Online Edition – Vol. VII, No. 10: February 2002
Special report on USCCB November 2001 meeting – Part II
Bishops revise American Adaptations for Institutio
At their November 2001 meeting, the US bishops dealt with two major liturgical items: liturgical translation in particular the recent Instruction from the Holy See, Liturgiam authenticam, and revised adaptations for America of the regulations for celebration of Mass. (Transcriptions of major addresses on Liturgiam authenticam appeared in AB December-January.)
The "American Adaptations" intend to modify the universal rules for celebration of Mass contained in the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani for the Church in the United States. Proposals for these adaptations were voted on at the June USCCB meeting and were submitted to the Holy See for the required review. (The Institutio, which forms part of the new Roman Missal, was signed by Pope John Paul II on Holy Thursday, 2000, and appeared both in Latin and in an English study translation in July of that year.)
In accordance with a letter to the USCCB from the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Medina Estévez (also printed in AB Dec-Jan) certain revisions of the "American Adaptations" were necessary, so the bishops revisited the matter on Wednesday morning, November 14.
Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb, chairman of the Liturgy Committee noted that the "American Adaptations" are to be incorporated into the text of Institutio, rather than appearing as an appendix; and the US revisions were to be made before the new Missale Romanum (Latin) would be released. (The English translation of the complete Missal was not discussed; the bishops voted, however, to send the translation of the Institutio back to ICEL for correction. As of press date, the Missal had not yet appeared.)
The transcription of Adoremus’s audio tapes of the bishops’ discussion of the American Adaptations was done by Susan Benofy and edited by Helen Hull Hitchcock.
Discussion of Revised Adaptations
Bishop Joseph Fiorenza (Galveston-Houston; president, USCCB): We’re going to do Supplementary Document #1. Archbishop Lipscomb. To remind you, this is the "Revised Adaptations to the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, editio typica Texts for the Dioceses of the United States of America". We do have amendments to this do we not?
Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb (Mobile; chairman Liturgy Committee): If I might make just a few preliminary remarks, Bishop Fiorenza. My brother bishops, as I reported to you on Monday, the Revised Adaptations to the Institutio General Missalis Romani, which are before you as "Supplementary Document #1", were developed by the Committee on the Liturgy in response to a review by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
You will recall that the Congregation has largely approved the work of this Conference and has expressed its intent to issue a decree of confirmation of our Adaptations at the time of the publication of the Missale Romanum.
I might like to note that several bishops have inquired concerning Cardinal Medina’s requirement that mention of the diocesan bishop be omitted from the adaptation dealing with the posture of the faithful during the Eucharistic Prayer.
I would reiterate the Cardinal’s own words that "mention of the bishop is unnecessary since it is already implicit in the general law within reasonable limits". That’s on page 2, paragraph 2 of the Cardinal’s letter, and you have a copy of that in the documentation.
The Committee received six amendments, and made seven of its own. In Group I you will find nine amendments we accepted. Included in this number are several grammatical refinements (5, 6, 7 and 8), and a relocation of the words applying to the posture after receiving Holy Communion to assure that standing or sitting or kneeling may be allowed, depending upon local practice. That’s Amendment Number 2. Amendment number one concerns the point at which the faithful stand at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer. In order to preserve the unity of the Eucharistic Prayer, and to avoid requiring members of the liturgical assembly to sing the "Amen" while rising to their feet, we have noted that the faithful rise after the "Amen".
We have restored from last June the adaptation allowing for limited use of the Apostle’s Creed, even though we have received indications that the new Missale Romanum will contain an even broader option in this regard in its own text. Since the Missale Romanum has not yet been published, and the exact nature of the rubric allowing the optional usage of the Apostles’ Creed is not yet known, the Committee decided to restore the adaptation just to be on the safe side.
Finally, the Committee withdrew the adaptation to the GIRM #343 in favor of the language of the universal law (343). The GIRM now reads (343): "In addition to the traditional materials, natural fabrics proper to the region may be used for making vestments. Artificial fabrics that are in keeping with the dignity of the liturgical service and the person wearing them may also be used. The Conference of Bishops will be the judge in this matter".
Group II contains the four amendments which the Committee was unable to reconcile with these rationales, and therefore we reject them. We’re appreciative of the insights offered by all bishops who offered amendments to the actions.
Therefore, Bishop Fiorenza, I would move that the amendments in Group II not be accepted on behalf of the Committee.
Bishop Fiorenza: Thank you, Archbishop Lipscomb. The Committee recommends that all of the amendments in Group II not be adopted. Does anyone desire a separate consideration of any amendment in Group II? Bishop Weigand.
Bishop William Weigand (Sacramento): Did I blink, Archbishop Lipscomb, regarding Group I amendments? Don’t we have a chance to withdraw?
Archbishop Lipscomb: We usually deal with the rejections first, then we go with the acceptances. But you would have a chance to withdraw something from an acceptance.
Bishop Fiorenza: Bishop Kinney.
Bishop John Kinney (Saint Cloud): Number 4, page 19.
Bishop Fiorenza: All right. Are there any other amendments that wish separate consideration? Seeing none, then, all of the other amendments, except #4 in Group II will be adopted by this assembly. Bishop Kinney.
Bishop Kinney: I would like to speak on behalf of my amendment, and I appreciate the work of the Committee. The import of my amendment was not that it would revert to the Conference of Bishops, but I believe that in reality it’s really a matter that should be up to the diocesan bishop. And I am fearful for the kind of ways in which we are limiting the authority of the diocesan bishop. So my amendment really would be to substitute "diocesan bishop" and strike "the USCCB Committee on the Liturgy" in this statement. I realize that that does not jibe then with the document, but I would like to test the body as to their feelings about the role of diocesan bishop in this specific amendment.
Bishop Fiorenza: Surely. Did you want to make a response before?
Archbishop Lipscomb: Just briefly. I read the whole of number 9 at the conclusion of my remarks about those things we had accepted with a slight modification, in which we substituted "the Committee on the Liturgy" and let the document stand on its own as the "Conference of Bishops". This was one of the specific points that Cardinal Medina noted in his letter to us, and we felt that we ought to respond to it by honoring it. The Conference of Bishops can, in its turn, make other provisions for this once this general norm becomes particular law, and is inserted into the Missale Romanum. But for us to try to direct it here, I have a suspicion that if we send it back to Rome they will simply change it on their own.
Bishop Kinney: Could the Conference of Bishops, in turn, in their understanding of this, allow it to the diocesan bishop?
Archbishop Lipscomb: In my judgment, the Conference of Bishops can do anything that the majority would like, subject to higher approval or rejection.
Bishop Kinney: Then I would withdraw my amendment.
Archbishop Lipscomb: And as I said in the original presentation, I would hope that when this passes assuming it will pass that the Conference of Bishops will devise some kind of a mechanism. We had put in at first the Committee on the Liturgy, but I cannot imagine this Conference of Bishops dealing with these kinds of provisions for dioceses, which ought properly to belong to the diocesan bishop, so I think the genius of the Conference will respond in time to that.
Bishop Fiorenza: So you withdraw your amendment, and that means that all of the amendments in Group II have all been adopted not accepted. Now we’ve got to go to Group I.
Archbishop Lipscomb: Group I, Bishop Fiorenza. The Committee accepted the amendments, mostly by the Committee, but by a number of individuals, some that were perhaps revised slightly. And on behalf of the Committee, I move the acceptance by this body of all those provisions in Group I.
Bishop Fiorenza: The Committee recommends that all the amendment be accepted. Does any member desire separate consideration? Bishop Weigand.
Bishop Weigand: Number 1.
Bishop Fiorenza: Number 1. Does any other bishop desire? Archbishop Weakland.
Archbishop Rembert Weakland (Milwaukee): I don’t know quite how to do this because it doesn’t seem to be a part of what we’re at. That is, the question of the posture was left to the decision of the bishop if there were to be any exceptions during the Eucharistic Prayer. But no amendment really deals with that. The diocesan bishop was simply dropped. And you said because this is in the general norms. But at the same time you said that the Cardinal has conceded that these would be inserted into the general norms, where it’s stated but now it won’t be stated, because we don’t want it stated. I’m just totally confused as to why that is being dropped, because you’re also dropping the general norms for the Universal Church, and only the amendments appear in the document. Isn’t that correct?
Archbishop Lipscomb: Oh no, no. The general norms will be part of the document that is published in the Roman Missal. These will be inserted into the general norms as particular law for the United States.
Archbishop Weakland: What does that mean?
Archbishop Lipscomb: That means that when the translation takes place, instead of us having an Appendix, which can be produced prior to that. If these norms pass, the norms will be included in the General Instruction for the Missal, saying in each place "in the dioceses of the United States".
Archbishop Weakland: So that the general norms will be given first, and then saying in the dioceses of the United States it will be different.
Archbishop Lipscomb: No. In the general norms, when that general norm is stated, our adaptation will become a part of that general norm. Not in a separate place, but in the general instructions of the Church as particular law for the Church in the United States.
Archbishop Weakland: But you’re not understanding my problem. Then the general norms, as they appear in the rest of the world, will not be there.
Archbishop Lipscomb: It will be there as modified by our particular norms.
Archbishop Weakland: Well then if you have it that way then you should put in what the general norm has about the diocesan bishop, because that gets lost in the transfer.
Archbishop Lipscomb: I’m not sure that I understand you, because I did not think we took away anything that the general norms had with respect to the general norms. We left those in. Could you cite the place precisely.
Archbishop Weakland: Well, in GIRM 43, #3, the way in which it was first presented to us in June stated that a good reason has to be present as specified by the diocesan bishop for not standing. Now the diocesan bishop has been dropped out.
Archbishop Lipscomb: But this is the standing posture, and that’s precisely what Cardinal Medina said in his letter to us that this is already in the norm, and he suggested dropping it. I would reiterate the Cardinal’s own words that: "Mention of the bishop is unnecessary since it is already implicit in the general law within reasonable limits".
Archbishop Weakland: Then why do we specify for Ecce Agnus Dei?
Archbishop Lipscomb: Because there we thought to specify because it would be a specific act. But I’m just saying we are following as best we can our own particular law that was approved by this body last June the adaptations as they were presented to Rome and the modifications suggested by Cardinal Medina.
Bishop Fiorenza: You have a point of order, Cardinal George?
Cardinal Francis George (Chicago; US Representative to ICEL Board, Consultant to Liturgy Committee): It’s a clarification. Is that right? May I ask for a clarification?
Archbishop Lipscomb, in the printing of the GIRM, will the full text of the universal text of the universal GIRM be published and then our adaptations interpolated into that? So that the text is stated, and then not in an appendix, but incorporated into the text we put "in the dioceses of the United States of America…", so that we’re not dropping any of the full text of the GIRM. Is that true, or is that not true?
Archbishop Lipscomb: That, I think, is substantially true, though I cannot certainly say to it in every case. For example, in the posture of the faithful, which is GIRM 43, paragraph 3, that I think we’re discussing right now. The paragraph begins: "In the dioceses of the United States they (the people) should kneel …" Number 2 says they should stand, so this follows number 2; this is the beginning of number 3, paragraph number 3. "…they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer". Now we change that into "after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer". Then it proceeds with the words "except when prevented by reasons of health, lack of space, large number of people present or some other good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the Consecration. The faithful kneel at the Agnus Dei unless the diocesan bishop determines otherwise".
Cardinal George: Now I don’t have the GIRM for the Universal Church in front of me, but my understanding of it was that that is interpolated right after the paragraph that says the universal law says you stand through the Eucharistic Prayer except for the words of institution, the Consecration, where you should kneel using our terminology after that. It also says, this time around, where it is the custom the people may kneel throughout the Canon of the Mass, the Eucharistic Prayer. Then we interpolate "in the dioceses of the United States of America…" this is, in fact, the particular law with exceptions that the general law gives us. Will it appear that way in print?
Archbishop Lipscomb: That’s my understanding of it. That was the way it was presented to us in the Cardinal’s letter.
Bishop Fiorenza: Archbishop Chaput.
Archbishop Charles Chaput (Denver): Archbishop Lipscomb, number 3 it’s not my amendment, it’s Bishop Clark’s. But it says there that it has been accepted or subsumed into number 2, but I don’t think it really has been. Because in number 2 it says, "The faithful may kneel or sit during the period of religious silence after Communion". And Bishop Clark is suggesting that no one sit or kneel till everyone receives, so it really isn’t I mean it’s kind of ignoring the question, and for clarity I would just ask, I wanted to know, why does the Committee think it really is answering his question with the wording of number 2?
Archbishop Lipscomb: Well, I "They may kneel or sit following the reception of Holy Communion", and instead say: "They should sit during the readings before the Gospel" and so forth "and if this seems helpful, they may sit or kneel during the period of religious silence after Communion".
Archbishop Chaput: And what Bishop Clark is suggesting is that nobody sit or kneel until everybody receives; and then they can. So they’re not really the same issue it seems.
Archbishop Lipscomb: Well, again, if that was the bishop’s intention I don’t think we would have we would kind of accept that as practice for the United States: Until everybody goes to Communion, then you either sit or kneel. If everybody remains standing until then, I just don’t think that follows the practice of most of our churches in the United States.
Archbishop Chaput: See, I agree with you; but I thought this was confusing so I was just asking for a clarification. So the period of silence can begin as soon as you receive, if you want to go back and sit down, or kneel.
Archbishop Lipscomb: You can sit down, or you can kneel or you can stand. That’s included previously.
Archbishop Chaput: Okay, thank you.
Bishop Fiorenza: Bishop Balke.
Archbishop Lipscomb: We thought the bishop’s point was about standing: that they be permitted to stand. And the standing is permitted in the preceding paragraph where it deals with posture. And standing is the general rule for the Universal Church.
Bishop Victor Balke (Crookston): Archbishop Lipscomb, may I refer you to page 208 of the green book? Where would paragraph 43, 3 fit into that page?
Archbishop Lipscomb: I don’t have the green book with me because I am not sure that we dealt with the green book. We were dealing with Supplementary Document #1. But if the Committee has this handy I will check it. Would you cite the substance?
Bishop Balke: It’s the GIRM, page 208.
Archbishop Lipscomb: Our "Posture of the Faithful", GIRM 43, 3, as we have given the text in Supplementary Document #1 replaces that paragraph paragraph 3 under 43 on page 208. So it actually supplants that paragraph. Much of it that is already in there, much of it that has been altered by particular law for the United States.
Bishop Balke: So the paragraph that begins: "They should kneel at the Consecration…" will be omitted?
Archbishop Lipscomb: Yes.
Bishop Balke: And what we have in the Supplementary document would take its place. Is that correct?
Archbishop Lipscomb: Yes, which also says that they should kneel at the Consecration except when prevented. "In the dioceses of the United States of America they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer". So they would be kneeling at the Consecration.
Bishop Balke: I’m just trying to relate this document to proposal
Archbishop Lipscomb: I realize it is difficult to compose the two. We did not have an easy time ourselves in trying to construct this as we think it will finally appear in the Institutio Generalis when the Missal is printed in English.
Bishop Fiorenza: Cardinal Law.
Cardinal Bernard Law (Boston; Consultant to Liturgy Committee): Archbishop Lipscomb, as you began to respond to that question, I thought you said: This will replace that. And what I thought you said earlier in response to Cardinal George is that "that", namely the General Instruction, will be there in our final English edition, but it will have in the appropriate place the particular adaptation for this country printed. But not replacing what’s in the General Instruction, but after it. Now is that.
Archbishop Lipscomb: Insofar as it modifies it, it will replace it somewhat. But most of the text will remain, because the Cardinal wants us to fold this into the General Instruction as a part of that document that has the force of law, universal or particular, depending upon the designation.
Bishop Fiorenza: Bishop Imesch.
Bishop Joseph Imesch (Joliet): Referring to what Archbishop Weakland said, then, the general, universal instruction will not be in this text. It will be the particular change for the United States. I think it’s very confusing; I don’t know what’s going to be in that document. You don’t seem to have one either. [Laughter]
Archbishop Lipscomb: We won’t know until we get the document as it is finished. We know what we would like to put in it, and what we have been told we can put in it, and that’s what we’re submitting to Rome. It will contain the universal law. It will also contain the modifications, as particular, that we decide upon, and have requested, and indeed, passed in June for the Church in the United States. In returning us to that with some slight modifications it was Cardinal Medina’s suggestion.
Bishop Imesch: That’s like signing a blank check.
Archbishop Lipscomb: What?
Bishop Imesch: It’s like signing a blank check. We don’t know what they’re going to put in.
Archbishop Lipscomb: No. We are sending what they’re going to put in. That’s what we’re doing right now. We’re determining and this conference is sending, "Please put this in".
Bishop Fiorenza: Archbishop Pilarczyk.
Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk (Cincinnati; member Liturgy Committee, former chairman of ICEL Episcopal board): I’m attempting to clarify. I would ask us to look at the text of Cardinal Medina’s letter dated 25 October, 2001, which was passed out the other day. This is in the third paragraph on page 1, about line 5. "Those parts of the Institutio Generalis that mention in a general way the possibility of adaptation or closer specification by the Conferences would simply be replaced in the new translation of the Institutio by a newly formulated statement of the actual provisions of the Conference".
So we’re talking about replacing, as I understand it, and not supplementing. The Cardinal goes on to say that if you want to have the provisions published this is toward the end of the paragraph if you want to have those provisions published as a separate fascicle as a pedagogical tool, perhaps even a pedagogical tool for bishops, you can do that, but that document will not have the force of law as the modified Instruction [sic] Generalis will have, as modified by this conference, apparently.
Archbishop Lipscomb: Yes. My point is the general law will be there alongside our particular legislation. [Several bishops call out: "No"]
Bishop Fiorenza: Will you Further, Archbishop Pilarczyk?
Archbishop Lipscomb: Please. I would like to.
Archbishop Pilarczyk: It is my understanding, from what the Cardinal’s letter says, that the legislation that we pass will be published in the Instructio [sic] Generalis as the Instructio Generalis for this country. The Instructio Generalis "generalis" (without adaptations) will not be part of the Missale, as I understand the Cardinal’s letter. That’s what he says.
The last sentence, Cardinal Bevilacqua points out. "These observations " Oh, yeah: "In this way it will be possible to provide for those adaptations approved by the bishops and the Holy See without the confusion that arises from the existence of parallel documents covering substantially the same material". Apparently the Cardinal overlooked the possibility that confusion could arise from other sources as well. [Laughter]
Archbishop Lipscomb: But we have sent in how many specific changes? Nineteen? Like nineteen changes. Those nineteen changes become part of the General Instructions. It’s unthinkable that the General Instructions for the Roman Missal in the English language for the churches in the United States would only contain those nineteen provisions. My understanding of the Cardinal’s letter is that they will become a part of the General Instruction as specified by the Church in the United States. But they’re not going to leave out the General Instruction of a hundred plus pages. They’re not going to leave that out of the Missal for the Church of the United States and English-speaking lands.
Bishop Fiorenza: And when they become integrated into the GIRM it becomes particular law for the United States. Bishop Lynch followed by Archbishop Rigali.
Bishop Robert Lynch (St. Petersburg): Bishop Fiorenza, I’d like to go back to Archbishop Weakland’s point, but I think to do it I’m out of order, as he was when he got up. If I might just suggest, Bishop Weigand has asked for individual consideration of a particular thing. I think we ought to do that, and then save kind of this general discussion about 43.3 for after we’ve handled the amendments. That’s just a recommendation. And if that happens I’d like an opportunity to approach the microphone again.
Bishop Fiorenza: Well, you’re right. We sort of got off the track. Bishop Weigand you’ve been there patiently waiting to be clarified. There are no other amendments that wish to come before the body except Bishop Weigand’s.
Bishop Weigand: This is amendment number 1, on page 1. This is not a big point with me, but I just want to remind us of the history. In June, it was my initiative to strike "after". That was in the old text; that’s been in the Appendix for the last twenty-five years. The body of bishops agreed with that. In June, we did in fact strike "after" to leave it somewhat more flexible. In a lot of our places, in fact, people are in the action of standing as they are singing an exuberant affirmation of "Amen". Now I don’t believe in putting "after" back in. It’s the slippery slope or leaving "after" out that it’s a slippery slope towards standing in the Eucharistic Prayer. But, in fact in June we voted to delete the "after". I think, not the Committee, but the body ought to vote again about putting it back in.
Bishop Fiorenza: So you want to replace "after"? OK, that’s the amendment. Would you like to speak to it, Archbishop Lipscomb?
Archbishop Lipscomb: No, we did replace "after". I think he wants "after" taken out. That’s your point isn’t it? Because we did replace it. And the reason we replaced it, as the rationale explains, in Committee discussion, having heard from a number of people, it was revised to preserve the unity of the Eucharistic Prayer which does not officially end until the "Amen". So you have people standing through the doxology that takes place there, "Through Him, with Him and in Him". And that causes, perhaps, we felt, as the standing singing of the "Amen" or the singing of the "Amen" while you’re trying to stand. And that’s why we reinserted it. If this body wishes to change that, I don’t think we will die for that. Nor do I think would Cardinal Medina be upset. It just seemed to be preserving the integrity of the Eucharistic Prayer, so that’s why we changed it until after the "Amen". There’s also Bishop Brom, I think, has asked to speak to this issue too, since we seem to be discussing it.
Bishop Fiorenza: Are you on the same thing, Bishop Brom?
Bishop Robert Brom (San Diego): Yes, I am. This is precisely why I proposed, in a resolution or an amendment that was rejected, that "until the Amen" be replaced with "until the doxology". I’m not in favor of the flexibility that Bishop Weigand is proposing, where the assembly chooses to stand almost where it pleases. My experience, perhaps that of others here, is that when we aren’t clear as we have not clearly implemented "until after the `Amen’" some will stand during the singing of the doxology itself leading to the `Amen’, some will be standing at the beginning of the `Amen’ or in the course of an ‘Amen’ with Alleluias added. But the assembly from place to place will do one thing or another.
Because of the flexibility of society today, and the movement of peoples, even in a single diocese such as my own in a given assembly people are looking around to see what we do here. I’d like it to be clear, and so I support the notion that it should be clear and not flexible, and consequently I’m opposed to the withdrawing of the action of the Committee. Although I would be more in favor of my amendment, which was refused. At least putting `Amen’ back makes it clear. It’s "after the ‘Amen’" and we implement that across the country. Going back to the original text is acceptable, and that’s what the Committee is recommending now, I understand. So although we acted as a Conference to take out the "after" word and now are putting it back in, I would be standing up in a moment if we take it out again, or leave it out, to say, let’s then stand before the doxology, so we don’t have that movement during this very solemn part of the liturgy. I don’t think there should be options at that time; I think it should be clear.
Archbishop Lipscomb: I agree with Bishop Brom. Except, I have no illusions to think that once we pass this and it is published as particular law, long-standing practices in parishes that worship and celebrate, whether by standing or kneeling during the doxology, and whenever they sing the "Amen", will be changed overnight. We’re presenting something that is in keeping with the cohesive, I would say, strength of the Eucharistic Prayer as an integral whole that finishes with the "Amen". And that, perhaps, in time will through catechesis and example and whatever persuasion the diocesan bishop can give to uphold liturgical law bring about the desired result that Bishop Brom asks for. On the other hand, I cannot imagine that all of a sudden there would be a case against those who decide that they’re going to stand and sing the "Amen". But the law, the particular law, will stand as, I hope, more than an ideal or a guideline, which is what particular law should do.
Bishop Fiorenza: OK, are you ready for a vote? Now will you give us the wording of the vote? The amendment, the amendment, the amendment.
Archbishop Lipscomb: The amendment —
Bishop Fiorenza: The amendment, and then we want to see it on the screen. And then, Archbishop Lipscomb, you will give us very clear instructions as to what "yes" will mean and what "no" will mean. [Laughter]
Archbishop Lipscomb: Currently, the Committee has suggested that we replace "until the ‘Amen’ of the Eucharistic Prayer" with the word "after" following "until". So that the singing will begin only after the standing, excuse me, not the singing, the standing. Standing will take place "after the ‘Amen’ of the Eucharistic Prayer" instead of "until the ‘Amen’ of the Eucharistic Prayer". That is somewhat in form, and more flexible probably in keeping with practice. But not touching the ideal of the Eucharistic Prayer as a unity. So as I see it now, I’m not too sure whether Bishop Weigand made a motion as to the "yes" "no" categories. Did you make a motion to —
Bishop Weigand: My motion was simply that the body of bishops vote. I would think that a "no" vote would mean to retain the current text of June. A "yes" vote I would think would mean to restore the "after".
Archbishop Lipscomb: Yes. The "yes" vote would support the Committee position. The "no" vote would — [several interventions from the floor]
Bishop Fiorenza: Please don’t speak at once.
Archbishop Lipscomb: There may be confusion. Would you repeat what you said again, Bishop Weigand, so I can be certain of it.
Bishop Weigand: The Committee is proposing to restore the word "after", so I think a "yes" vote would agree with that, whereas a "no" vote would leave the June text in place, which does not have "after".
Archbishop Lipscomb: That’s right, but that’s not the way we usually do an amendment. But we can keep it that way. "Yes" vote means we keep the "after"; "no" vote means we restore it to June of this year. Clear?
Bishop Fiorenza: So, "yes" vote means we replace "until after the `Amen’ of the Eucharistic Prayer". A `no’ vote means you go back to what was said in June: "until after the end of the Eucharistic Prayer".
Archbishop Lipscomb: If I may confirm the clarification? "Yes" vote votes with the Committee and its change. A "no" vote votes against the Committee its rejected amendment.
Bishop Fiorenza: OK. Now I’m sorry I have a clarif– no, that’s Bishop Brom.
Bishop Brom: I really just want to be sure. "Yes" means the word "after" will be included. [Yes] "No" means the word "after" will not be there. [Yes] Thank you.
Bishop Fiorenza: So now. This is for Latin rite bishops only. So please cast your vote. [The bishops vote.]
Monsignor William Fay (USCCB General Secretary): On this vote: "yes" 180; "no" 38. The vote to keep the Committee position and use the words "until after the ‘Amen’" has been retained.
Bishop Fiorenza: Thank you. Now Archbishop, are you still standing? Good. Archbishop Weakland, would you want to again bring up your thoughts?
Archbishop Weakland: I’m going to make an amendment from the floor that 43 paragraph 3 after the words "or some other good reason" have added to that "as specified by the diocesan bishop". So that would be my amendment. Do I get a second?
Bishop Fiorenza: It’s been seconded.
Archbishop Weakland: The reason why I bring that up is because the general norm presupposes that everybody is standing during the Eucharistic Prayer, and only during the words of Consecration will make a genuflection unless they’ve got arthritis, in a wheelchair, or can’t do it for some other good reason. That’s the general norm. We have changed that already to mean that we’re going to kneel from after the Sanctus until after the Amen, which is a different situation entirely. You’d have everybody kneeling, and some people unable to kneel. Who’s going to make that decision about them? If it were just simply a specific case, you wouldn’t care. If somebody can’t kneel, let them sit. This is what normally would happen. But I can just see priests saying: "We’re going to stand" and finding a reason. So who should make that decision if it’s the whole congregation? And I think the cardinal already foresaw that in his letter. So on page 2 of this letter he does deal with this:
"In appreciation of the long-standing practice in the United States of America, the Congregation is willing to assent in, principle, to the provision submitted for paragraph number 43 regarding the posture during the Eucharistic Prayer, though some adjustments would be required. Specifically the mention of the bishop is unnecessary in the provision regarding posture during the Eucharistic Prayer since it is already implicit in the general law within reasonable limits".
But the general law presupposes something different, that everyone’s standing:
"Perhaps the definitive text should be carefully worded in such a way as to make provision by way of exception for those localities in which the spontaneous expectation would be otherwise. In such cases the adaptation need not apply, and it would obviously pertain to make a prudent determination of the existence of such a situation".
So I think he already is presupposing that there are going to be those circumstances in which people will not be able to kneel. And the decision, then, has to be made by the diocesan bishop, not by any local priest or somebody who wants to do that. That’s why I think we have to put back in again, after "other good reason" "as determined by the diocesan bishop". Does that make sense? This is what I’m trying to do.
Bishop Fiorenza: Yes. And I think your amendment is on the floor, and it’s been seconded, and now those who wish to speak to the Weakland amendment.
Archbishop Lipscomb: Could I for the Committee?
Bishop Fiorenza: I’m sorry, did you wish to say something?
Archbishop Lipscomb: Yes, simply because it is precisely that same paragraph in the Cardinal’s letter that caused us to take out that specific mention of the diocesan bishop. Since in the third line he begins, "Specifically, the mention of the bishop is unnecessary in the provision regarding posture during the Eucharistic Prayer since it is already implicit it the general law within reasonable limits". The bishop can already do that in the general law. That’s why we took it out, at his suggestion.
Archbishop Weakland: It might be evident to the cardinal that this is in the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop, but I’m not sure. And I think it should be clarified for us, that this is what we mean. And also when he says it’s in the general power of the diocesan bishop, he is still referring to the way it stands in the text, which is that everybody is standing. I think for clarity’s sake, and for what he says after that we should go back to saying the bishop makes that decision. And then there’s no equivocation later on, who did it, who makes it.
Bishop Fiorenza: Bishop Lynch.
Bishop Robert Lynch (Saint Petersburg): Well, I’m not going to speak long, because I agree with Archbishop Weakland and the whole tenor of our conversation and our dialogue in June, that passed precisely because the phrase "the judgment of the diocesan bishop" was inserted. And if Cardinal Mahony were here I’m sure he would be up and speaking.
I think that canonically I can understand Cardinal Medina’s response, but pastorally I think we have another challenge and that we make it more pastorally effective for us in our governance of the liturgy in our respective dioceses if we put the words that the archbishop suggests back in there.
Bishop Fiorenza: Thank you. Bishop Foley.
Bishop David Foley (Birmingham): I am surprised at what I am hearing. I would like to speak against this amendment. I think that we need unanimity throughout the United States as the reverence that we’ve always had. When we had the Appendix, we had it as one of the signs in our country, a respect at this moment, this sacred moment, of the Eucharistic Prayer and the Consecration of the Mass. And it’s always understood that maybe for some reason a bishop could make some decision otherwise, but I think we should stand together in saying in our country we’ve had this honor, time-honored reverence shown. And I think we should stay with that and as bishops say this is the usual way, to kneel after the Sanctus through the acclamation including the acclamation.
Bishop Fiorenza: Thank you. Archbishop Chaput.
Archbishop Chaput: I certainly would agree that bishops should have the opportunity to dispense the usual practice in circumstances where it’s necessary. And if that’s what Archbishop Weakland means, I certainly support that. But I think the confusion is: are we also saying that a bishop can dispense his diocese from the practice of the United States because the people there already have a practice of their own?
See I’m confused about what the word any bishop has a right to decide. I certainly think we all need to have [inaudible] in certain particular circumstances. But is there a suggestion here that bishops can dispense from the norm that we’re developing for our country? And if that’s what we’re going to say, that bishops can individually do that, I think we ought to say that very clearly, rather than have wording that’s interpreted that way or another way. So I just ask for clarity around what we mean when we want to give a bishop permission to dispense from the norm.
Bishop Fiorenza: Archbishop Weakland.
Archbishop Weakland: I was very surprised by Bishop Foley’s intervention, because that’s not at all in fact it’s the opposite of what I intended here. I think that the norm is the norm, and that’s that we kneel, whether I like it or not that’s what we’re deciding. And that is the norm. So if the bishop decides an exception, it’s an exception to the norm. Only the bishop can decide that exception. I don’t think the bishop could decide that exception for his whole diocese. No, I don’t think that’s possible. The norm is the norm. If there is a given situation, it would be the bishop and not the local pastor to make that decision. I think that’s what’s involved here. Any exception would be made by the bishop.
Bishop Fiorenza: Archbishop Rigali, followed by Cardinal Law.
Archbishop Justin Rigali (Saint Louis; Member of Liturgy Committee): I was part of the discussion in the BCL on this, and I was in favor of what was decided. However, the discussion has been very enlightening, and my opinion now, after having heard the motion of Archbishop Weakland, I would be in favor of it.
Cardinal Medina said it is not necessary. And that is actually the reason that we took it out. But looking back at it, and seeing that it is not necessary it is unnecessary I don’t think he’d have said it is to be excluded. So I think, having heard the various points of view, that we could put it in. It would have to be added in the text where if it’s to go into 43.3 "They should kneel at the Consecration except when prevented by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present or some other good reason as determined by the bishop".
And that will have the advantage of making clear that it does not belong to the pastor or to anyone else. It is just the bishop. The bishops have heard testimony here. We’ve all heard that the intent is not to say that we can dispense from the particular law that we are establishing now, and which we are approving and will be given the recognitio.
So this is our responsibility, to make sure it is not interpreted in that sense. But I think it will be very good, and I would support the amendment of Archbishop Weakland.
Bishop Fiorenza: Thank you. Cardinal Law, followed by Cardinal George.
Cardinal Law: I stand in opposition to the amendment, sympathetic and moving in the direction of Archbishop Rigali.
However, I do think the operative word here is "except when prevented by" and then we list some reasons that would be operative or, as we say here "or some other good reason".
My presumption is that you’re talking about a situation that is occurring here and now. You’re not talking about something being foreseen about which the bishop is establishing policy. And so I think that you do need the flexibility of allowing the decision needing to be made. I would wonder if Archbishop Weakland would be satisfied with a change of a text to read "or some other similar reason", which would avoid a blanket policy following, but would be looking to the specific case?
Bishop Fiorenza: Archbishop Weakland.
Archbishop Weakland: I don’t know that that would solve the problem. Because if it’s some other similar reason, it still leaves the decision to the local pastor or whomever. I just am uneasy with it, so I would not accept that amendment.
Bishop Fiorenza: All right, Cardinal George followed by Bishop Brom.
Cardinal George: Two points, Archbishop. Could I ask you to recall what I thought we had decided, namely, to put a paragraph at the beginning of these considerations in the Missal, emphasizing again that it is the local Ordinary who has to oversee the liturgy in his diocese?
Precisely because this is not the only case where the local bishop is supposed to make some determinations, and not leave each congregation up to its own devices, or its liturgical committee, or whatever. Wasn’t there to be such a general paragraph precisely to emphasize that?
Archbishop Lipscomb: There was to be some kind of an explanation wherever we have replaced the phrase "the diocesan bishop" with the "conference of bishops" or other entities, it is for the here and now the local bishop. Not a pastor. I can’t see how you can read the pastor into that as taking charge of making an exception.
Cardinal George: So we were going to try to address it, but in a general way, not here.
Archbishop Lipscomb: In a general way. For all of them; there were other cases, too.
Cardinal George: The problem I have with inserting it here, although I could live with it, is that this presupposes an ad hoc situation. Health. Surely we’re not saying that if a woman is in bad health and she makes her own decision to sit, the bishop is going to tell her she can’t. Nor the pastor. Nor do we want the pastor to have to call the bishop and say, "Can I give her permission to sit through the Canon"? Of its nature, lack of space you know, you go into the church, and it’s Easter OK I mean, it’s an ad hoc situation that I don’t think you want to haul the diocesan bishop in. Now it can be extended for other circumstances where the bishop should be brought into the consideration. I’m just not sure that it’s needed here. I think it’s taken care of elsewhere if we do what we intended to do, and I’m afraid of complicating the situation.
Bishop Fiorenza: Thank you. Bishop Brom, followed by Bishop Braxton. Bishop Brom passes. Bishop Braxton, followed by Bishop Banks. That will be the final.
Bishop Edward Braxton (Lake Charles; Member of Ad Hoc Committee on Review of Scripture Translations): Thank you, Archbishop. As I have listened to the discussion I think I have altered my thought on this. I was in favor of Archbishop Weakland’s amendment, but if I’m understanding the articulation of it now, and we are going to interpret that paragraph to mean simply ad hoc circumstances, then I would agree that we wouldn’t want to insert the question of the competence of the local bishop. However, I would want to underscore the need for this sentence or paragraph that has been referred to, that would speak of the diocesan bishop’s special responsibility because I think we are all experiencing in our dioceses innovations in the liturgy of standing or kneeling literally at the invitation of the pastor or the liturgy committee. And when we arrive at a parish for a liturgy we are informed: This is how we do it here. And so I think anything we can do to reinforce that specific responsibility would be good. But, if I understand correctly, now we are saying this particular case is simply ad hoc and not generic. And so I do not support the amendment.
Bishop Fiorenza: Thank you. Bishop Banks.
Bishop Robert Banks (Green Bay): I think what the majority of the bishops are trying to avoid is a situation in which either a bishop or a pastor will interpret "some other good reason" to be something like: Resurrection spirituality is a good reason for us to be standing at all times during the Eucharistic Prayer. I think that’s what we are trying to avoid. Personally, I don’t think either accepting or rejecting Archbishop Weakland’s amendment is going to attend to that particular concern. I think it could be attended to, perhaps, by adding: "except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present or some other good reason". The word "on occasion" says that this is not to be a general practice because of Resurrection spirituality or some other view of the liturgy.
Bishop Fiorenza: OK. Archbishop would you accept that? The Archbishop accepts that wording, "on occasion". So now we have the amendment before the house which says what, Archbishop? Would you mind repeating it for us now? The amendment that you were proposing with that insertion "on occasion".
Archbishop Lipscomb: May I make a correction first? Because I just don’t want to be out of full faith with this body. Because Cardinal George raised a discussion that took place in the Committee on the Liturgy in which we did say it was necessary for bishops to understand, and everybody else to understand, the broad role that a diocesan bishop has in interpreting and asking compliance with this.
What was discussed at that time, and we came to a conclusion, was not something to be added into the Missale itself, but something that would be issued in a form of one of the numbers of our [BCL] Newsletter that would give specific instructions and greater detail to this. So I would not want to not keep faith with this body and think that something would be added to the General Instructions that was not contemplated.
Bishop Fiorenza: OK. Archbishop.
Archbishop Weakland: As I understand it, it would read now: "In the dioceses of the United States of America they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when on occasion prevented by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present or some other good reason".
Bishop Fiorenza: That has been seconded. So if you wish to vote for the Weakland amendment, you would vote "yes", and if you do not you vote "no". This is only for Latin rite bishops. And so I would now ask you to cast your vote.
Pardon me, is there a point of order? Archbishop Rigali.
Archbishop Rigali: I just wanted to ask to hear that once again. It is the third paragraph of 43 43, 3 that we are modifying. Could we have the official text again because we have "They should kneel at the Consecration except when prevented by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people pre