Sep 15, 2003


Online Edition

– Vol. IX, No. 6: September 2003


Cardinal Sodano Proposes Review of Post-conciliar Liturgical Reform

New CDW Secretary

Uniform Posture Important, Monsignor
Moroney Tells Priests

Mary Magdalene


to Seminary Libraries

Cardinal Sodano Proposes Review of Post-conciliar Liturgical Reform

Forty years after the liturgical reform begun by the Second Vatican Council, it is right to examine the way it has been implemented, in order to relaunch it, wrote Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secretary of State, in a letter to participants in Italy’s National Liturgical Week, which ended August 29.

"It is right to ask what the liturgical reform itself has represented for the renewal of Christian communities, to what degree the Liturgy, reformed according to the indications of the council, is able to mediate between faith and life, so that it forms believers able to offer consistent evangelical testimony", Cardinal Sodano wrote.

"It is useful to ask oneself with clarity and sincerity" the cardinal said, "if the reform has experienced some weak point and where, and above all, how it can be relaunched for the good of the Christian people…. Perhaps some of the principles of the Constitution [

Sacrosanctum Concilium

] have to be better understood and more faithfully applied".

In particular, said Cardinal Sodano, "it is useful to analyze some specific topics such as, for example, the relation between creativity and fidelity, between spiritual worship and life, between catechesis and celebration of the Mystery, between liturgical presidency and the role of the assembly, between formation in the seminaries and the permanent formation of priests".

For the past several years, Cardinal Sodano has presented a message to the Italian Liturgical Week on behalf of Pope John Paul II. His letter this year seems to reflect the Holy Father’s concern about correcting errors and renewing authentic liturgical principles and practice, as recently expressed in

Ecclesia de Eucharistia


(Source: Zenit News Service)


New CDW Secretary


Domenico Sorrentino

was appointed secretary of the

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

on August 2. He succeeds Archbishop

Francesco Pio Tamburrino, OSB

, who was appointed metropolitan archbishop of Foggia-Bovina, Italy. Archbishop Sorrentino will continue to serve as administrator of Pompeii and Pontifical Delegate for the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of the Holy Rosary.

(Source: Vatican Information Service)


Uniform Posture Important, Monsignor Moroney Tells Priests

Monsignor James Moroney, director of the Secretariat of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, addressed priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago on June 10 about revisions in the new Roman Missal’s General Instruction. His talk was reported in "News on Liturgy", a web site of the "liturgically progressive" American Catholic Press (ACP).

Monsignor Moroney said that revisions in the new General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) were derived from more than 300 questions and answers from the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome, as well as from Vatican circular letters on various topics. He "explained thoroughly the importance of a common posture during the Liturgy, as emphasized in paragraph 42 of the GIRM [and] also stated that this norm applies to the Communion procession during Mass, while allowing for exceptions for individuals", according to the ACP report.

Monsignor Moroney has already given this presentation to 17,000 priests in the US. About 400 attended the Chicago talk, roughly two thirds of the active priests in the archdiocese, the report said.

(Source: "News on Liturgy"

– American Catholic Press, Father Michael Gilligan)


Deconstructing Mary Magdalene

She’s in the news — an August article in


magazine questioned traditional lore about her. She’s at the top of the bestseller list, in

The DaVinci Code

, a thriller that portrays her as Jesus’ wife. And "progressive" Catholic groups want you to celebrate her legacy as an "apostle and church leader".

Of course we’re talking about Mary Magdalene — the most popular woman of the summer, apparently.

For the sixth year in a row, radical groups

Call to Action



have called on Catholics to hold prayer services in honor of Saint Mary of Magdala — as they call her — the "apostle to the apostles".

According to

Sister Christine Schenk

, executive director of FutureChurch: "Saint Mary of Magdala symbolizes the significant position of women in the early Church and she now stands as a beacon for women in the Catholic Church…. The services are popular because this is one thing Catholics can do to honor women’s leadership in the Catholic Church…. Mary of Magdala was a leader in our earliest history … to celebrate her is to celebrate Jesus’ own inclusive practice as well as the leadership of women".

The FutureChurch web site features downloadable prayer services, one of which instructs: "on this evening, it is a good sign for the presider to be a woman. Another good sign is the sharing of the Gospel and homily by a woman and a man". A service for a different year suggested: "It would be particularly appropriate for a woman to preach during this celebration".

The press release from the FutureChurch web site describes it as a coalition of "parish-based Catholics striving to educate fellow Catholics about the seriousness of the priest shortage, the centrality of the Eucharist (the Mass), and the systemic inequality of women in the Catholic Church". Call to Action describes itself as a national organization that "advocates for reforms in the Catholic Church such as the ordination of women, optional celibacy for priests, more focus on the church’s social teaching, and consultation with the Catholic people on church decision making".

(For a related essay, see James Hitchcock’s September 13 column, "Mary Magdalen – Revised" on the Women for Faith & Family web site (



AB to Seminary Libraries

In early September we mailed a copy of the July-August 2003

Adoremus Bulletin

to the libraries of all the seminaries (approximately 250) in the United States — with an offer to send a complimentary subscription. We received 15 response forms within the first week, and we are still getting calls from seminarians (and a few religious priests) asking to be added to the complimentary mailing list.



The Editors