Online Edition: June 2008
Vol. XIV, No. 4
News and Views
Ireland: International Liturgy Conference | Canberra Prelate: Liturgy Entering “New Phase” | Quebec: International Eucharistic Congress | CDF on Ordination: What Part of No…? | Conversion of Saint Paul to Be Observed on a Sunday in 2009
“Benedict XVI and the Sacred Liturgy” is the title of an international liturgical conference to be held on Saturday, July 17, on Fota Island, a beautiful island in Cork Harbor, near Cobh (Queenstown), Ireland. The event is sponsored by St. Colman’s Society for Catholic Liturgy.
Speakers will include:
Father Manfred Hauke of Lugano, Switzerland, professor of dogmatic theology at the Theological Faculty of Lugano; and author of The Priesthood and Women;
Father Uwe Michael Lang, a priest of the London Oratory, author of Turning Toward the Lord: Orientation in Liturgical Prayer, and a staff member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments;
Father Dennis McManus, Georgetown University professor and chaplain, and former associate director of the US Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, and consultant to the Vox Clara committee to review the new Roman Missal translation;
Alcuin Reid, Australian author of The Monastic Diurnal, and The Organic Development of the Liturgy;
Father Neil J. Roy, visiting assistant professor at Notre Dame University and editor of Antiphon, the journal of the Society of Catholic Liturgy. (See Father Roy’s review/essay on page 5);
James F. Hitchcock, professor of history at St. Louis University, author of Recovery of the Sacred; and
Helen Hull Hitchcock, editor of the Adoremus Bulletin and co-founder of Adoremus: Society for the Renewal of Catholic Liturgy.
The event will take place at the Sheraton Fota Island Golf Resort and Spa. For complete details of the conference program and registration information, e-mail Mrs. Declan Pender: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge, of Canberra-Goulburn, Australia, issued a pastoral letter on the forthcoming changes expected when the translation of the 2000-02 Roman Missal comes into effect. His letter on the liturgy was issued on Pentecost 2008, the day the new General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), came into effect in Australia. (The new GIRM has been in use in the US since 2002.)
“The new version of General Instruction is one of a number of indications that the Church is moving into a new phase of the ongoing journey of liturgical renewal, the roots of which reach back to the Second Vatican Council and beyond”, Archbishop Coleridge wrote. Considering the new GIRM, the forthcoming translation of the Missal and revised Lectionary, he said, “Now is the time, the Spirit is saying to the Church, to take stock of the liturgical renewal of the last forty years, to discern as clearly as possible what has succeeded and what has failed, and to make adjustments in the light of that discernment”.
Archbishop Coleridge’s eleven-page letter highlights elements of the liturgy, such as music, beauty, language, and creativity; and it comments on each part of the Order of Mass. The full text of his Pentecost letter may be found at www.cg.catholic.org.au/_uploads/rsfil/00724.pdf.
The 49th International Eucharistic Congress is to be held in Quebec City from June 15 to 22, 2008, with a Eucharistic procession through Quebec City on June 19.
Archbishop Marc Ouellet, introducing the web site for the congress, wrote, “On October 17, 2004, our beloved Pope John Paul II entrusted our diocese with the mission of organizing this great international gathering. It is an opportunity for Catholics from around the world to celebrate their faith in the Eucharist and to bear witness to the Gospel by sharing moments of prayer, reflection and fraternity.
“This Congress will be celebrated during the year marking the 400th anniversary of foundation of Quebec City, seat of the first Catholic diocese north of Mexico. Throughout the many festivities of 2008, we will remember the women and men of faith who built this country with evangelical roots that remain as part of our heritage”.
Activities from the congress will be posted in English, Spanish and French on the web site www.ecdq.tv/en/. The organizers thus hope to “enable Christians all over the world to participate in this great faith event”.
Benedict XVI will participate in the closing of the event via satellite, with a homily at the closing Mass.
Archbishop Ouellet is the “relator general” for the forthcoming Synod on the Word of God. (See related story, page 3.)
In the latest clarification on the Church’s teaching on ordination, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) issued a “General Decree Regarding the Delict of Attempted Sacred Ordination of a Woman”, which was published May 30 on the front page of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.
The decree states that “Both the one who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman, and the woman who attempts to receive a sacred order, incur an excommunication ‘latae sententiae’”.
In other words, excommunication automatically follows the infraction of the law. The canonical expression, latae sententiae — a term we’re seeing more often these days, alas — means “given sentence” (literally: laid down) by the law itself.
Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the CDF, said the decree was issued “in order to protect the nature and validity” of the sacrament of holy orders. It also gives explicit support to bishops, in the matter of highly publicized “ordinations” by organizations such as Roman Catholic Womenpriests, and the difficult situation these media events pose for bishops who must take action — and the attendant publicity.
Father Augustine DiNoia, undersecretary of the CDF, speaking to Catholic News Service, said the decree makes clear the fact that the people directly involved in an attempted ordination of a woman excommunicate themselves automatically; it is not a penalty imposed by the local bishop or the universal church.
Since the excommunication is not imposed, there is no possibility of appeal, Father DiNoia said: “The only recourse is repentance”.
In 1994, Pope John Paul II issued Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, which stated that the Church’s teaching that only men may be ordained is definitive, unchangeable and not open to debate.
In 1995, the CDF said it again:
“This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium”. (www.wf-f.org/ResDub. html)
Is there hope that the “matriarchal hierarchy” (aka RC Womenpriests) can find something more useful to do?
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments published a decree authorizing the celebration of Mass for the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul on the third Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 25, 2009 — the calendar date of the feast. Ordinarily, Mass on a Sunday may not observe a saint’s feast day.
The decree, published on May 30, signed by Cardinal Francis Arinze and Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith, respectively prefect and secretary of the Congregation, explains that the exceptional authorization for celebrating the feast on a Sunday has been given because of the Pauline Year, to be inaugurated by the Holy Father on June 28, 2008, to commemorate the 2000th anniversary of the birth of the Apostle of the Gentiles.
— Source: Vatican Information Service