Monday, December 04, 2006

It`s a funny old world

On November 16th, there was an inter-dicasterial meeting in the Vatican with the Pope to discuss celibacy in the light of the recent actions, and subsequent excommunication, of archbishop Milingo and his championing of the cause of optional celibacy for Latin rite priests. I was surprised that the topic was up for discussion at this top level given that any discussion seemed to have been completely forbidden in previous years. After a whole day`s discussion, a message was released to say that the value of celibacy was re-affirmed and there would be no change in the current discipline. That`s fine, but presumably having the meeting meant that someone somewhere thought there might be a need for some change. Then today there is a report on Whispers in the Loggia, that the new head of the Congregation for Clergy, Cardinal Hummes, has stated that celibacy is a discipline and not a dogma and the discipline could change. It seems curious for him to say this in the light of the recent Vatican statement.

Apart from this there are the never ending rumours about a general permission for the traditional Roman rite. The latest suggestion, reported by Fr Zuhldorf is that the permission will be made public on December 8th. The only evidence that something may be going to happen is the reports of French bishops making clear their opposition to any such move. Meanwhile in this country we are assured that it is all hype and that there is no substance to the stories.

Elsewhere today, Rorate Caeli reports that the Patriarch of Constantinople hints that some kind of re-union might be on the cards, while the `continuing Anglicans` are hopeful of an agreement to give them a kind of uniate status in the Catholic church as reported by Ruth Gledhill.

Meanwhile almost nothing actually seems to happen apart from the recent instruction that pro multis is to be translated as for many in the Mass. The post-Synodal document on last year`s Synod on the Eucharist has still to see the light of day. I wonder if this is a record for the longest time between a synod and its follow-up document?

These are certainly very interesting times.

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