Saturday, May 24

Cardinal Law surfaces:

Cardinal Bernard Law, who has kept mostly out of sight since resigning six months ago over U.S. Catholic Church pedophile scandal allegations, resurfaced in Rome on Saturday at an old-style Latin mass.The former archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts declined to discuss the scandal in which his old archdiocese faces legal suits from hundreds of alleged victims."I have come to Rome for meetings," Law told reporters.It was unclear if Law, who has spent most of his time in a monastery in the United States, would be meeting Pope John Paul. He sat in the first row during the Latin mass at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The Vatican permitted the mass as a gesture of reconciliation with breakaway traditionalists and Law was among six cardinals to attend.


Aside from the Cardinal Law appearance, I have to admit that any good will I have in regard to this liturgical move sprang a tiny, slow leak brought on by a slight case of the creeps when I read this final paragraph..

Traditionalists placed dozens of black veils in a basket at the entrance so women could cover their heads the way they were obliged to before the Second Vatican Council reforms.

Whoa, people.

First, thanks for the heads-up from those involved in Tridentine liturgies (something in which, by the way, my interest is close to nil, except for the sake of justice - justice for those who desire the rite and justice to the tradition which sustained it for so long.) that the basket full o' veils is present as a convenience and that the Unveiled Woman is not shunned. Good to hear that.

In reflecting on all of this, however, I am struck by what seems to be inarguable - this division didn't have to happen. Reform and restoration of the liturgy, the necessary stripping of accretions, the attempt to restore certain ancient aspects of the liturgy could have been accomplished without Clown Masses and Grooviness. Why wasn't it?

As an historian, I am fascinated by this, and would love to see an objective study - digging back into diocesan records, and so on - of that 1965-1970 period to see what bishops were actually telling their priests to do, and then what the priests did and, from a very concrete standpoint, how it got so crazy so fast. Now there's a dissertation topic for you. No charge.

In the comments, I am struck by someone (finally) focusing on Cardinal Law's presence at this liturgy. Does it, as the commentor says, show us one more time how the Cardinal just doesn't seem to get it?



Today.... it's just me and Joseph so far. Katie spent the night at a friend's house and went with them to an auction somewhere in the hinterlands. David is in a different hinterlands, at a golf invitational, having arisen at 6am to catch the bus at school which was taking him there. Michael is in Cincinnati, watching the Marlins play the Reds. As for me, I've been working on the editing to this blasted manuscript I need to get done..so it's probably good no one else is present to hear me rage..

From Forbes:A cover story and other articles on the coming flood of sex-abuse litigation: Sex, God and Greed.

Priests in Brooklyn release names of guys they'd like to see considered for their next bishop

If the Pope is having trouble selecting a successor to Bishop Thomas Daily, some priests in Brooklyn and Queens are more than ready to help - in fact, they've already told the pontiff what kind of leader they want and nominated five candidates.

It's only their opinion - priests don't get to vote for bishops - but behind it is a lively, larger issue that has Daily at odds with a group called Voice of the Ordained, which was organized a year ago to give metropolitan-area priests a greater voice in decision-making....In the meantime, the group asked priests in Brooklyn and Queens to choose a candidate to succeed Daily. Fifty-one priests and bishops were nominated. The names of the five mentioned most often were sent to Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, the chief papal envoy in Washington, with a request that he forward them to Rome.

....Four of the five names were published - the other was withheld at the man's request. Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Sullivan, a nationally known spokesman on human and social services, was on the list, along with three pastors - Msgr. Martin Geraghty of St. Francis de Sales in Belle Harbor, Queens; Msgr. Raymond Chappetto of Our Lady of the Snows in Floral Park, Queens, and Msgr. Peter Kain of St. Ephrem in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

But perhaps even more important than the names were the qualities priests said they wanted in the next bishop. The most notable was that he come from within the ranks of Brooklyn priests - an indirect slap at the Vatican's choice 13 years ago of Daily, whose previous job was bishop of Palm Beach, Fla.

I vote for the guy who didn't want his name published...


The chapter from Thomas Reese's Archbishop on how bishops are selected in the modern church.



Ordination season:

Rockford ordains record number

Cleveland ordains 10

Washington ordains most in 14 years

Six in Cincy

Nine in Boston...but not a single first-year candidate for next year's seminary class yet..

Nine men are to be ordained as Roman Catholic priests in a ceremony Saturday, but St. John's Seminary in Boston's Brighton neighborhood has no first-year candidates for the fall yet, New England Cable News reported Friday. The seminary is expecting some transfers. Rev. Christopher Coyne, a spokesman for the archdiocese, told NECN that it was the first time since the early years of the seminary, which was founded in 1884, that there have been no first-year candidates at this time of year.

Here's the USCCB survey of the 2003 class of ordinands

We found three changes in the ordinands since the research began in 1998. First, the average age at ordination rose from 34.8 to 36.8 years. Second, the level of education prior to entering seminary rose. Whereas in 1998, 30 percent had less than a B.A. or B.S. degree, in the 2003 sample it was only 21 percent. Correspondingly, the percentage who had received a Masters Degree or professional degree beyond the B.A. rose from 13 to 30. This is a notable change in only five years. Third, the percentage born outside the U.S. rose from 24 to 28 percent. The two principal countries of birth today are Vietnam and Mexico, in agreement with past studies.

The study was directed by Dean Hoge, our premier priest-study-er, who is also the author of an interesting book called The First Five Years of the Priesthood



A revivial in a Florida prison:

Michael A. Baysen is at Martin Correctional Institution, serving two life sentences for armed robbery. And it's a good thing, he says, because it was in prison that he found God. "I was predestined to come to the penitentiary," said Baysen, 40, of West Palm Beach. "If I hadn't come to the penitentiary, I still would have been asleep spiritually."

In an attempt to "awaken" more inmates, dozens of Treasure Coast Christians held a tent revival May 17-18 in the recreation yard of the maximum security prison.

In six two-hour sessions, the evangelists attracted more than 700 of about 1,000 inmates, including some of the state's most dangerous murderers, kidnappers and rapists. The hope was that they, like Baysen years earlier, would accept Jesus Christ as their savior and escape the bonds of spiritual imprisonment, said the Rev. Paul Smith, revival organizer and pastor of Miracle Baptist Mission in East Stuart.

...Each of the weekend revival sessions was led by a different church or ministry. Churches that led the services or whose members participated in some way included Friendship Baptist and the Love Regeneration Center in Fort Pierce; Lighthouse Baptist in Port St. Lucie; St. Joseph Catholic, Miracle Baptist and Abundant Life Ministries, all of Stuart.



Newark lays off 44

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