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Online Edition - Vol. VIII, No. 8: November 2002

News

Lisa Tarker heads FDLC -- Theological Commission Study Dismisses Ideas of Deaconesses -- Is this burial vault a link to Jesus? -- "Christians eating God" shocks, repels, Anglican bishop says

Lisa Tarker heads FDLC

"I am honored to be the second lay Executive Director of the FDLC, following in the footsteps of so many talented and respected men", said Lisa Tarker who took office at the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions in Washington, DC, September 3.

Mrs. Tarker replaced Michael Spillane, FDLC director for sixteen years. Spillane announced his resignation this year before it was revealed he had been removed from ministry in 1991 by the Archdiocese of Baltimore for molesting six youths while serving in parishes there from 1969 to 1986.

Mrs. Tarker has been in the liturgy business since 1985. She was membership director for the Liturgical Conference for four years, and in 1989 became Convention Coordinator for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM), for whom she coordinated 32 conventions.

FDLC Newsletter, announcing her appointment, said, "Ms. Tarker is also interested in interfaith issues. Her husband of fifteen years is a a practicing Jew. The couple has two children".

The FDLC, funded by Catholic dioceses, advises the US bishops' conference on liturgical matters, and supplies agenda items for the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy (BCL). FDLC's executive director and board chairman, Father John Burton, are ex officio members of the BCL.

(Sources: BCL and FDLC Newsletters)

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Theological Commission Study Dismisses Idea of Deaconesses

(VATICAN CITY) The International Theological Commission announced that one of its recent documents excludes the possibility of the ordination of women to the diaconate.

In the statement, Father Georges Cottier, general secretary of the Commission, responded to questions about the study of the diaconate.

Father Cottier stated that the Commission's study "tends to support the exclusion" of ordaining women to the diaconate.

The Commission of well-known theologians voted to approve the document during its September 30-October 4 plenary assembly in the Vatican. The Commission is coordinated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the body that initially requested the study.

The statement noted that the Commission does not have the same authority as the Magisterium, but that the panel "presented two important indications" that emerged from the study.

"The Commission observed that the deaconesses mentioned in the tradition of the early Church cannot simply be assimilated to ordained deacons", the statement said. "In support of this conclusion, Father Cottier noted that both the rite of institution and the functions exercised by deaconesses distinguished them from ordained deacons".

In his 1994 apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II wrote "that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful".

The Vatican statement said: "The Commission's reaffirmation of this teaching arose from a careful study of the ecclesial tradition, of the documents of the Second Vatican Council, and of the post-conciliar Magisterium of the Church".
The International Theological Commission devoted more than five years of research to the topic of the history and theology of the diaconate before approving the text of its study.

(Source: Zenit)

***

Is this stone burial vault a link to Jesus?

An empty ossuary (or burial box for bones) bearing an inscription in Aramaic reading "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus", recently came to light in Israel.

The burial artifact, shown in this undated handout photo distributed by Biblical Archaeology in October, was recently discovered in a cache of antiquities in Israel. The ossuary appears to provide the oldest archaeological evidence of Jesus Christ, according to André Lemaire, a specialist in ancient inscriptions at France's Practical School of Higher Studies. Lemaire dates the ossuary, made of Jerusalem limestone, to three decades after the crucifixion, 63 AD. James, an apostle of Jesus, referred to in Scripture as "the brother of Jesus", was bishop of Jerusalem.

The names (in Hebrew, Joseph, Jacob and Joshua) are common enough that the inscription could easily be coincidence. The dating of the burial box is also uncertain, they say.

(Source: Yahoo Internet News. AP Photo/Shanks' Biblical Archaeology Review, October 21, 2002)

***

"Christians eating God" shocks, repels, Anglican bishop says

(OXFORD, ENGLAND) Christianity is failing in Britain because people are repelled by the imagery of "eating God", a prominent Anglican bishop said.

The Right Reverend Richard Harries, bishop of Oxford, argues in his book God Outside the Box that Eucharistic imagery can be disturbing.

In a chapter entitled, "Christians Eat God", Harries says: "People who are groping their way into Christianity can suddenly find themselves shocked and horrified, though they may be too polite to express such feelings, at the sacrificial, cannibalistic language of the Eucharist".

"It is very shocking imagery and needs a lot of explaining. But the Church takes it for granted and does not realize that people can find it shocking and offensive. I think we should qualify the imagery in order to help people realize that this is metaphor. We should use images like 'the food of angels' and 'the bread of life' instead".

(Source: The Times, London)

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