Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The liturgy cannot be poor

On the back-cover of the eleventh volume of Joseph Ratzinger’s Opera Omnia, on the “Theology of the Liturgy”, there is this not even thinly-veiled declaration: “The fate of the Faith and the Church hangs upon the relationship with the liturgy.”

These first days of Pope Francis’ pontificate render the above tremendously current and oblige us to reflect on the relationship between poverty (not pauperism) and the liturgy. A reflection, that, not to be taken too lightly, is between a human dimension, poverty, and a divine one, liturgy. Yes, in these years of post-conciliar convulsions, the exquisitely divine nature of the liturgy has slipped away: i.e. the appearance of Heaven on earth - the earthly prefiguration of Jerusalem and which, accordingly, must evoke majesty and glory.

In the liturgy - the bloodless presentation of the Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross - it is God Who encounters man: it is not done by man – otherwise it would be idolatry. It is Divine work as even Vatican II recalls.

Full, magnificent article

New Catholic-Lutheran ecumenical document expected

Evangelical Council President Schneider on Monday invited the Pope to the celebrations in Germany to celebrate the Reformation in 2017.

The document of the Catholic-Lutheran Commission on the common Reformation Commemoration 2017 will be published shortly. The text entitled "From Conflict to Community" was finished, the Vatican's ecumenical minister Cardinal Kurt Koch told Vatican Radio on Tuesday in an interview. Once the German translation existed, it would be published. Koch did not give details of the document. The Commission is composed of representatives of the Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation.

Originally from Switzerland, Cardinal Koch had on Monday discussed in the Vatican with the President of the Council of the Protestant Church in Germany, Nikolaus Schneider, on a possible common Reformation commemoration. Schneider had personally invited Pope Francis to join in the commemorations of the Reformation in Germany. The programmes in Wittenberg and Berlin would not be a "German jubilee", but a solid Christian festival, to which every Christian can commit, according to Schneider.

Cathcon- no celebrations of the Reformation started by the belligerent anti-semite Luther, whose rejection of scholasticism whose finest representative was St Thomas Aquinas, led to a massive destruction of the Faith.   There is nothing to celebrate but a time to mourn the destruction of beauty, truth and love.

Curia- be ready for some surprises

Pope Francis has won widespread acclaim thus far in his nascent papacy with popular gestures like washing the feet of juveniles during Holy Week and refusing many papal perks. But now comes the hard part of his new job: reforming the Vatican. The Roman Curia, as the central administration of the Catholic Church is known, has been riven by scandals and allegations of infighting and careerism, which helped undermine Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s reign and reportedly pushed him to resign.

The dysfunction was so bad that reforming the Curia became a rallying cry for many cardinals at the conclave that elected Francis. But will he deliver on the promise of reform? Much will depend on who Francis will choose as his top aides, starting from the appointments of the new heads of key Vatican offices. So far, he has reconfirmed the Curia leadership, but he has made it clear that this is just a provisional measure while he makes up his mind about his next steps. “Be ready for some surprises. He is not afraid to pick up the phone to call up people and ask things. He is talking to everyone,

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Four contenders for the top job in the Vatican

Cardinal Bertello does appear to be in the pole position, but another solution being suggested is that the Pope could appoint a current papal nuncio as his new secretary of state. This would satisfy the so-called circle of diplomats, cardinals and monsignors in the Curia who maintained that Bertone was unfit for the position because he had no diplomatic experience. This arrangement would also meet the need for a significant change in the Vatican’s “engine room” after the Vatileaks scandal.

There are three other contenders widely considered to be in the running for the position of secretary of state: Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, the former papal nuncio to Brazil and the current secretary of the Congregation for Bishops; Archbishop Luigi Ventura, the nuncio to France and formerly the nuncio to Canada; and Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, who previously served in the Secretariat of State.

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Two new Bishops in the US indicate policy of continuity for Pope Francis

Twenty-six days after his election, Pope Francis has brought the US' Appointment Shop back to life with two domestic nods among a spate of others.

Even so, however, this first round is a keen exercise in continuity.

At Roman Noon today, the pontiff named Bishop Michael Jackels of Wichita as archbishop of Dubuque.

A CDF aide to the future Pope Benedict  from 1997-2005, the Kansas prelate – who turns 59 on Saturday – succeeds Archbishop Jerome Hanus OSB, 72, at the helm of the church in Iowa, a bastion of tradition in the historic outpost that's home to the famous "Field of Dreams."

Following a year's worth of reports indicating that consultations for his successor were underway, in a statement released this morning, Hanus said that "my health has declined in recent years.

"As a result," the onetime abbot of Conception revealed, "some time ago I submitted my resignation as archbishop to the proper authorities."

One of John Paul II's final appointees to the Stateside bench, such was the archbishop-elect's comfort with his longtime boss that, when Jackels stepped up to greet Benedict during the annual orientation for new bishops in September 2005, the now Pope-emeritus is said to have exclaimed "Look at you!" at the sight.

Not having seen Joseph Ratzinger since his election, the story goes that the junior prelate shot right back at Benedict, responding "Look at YOU!"

At the same time, Francis tapped Msgr John Folda, 51 – a considerable talent who's served as rector of Lincoln's St Gregory the Great Seminary almost since its opening in 1998 – as bishop of Fargo, succeeding Archbishop Samuel Aquila, who was transferred home to Denver last May.

Bishop pulls out of Requiem for controversial Cardinal

"Many personal encounters of the past days" led to a new decision on the celebration planned for Monday - "Christian commemoration of the dead also means to take account of the living'

The Diocesan Bishop Egidio Zsifkovics Eisenstadt will not participate in a Requiem planned for Saturday on the tenth anniversary of the death of the former Archbishop of Vienna, Hans Hermann Groër. In a personal statement on the same day Zsifkovics justified his decision by "numerous personal encounters and conversations in recent days", which led him to pull out of his original commitment. He would not be now accepting the invitation of the Sisters of the Cistercian convent at Marienfeld to celebrate the traditional ecclesiastical "Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord" with the monastic community and commemorate at this Mass the late Cardinal Groer, the Eisenstadt Bishop said in a Diocesan press release.

The commemoration of the dead was for Christians "an inviolable value." It is not about"Transfiguration", but the "grateful remembrance of the good" in the life of the deceased, at the same time keeping their 'their fallibility and human error "in mind. " That is why we pray to God for our deceased and ask Him in his merciful love to complete in them, that which is left imperfect by sin," said the bishop.

Christians deny the non-respect, through ignorance of this "fundamental right of believers." for the individual deceased to be commemorated through the celebration of Mass.

Christian commemoration of the dead means, in the words Zsifkovics "but also, "to encounter those who still live. " "External circumstances and contexts that are calculated to injure the personal feelings of people" should not be ignored. Currently a commemoration of the dead, "which has in the last 10 years regularly been taking place with the participation of church dignitaries without causing offense,"had been partly exploited and led to a "distorted image that must cause many people pain and bitterness," said Zsifkovics

All this had"led to the inner belief that I as a bishop and carrier of these two values ​​- a concern for the living and the uninterrupted prayer for the dead - can protect and defend them the best by not attending today's Requiem " On 29 March of Eisenstadt Bishop had rejected in a press release, the criticism of his planned participation in the ceremony.


Cathcon-  I knew a priest who was close to Cardinal Groër in his final years who was convinced of his innocence. On Good Friday in the year that he resigned he was pursued by a media mob between his palace and the Cathedral.  Cardinal Meisner preached at the Funeral Mass.  Details of the allegations

Here the Cardinal celebrates a Requiem for Mozart on the 200th Anniversary of the latter's death.

Proposals for Curial reform


“Reform of the Roman Curia” was the cry of the day—among journalists, at least—in the days before the conclave that elected Pope Francis. So now with the new Pope settling into his work, commentators are speculating on the sort of changes that the Holy Father might make.

George Weigel has presented a short list of his own suggestions for administrative reforms at the Vatican. He suggests, for example, that the disproportionate power exercised by Italian clerics could be resolved by using “the world language—English” rather than Italian for the everyday work of the Curia. Italian is the appropriate language for the Diocese of Rome, Weigel reasons, but the Roman Curia should represent the universal Church. He also suggests a pruning of the pontifical councils, downgrading several to “research centers in their fields, not mini-cabinet departments.”

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Cathcon- it was originally Pope Paul VI who gave the Secretariat of State primacy over all departments including the CDF.  This has to be reversed - the Church's role is not a diplomatic power house but Supreme teacher of Faith and Morals.   The teaching of morals also needs to rediscover a credible basis also in association with the teaching of the Faith.