June – July 2012
Vol. XVIII, No. 4
News and Views
Father Barron to Head Chicago Seminary | Revised Liturgical Books on the Way | New Rite for Blessing of a Child in the Womb | Anglican Ordinariate for Australia | SSPX: Internal Discord over Reunion Effort
Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has named Father Robert L. Barron as the rector and president of the University of St. Mary of the Lake and Mundelein Seminary, effective July 1.
Father Barron is well known for his 2011 television series “Catholicism,” which aired both on public television and on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).
“As a priest of Jesus Christ I accept this responsibility with joy,” Father Barron said May 10. “The appointment brings together many of the elements that have long been of great importance to me, namely, the priesthood, theological scholarship, pastoral care and evangelization.”
Father Barron, who was ordained in 1986, is founding director of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, a non-profit media organization to support Catholic evangelism through the lives of the saints and through the Catholic traditions of art, architecture, poetry, philosophy, and theology. He received a doctorate in sacred theology at the Institut Catholique in Paris.
He has been a full-time faculty member of Mundelein Seminary since 1992. He also has served as a visiting professor at the University of Notre Dame and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Mundelein is the major seminary in Chicago, with an enrollment of 165 seminarians from 25 dioceses.
Republishing ritual books that are affected by the revised texts of the Roman Missal is in process, the US bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship (BCDW) reports in its April Newsletter.
The two revised books that are expected soon are Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest (English), and “Communion and Viaticum by an Extraordinary Minister” (English and Spanish). The latter booklet is Chapter 2 from Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass. The Sunday Celebrations book will be published in mid-2012. Updated texts include the Nicene and Apostles Creeds, the Invitation to Communion (“Behold the Lamb of God,” and “Lord, I am not worthy”), as well as the response, “And with your spirit,” when the deacon greets the congregation. In addition, some rubrics will be clarified.
The Newsletter also said that the BCDW intends to identify and update other ritual texts most needed at this time.
Also, the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) is preparing new translations of the Rite of Confirmation and the Rite for Celebrating Marriage. “Green Book” drafts have already been presented to the bishops’ conferences for consultation. ICEL expects to have final drafts presented to the conferences in 2013.
Just in time for Mothers Day, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) published the Rite for Blessing of a Child in the Womb, in both English and Spanish, and immediately made the new texts available on the USCCB web site.
This new rite of blessing was originally undertaken by the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities in March 2008, and the text was accepted by the conference that November. Both English and Spanish versions were confirmed by the Congregation for Divine Worship by early 2012.
The rite of blessing may take place within the Mass, or outside Mass either in church or another location, such as a hospital or the parents’ home.
The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross will be established in Australia June 15. In a news release from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart said the pope would announce the establishment of a “personal ordinariate for former Anglicans” in Australia on that date.
Archbishop Hart, the newly elected president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross is expected to have two parishes in Melbourne, two in Sydney, one in Brisbane, and one in Perth. No ordinary had been selected as of press date.
The Australian ordinariate will be the third created by Pope Benedict XVI since the November 2009 appearance of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. The other two are Our Lady of Walsingham in the UK (January 2011) and Chair of Saint Peter in the United States and Canada (January 2012 and April 2012 respectively.) The goal of the pope’s constitution is to serve Anglican clergy, individuals, and groups who seek to become Catholic while retaining elements of their Anglican heritage and liturgical tradition.
Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), interviewed by Catholic News Service May 11, said that there are problems within the group, after more than two years of efforts at reconciliation with the Vatican. (CNS story: catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1201931.htm)
Bishop Fellay said that there are divisions within the leadership of the SSPX, and that the two sides still have not arrived at an agreement.
The SSPX was founded in 1970 by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who believed the Second Vatican Council’s teachings on liturgy, religious freedom, and ecumenism were in error. The SSPX finally broke with the Vatican in 1988, after Archbishop Lefebvre ordained bishops in defiance of Pope John Paul II’s orders.
In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI revived efforts to reconcile the SSPX with the Church by lifting the excommunications of the four bishops who had been illicitly ordained, although they remain suspended from priestly functions. The pope said at the time that SSPX members would have to show “true recognition of the Magisterium and the authority of the Pope and of the Second Vatican Council” in order to achieve full communion with the Church.
He also gave oversight of the matter to Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), who offered a “Doctrinal Preamble” to the SSPX to advance a reconciliation. The discussion has continued, and is expected to conclude in May.
A letter that surfaced on the Internet May 10 revealed that the other three SSPX bishops strongly warned Bishop Fellay that the Vatican’s offer to establish the group as a personal prelature constituted a “trap” and that a “doctrinal agreement with present-day Rome is impossible.”
“There are some discrepancies in the society,” Bishop Fellay told Catholic News Service. “I cannot exclude that there might be a split.”
A Vatican news release on May 16 reported on CDF discussions with the SSPX, and said, “Regarding the positions taken by the other three bishops of the [SSPX] their situations will have to be dealt with separately and singularly.”
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