Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Also the excellent blog of Fr Hunwicke has an interesting reflection on the recent decision to move many Holy Days to the nearest Sunday and how this relates to the feast of Corpus Christi.
Fr Hunwicke observes:
Since Vatican II a certain type of Roman Catholic has continually argued for a certain line of liturgical 'reform' on the grounds that it would bring Catholic and Anglican Worship into line. We have been led to believe that ecumenically minded Roman Catholics liked having festivals on the same day, as well as having a common eucharistic lectionary and common translations of liturgical texts. Now, when the poor old C of E comes into line and actually makes (Common Worship) Corpus Christi - on Thursday - a Festival, the Westminster hierarchy promptly does the dirty on us. What are Anglicans supposed to think?
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Today at the Pope`s Mass for Corpus Christi a kneeler was set up in front of the altar for those who were going to receive Holy Comunion from the Holy Father. As Fr Blake points out this is interesting given the recent book, Dominus Est, on the importance of receiving Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue by bishop Schneider of Kazakhstan published by the Vatican press and the move by the cardinal in Lima, Peru, to stop the reception of Holy Communion on the hand in his diocese.
It seems that every time there is a papal Mass nowadays there is something new to report on.
UPDATE: According to a Vatican statement on 23rd May this is not to be a permamnent change at papal Masses but was done to highlight the solemnity of the feast and make a connection to Mass practices in the past.
Vatican, May. 22, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) plans to curtail the practice of organizing large-scale Eucharistic celebrations with hundreds of priests concelebrating the Mass, according to a report in Italy's Panorama magazine.
Panorama reports that the Holy Father has directed the Congregation for Divine Worship to study the question and prepare appropriate instructions. His objective, the Italian journal says, is to eliminate the concelebration of Mass by hundreds of priests at a time, with many of them standing at a distance from the altar.
The Vatican has not commented on the Panorama report.
If the story is accurate, the new liturgical guidelines could bring significant changes in liturgical celebrations at which the Pope himself presides, such as Masses attended by tens of thousands of people at World Youth Day or during papal trips abroad.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Pope speaks of duty to convert others to the faith
VATICAN CITY (AFP) — The Roman Catholic Church has the inalienable right and duty to convert any person to Christianity, Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday.
Evangelism is a central mission of the Church, the pope told a Vatican body that encourages Catholic missionary activity.
The appeal for the conversion of "all nations," attributed to Jesus Christ in the Gospels, remains "an obligatory mandate for the entire Church and for every believer in Christ," the pontiff said.
"This apostolic commitment is both a duty and an inalienable right, the very expression of religious freedom with its moral, social and political dimensions," he said.
Like his predecessors, Pope Benedict is keen to promote missionary zeal among Catholics, most of whom live in a world of religious pluralism and other proselytising faiths such as Islam.
The pope's message was also addressed to the faithful in countries where religious activity is strictly controlled by the state or even relegated to the private realm.
In December, the Vatican published a doctrinal note reaffirming the mission of all the faithful to seek to convert non-Catholics including members of other Christian denominations, while avoiding placing undue pressure on them.
The note highlighted the need for respect and a spirit of cooperation in dialogue with other Christians, and rejected past accusations of proselytising that have been levelled against it by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Relations between the Orthodox Church and the Holy See have been thorny, with the Moscow Patriarchate accusing the Vatican of proselytising in traditionally Orthodox lands following the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Tensions were further aggravated in 2002, after the Vatican established four permanent dioceses in Russia.
Friday, May 16, 2008
FOR RELEASE ON 12th MAY 2008
International research consortium on cord blood and adult stem cells
for therapeutic applications
Paris, May 12th 2008 : Professor Colin McGuckin and the research group on cord blood at Newcastle University and the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune in Paris created Novussanguis to promote responsible research on cord blood and adult stem cells. 200 international participants are expected to attend the launch of this consortium on Wednesday 14th May at the Medical School of University Paris Descartes, in France.
The launch is supported by the French Research Ministry, and placed under the Patronage of Mr Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parliament.
Cord blood and adult stem cells are very attractive for research in cell therapy and regenerative medicine because of their high differentiation and expansion potential.
Adult stem cells can be harvested from several human tissues such as brain, bone marrow, peripheral blood, liver, cornea, retina, and pancreas. It is also possible to find stem cells in umbilical cord blood. With over 130 million births per year worldwide, cord blood is a particularly important source of readily available stem cells in terms of access and supply.
Adult stem cells play a key role in research for treatment of several diseases. Today, over 80 diseases are treatable with cord blood stem cells, mostly linked to the blood system (e.g. leukaemia) or the immune system (‘babies in a bubble’), but also diseases affecting the bone marrow, nervous system, heart or metabolism such as juvenile diabetes.
Novussanguis aims to meet the expectation of patients who could benefit from treatment with adult and cord blood stem cells.
Novussanguis scope is Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy based specifically on adult and cord blood stem cells.
The Novussanguis consortium is a platform of research starting with around fifteen laboratories focusing on research, innovation and the formation of the future generations of researchers.
The first projects to be financed by Novussanguis will initially carry out research including:
nervous tissues damaged by stroke
pancreatic tissues that can produce insulin in vitro to further research in diabetes
cardiac tissues damaged by myocardial infarct
epithelial tissues to improve treatment of wound healing and cornea
nervous tissues, bone, cartilage, tendons and blood vessels for orthopedic applications
epigenetic profiling of cord blood stem cells to improve tissue engineering
expansion and clinical cryopreservation of cord blood stem cells
Novussanguis aims to be a pragmatic consortium understanding the realities of modern research, including the necessity to collaborate with biotechnology companies, in order to have an impact on tomorrow’s patients health.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
In the background of the above shot you can see one of the fine side altars all of which had a reliquary of a saint or blessed of the de la Salle brothers. I had gone to the conference hoping to be able to use the new found freedom to celebrate the Extraordinary Form. A number of other priests at the conference had the same idea. I took a small altar missal and altar cards but another priest had even brought vestments. In the event, although the Canon Law Society were helpful, I never tried it. I wanted to hear what the celebrants at the main conference Masses had to say. On the first day we had Cardinal Arinze as main celebrant and preacher. He mentioned the problem of liturgical abuse but added, tongue in cheek, that of course it doesn`t happen in Britain or Ireland: I imagine he was recalling the response to the 1997 Vatican document On certain questions regarding the collaboration of the non-ordained faithful in the sacred ministry of priest where a certain senior English bishop announced that the document did not apply in England of course. Here`s a picture from that Mass.
At the other two Masses we had Archbishop Stankiewicz, Dean of the Roman Rota and Cardinal Foley Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. On Wednesday we attended the papal audience where the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church addressed the Pope. I did manage to slip into Gammarelli`s to buy a plain white silk Roman vestment from their curiously small selection of available vestments. Business must be good however. When Fr Zielinksi asked how long it would take for them to make a gilet he was told between one year and fourteen months! The last time I went with a priest who asked the same question it was only a six month wait. However it is true what they say: Rome`s vestment shops are latching on to the liturgical style of Pope Benedict and almost all now have some form of Roman vestment to sell or more traditional Gothic style vestments too.
Saturday, May 03, 2008
The General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM) for 2003 says:
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Traditionalists expressed their dismay this week after it emerged that Epiphany, the Ascension of the Lord and Corpus Christi must be celebrated on Sunday in both forms of the Mass.
Some better news: extraordinary form may also be celebrated "even if it is not specifically asked for or requested".
Important Assertions by Cardinal Castrillón
by Gregor Kollmorgen
As noted in the post on the new FSSP and EWTN training DVD for the usus antiquior, this DVD also contains an introduction by Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, which can be viewed online here.
Provided that the translation is accurate (it is almost impossible to make out what the cardinal is actually saying in Italian under the voiceover), His Eminence is making some important assertions in this statement. While these are obviously not legally binding, they are still significant considering the cardinal's position, and may give a hint at some of the contents of the forthcoming clarifications by His Eminence's commission on the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.
The first interesting point the cardinal makes - which was of course already obvious from Pope Benedicts accompanying letter, but is consistently being downplayed by opponents of the extraordinary form - is that that the use of the 1962 missal is a gift not only for so-called traditionalists, but "for the whole Catholic Church".
The second - and here the accuracy of the translation is especially important - is that Cardinal Castrillón says that if there are faithful requesting the older form of the Mass from priests, they, by the will of the Vicar of Christ, must accept the petitions".
The third point I want to note, and possibly the most important one, is that His Eminence says that the extraordinary form may also be celebrated "even if it is not specifically asked for or requested". This supports the interpretation advanced by Fr Tim Finigan and many others, which in my opinion is the unequivocal result of applying the normal methods of legal interpretation. An interpretation, however, which is contested by opponents of the usus antiquior, and the contrary of which (i.e. a requirement that the forma extraordinaria only be said if a group of faithful requests it) is expressly contained in many guidelines by bishops or entire bishops' conferences. Cardinal Castrillón even goes farther by asserting that in such cases where there are no specific requests by faithful, nevertheless the priests "should make it available so that everyone may have access to this treasure of the ancient liturgy of the Church".
This leads to the last point I would like to highlight which is His Eminence's declaration that "the Holy Father wants this form of the Mass to become a normal one in the parishes".A very welcome message from His Eminence indeed.
Here is a transcript I made of the entire passage of the introduction by Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos:
It [the older form of the Mass] is not a gift merely for the so-called traditionalists, no, it is a gift for the whole Catholic Church.
And because it is a gift freely offered that the Holy Father is making, he makes it by means of this marvelous structure, the Church, which comprises the parishes, the priests, and the chaplains in the chapels where the Eucharist is celebrated. And they, by the will of the Vicar of Christ, must accept the petitions and the requests of the faithful who want this Mass, and they must offer it to them. And even if it is not specifically asked for or requested, they should make it available so that everyone may have access to this treasure of the ancient liturgy of the Church. This is the primordial goal of the motu proprio, a spiritual and theological richness.
The Holy Father wants this form of the Mass to become a normal one in the parishes, so that in this way young communities can also become familiar with this rite.
The announcement last week of the canonically correct clarification obtained by the English bishops from Rome that “priests who celebrate according to the 1962 Roman Missal for the benefit of the faithful…should also celebrate these Holydays on the prescribed Sundays” is not such a pastoral measure. Yes, one can understand the desire for feasts to be kept by all on the same day. And yes, one can understand the annoyance of some modern liturgists and even bishops by those attached to the usus antiquior who have at times been somewhat smug about retaining the feasts on the original days. However, whilst these may be concerns, there are others to be taken into account.
The first is that those who worship according to the usus antiquior are most often deeply attached not only to the form of the rite but to the riches of the whole liturgical year. They would usually make the effort to be at Mass on the “extra” days whether it was strictly of obligation or not. By all means let the bishops remove the “weekday” obligation if they think it unduly onerous. But this does not necessitate their insistence on the transfer of the liturgical celebration of the feasts in the older use. For the transfer impoverishes the liturgical ‘diet’ that will now be on offer. What Mass will the priest say on the Thursday before Ascension “Sunday,” as in the more ancient use a “votive” Mass of the Ascension is simply not possible? It would in any case be ludicrous to extinguish the paschal candle after the Gospel on Thursday symbolising the departure of our Lord’s resurrected body only to do so again on Sunday! Are we to have two Epiphanies? Are the feasts of All Saints, Sts Peter and Paul and the Assumption to be repeated on a Sunday or a Monday after their observance the previous day? And what of their proper vigil days that are integral to the older use? What offices are to be celebrated? Then there is the issue of the occlusion of the liturgical texts of the Sundays that the transferred feasts will displace. Alas this “clarification” serves to deprive the faithful of some of the very liturgical heritage Pope Benedict sought to protect.
The second is that the liturgical life of the Catholic Church has always borne witness to unity in diversity, but not uniformity. Eastern and Western Catholic rites have utterly different calendars. Different uses of the Roman rite have had significant variations even, in the case of Religious Orders, in the same cities. The Ambrosian rite of Milan had no Ash Wednesday. Yes, it may seem a bit untidy to have some celebrating Epiphany on one day and some others a few days later, but there is surely no sin in it? After all, the calendar of the more ancient use, last issued in 1962, celebrates many feasts on different days from that of that of the modern use, and not without good reason. It must be said plainly that there is no overriding liturgical reason that these feasts cannot be celebrated on their original days in the usus antiquior.
Nor is there a pastoral necessity; indeed pastoral considerations suggest the opposite. The Holy Father was clear in his explanation of Summorum Pontificum that one motivation for its promulgation was the promotion of unity within the Church. This measure will without doubt be seen as another obstacle in the path of reaching that unity with those who find themselves in an irregular situation, such as the Society of St Pius X. We might think that they should not react thus, but some shall: that is a pastoral reality. There may even be people scandalised by this change who turn anew to the SSPX.