Aug 15, 2013

News and Views

Online Edition:
August 2013
Vol. XIX, No. 5

News and Views

Pope Francis: Letter on Evangelization Forthcoming | Church Architecture  “Gone Wrong”? | Religious Art Exhibit for World Youth Day | FCS Convention: Freedom & Moral Law | Explore Church Music Old and New | Magnificat Day in Philadelphia | Updates from ICEL at CMAA Colloquium | Sacra Liturgia 2013 | Three US Archbishops Receive Pallium

Pope Francis: Letter on Evangelization Forthcoming

On June 13, the same day that Pope Francis announced the imminent appearance of his first encyclical, Lumen Fidei (which was released July 5), he also revealed that he is working on a post-synodal apostolic exhortation on last year’s Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Faith. He said he intends to release this new document during the Year of Faith, which ends November 24, 2013, the Feast of Christ the King.

Pope Francis was meeting with members of the XIII Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. Concerning the encyclical, Pope Francis told the assembled bishops that Pope Benedict had handed a nearly complete draft of the encyclical to him. “It is an extremely powerful document,” Pope Francis said. “The majority of the work was done by him.”

The pope then explained his plans regarding the exhortation: “I felt that the Year of Faith would end without a good document that can help us.  And so I thought this: an exhortation on the evangelization that references the Synod: it can be taken from the Synod but with a much broader framework. I liked the idea and I will go down this path. I have written something and in August, where I will be more relaxed at home, I can [continue writing] and go forward.”

No date has yet been suggested for the release of the exhortation, but it is expected to appear before the end of the Year of Faith.


Church Architecture  “Gone Wrong”?

Ultra-modern Catholic churches “some- times go wrong,” failing to reflect the essential elements of the faith, said Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, prefect of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The cardinal made this observation in his address inaugurating the Vatican’s art exhibit at the 55th Venice Biennale, a six-month celebration of contemporary art, which opened June 1. This is the first time the Vatican has participated in the Venice Biennale, where works from 88 countries are on display.

In his address, as reported in the UK Telegraph June 2, Cardinal Ravasi noted that a church that looks like a huge concrete cube, built in 2009 in Foligno, Italy, has been “highly criticized.”

“The problem,” he said, “is that in Catholicism, unlike Protestantism, things like the altar, the images, are essential, while architects tend instead to focus on space, lines, light, and sound.”

The cardinal said of the controversial Jubilee Church in Rome, designed by Richard Meier to resemble a yacht, that “the building materials were the focus of pre-construction meetings, not the liturgical life.”

Cardinal Ravasi said he hopes that the “fracture” between religion and art that has persisted for centuries can be overcome. “We will need to build up dialogue with artists before we commission any liturgical art,” he said.

Many of us will be relieved to hear that the artistic “fracture” is now recognized by the Pontifical Council for Culture — and will be greatly interested to see how a “dialogue with artists” will affect church buildings in the future.

Perhaps a hopeful sign is in the following report…


Religious Art Exhibit for World Youth Day

“In the Footsteps of the Lord” is the title of an art exhibit at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The exhibition, organized by the John Paul II Youth Foundation of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, will be open from July 9 to October 12 in the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio.

Works of art from the Church’s great artistic heritage that relate to the theme of World Youth Day — “Go and make disciples of all nations” — will be exhibited, according to the July 10 report by the Vatican Information Service.

The exhibit is organized in four sections: “Christ, the way of salvation,” “Vocation and mission of the Apostles,” “Mary, the road leading to Christ,” and “The saints: models to emulate.”

The first section includes works on the life of Jesus, His passion, and resurrection; Thomas’s disbelief; and various parables. It includes the Mandylion of Edessa, regarded as a true image of the Savior “not made by human hands,” and the famous 1898 photograph of the Shroud of Turin taken by Secondo Pia. Among the artists whose works are included in this section are Fra Angelico, Melozzo da Forli, Leo-nardo da Vinci, Bernini, Correggio, Guercino, and Lorenzo Lotto, whose “Christ and the Adulteress” was recently restored by the Vatican Museums.

The section on the vocation and mission of the Apostles includes a diptych of Saints Peter and Paul from the Vatican Museum dating from the third and fourth centuries, and works by Pomarancio and de Ribera.

The section dedicated to Mary includes art from both eastern and western traditions: Byzantine icons are displayed alongside Pinturicchio’s “Madonna of the Win- dowsill” and works by Michelangelo, Sassoferrato, and Perugino. The fourth section consists of works depicting the most renowned saints, the VIS report said.


FCS Convention: Freedom & Moral Law

“Freedom and the Moral Law” is the theme of the 36th annual Fellowship of Catholic Scholars convention, to be held September 27-29 at The Crowne Plaza Philadelphia West. 

Topics will include a look at developments in light of the HHS mandate requiring contraceptive insurance, the relation of moral theology and spiritual theology/ascetical theology, “Countering the Grand Coalition in Favor of the Status Quo,” and “Freedom and the Paradox of Suffering.”

Speakers include John Haas of the National Catholic Bioethics Center; William Saunders of Americans United for Life; Marc Guerra of Assumption College; Brian Benestad of the University of Scranton; Dan Mahoney of Assumption College; Father Thomas Berg of St. Joseph’s Seminary; Father Dennis Billy, CSsR, of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary; Patrick Brennan of Villanova University School of Law; and Grattan Brown of Belmont Abbey College.



Explore Church Music Old and New

“The Renewal of Sacred Music and the Liturgy in the Catholic Church: Movements Old and New” is the title of a conference October 13-15 in St. Paul, Min- nesota.

The conference sessions, which include addresses and recitals, will take place at the Church of Saint Agnes and at the Cathedral of Saint Paul.

Saint Agnes is the parish that was known for its musical program established by the late Monsignor Richard Schuler, who was pastor for 32 years (1969-2001).

Monsignor Schuler, a musician who studied at the Eastman School of Music and had a doctorate in musicology from the University of Minnesota, taught music and theology at the College of Saint Thomas for 15 years.

Monsignor Schuler founded the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale and Orchestra in 1956. He was a founder of the Church Music Association of America (CMAA) in 1964, as an American affiliate of the international papal sacred music federation, the Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae. He was also the founding editor of CMAA’s journal, Sacred Music.

The conference speakers will focus on the history and development of Church music, the 20th-century liturgical reform, the current revival of Gregorian chant, and related topics.

In addition to liturgies that will feature the Twin Cities Catholic Chorale, there will be recital sessions.



Magnificat Day in Philadelphia

The Magnificat Foundation, in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is sponsoring “Magnificat Day” in Philadelphia at the close of this Year of Faith.

The event will be held November 9, 2013, in the Philadelphia Convention Center and will include liturgical prayer, speakers, Eucharistic adoration, and concert performances of Handel’s Messiah and other sacred music throughout the day.

The day will begin with sung Morning Prayer, in the style of the daily prayers in the monthly publication Magnificat. Father Robert Barron — creator and host of the Catholicism video series and rector of Chicago’s Mundelein Seminary — will be the opening speaker. Father Peter John Cameron, OP, editor-in-chief of Magnificat and chairman of the department of homiletics at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, New York, will present the keynote address in the afternoon.

A Eucharistic Procession from the Convention Center to Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul will follow evening prayer. The day will conclude with Benediction in front of the Cathedral.



Updates from ICEL at CMAA Colloquium

In his address to the recent Church Music Association of America (CMAA)  Colloquium in Salt Lake City on June 19, Monsignor Anthony Wadsworth, secretary of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), gave an update on forthcoming liturgical translations.

ICEL has recently released final drafts of the Rites of Marriage and Confirmation, the first drafts of the Rite of the Dedication of a Church and Altar, and the Rite of Exorcism; also the Supplement to the Liturgy of Hours, including the proper texts of those feasts that have entered the universal calendar since the Liturgy of the Hours was published.

“We have also begun our work on the new revised edition of the Liturgy of the Hours to be published by the USCCB [US Conference of Catholic Bishops],” he told the group, noting that “this is not an entirely new translation but a new edition that includes the following new elements:

Translations of the 285 hymns of the office, many of them not previously seen in English;

New translations of the Intercessions, the 3-year cycle of Benedictus;

Magnificat antiphons for Sundays and Solemnities, the Te Deum, and the Marian antiphons.

But this is an “epic project,” the ICEL secretary noted, which “will probably take some five years or so before it reaches publication.” The first part will be sent to the English-speaking bishops’ conferences for their consultation next spring, he said, adding that a main reason for the delay is connected with the composition of new music. “Much of the material of the Liturgy of the Hours is intended for singing and it is envisaged that the hymns of the office will all be presented with their proper plainsong melodies as well as suggestions for standard metrical hymn tunes.”

Monsignor Wadsworth concluded his remarks to the gathering of the CMAA with these encouraging words:

The genius of the sacramental life of the Catholic Church is that it follows us through life in all its seasons, its high points, its low points — the liturgy is so often the God-given means by which we can make sense of this life that otherwise would so often be confusing and perplexing. I am tremendously grateful for the opportunities that I have had so far to learn from men and women who are distinguished by their skill, their learning, and their holiness. I encourage you all to persevere on this same journey which brings us to a greater experience of the Church’s greatest treasure, the Sacred Liturgy, instrument of grace and consolation of beauty and of truth.

More information about CMAA activities and publications on its main website:; and on two blogs: The Chant Café (, and New Liturgical Movement (newliturgicalmove


Sacra Liturgia 2013

The Sacra Liturgia 2013 conference took place June 25-28 at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. The conference, organized by Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, France, explored liturgical formation and celebration, particularly in the light of the teaching and example of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI.

The three-day conference included Masses celebrated by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, and Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, former president of the Pontifical Council for Historical Sciences.

Prelates who addressed the group were Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka; Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura; Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon; Bishop Marc Aillet of Bayonne, France; and Bishop Peter Elliott of Melbourne.

Among other speakers were Australian theologian Dr. Tracey Rowland; liturgist Father Uwe Michael Lang; Monsignor Anthony Burnham of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, England; and Jeffrey Tucker, who blogs for the Catholic Music Association of America.

The proceedings of the conference are to be published by Ignatius Press. Program details and photos are accessible on the Sacra Liturgia 2013 website: sacraliturgia


Three US Archbishops Receive Pallium

On the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, June 29, Pope Francis conferred the pallium on 34 metropolitan archbishops at the annual ceremony at St. Peter’s.

Three Americans were among the recipients: Archbishop Alexander King Sample of Portland, Oregon; Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone of San Francisco; and Archbishop Joseph William Tobin, CSsR, of Indianapolis.

The pallium is a ceremonial band of special white lambswool (shorn on the Feast of Saint Agnes), adorned with six small black crosses. It is worn over the chasuble by the pope and by metropolitan archbishops as a sign of authority and office.

The form of the ritual for imposing the pallium was slightly amended in 2012 to make the ceremony shorter. The names of the archbishops are now read before the entrance procession, and the palliums are imposed as soon as the Holy Father reaches the altar. A further reason for the change, the Vatican said, is “To make the rite of imposing the pallium more in keeping with the Caeremoniale Episcoporum, and to avoid the possibility that, by coming after the homily (as happened in the past), it may be thought of as a Sacramental rite.”



The Editors