Sunday, November 09, 2008
Laetatus sum in his. The desire and hope of the just for the coming of the kingdom of God, and the peace of his church.
1 I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord.
2 Our feet were standing in thy courts, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem, which is built as a city, which is compact together.
4 For thither did the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord: the testimony of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord.
5 Because their seats have sat in judgment, seats upon the house of David.
6 Pray ye for the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem: and abundance for them that love thee.
7 Let peace be in thy strength: and abundance in thy towers.
8 For the sake of my brethren, and of my neighbours, I spoke peace of thee.
9 Because of the house of the Lord our God, I have sought good things for thee.
1 canticum graduum huic David laetatus sum in his quae dicta sunt mihi in domum Domini ibimus
2 stantes erant pedes nostri in atriis tuis Hierusalem
3 Hierusalem quae aedificatur ut civitas cuius participatio eius in id ipsum
4 illic enim ascenderunt tribus tribus Domini testimonium Israhel ad confitendum nomini Domini
5 quia illic sederunt sedes in iudicium sedes super domum David
6 rogate quae ad pacem sunt Hierusalem et abundantia diligentibus te
7 fiat pax in virtute tua et abundantia in turribus tuis
8 propter fratres meos et proximos meos loquebar pacem de te
9 propter domum Domini Dei nostri quaesivi bona tibi
The same psalm in
Pope Pius XII on Prayers for Peace in Palestine
To the Venerable Brethren, the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and other Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See.
1. Among the multiple preoccupations which beset us in this period of time, so full of decisive consequences for the life of the great human family, and which make Us feel so seriously the burden of the Supreme Pontificate, Palestine occupies a particular place on account of the war which harasses it. In all truth We can tell you, Venerable Brethren, that neither joyous nor sad events diminish the sorrow which is kept alive in Our soul by the thought that, in the land in which our Lord Jesus Christ shed His blood to bring redemption and salvation to all mankind, the blood of man continues to flow; and that beneath the skies which echoed on that fateful night with the Gospel tidings of peace, men continue to fight and to increase the distress of the unfortunate and the fear of the terrorized, while thousands of refugees, homeless and driven, wander from their fatherland in search of shelter and food.
2. To make Our sorrow more grievous, there is not only the news which continually reaches Us of the destruction and damage of sacred buildings and charitable places built around the Holy Places, but there is also the fear that this inspires in Us for the fate of the Holy Places themselves scattered throughout Palestine, and more especially within the Holy City.
3. We must assure you, Venerable Brethren, that confronted with the spectacle of many evils and the forecast of worse to come, We have not withdrawn into Our sorrow, but have done all in Our power to provide a remedy. Even before the armed conflict began, speaking to a delegation of Arab dignitaries who came to pay homage to Us, We manifested our lifelong solicitude for peace in Palestine, and, condemning any recourse to violence, We declared that peace could only be realized in truth and justice; that is to say by respecting the rights of acquired traditions, especially in the religious field, as well as by the strict fulfillment of the duties and obligations of each group of inhabitants.
4. When war was declared, without abandoning the attitude of impartiality which was imposed by Our apostolic duty, which places Us above the conflicts which agitate human society, We did not fail to do Our utmost, in the measure which depended upon Us, and according to the possibilities offered to Us, for the triumph of justice and peace in Palestine and for the respect and protection of the Holy Places.
5. At the same time, although numerous and urgent appeals are received daily by the Holy See, We have sought as much as possible to come to the aid of the unhappy victims of the war, sending the means at Our disposal to Our representatives in Palestine, the Lebanon, and Egypt for this purpose, and encouraging the formation among Catholics in various countries of undertakings organized for the same purpose.
6. Convinced, however, of the insufficiency of human means for the adequate solution of a question the complexity of which no one can fail to see, We have, above all, had constant recourse to prayer, and in Our recent Encyclical Letter, Auspicia Quaedam, We invited you, Venerable Brethren, to pray, and to have the faithful entrusted to your pastoral care pray, in order that, under the auspices of the Blessed Virgin, matters may be settled in justice and peace, and concord may be happily restored in Palestine. As We said on June 2nd to members of the Sacred College of Cardinals, informing them of Our anxieties for Palestine, We do not believe that the Christian world could contemplate indifferently, or in sterile indignation, the spectacle of the sacred land (which everyone approached with the deepest respect to kiss with most ardent love) trampled over again by troops and stricken by aerial bombardments. We do not believe that it could permit the devastation of the Holy Places, the destruction of the great sepulcher of Christ.
7. We are full of faith that the fervent prayers raised to Almighty and Merciful God by the Christians throughout the world who, together with the aspirations of so many noble hearts, are ardently inspired by truth and good, will render less arduous to the men who hold the destinies of peoples the task of making justice and peace in Palestine a beneficial reality and of creating, with the efficient co-operation of all those interested, an order that may guarantee security of existence and, at the same time, the moral and physical conditions of life conducive to spiritual and material well-being, to each of the parties at present in conflict.
8. We are full of faith that these prayers and these hopes, an indication of the value that the Holy Places have for so great a part of the human family, will strengthen the conviction in the high quarters in which the problems of peace are discussed that it would be opportune to give Jerusalem and its outskirts, where are found so many and such precious memories of the life and death of the Savior, an international character which, in the present circumstances, seems to offer a better guarantee for the protection of the sanctuaries. It would also be necessary to assure, with international guarantees, both free access to Holy Places scattered throughout Palestine, and the freedom of worship and the respect of customs and religious traditions.
9. And God grant that the day may soon dawn when Christians may resume their pilgrimages to the Holy Places, there to see more clearly revealed, as they contemplate the evidence of the love of Jesus Christ, Who gave His life for His brethren, how men and nations may live harmoniously together, at peace with their world and themselves.
10. With reliance, then, on this hope, as a pledge of heavenly favors and in token of our affection, gladly in the Lord do we impart to you, Venerable Brethren, and to your flocks, as to all who will take this appeal of Ours to heart, Our Apostolic Benediction.
Given at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, on the 24th day of October, in the year 1948, the tenth of Our Pontificate.
The Rt Rev Malcolm McMahon, Bishop of Nottingham, said there is no doctrinal reason preventing them from having wives.
Roman Catholic priests have been required to take a vow of celibacy for centuries, but he argued that this now seemed unfair following the influx of married Anglican clergy.
His comments are set to reignite the debate over whether the Church should end the tradition in a bid to deal with the shortage of priests.
Pope Benedict XVI blocked moves to allow Catholic clergy to wed when he reaffirmed the value of celibacy in 2006 and an archbishop has been excommunicated for ordaining four married men as priests.
While Bishop McMahon said changing the law would not solve the Church's problems in recruiting men for the priesthood, he said that there would be benefits to such a move.
He claimed that clergy with a family could offer different gifts and it would enable men who did not feel called to celibacy to enter the priesthood.
It is fitting that the holy bishops and priests of God as well as the Levites, i.e. those who are in the service of the divine sacraments, observe perfect continence, so that they may obtain in all simplicity what they are asking from God; what the Apostles taught and what antiquity itself observed, let us also endeavour to keep... It pleases us all that bishop, priest and deacon, guardians of purity, abstain from conjugal intercourse with their wives, so that those who serve at the altar may keep a perfect chastity.
Council of Carthage (390)
Nor shall clergymen who are married say mass or serve the altar in any way. We decree also that if they refuse to obey our orders, or rather those of the holy fathers, the people shall refuse to receive their ministrations, in order that those who disregard the love of God and the dignity of their office may be brought to their senses through feeling the shame of the world and the reproof of the people.
Decree of Council at Rome 1074
"We have such difficulty understanding this renunciation today because the relationship to marriage and children has clearly shifted. To have to die without children was once synonymous with a useless life: the echoes of my own life die away, and I am completely dead. If I have children, then I continue to live in them; it's a sort of immortality through posterity...
"The renunciation of marriage and family is thus to be understood in terms of this vision: I renounce what, humanly speaking, is not only the most normal but also the most important thing. I forego bringing forth further life on the tree of life, and I live in the faith that my land is really God — and so I make it easier for others, also, to believe that there is a kingdom of heaven. I bear witness to Jesus Christ, to the gospel, not only with words, but also with this specific mode of existence, and I place my life in this form at his disposal."
"... Celibacy is not a matter of compulsion. Someone is accepted as a priest only when he does it of his own accord."
—both from "Salt of the Earth: Christianity and the Catholic Church at the end of the Millennium: An interview with Peter Seewald," by the then Cardinal Ratzinger
Catholic doctrine is adamantly, unequivocally opposed to abortion, which the church regards as the taking of an innocent life.
Many Catholic bishops interpret this to mean that no good Catholic can vote for a pro-choice candidate. The bishops of Dallas and Fort Worth, for example, all but said that when they distributed a pastoral letter before the election in which they wrote that it is "morally impermissible" to vote for a candidate "who supports the intrinsic evil of abortion or 'abortion rights' when there is a morally acceptable alternative."
And yet, in Tuesday's election, 54 percent of Catholics who voted cast their ballots for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, according to exit polls. Both men support the right of a woman to have an abortion -- notwithstanding that Biden is Catholic.
This gap -- no, chasm -- between church doctrine and the practices of the faithful has left the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops flummoxed, as this story by Daniel Burke of Religion News Service makes clear.
The recommendations are part of a process Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Lennon began last year when he ordered a third of 69 regional parish groups to draw up a list of churches to be closed.
He said the closings were needed to deal with shrinking attendance as parishioners leave for suburban churches, as well as red ink and the continuing shortage of clergy.
O valiant hearts who to your glory came
through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
your memory hallowed in the land you loved
Proudly you gathered, rank on rank, to war
as who had heard God's message from afar;
all you had hoped for, all you had, you gave,
to save mankind — yourselves you scorned to save
Splendid you passed, the great surrender made;
into the light that nevermore shall fade;
deep your contentment in that blest abode,
who wait the last clear trumpet-call of God.
Long years ago, as earth lay dark and still,
rose a loud cry upon a lonely hill,
while in the frailty of our human clay,
Christ, our Redeemer, passed the self-same way.
Still stands his Cross from that dread hour to this,
like some bright star above the dark abyss;
still, through the veil, the Victor's pitying eyes
look down to bless our lesser Calvaries.
These were his servants, in his steps they trod,
following through death the martyred Son of God:
Victor, he rose; victorious too shall rise
they who have drunk his cup of sacrifice.
O risen Lord,O Shepherd of our dead,
whose cross has bought them and whose staff has led,
in glorious hope their proud and sorrowing land
commits her children to thy gracious hand.
The war memorial altar of St Walburga's Church, Preston.
From the Breviary
nstituted by the blessed Pope Sylvester I. From the very time of the Apostles there had been places set apart for God, where assemblies took place upon the first day of every week, and where the Christians were used to pray, to hear the word of God, and to receive the Eucharist, which places were by some called Oratories and by others Churches. But these places were not dedicated with so solemn a form nor did they set up therein an Altar for a pillar, and pour chrism thereon, for a figure of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is himself our Altar, our Victim and our Priest.
But when the Emperor Constantine had by the Sacrament of Baptism received health both of body and soul, then first in a law by him published was it allowed to the Christians throughout the whole world to build Churches, to the which holy building he exhorted them by his example as well as by his decree. He dedicated his own Lateran Palace a Church to the Saviour, and built hard by it a Cathedral in the name of St. John the Baptist, upon the place where he had been baptized by holy Sylvester, and cleansed from his leprosy. This Cathedral was hallowed by the said Pope upon the 9th day of November. It is this consecration, the memory of which is still celebrated upon this day, the first whereon the public consecration of a Church ever took place in Rome, and the image of the Saviour was seen by the Roman people painted upon a wall.
The Blessed Sylvester afterwards decreed, when he was consecrating the Altar of the Prince of the Apostles, that altars were thenceforward to be made of stone only, but notwithstanding this the Lateran Basilica hath the altar made of wood. This is not surprising. From St. Peter to Sylvester the Popes had not been able, by reason of persecutions, to abide fixedly in one place, and they celebrated the Holy Liturgy in cellars, in burying-places, in the houses of godly persons, or wherever need drave them, upon a wooden altar made like an empty box. When peace was given to the Church, holy Sylvester took this box, and to do honour to the Prince of the Apostles, who is said to have offered sacrifice thereon, and to the other Popes who thereon had been used to execute the mystery even unto that time, set it in the first Church, even the Lateran, and ordained that no one but the Bishop of Rome should celebrate the Liturgy thereon for all time coming. The original Lateran Basilica, cast down and destroyed by fires, pillage, and earthquakes, and renewed by the constant care of the Popes, was at last rebuilt afresh, and solemnly consecrated by Pope Benedict XIII, a Friar Preacher, upon the 28th day of April, in the year 1726, the memory of which Festival he ordained to be kept upon this day. In the year 1884 Leo XIII took in hand a work which had received the sanction of his predecessor Pius IX. The great sanctuary, the walls of which were giving way with age, was lengthened and widened, a task of immense labour. The ancient mosaic had been renewed previously in several places ; it was not restored according to the original design, and transferred to the new apse, the embellishment of which was carried out with great magnificence. The transept was redecorated, and its ceiling and woodwork repaired. A sacristy, a residence for the canons, and a portico connecting with the Baptistery of Constantine, were added to the existing buildings.
SACROS LATERAN ECCLES
OMNIUM URBIS ET ORBIS
"The Sacred Lateran Church Mother and Head of All Churches of the City and the World".