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Online Edition:
May 2012
Vol. XVIII, No. 3

News and Views

CMAA Colloquium: The Beauty of Catholic Liturgical Music | US Bishops Call for Prayer: "A Fortnight for Freedom" | UK Cardinal Says Christians Should Wear Crosses | Canada Ordinariate Launched

CMAA Colloquium:The Beauty of Catholic Liturgical Music

The Sacred Music Colloquium XXII, sponsored by the Church Music Association of America (CMAA), will be held June 25-July 1, 2012, at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sessions open with a dinner on Thursday, June 25, followed by compline. The colloquium events include instruction on singing chant and polyphony, rehearsals, lectures and workshops on aspects of liturgical music, and daily celebrations of Mass. A choral presentation by the children’s choir of the Cathedral of the Madeleine and an organ recital are also highlights of the colloquium.

Major addresses will be “Aspects of English Translation”, presented by Monsignor Andrew Wadsworth, secretary of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL); and “Vespers: Its Place in Liturgical Life”, presented by William Mahrt, president of the CMAA and author of a newly published book, The Musical Shape of the Liturgy.

Workshop speakers and their topics include Horst Buchholz, CMAA vice-president and music director at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, “Conducting: Technical aspects of choral singing”; Aristotle Esguerra, on Gregorian chant engraving; Jeffrey Ostrowski, on his Vatican II Hymnal project; Kathleen Pluth, “Vernacular Hymns: The Good, the Bad and the Heretical”; Kurt Poterack, “Documents on Church Music”, Susan Treacy, “Treasures of Sacred Music in Liturgical Context”; and others.

Information, program details, and registration: musicasacra.com/colloquium.

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US Bishops Call for Prayer: “A Fortnight for Freedom”

American Catholics must resist unjust laws “as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith,” the US bishops said in a statement on religious liberty released April 12.

Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty, the 12-page document released by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Religious Liberty and approved by the Administrative Committee, also calls for “a fortnight for freedom” from June 21, the vigil of the feasts of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, to the 4th of July.

“This special period of prayer, study, catechesis and public action would emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty,” the statement said. “Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.”

The document lists several serious problems, including the US Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate that health plans must include contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs free of charge, even if the employer is morally opposed to such services.

Among other problems, the statement also listed an attempt by the Connecticut Legislature in 2009 to restructure Catholic parishes; a New York City rule that prohibits small churches from renting public schools for weekend worship; actions in Boston, San Francisco, the District of Columbia, and the state of Illinois that have “driven local Catholic Charities out of the business of providing adoption or foster care services” because the agencies would not place children with same-sex or unmarried heterosexual couples, and an Alabama law that would prohibit churches from giving any humanitarian aid to illegal immigrants.

“If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them,” the statement said. “No American desires this. No Catholic welcomes it. But if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith.”

The US bishops’ Committee on Religious Liberty is chaired by Archbishop-designate William Lori, recently named archbishop of Baltimore.

The full text of Our First, Most Cherished Liberty is available on the USCCB web site at usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/our-first-most-cherished-liberty.cfm.

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UK Cardinal Says Christians Should Wear Crosses

In his Easter Sunday homily, Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Edinburgh said wearing the cross regularly is a sign of the Christian’s desire to imitate Christ and “should not be a problem for others.”

“Rather they should see in that sign an indication of our own desire to love and to serve all peoples in imitation of that love and service of Jesus Christ,” he told the congregation at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

The cardinal’s comments were particularly significant, in that Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative government has opposed two British women who have taken their case before the European Court of Human Rights seeking the right to wear a cross in their workplaces.

In his homily, Cardinal O’Brien quoted the address by Pope Benedict at Westminster Hall during his September 2010 visit to Britain: “Religion is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation. In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalization of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance.”

The cardinal noted that “when the pope addressed those leaders in Westminster Hall, his cross was visible over his robes — as indeed the cross is visible over the garments of every cardinal and bishop.

“Why shouldn’t each and every Christian similarly wear proudly a symbol of the cross of Christ on their garments each and every day of their lives?” he asked. “I know that many of you do wear such a cross of Christ — not in any ostentatious way, not in a way that might harm you at your work or recreation, but a simple indication that you value the role of Jesus Christ in the history of the world, that you are trying to live by Christ’s standards in your own daily life and that you are only too willing to reach out a hand of help to others, as did Jesus Christ when He was on earth. Whether on a simple chain or pinned to a lapel, the cross identifies us as disciples of Christ and we should wear it with pride.”

Cardinal O’Brien stressed religious freedom: “When concluding his speech in Westminster Hall, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the harmony and co-operation which should be possible between the Church and public bodies. He indicated that for this to be fruitful, religious bodies ‘need to be free to act in accordance with their own principles and specific convictions based upon the faith and the official teachings of the Church’.

“This co-operation is indeed looked for by our Church in this country and I think that that symbol of the cross of Christ, worn frequently by our Catholic community and by Christians of all denominations, is an indication of our desire to live by Christian standards and to hand on those standards to others as best we can, living in a spirit of co-operation.”

***

Canada Ordinariate Launched

Two bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (ACCC) — Peter Wilkinson from Victoria and Carl Reid from Ottawa — led their clergy and people into the Catholic Church on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 15.

Bishop Richard Gagnon of Victoria and Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, of Ottawa received the groups at special Masses and will provide spiritual oversight and priests to celebrate the Anglican Use liturgy for the new Catholics until their own priests are ordained and their parishes can join the American Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter that was established January 1.

Archbishop Prendergast described the move as “among the first fruits” of Anglicanorum Coetibus, Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Constitution that offered a way for Anglicans to become Catholic while retaining aspects of their liturgical tradition.

Other ACCC congregations are planning to become part of the ordinariate or parishes within existing Catholic dioceses.

Source: BC Catholic (Vancouver)

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