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Online Edition - Vol. IX, No. 9: December 2003 - January 2004

News and Views

CD Offers Jumpstart for the New Missal -- Women Leaders Pick Trustworthy Bishops -- Los Angeles: No Kneeling During Communion Rite

CD Offers Jumpstart for the New Missal

Priests (and parish choirs) who want to use the new Missal for Mass -- even before an English translation is available -- now have a helpful guide.

Orate Fratres , a CD guide for singing and saying the Mass in Latin according to the new Missale Romanum (2002) was released in December by the Association for Latin Liturgy of England, in collaboration with The Music Makers group.

Association chairman Bernard Marriott said that the CD provides "an accurate guide both to the pronunciation of Church Latin and to the singing of the chant... It will be invaluable for priests and people to refer to when uncertainties arise. In addition to the standard Gregorian texts of the Mass, plus a useful selection of important Prefaces, the historic chants of Holy Week and the complete spoken Mass" are included.

Adoremus's review of the CD confirms Mr. Marriott's description. The careful diction in chanted texts by singer/reciter (Mr. Jeremy de Satage) is noteworthy, and comes through well in a very clear recording.

The Association was founded in 1969 to extend the use of Latin in the current Liturgy of the Catholic Church, and is under the patronage of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

Details about the organization and ordering information for the Orate Fratres CD are accessible on the Association's web site: www.Latin-Liturgy.org . Address: Association for Latin Liturgy, 47 Western Park Road/Leicester, England LE3 6HQ.

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Women Leaders Pick Trustworthy Bishops

Two women who have exerted considerable influence at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) named bishops that have "earned trust of their people" at a Woodstock Forum conference, "Restoring Trust in Church Leadership", held at Georgetown University in May.

Margaret "Peggy" O'Brien Steinfels , former editor of Commonweal , who was chosen to address the bishops at their famed Dallas meeting in June 2002, and Sister Sharon Euart, RSM , former Assistant General Secretary to the USCCB, were on a panel to address "this crisis from different perches within the Church". 

Mrs. Steinfels and Sister Euart responded to the following question (quoted from the Woodstock web):

"Please indicate three top bishops who have earned trust of their people by their servant leadership and their collaborative outlook. Who do you think sets the pace, shows a good example, offers perhaps a model for imitation?

Peggy Steinfels: It is probably safe to offer the name of Joseph Bernardin , the late, in this respect since I think he certainly was a model for imitation. I'll hazard another name, Archbishop Rembert Weakland . I always felt that he was a man who was in touch with what was going on in his archdiocese and in the Church in the United States, and I guess his end was unfortunate, but I still cling to the idea that he was a good bishop.

Sister Euart: From our own experience in my archdiocese, one bishop I would name is retired now, Archbishop William Borders , who was Baltimore's archbishop until around 1989. He was that kind of person. Perhaps some said he was over-consultative, but he wanted to err on that side rather than on not consulting the appropriate groups. Another bishop, who is currently heading a diocese where people find him willing to listen, is Bishop Matthew Clark from Rochester, New York".

Moderating the Woodstock discussion, held on May 22, 2003, was Father William J. Byron, SJ , past president of Catholic University of America. Dolores Leckey , former director of the secretariat of the USCCB Committee on Women, Laity, Family and Youth -- now at Woodstock -- gave the introduction.

Mrs. Leckey and Sister Euart are currently making the rounds of US dioceses at gatherings aimed at women employed by the Church, in preparation for a pastoral statement from the Bishops' Committee on Women on collaboration of clergy with women who work within the Church.

The full text of the Woodstock presentations is on the Woodstock website:  www.georgetown.edu/centers/woodstock/publications/article26.htm .

The Woodstock Theological Center identifies itself as an "independent nonprofit institute at Georgetown University that engages in theological and ethical reflection on topics of social, economic, business, scientific, cultural, religious, and political importance".

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Los Angeles: No Kneeling During Communion Rite

Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony has ordered Catholics to stand throughout the Communion rite -- at variance with the US norm of kneeling after the Agnus Dei and optional kneeling after reception of Communion. Several other bishops have issued similar statements in recent months.

In an open letter, "Deepening the Spirit of Renewal", published by the archdiocesan newspaper, The Tidings , October 24, 2003, Cardinal Mahony stated that he is requiring this change to take effect the first Sunday of Advent 2003, "with the aim of having it fruitfully implemented by the first Sunday of Lent 2004".

In his letter, Cardinal Mahony said "it is a source of great joy" to him that many "have taken to heart the goals set in my Pastoral Letter on the Sunday Mass, Gather Faithfully Together ", issued in 1997. His letter also referred to a recent archdiocesan Synod that said, "'ordained and lay ministers are to participate in ongoing, formal liturgical studies'".

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) "emphasizes the importance of unity in liturgical practice", Cardinal Mahony wrote, citing the last sentence of GIRM 42: "A common posture, to be observed by all participants, is a sign of the unity of the members of the Christian community gathered for the sacred Liturgy: it both expresses and fosters the intention and spiritual attitude of the participants".

Cardinal Mahony then states:

In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles the faithful stand from the Our Father, the beginning of the Communion Rite, until all have received Communion. They may sit or kneel during the time of sacred silence after all have received [see 43].

The cardinal's letter did not mention that GIRM 43, as adapted for the United States, states that "the people kneel at the Agnus Dei, unless the diocesan bishop determines otherwise".

The cardinal does not offer an opinion, either, about how a bishop can best contribute to unity among the churches of the United States. His letter does not allude to the fact that most bishops will continue the customary practices of kneeling; nor does it comment on the repeated clarifications of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stressing that it is not the intention of the GIRM to rigidly regulate the posture of the people at every point of the Mass, nor to abolish kneeling where it is customary.

Cardinal Mahony's October 24 letter is accessible on The Tidings web site. (Source: The Tidings: www.the-tidings.com/2003/1024/girm.htm)

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