Online Edition: June-July 2011
Vol. XVII, No. 4
News & Views
At their meeting in May, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales (CBCEW) issued a “National Pastoral Letter on the New Translation of the Roman Missal”, to be read in all parishes on Sunday, May 29.
“The publication of the new translation of the Missal is a special moment of grace in the English-speaking world”, the letter said. “It offers an opportunity to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the mystery we celebrate each week. This itself will help us to move towards that fuller and more conscious and active participation in the liturgy to which the Church invites us”.
A period of preparation for the new liturgical texts will begin with partial use in September, and full use on the first Sunday of Advent, the letter said.
Among the plenary resolutions at their May meeting, the CBCEW included a restoration of abstinence from meat as the normative Friday penance. The bishops’ resolution reads as follows:
Catholic Witness – Friday Penance
By the practice of penance every Catholic identifies with Christ in His death on the cross. We do so in prayer, through uniting the sufferings and sacrifices in our lives with those of Christ’s passion; in fasting, by dying to self in order to be close to Christ; in almsgiving, by demonstrating our solidarity with the sufferings of Christ in those in need. All three forms of penance form a vital part of Christian living. When this is visible in the public arena, then it is also an important act of witness.
Every Friday is set aside by the Church as a special day of penance, for it is the day of the death of our Lord. The law of the Church requires Catholics to abstain from meat on Fridays, or some other form of food, or to observe some other form of penance laid down by the Bishops’ Conference.
The bishops wish to re-establish the practice of Friday penance in the lives of the faithful as a clear and distinctive mark of their own Catholic identity. They recognise that the best habits are those which are acquired as part of a common resolve and common witness. It is important that all the faithful be united in a common celebration of Friday penance.
Respectful of this, and in accordance with the mind of the whole Church, the Bishops’ Conference wishes to remind all Catholics in England and Wales of the obligation of Friday Penance. The bishops have decided to re-establish the practice that this should be fulfilled by abstaining from meat.
Those who cannot or choose not to eat meat as part of their normal diet should abstain from some other food of which they regularly partake. This is to come into effect from Friday 16 September 2011 when we will mark the anniversary of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom.
Many may wish to go beyond this simple act of common witness and mark each Friday with a time of prayer and further self-sacrifice. In all these ways we unite our sacrifices to the sacrifice of Christ, who gave up His very life for our salvation.
The resolution is accessible on the CBCEW web site: catholic-ew.org.uk/ Catholic-Church/Events/Bishops-Conference-May-2011.
The bishops also discussed restoring two of the three Holy Days of Obligation that were transferred to Sundays in 2006.
The days transferred were the Epiphany on January 6, the Ascension of Our Lord, traditionally celebrated on a Thursday 40 days after Easter, and the Body and Blood of the Lord, known as Corpus Christi, celebrated after Pentecost.
A decision about the holy days is expected at the bishops’ fall meeting.
Father Anscar Chupungco, a Benedictine liturgist from the Philippines, will receive the Frederick McManus Award at the convention of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) annual convention to be held in Portland, Oregon, October 10-15. The 2011 convention is titled “Strangers No Longer in the Household of God”. (The McManus award is named in honor the late influential canonist and liturgist who organized the FDLC and served for many years as director of the US Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, as well as executive director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy [ICEL].)
Father Chupungco will also give the keynote address, “Half-Century of the Implementation of the Liturgy Constitution”, on Saturday, October 15.
For more than twenty years (1974-97) Father Chupungco served in a variety of roles at Sant’ Anselmo, as both professor and president of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute, and as rector of the Athenaeum. During his many years in Rome, he was a consultor to the Congregation for Divine Worship; and was a member of the Advisory Committee of ICEL for ten years, and was chairman of ICEL’s Translations and Revisions Subcommittee. In 1990 he also founded the Paul VI Institute of Liturgy in Manila, and is still its director.
Father Chupungco is a noted proponent of multiculturalism in the liturgy. Among his publications are Cultural Adaptation of the Liturgy (1982), Liturgies of the Future: The Process and Methods of Inculturation (1989), Handbook for Liturgical Studies (1997), and Liturgies of the Future (2006).
Multiculturalism is the theme of the FDLC convention. The four main conference sessions are on the Liturgy in Native American Spirituality and Culture (Sister Kateri Mitchell, SSA); Liturgy in Asian-Pacific Spirituality and Culture (Father Ricky Manalo, CSP); Liturgy and Hispanic Spirituality and Culture (Father Allan Deck, SJ); and Liturgy and African American Spirituality (Sister Eva Marie Lamas, SSS).
The multicultural theme of the FDLC convention reflects the US bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church (CCDC), chaired by Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto. Its executive director is Father Allan Deck, SJ.
The USCCB web site describes the Cultural Diversity committee:
The Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church assists the bishops in instilling the vision of Encuentro 2000 and Ecclesia in America throughout the Church by working collaboratively with all the committees of the Conference and with bishops and their dioceses to bring Catholics from various culturally diverse communities into a fuller participation in the faith, life, and evangelizing mission of the Church. The committee especially works to promote an awareness of cultural diversity within all the committees and offices of the USCCB.
This mandate includes the following responsibilities: Pastoral care of Hispanic Catholics, African American Catholics, Asian Catholics, Native American Catholics, African Catholics, Pacific Islander Catholics, Catholic migrants and refugees and people on the move.
Further information on the CCDC: www.usccb.org/scdc/index.shtml.
The FDLC 2011 convention schedule: fdlc.org/NationalMeetings/Portland/2011-Schedule.htm.
(See also related story in this issue: “Liturgical Reform — Tradition and Progress: The Pontifical Liturgical Institute’s Fifty Years”, page 6.)
The Church of Our Saviour in Manhattan was the site of a special Mass for artists held Sunday, May 15. Father George Rutler, pastor of Our Saviour, celebrated the vetus ordo (extraordinary form) Solemn High Mass, sponsored by the newly organized Catholic Artists Society. Father Michael Barone, a priest of the Newark archdiocese, served as deacon and Father Joseph Koterski, SJ, of Fordham University, as subdeacon.
A lecture by Father Koterski on Ignatian prayer and the renewal of the artistic imagination followed the Mass.