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Online Edition - Vol. VI, No. 1: March 2000
In the News . . .

New Liturgical Institute planned

Cardinal Francis George is planning a new institute for liturgical studies at Chicago's Mundelein Seminary, and has selected Monsignor Francis Mannion to become its director. Monsignor Mannion is pastor of the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City and founder of the Society for Catholic Liturgy.

The institute will have teaching, research and publishing components and will be staffed by three to five professors of liturgy and the sacraments, according to a story by John Allen in the National Catholic Reporter ("New direction on liturgy in Chicago", January 28, p. 5).

Monsignor Mannion describes his position in the present liturgical crisis as "recatholicizing the reform", but he assured the NCR that he does not have a "restorationist" agenda. "I'm not on some kind of far-right trip", he said. "The model to use for this is not Hitler invading Poland".

The liturgical institute will emphasize sacramental theology, the NCR said. It is not yet clear how the new institute will affect the influential Liturgy Training Publications, owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Chicago as a branch of its Office for Divine Worship, and one of the principal producers of "progressive" works on the liturgy.

Besides lector's workbooks and other liturgy materials, LTP publishes the ICEL Psalter, from which the imprimatur was ordered withdrawn by the Holy See, and the "Meetinghouse Series" of booklets on church architecture. LTP has also produced a series of instructional videos inspired by Cardinal Roger Mahony's liturgy pastoral, "Gather Faithfully Together", also published by LTP.

Gabe Huck, long time director of LTP, told the NCR that he finds it "strange and offensive that a matter of this magnitude could have come this far along without serious consultation with the people involved with trying to bring liturgical renewal to the people of the Archdiocese of Chicago and beyond".

( Our Sunday Visitor also published a feature story on the new institute in its Feb. 20 edition.)

Liturgists react to bishops' tabernacle comments

"If the Mass is being celebrated so poorly that people aren't aware of how Christ becomes present in the Eucharist, the priest can wear the tabernacle around his neck and it's not going to make any difference", David Philippart told the National Catholic Reporter ("Tabernacle/ Have Catholics forgotten the Real Presence?", January 28, 2000, p. 3).

The idea that the stripping of Catholic churches in renovation projects is a Protestant aesthetic "burns me up", Philippart complained.

Philippart is editor of two periodicals published by Liturgy Training Publications, Rite (formerly Liturgy 90 ), and E & A - Environment and Art Letter. He is also co-editor of LTP's "Clip Notes for Church Bulletins", and author of such works on the liturgy as "Dreaming the Reign of Christ" and "Dreaming Paschal Sunday", both published in Liturgy , the quarterly publication of the Liturgical Conference, now an ecumencal association based in Washington, DC.)

He was reacting to the US bishops' November debate over the placement of tabernacles triggered by the draft of Domus Dei , the proposed replacement for the controversial 1978 statement, Environment and Art in Catholic Worship .

The bishops who spoke on the subject strongly argued for the prominent and central placement of the tabernacle, which houses the reserved Sacrament, the Body of Christ.

A transcript of the bishops' discussion was published in the December 1999 - January 2000 AB .


Separate chapels

Despite the strong sentiments expressed by his brother bishops on the subject, Bishop Tod Brown of Orange, California, has issued a decree, "Liturgical Norm 1999/05", which requires tabernacles to be placed in separate chapels in all new and renovated "parish worship spaces".

New BCL members

Mobile Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, head of the "Common Ground Initiative", who became chairman of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy after the November meeting of the NCCB, has appointed the members of his committee.

They are Archbishop Justin Rigali (St. Louis), Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk (Cincinnati); Bishop Donald Trautman (Erie); Bishop Tod Brown (Orange); Bishop Blaise Cupich (Rapid City); and Bishop Allen Vigneron (Detroit auxiliary).

This will be Archbishop Rigali's second term. He is also a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Bishop Trautman, past chairman of the BCL, is chairman-elect of the Bishops' Committee on Doctrine, and will assume this office in November 2000. He is also on the Committee for the Review of Scripture Translations.

Archbishop Pilarczyk, past president of the NCCB (1989-92), is the current chairman of the Doctrine Committee, and was president of ICEL for eleven years.

Consulters are Cardinals Francis George, Bernard Law and Roger Mahony, and Bishops Carlos Sevilla, SJ (Yakima), and George Murry, SJ (Co-adj. St. Thomas).


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