– Vol. VIII, No. 6: September 2002
Quirky: "Witch" gets okay for Catholic wedding — Quirkier: "Ordained" gals give themselves the gate — Quirkiest: Archbishop of Canterbury is a Druid — Los Angeles Cathedral Consecrated — Focus of FDLC Meeting: Eucharist and Communion
In a question column on the diocesan web site of Wheeling-Charleston in West Virginia, Monsignor Kevin Quirk, a canonist and judicial vicar for the Diocese advised a Wiccan that she could be married to her Catholic fiancé in the Church.
"I have been Wiccan for many years and intend to continue my faith. My fiancé and I completely accept the other’s religion, and see no problem with our choices", she wrote.
Monsignor Quirk assured her that she "can be married in the Catholic Church" but would have to get dispensation from the local bishop if she were not baptized.
"If you have been baptized, regardless of your current religious beliefs, you are considered a Christian, because — as you can read elsewhere on this website — the mark of baptism upon your soul is indelible, forever marking you as a child of God", Monsignor Quirk said in his reply.
But the lady complained: "I don’t see how being pagan is such a problem. I’m open-minded and moral, but Wiccanism is considered witchcraft by the Church".
The Wiccan woman has agreed to raise the children Catholic, because, she said, "I want them to have structure in their lives, although I want them to be informed and unbiased concerning all faiths".
Canon law specifies that any mixed marriage requires the ordinary to give permission (1124-1125), whether or not the non-Catholic party is baptized. The Catholic party must agree to baptize and raise the children Catholic, and must inform the non-Catholic party of this promise.
Seven women who were "ordained" by a schismatic Argentine priest on June 29 in Austria were officially excommunicated July 23.
The pseudo-priestesses, four Germans, two Austrians and an American, had been warned in a monitum, or canonical warning, from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on July 10, that they would incur excommunication if they did not acknowledge that the "ordination" was invalid and repent.
They did not, of course. Instead, they wrote a letter to the CDF rejecting the warning, and calling other women to "resistance against a Catholic Church dominated by men". Sad.
Saint Thomas a Becket would be turning in his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral (if he were still in it) when the new occupant of the See of Canterbury arrives this month. The new Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, appointed head of the Church of England in July, will be the first Druid to hold that office.
The London Times reported July 19: "As the sun rises over a circle of Pembrokeshire bluestones, the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Reverend Dr. Rowan Williams will don a long white cloak while druids chant a prayer to the ancient god and goddess of the land". He was accepted into the "white druidic order", the highest of the three orders of the "gorsedd of Bards, the Welsh body of poets, musicians, writers and artists", according to the Times.
Williams is a vigorous supporter of ordination of women, and defends same-sex relationships (he has ordained a non-celibate homosexual). To believe that "every sexual partnership must conform to the pattern of commitment or else have the nature of sin … is unreal and silly", he wrote.
Williams is also a strong critic of America’s response to the terrorist attack. The archbishop happened to be at Trinity Church, Wall Street, a few blocks from the World Trade Center on September 11.
The attack was not "an act of war", Williams told a British audience in August. It was a call to America to examine how it has failed, and to understand those who hate us. "What we needed at a time of crisis like that is for people to be able to say there is something we have not understood, something we have not done", Williams said.
The new Archbishop of Canterbury was chosen by Prime Minister Tony Blair, with the approval of the Crown. He is the spiritual leader of the world’s 70 million Anglicans.
The world’s newest cathedral, the largest and most expensive modernist church ever built, in the largest archdiocese in the United States, was consecrated September 2.
In his message for the consecration of Los Angeles’s new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Pope John Paul II expressed hope that the cathedral will contribute to the growth of all in "right faith" and "solid devotion". The Vatican’s emissary for the event was Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, president of the Pontifical Council on the Laity.
The $163 million cathedral complex sits on 5 1/2 acres in central Los Angeles. It includes a residence, conference center and 600-car underground parking garage. The cathedral contains $30 million in art and furnishings, and seats 3,000.
The cathedral is for all, not just for Catholics, Cardinal Roger Mahony said. "I would hope it will give soul and spirit to all its neighbors".
In 1999, when Native Americans had objected to building the cathedral on an ancient burial site, Cardinal Mahony said he had hoped that Native Americans would worship at the new cathedral. "The God they worship is the God we worship, and we would hope that this cathedral will be for all people for all time", Cardinal Mahony said.
Nathan Mitchell, a former Benedictine priest who teaches liturgy at Notre Dame University and a regular columnist for Worship magazine, and Monsignor Francis Mannion, director of the Liturgical Institute, Chicago, and founder of Society for Catholic Liturgy, will give the opening presentation, "History of the Relationship between Eucharist and Communion", at the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) annual national gathering in Indianapolis October 15-19.
Father Edward Foley, founder of WeBelieve! who teaches at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, will give a workshop, "Music as a Sacrament of Communion". "The Communion Rite Done Right" is the title of a workshop by Mr. Gabe Huck, former head of Liturgy Training Publications in Chicago.
Among other speakers are long-time ICEL staff member Father James Schellman, and Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, chairman of the USCCB Doctrine Committee, who will present a workshop, "A Closer Look at the Final Volumes of the Lectionary".