclement weather to walk, pray and sing together in the rain during the annual Procession of the Blessed Sacrament to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi last Sunday. Despite the weather, crowd numbers were up in the year following World Youth Day on the Feast of Corpus Christi. Bishop Julian Porteous, Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, said people came to show their “great appreciation of the gift of Christ given to us through the Eucharist”.

“The procession was more like a sea of umbrellas as we walked through the city from St Patrick’s, Church Hill, and ended inside St Mary’s Cathedral,” he said. “The Cathedral was absolutely packed and several hundred weren't able to fit in."

4. Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP....speaks from a Salvation Army Hall.

The Liberal former Master of the Dominican Order, who presided over the period of its decline between 1992 and 2001 was in Australia this week for the 'Catalysts for Renewal Forum' - held at Sydney's Salvation Army Hall due, one gathers to the Cardinal Archbishop's insistence that those using catholic facilities actually say things consistent with catholic doctrine.

Fr Radcliffe apparently supports homosexuals becoming priests and other such causes.

Of course, we will know the restoration has really arrived when Liberals don't get to speak in Brisbane Cathedral and participate in its anniversary celebrations.....

3. US bishops correct false teaching about the relationship between Judaism and Catholicism

Catholic Culture reports that the US Conference of Catholic Bishop's has put out a statement acknowledging significant deficiencies in a 2002 statement on the Church's mission and the role of Jews.

The 2002 statement is now apparently 'not be taken as an authoritative presentation of the teaching of the Catholic Church' and 'contains some statements that are insufficiently precise and potentially misleading.

'The statement notes that while the original document emphasized the unique relationship between God and the Jewish people, 'This acknowledgment needs to be accompanied, however, by a clear affirmation of the Church's belief that Jesus Christ in Himself fulfills God's revelation begun with Abraham and that proclaiming this good news to all the world is at the heart of her mission'.

According to Catholic Culture, the new USCCB statement goes on to observe that the emphasis in Reflections on the importance of the Jewish witness "could lead some to conclude mistakenly that Jews have an obligation not to become Christian and that the Church has a corresponding obligation not to baptize Jews." The Church can never compromise her commitment to evangelize all people, the bishops' doctrine committee states.

2. Church recovation reversed: return to use of the High Altar at Westminister Cathedral

In one of a series of promising moves, the new Archbishop of Westminister has ordered the removal of the temporary freestanding altar that previously blocked the view of the older High Altar. Read more at New Liturgical Movement. Here it is as it was:

For a Pontifical Mass showing its restored splendor, go and take a look at Fr Finigan's blog.

Hmm, if only this trend had caught on in Australia a little earlier so that we didn’t have the new anti-TLM altar in St Mary’s – not to mention the ‘innovative’ approaches to architecture being adopted by some of the bishops in the West…

1. The Pope initiates Year of the Priest

Yes, that's a Year dedicated to the sacramental priesthood, Holy Orders.

Not the 'priesthood of the faithful', not a year of the laity.

At his General Audience this week the Pope explained:

"The aim of this Year for Priests", he went on, "is to support each priest's struggle towards spiritual perfection, 'upon which the effectiveness of his ministry particularly depends', and to help priests, and with them the entire People of God, to rediscover and revive an awareness of the extraordinary and indispensable gift of Grace which the ordained ministry represents, for the person who receives it, for the entire Church, and for the world which would be lost without the real presence of Christ".

"Although the historical and social conditions in which the 'Cure of Ars' worked have changed, it is right to ask how priests can imitate him by identifying themselves with their ministry in modern globalised societies", said the Pope.

"In a world in which the common view of life leaves ever less space for the sacred, in place of which 'functionality' becomes the only decisive category, the Catholic concept of priesthood could risk losing its due regard, sometimes even in the ecclesial conscience".

The Holy Father identified two conceptions of the priesthood, "which do not in fact contradict one another". On the one hand "a social-functional conception which identifies the essence of priesthood with the concept of 'service'. ... On the other hand there is a sacramental-ontological conception" which sees priestly ministry "as determined by a gift called Sacrament, granted by the Lord through the mediation of the Church"."


Fr Ray Blake said...

Westminster: the choristers now receive Holy Copmmunion kneeling on the altar step and on the tongue!

Louise said...

Good move, Terra!

Stephen said...

I disagree that the new Altar in St Marys is "anti TLM".

The correct way to arrange an Altar in the 21st century is to allow both celebration "versus populum" and "ad orientem" (Elliott, Ceremonies of the modern Roman Rite, 2004, n61). The new Altar at St Marys being constructed with these principles in mind, is emminently suitable for the celebration of the Roman Rite in the extraordinary form.

Terra said...

Stephen - The problem as I understand it is that there isn't sufficient space around it to celebrate ad orientem at all.

See this write up:

Stephen said...

I still disagree.

Last weekend I attended Solemn Mass at St Marys. During the Credo, the principal celebrant "presided" facing East in front of the new Altar, including a deep bow as mandated by the GIRM during the "Et Incarnatus est".

There is ample room for celebrating in this configuration.

Terra said...

The problem as I understand it is for solemn masses (pretty crucial in a cathedral).