Monday, 30 May 2011

New translation of the Missal

Is it me, or is there something strange about the New missal being printed in Trent ? 

"Here at CTS, two of our staff have made the trip to Italy to supervise the printing of the New Missal.

Pierpaolo Finaldi, Roman Missal Project Editor and Glenda Swain, designer were in Italy at the beginning of this week to sign off the pages of the Roman Missal altar edition at the state of the art factory where the books are being printed and bound.

Mr Finaldi commented: “Interestingly the Missal is being printed Trento in the shadow of the alps in Northern Italy, a place of great significance for the Church and the development of the Mass. So 441 years after the Missale Romanum was promulgated by the Council of Trent we were back in Trent printing the very latest version.

“It’s great to see cutting edge modern print technology at the service of God and of these prayers whose origins go all the way back to Jesus. I also can’t help feeling that it is significant that the book has been printed during Holy Week.”

“The book is looking really beautiful and I am sure that this will go a long way to ensuring a positive reception in the Autumn.”

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Heavenly Peace - Geoffrey Nobes

Geoffrey Nobes has brought out a new CD following the success of Heavenly Light.  If you're looking for music that calms the 'monkey mind,' leads you to stillness and contemplative prayer, then look no further.  There are two tracks from the CD to be found on 'You Tube' by the publisher Kevin Mayhew.  The new CD is called "Heavenly Peace."  Music like this can lead you deeper into prayer and being led deeper into prayer changes you.  Don't take my word for it, listen to the track or better still buy the CD !

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Music for the new translation of the Missal 2.

Following on the heels of yesterdays post is a further setting of the new translation.  Mass of Renewal a new mass setting by Curtis Stephan and OCP for the New Translation of the Roman Missal.

This video contains Kyrie, Gloria, Alleluia, Lenten Gospel Acclamation, Sanctus, Memorial Acclamations A, B, and C, Amen, and Agnus Dei.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Music for the new translation of the Missal

Musical settings of the new translation are appearing thick and fast.    Here's an offering from Australia, the Emmanuel Worship "Rivers" Mass Setting.  The instructional video is really worth watching.

It's encouraging to see contemporary settings beginning to appear to counteract the view that the new translation is a backward step.  If I find any more I'll post them.

Soundfiles for all the parts can be previewed on their website by clicking here

Monday, 16 May 2011

American Catholic Council : If only we had a UK Catholic Council

This press release from the American Catholic Council makes fascinating reading. I wonder how the same discussions would go in the UK - if only we had the opportunity !

A key component of the inaugural convening of the American Catholic Council, to unfold in Detroit on Pentecost Weekend June 10-12, will be the release of a report on nearly 100 local and regional Listening Sessions across the country over the past 18 months.

These sessions have taken place in diverse settings, from parish halls and living rooms, to hotel conference rooms and retreat centers. Each has been an occasion where the faithful have had the opportunity to dialogue and listen to the promptings of the Spirit as they prayerfully considered fundamental questions about the future of the Catholic Church. Many gathered out of a sense of urgency and a shared sense of responsibility to build a better Church, and one grounded in the vision and promise of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

The overwhelming issue echoed throughout Listening Sessions is the hierarchy's unwillingness to enter into dialogue with the laity about real issues which affect the lives and faith of real people in the church. From the perspective of the vast majority of participants in these listening sessions, the hierarchy is increasingly remote, disengaged and irrelevant to the faith lives of rank and file Catholics. This suggests a fundamental crisis of leadership in an increasingly dysfunctional institutional Church. Many see this failure to engage the diversity of the faithful as undermining the promise of a more inclusive Church that is central to the reforms called for by Vatican II. It is increasingly evident that the primary focus of the ACC when it convenes in Detroit will be to address issues of leadership, governance and structural reform.

These dialogues were informed by three fundamental tenets drawn from the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Vatican II).

• As baptized Catholics, all the faithful share in the ministry of Jesus, the Christ;
• Because all of us are the Church, the common sense of faithful Catholics (sensus fidelium) is a legitimate agent of the Holy Spirit and serves to inform Church practice and teaching, in tandem with Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium;
• As adult Catholics, we are called to nurture an informed conscience that is the final arbiter of our actions.

Preliminary data demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of participants in the listening sessions love the church and do not wish to leave the church like the 30 million who have left in recent years. Many are greatly concerned that the spirit of Vatican II has been repressed.

The 2011 Detroit Council celebrates the upcoming 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council convened by Pope John XXIII and seeks to reinvigorate the Council's reforms, which have been increasingly downplayed in recent years. These include openness to all peoples and cultures, collegial and responsible decision-making, the primacy of a well-formed conscience, and sincere ecumenism.

The ACC Listening Session process also recalls two years of similar sessions leading up to an historic gathering convened in Detroit in 1976 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to implement Vatican II. Honoring the U.S Bicentennial year, that event 35 years ago recognized that many reforms called for by Vatican II mirrored foundational American principles of freedom of conscience, individual rights, and democratic practices, thus encouraging increased involvement of the laity in Church governance.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Enlightened Diocese ?

What a surprise to see the following news item on the Diocese of St Gall (Switzerland) website. 
It concerns the situation of a priest Nicholas Popp who has fathered a child and has offered his resignation from active ministry. 
What strikes me is that the news is not only openly placed on the Diocesan website but that his bishop speaks sensitively and in support of his decision asking people not to judge him but be charitable towards him and the expectant mother of his child. 
I can’t think I’ve ever come across such charitable treatment of a priest in the UK.  They tend to ‘dissapear.’  The item can be found here, though it has been translated by google.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Bishop's firing makes pope's priorities clear

Bishop's firing makes pope's priorities clear

An NCR editorial
May. 04, 2011
By An NCR Editorial

The Australian Catholic diocese of Toowoomba, encompassing more than 300,000 square miles, has just a relative handful of healthy priests to serve the church’s 35 parishes. So it came as no surprise to Toowoomba’s Catholics when the area’s bishop, William M. Morris, addressed the priest shortage in a candid but still cautious Advent 2006 pastoral letter.

“We do face an uncertain future with regard to the number of active priests in our diocese,” wrote Morris. “Other options,” he wrote, “may well” need be considered. These include:

1.“ordaining married, single or widowed men who are chosen and endorsed by their local parish community;
2.welcoming former priests, married or single, back to active ministry;
3.ordaining women, married or single;
4.recognizing Anglican, Lutheran and Uniting Church Orders.”

For these words, this week the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI has fired Morris. Eighteen years as bishop ended with the stroke of a papal pen. (Click here for original the news story about the Morris firing.)

Some obvious but necessary points need making:

First, it turns out it’s really not that difficult for the pope to give a bishop a pink slip. In the course of the quarter-century clergy sexual abuse cover-up, there’s been considerable handwringing over just this question. Bishops don’t “work for” the pope, we have been told. Bishops are “fathers” to their flock – with all the unconditional love and commitment that entails – not employees subject to the whims, well-intentioned or otherwise, of the boss. Canonical procedures must be followed.

Apparently, that’s just so much hooey. If the pope and his advisers care deeply about an issue about which a bishop has publicly raised questions – such as women priests and optional celibacy – a way can be found to dismiss that bishop.

And – noteworthy because it goes to some underlying issues – a bishop who acts against church teaching and law related to sexually abusive priests apparently need fear no such reprisal.

Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali, for example, continues a life befitting a prince in splendorous surroundings, even as his flouting of church procedures (and perhaps civil law) resulted in nearly 30 diocesan priests facing administrative suspension and heat from local prosecutors.

And not to forget Cardinal Bernard Law, orchestrator of the Boston clergy abuse cover-up. His punishment? An extended Roman holiday and a healthy pension. Meanwhile, Morris gets the door.

The pope’s priorities are clear.

The pervasive intellectual chill in the church reaches beyond the towers of academia (note the recent chastisement of theologian St. Joseph Sr. Elizabeth Johnson) or to those who directly challenge the rules – Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois’ open support for women’s ordination a most recent case in point. (Bourgeois is facing excommunication for saying what he thinks on the subject.)

Now even those directly in the line of apostolic succession are forbidden to speak freely.

Note that Morris did not offer answers to the provocativelyposed semi-questions on celibacy and ordination he raised that Advent. Instead, employing what one advocacy group terms the “progressive bishop’s style book,” he couched his concerns more obliquely. (No doubt to avoid Rome’s wrath. Lot of good that did him.)

Today, it seems, even such carefully couched queries are completely verboten; such so-called “open questions” (non-doctrinal in every sense of the word) such as the ordination of married men are grounds for dismissal. That the overwhelming majority of clergy (not to mention laypeople) think the failure to even consider options like married priests in the midst of a clergy shortage crisis goes beyond Dilbertesque mismanagement. It is, to employ the psychobabble of the era, completely dysfunctional.

As we prepare to celebrate the feast of the first pope next month, are we still permitted to remind church fathers that Peter was a married man? That this Holy Father was likely a human father? Or should Mrs. Peter and her progeny, like so many nettlesome Stalin-era apparatchiks, be airbrushed from history?

Because of Morris, we know that the dysfunction flows right from the top. Canon law may be more flexible than previously promoted, but a bishop’s dismissal cannot be shuffled to an underling, buried, as in Bourgeois’ case, in a bureaucratic chain of command. No, the canning of a bishop is a task only a pope can command.

And he has made his priorities quite clear.

While the reasons for Morris’ dismissal are relatively clear, the process remains an unholy mess, shrouded in secrecy.

Soon after Morris’ 2006 Advent pastoral was released, Benedict sent Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput to “investigate” the incident, which is a little like sending the fox to investigate the hens. Given his well-known views on the concerns raised by Morris (Chaput is more Catholic than the pope on these issues), we are skeptical that Toowoomba’s bishop got a fair hearing. There’s a relatively small number of right wing Catholics in the diocese (Morris and others call them the “Temple Police”) who have long been after the bishop. That Chaput gave them undue weight and deference seems more than plausible.

You know the type. In the U.S., they are the crowd that takes marching orders from The Wanderer, their time at Mass searching for a violation of a rubric rather than receiving whatever wisdom or grace might come their way. Then, having detected an “Alleluia” where an “Amen” was called for, they write letters to Vatican congregations, hoping for a sympathetic ear to their pathetic pleas.

Their Australian equivalents were, it appears, successful in transforming Morris’ molehill into a mountain.

But, we acknowledge, our skepticism is partly emotional, or perhaps ideological. We’re inclined to give Morris a break because we’re inclined to agree with him that the issues he raises require airing.

But, and here’s the point, we simply don’t know what Chaput found because no one’s talking. Not even Morris has received a copy of Chaput’s report (assuming something has been reduced to writing).

We presume, given the public nature of Morris’ offenses, that Chaput’s findings have something to do with the bishop brainstorming some remedies to the priest shortage in the face of the real crisis in his local church.

Did Chaput find something more dastardly, such as a bishop speaking like an adult to his church? Heaven forbid. We likely will never know. When NCR asked Chaput to respond to a series of questions regarding his apostolic visitation to Morris’ diocese, he declined to answer, explaining that “any apostolic visitation is governed by strict confidentiality. This is for the benefit of all parties involved.”

So are we to believe Morris has benefitted from being tossed out without ever having been allowed to defend himself against Chaput's findings, which were never shared with the Australian prelate? This is the kind of trial and judgement one more often associates with China or Iran. The Catholic church?

The real scandal to the faithful in this matter has nothing to do with the way Morris has conducted himself. It has everything to do with priorities and processes within our church today. It has much to do with the trampling of human rights and professed values of decency and charity by our church’s prelates, in this case including, sad to say, Benedict himself.

This is no way, shall we say, to set a Christian example – or manage the church.

In 2003, Fred Gluck, a former managing partner of McKinsey & Company who currently serves on the board of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, wrote a memo to church leaders. It’s crafted in managementese, but disregard the jargon for the moment and pay attention to the message.

Wrote Gluck:
“Your organization [the church] has no effective central point of leadership that can energize the necessary program change. “Your leadership is aging and also largely committed to the status quo or even the status ante. “Your tradition of hierarchy dominates most of your thinking about management.”  “Coming to grips with this formidable set of challenges in an organization as historically successful as yours will be a daunting challenge, and can only be accomplished by a comprehensive program of change with strong leadership from the top,” he concluded.  No one in a position of authority paid any discernable attention to Gluck eight years ago. Sadly, we don’t expect that to change.

The pope has made his priorities all too clear.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

A World of Their Own

A wonderful commentary Catholica.  This video put together by Stephen ("Oh Yet We Trust") of the Catholica Community is based on The Seeker's song "A World of Our Own" and seeks to express the feelings of a victim of sexual abuse at how remote the leadership of the Holy Roman Catholic Church has become from the people they are meant to be serving. It was first posted on the Catholica Forum on 7th May 2011

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Death of Osama Bin Laden: A Franciscan Perspective

Since the night of May 1, when the death of Osama bin Laden was announced, Americans have experienced and expressed a variety of reactions including relief, elation, fear and hope.

In a letter distributed to Holy Name Province friars this morning, the HNP leadership recommends calm reflection on this event in light of a Christian faith.

Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, and the members of the Provincial Council encourage remembering the Word of God: “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles, or the Lord will see it and be displeased.”

Read the whole letter here

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Contemptible Kaflics . . . there's more of us than I thought ! - wonderful

Contemptible Kaflics . . there's more of us than I thought ! Wonderful. Thankyou Bishop Morris, the Vincentian Order in Oz and the National Council of Priests in Australia.

By Tom Roberts

(Bishop William Morris. Screen capture of Australian TV News QLD)

The forced retirement of an Australian bishop who raised the possibility of ordaining women as a solution to that country's severe priest shortage was "inappropriate and unjust" according to a statement on the Web site of the Vincentian order in Australia.

The statement in support of Bishop William Morris of the Toowoomba diocese, just west of Brisbane, was signed by Vincentian Fr. Tim Williams and is the latest in a show of strong support from fellow clergy.

The Australia Broadcasting Corporation program "PM" reported that several hundred people gathered May 3 "in the wet weather near St Patrick's, Toowoomba's Catholic cathedral, to show their support for the sacked bishop, Bill Morris."

Pat Nunan, identified as a Catholic parishioner, told the radio program, "This is a spontaneous support for Bishop Bill Morris. Everybody in the community is still expressing a significant amount of shock and anger as a result of it. Hopefully the vigil tonight, the walk, will dissipate the anger but at the same time concentrate on prayers for Bishop Bill, thanking him."

A statement by the National Council of Priests of Australia said the clergy organization is "embarrassed about the shabby treatment meted out to an outstanding pastor of this diocese." The group said it was "appalled at the lack of transparency and due process that led to this decision" and it expressed concern "about an element within the church whose restorationist ideology wants to repress freedom of expression" within the church.

"Bill Morris has been respected in his diocese for many years, and deserves better treatment than this," wrote Williams. "But, like many bishops, clergy and laity, he has been subjected to criticism from a small number of self-appointed liturgical and doctrinal watchdogs who, while generally ignorant of the real meaning of liturgy, church doctrine, and pastoral needs, see it is as their calling to run to sympathetic ecclesiastical authorities with their destructive reports. Just as we wonder at the motivation behind the extremes of terrorism, it is hard to understand what distortion of Christianity drives these watchdogs in their efforts to bring down good people."

According to an Associated Press report from Sydney, eight priests of the Toowoomba diocese signed a strong letter of support, saying the bishop was treated "unfairly" and that the priests "find his removal profoundly disheartening." Catholics in the diocese reportedly conducted a candlelight vigil the evening of May 3 to express their support.

The Brisbane Times, meanwhile, reported that Morris, in a radio interview May 3, described a "creeping centralism in the church at the moment. There's a creeping authoritarianism."

He maintained, as he has all along, that a 2006 pastoral letter discussing the priest shortage had been misrepresented by a small group of dissidents within his diocese. He said he never advocated ordaining women or married men, but only set them out as part of a list of possibilities being discussed in the church from the local to global levels.

"I believe that a conversation needs to be had, whether it's on the ordination of women, whether it's on birth control, whether it's on whatever subject within the context today of the church and the life of the community and the life of the world," Morris said in the radio interview.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Ecumenical Christian Church UK retreat

The weekend of Low Sunday 2011 saw the first ECC UK retreat, led by Bishop Terry on the theme of "Service - Not Self". The talks centred on the events of the Christian Passover and the example of humble service that Jesus left.

The surroundings of the Gower Coast provided plenty of reflection material, aided by wonderful weather and although the group was small the fellowship was great. there was also plenty of time for private reflections and one-to-one chats and spiritual guidance.

ECC-UK Retreat, April 2011 from Nick Young on Vimeo.