Category Archives: Roman Catholic

New All Saints Sisters Update

Officially approved to be released today is that ten sisters and the chaplain will indeed be received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church next Thursday, September 3rd. The timeline for the chaplain’s ordination into the Roman priesthood is still on the fuzzy side due to communication between various groups, but is looking good.

I’m sorry to see them go, but certainly wish them all good things in their new church home!

The Pope on Penance

The Italian National Liturgical Week this year will be on penance/confession/reconciliation. Here’s a snippet of the official letter sent by the pope’s Secretary of State to the Italian head of the Liturgical Week:

In this connection, in a message sent to the participants in the recent 20th course on the Internal Forum, promoted by the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Supreme Pontiff stated: “These days, the correct formation of believers’ consciences is without a doubt one of the pastoral priorities because, unfortunately, as I have reaffirmed on other occasions, to the extent that the sense of sin is lost, feelings of guilt increase which people seek to eliminate by recourse to inadequate palliative remedies. The many invaluable spiritual and pastoral tools that contribute to the formation of consciences should be increasingly developed” (Benedict XVI, March 12, 2009).

And he adds: “Like all the sacraments, the sacrament of Penance too requires catechesis beforehand and a mystagogical catechesis for a deeper knowledge of the sacrament: ‘per ritus et preces.’ … Catechesis should be combined with a wise use of preaching, which has had different forms in the Church’s history according to the mentality and pastoral needs of the faithful” (ibid.).

Along with an adequate formation of the moral conscience, maturity of life and celebration of the sacrament, it is necessary to foster in the faithful the experience of spiritual support. Precisely for this reason, the Pope continued to note, today “wise and holy ‘spiritual teachers'” are needed, exhorting priests to keep “ever alive within them the knowledge that they must be worthy ‘ministers’ of divine mercy and responsible educators of consciences,” inspired in the example of the Cure d’Ars, St. John Vianney, of whom precisely this year we observe the 150th anniversary of his death (cf. ibid.).

Good stuff… The whole thing is here.

Roman Advice Regarding HWHM

The other night I was perusing my copy of Sacrosanctum Consilium, the main statement on liturgical matters from Vatican II. (This requires a much longer post which is in the works, but as the ’79 BCP is as much a fruit of the council as the Novus Ordo mass, I’ve been rereading the council’s documents.) I came across this little bit which I found of great interest, especially given the developing Episcopal situation with HWHM (thanks, Ren!):

102. Holy Mother Church is conscious that she must celebrate the saving work of her divine Spouse by devoutly recalling it on certain days throughout the course of the year. Every week, on the day which she has called the Lord’s day, she keeps the memory of the Lord’s resurrection, which she also celebrates once in the year, together with His blessed passion, in the most solemn festival of Easter.

Within the cycle of a year, moreover, she unfolds the whole mystery of Christ, from the incarnation and birth until the ascension, the day of Pentecost, and the expectation of blessed hope and of the coming of the Lord.

Recalling thus the mysteries of redemption, the Church opens to the faithful the riches of her Lord’s powers and merits, so that these are in some way made present for all time, and the faithful are enabled to lay hold upon them and become filled with saving grace.

103. In celebrating this annual cycle of Christ’s mysteries, holy Church honors with especial love the Blessed Mary, Mother of God, who is joined by an inseparable bond to the saving work of her Son. In her the Church holds up and admires the most excellent fruit of the redemption, and joyfully contemplates, as in a faultless image, that which she herself desires and hopes wholly to be.

104. The Church has also included in the annual cycle days devoted to the memory of the martyrs and the other saints. Raised up to perfection by the manifold grace of God, and already in possession of eternal salvation, they sing God’s perfect praise in heaven and offer prayers for us. By celebrating the passage of these saints from earth to heaven the Church proclaims the paschal mystery achieved in the saints who have suffered and been glorified with Christ; she proposes them to the faithful as examples drawing all to the Father through Christ, and through their merits she pleads for God’s favors.

. . .

108. The minds of the faithful must be directed primarily toward the feasts of the Lord whereby the mysteries of salvation are celebrated in the course of the year. Therefore, the proper of the time shall be given the preference which is its due over the feasts of the saints, so that the entire cycle of the mysteries of salvation may be suitably recalled.

. . .

111. The saints have been traditionally honored in the Church and their authentic relics and images held in veneration. For the feasts of the saints proclaim the wonderful works of Christ in His servants, and display to the faithful fitting examples for their imitation.

Lest the feasts of the saints should take precedence over the feasts which commemorate the very mysteries of salvation, many of them should be left to be celebrated by a particular Church or nation or family of religious; only those should be extended to the universal Church which commemorate saints who are truly of universal importance.

How interesting…

I see here a specific injunction for local kalendars. Not bad advice given our possible upcoming odd proliferation.

Of course, I’m not suggesting that this document is binding on Anglicans, I simply raise it as an example of how a parallel ecclesial body has wrestled with this same issue…

All Saints Sisters Update

I saw my spiritual director today. After direction proper he filled me in on the whole All Saints Sisters situation. The major take-aways of interest to my readers are these:

  • Yes, ten of the sisters as a group are going to Rome; two are not at the current time.
  • Exactly when they will be received has not been nailed down; it may or may not be September 3rd.
  • The Archbishop of Baltimore travels to Rome where matters concerning the official canonical status of the Sisters will be discussed including whether they are to bea community constituted within the Anglican Use.
  • The current hope and belief is that they will be an Anglican Use community. Liturgically, this would mean keeping the Monastic Diurnal (the ’29 Coverdale Psalter is already approved by Rome under Anglican Use provision) and mass would be said according to the Book of Divine Worship.

That’s all the news for now…

More on the Spring Bank Liturgies

In response to the interest generated in their new psalter and antiphoner, Br. Stephen has given us a couple of PDF peeks at it. Additionally, he does indeed verify that the English version of the psalter is the translation done for the ’79 BCP also shared by the Vatican-authorized Anglican Use book.

I was amused in the context of the current discussion to read these lines:

Anglicans today may not be quite sure who’s in communion with whom or whether they have binding positions on a number of issues, but, with 450 years of practice, they still know how to write good English liturgical prose.

Let’s not forget how to write it either…

RBOC: Mostly Ecclesiastical

  • The Episcopal Cafe is reporting that the Bishop-Elect of N. Michigan has received too many “No” votes from Standing Committees to be confirmed. I’ll draw your attention in particualr to Dr. Carroll’s comment: “In this case, I think history will remember this as the point when the Episcopal Church began to show some backbone about basic Christian doctrine. For too long, we have allowed our respect for difference to mean anything goes. There are boundaries. . . . The danger for us has not been witch hunts. It has been an amorphous Christianity that does not adhere to the standards it sets for itself. I could see us tilting too far in the opposite direction, but there is no present danger of that.”
  • Across the Tiber, a beautiful new thing has been born: the Cistercian monastery of Spring Bank has a newly-produced psalter and antiphonary. The news and shots come courtesy of Br. Stephen’s blog which is also well worth following if you’re not already. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: with modern computer technology, there’s absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t have liturgical works that are simultaneously beautiful and functional; this work looks to be a case-in-point. However, as I understand it, there are no plans for mass-production/publication.
  • There are mass schedule changes at Smokey Mary’s. Due to likely upcoming staffing issues (i.e., the anticipated departure of Fr. Mead), daily evening low mass will no longer be offered. I have fond memories of this service; this service (along with preceding EP) was one of the things that helped keep me going when M and Lil’ G were in Philly and I was in NYC.  Even with these reductions, however, a full rota of Morning, Noon, and Evening Prayer and a daily mass will continue to be offered. This is the pattern our prayer book lays down for us; may Smokey Mary’s long be a beacon for catholic liturgy and spirituality in the Episcopal Church.
  • Speaking of solid catholic liturgy and spirituality, I’m still reading Martin Thornton’s Christian Proficiency. I understand less and less why Morehouse (now a division of Church Publishing) who holds the copyright has let this gem go out of print. What a shame.
  • Dissertation feedback is trickling in from my readers. Looks like some minor but no major changes will be required. Fr. Director is talking about a late August/Early September defense date.

More Rumors from Rome

Technically, from Australia—but pertaining to Roman doings…

NLM is passing along a report from The Record that:

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has decided to recommend the Traditional Anglican Communion be accorded a personal prelature akin to Opus Dei, if talks between the TAC and the Vatican aimed at unity succeed, it is understood.

This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard this, of course, and it may well not be the last, but hearing this in such close proximity to action in regard to the SSPX is intriguing.

Let’s be clear on what the whole SSPX thing is about. It’s not fundamentally about 4 bishops. Yes, the bishops are the key to it, but I think it’s more about the people. B16, it seems to me, is doing part of what the church ought to be doing—engaging in the ministry of reconciliation—and is working to repair rifts.  (And, of course, I’m sincerely hoping that he exercises his episcopal role to discipline at least one if not more of the said 4 bishops if and when full reconciliation occurs.)

Looking at it from this perspective, it’s not hard to see the TAC in the same way.

If these rumors were to be true, if this were to be accomplished, it might well open the door for a mass (npi…) return of traditional Anglo-Catholics from outside the TAC. As we’ve noted in the past, while American Anglo-Catholics have grabbed on to this Gafcon/FOCA thing, that’s not the case in England and elsewhere. Even now there are rumblings that even within those Americans who drafted documentation for Gafcon, there are some who may choose to swim the Tiber and return to Rome rather than remain in the FOCA.

For Fans of the New Roman Missal

(Ok—since it’s me I’ll clarify: “new” in this case doesn’t mean Trent, I mean the Vatican II revision…)

Word of the availability of this version of the missal is leaking out slowly because the hosts don’t want the server over-run. Nevertheless, it’s a wonderful resource, and people should know that it’s available. I’m shooting for balance here; I’m letting you know it’s there but to reduce googability I’ll not mention it by name…

The pdf I’ll be linking to contains:

  • The full Novus Ordo mass in both Latin and English (yes, all four Eucharistic Prayers)
  • Square notation chants for the Latin of the mass—not the English
  • The Sprinkling rite with the Asperges Me and Vidi Aquam
  • Chants for the Ordinary of the Mass according to 18 settings, identified as to when and for what they ought to be sung
  • 6 Credos
  • Propers through the year with the chant from the Gradual; English translations without the chant; the lectionary readings on the three year schema

Whether you’re Roman, Rome-leaning, or just a liturgy/chant nut, this is a great volume to have. And it can be found here.

(And for those who did think I was referring to the Tridentine Mass, it can, of course, be found here…)