Online Edition: October 2011
Vol. XVII, No. 7
News and Views
US Bishops: Prayer for Conscience Rights | Prayers, Glossary for New Missal | Introduction of New Missal in Melbourne | Pope Amends Duties of Curial Congregation | New Enthronement of the Sacred Heart Book
On August 1, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will require virtually all private health plans to cover the full range of contraceptive drugs and devices and sterilization procedures, as well as “education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity” to promote these.
In response to the serious problems with the HHS plan that would undermine the conscience rights of Catholic health-care providers, the Pro-Life Activities Committee of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued statements and urged Catholics to express concern to officials.
The bishops also ask for prayer — and provided a special prayer for the protection of conscience rights in health care:
Prayer for Protection of Conscience Rights in Health Care
Father, in Jesus our Lord, we praise and thank you for your most precious gift of human life and for forming us in your divine image. Keep us, the dwelling place of your most Holy Spirit, ever healthy in body and soul.
Jesus, Divine Healer, pour your grace upon all those afflicted with illness or disease. Protect from all harm those who are vulnerable due to sickness, suffering, frailty, poverty or age, whether elderly or unborn.
Holy Spirit, touch the hearts of all who serve human life in medicine and science, so they will protect the dignity of each person, from conception to natural death, and remain faithful advocates of all entrusted to their care.
Grant those who are called to serve as health care providers renewed conviction in their ministry, and increased wisdom to treat the whole person, and not merely the illness.
Protect the right of health care providers to serve their patients without being forced to violate their moral and religious convictions. Guard them against discrimination, that they might be free to follow you faithfully while fulfilling their professional duties.
Grant our lawmakers the wisdom and courage to uphold conscience rights for those called to the ministry of healing, and help them resist the pressure to become collaborators in the culture of death.
Give us strength to be bold and joyful witnesses to the truth that every human life is sacred.
In your goodness, guard our freedom to live out our faith and to follow you in all that we do.
Father, we ask this in Jesus’ name, through the Holy Spirit. Amen.
This prayer appears on the USCCB web site: usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers/protection-of-conscience-rights-healthcare.cfm.
Among the web resources for the introduction of the new Missal translation is a “Novena for a Fuller Participation in the Sacrament of the Eucharist” provided by the US Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship (BCDW).
The novena, along with a glossary of terms and other resources, may be accessed as downloadable PDF files on the BCDW’s Missal Implementation page: old.usccb. org/romanmissal/resources-implementation.shtml.
Bishop Peter Elliott, auxiliary bishop of Melbourne, reported in early September on the success of the gradual introduction of the new Missal translation there.
Bishop Elliott, a consultor to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the author of several books on the liturgy, was an official of the Pontifical Council for the Family from 1987-97, and is director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family in Melbourne.
His most recent article in AB, “Why We Need the New Translation of the Mass”, appeared in the November 2010 issue.
Concerning the introduction of the new Missal translation in the diocese of Melbourne, he writes:
“Here in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Australia, Archbishop Denis Hart is introducing the new ICEL translations in three stages. [Archbishop Hart is vice-chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, ICEL. – Ed.]
“In January, musical settings of the new texts came into use.
“Following a meeting of clergy, when all views were aired frankly, the people’s responses and basic prayers were introduced at Pentecost. Many priests began to use the full text of the Ordinary of the Mass, which has steadily spread across the archdiocese. Transitional missals for the altar and the people containing selected texts have facilitated the process.
“In Advent the full Missal will come into use in all parishes, when the beautiful edition arrives from Catholic Truth Society, London. The archdiocesan development fund will present each parish with a free altar missal.
“This gradual pastoral approach has worked well and has borne positive fruits in the largest diocese in Oceania.
“It is not easy to make the transition — like getting used to a new pair of shoes! But as we become accustomed to the new translation, we appreciate richer and more prayerful language, for example in the Eucharistic Prayers. We can then look forward all the Propers in the complete missal.
“Yet criticisms continue. An editorial in the London Tablet (August 20, 2011) made this sweeping assertion: ‘It is beyond argument that this new translation is a flawed product of a flawed process’.
“Inaccurate pontification like that does not help build up the unity of the Body of Christ. It would be better to focus pastoral energies on helping one another to worship God ‘in spirit and in truth’, and in the beauty of holiness”.
Pope Benedict has transferred certain functions of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) to a new office established in the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, thus making it possible for the CDW to concentrate on liturgical matters.
The new office will deal with the procedures for dispensation from unconsummated marriage and causes for the nullity of priestly ordination.
Effective October 1, Pope Benedict promulgated Quaerit semper, an Apostolic Letter given motu proprio (on his own initiative). It modifies the 1988 Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, which ascribed functions to the curial offices.
The Vatican Information Service report gave quotations from the document, including the following:
In the current circumstances it seemed fitting that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments should dedicate itself chiefly to giving fresh impetus to promoting sacred liturgy in the Church, in keeping with the renewal promoted by Vatican Council II through the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium.
Therefore, I believe it is appropriate to transfer the function of dealing with the procedures for dispensation from unconsummated marriage and causes for the nullity of priestly ordination to a new office to be created within the Tribunal of the Roman Rota.
A revised edition of The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, has been released.
The book provides a summary of the devotion to the Sacred Heart, and a detailed guide to enthroning the Sacred Heart of Jesus in homes, parishes and other settings. Cardinal Burke reminds us that if the company of Christ is cultivated in our homes, His company will be cultivated in every sector of life for the transformation of our society and our world into a civilization of love.
The revised Enthronement book is available from the Marian Catechist Apostolate (608-782-0011, or e-mail Bookstore@MarianCatechist.com).