Friday, December 05, 2003

Silence is vital to liturgy, pope says

Silence is vital to liturgy, pope says in document marking Vatican II

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Marking the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's document on the liturgy, Pope John Paul II said the one ingredient too often missing from the modern Mass is silence. "An aspect which must be cultivated with greater commitment in our communities is the experience of silence," he said in a Dec. 4 apostolic letter marking the anniversary of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.

"The liturgy, among its various moments and signs, cannot ignore that of silence," he said in the letter released during a Vatican conference marking the anniversary. "In a society that lives in an increasingly frenetic manner, often dazed by noise and scattered by the transient, rediscovering the value of silence is vital," the pope wrote in the document, which was distributed in Italian to participants at the conference, sponsored by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

Catholic officeholders say they answer to public, not church

There is more on yesterday's report about Bishop Burke.

Fallout from Bishop Burke's letter to "Catholic" politicians seem to be on the rise...Bishop Burke sent the letters to warn elected officials that they risked their spiritual well-being by taking political stances he found to conflict with church teachings.

He said Wednesday that if they continued to act in that manner, it was his intention to "ask them not to present themselves to receive the sacraments because they would not be Catholics in good standing."

This sort of rationalization, denial, and disobedience from politicians and others is exactly what we can expect to happen when the 'disease' of dissent is allowed to fester and spread in the Church. Because bishops, in general, have failed for years to act courageously to address these issues, we have this regrettable situation in which "Catholics", prideful because of the influence of Satan, act with such arrogance and confusion in their lives. They either do not understand or choose to ignore the moral imperatives which must be followed. They persist in scandalizing the faithful, with some of the bishops, in effect, being complicit by their inaction.

Will Bishop Burke be the first to formally excommunicate those who defiantly ignore or disobey his directives? We must continue to hope and pray that these politicians come to their senses and open their hearts to the Light of Truth.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Will any of our "Music Ministers" listen to this?

What a wonderful blessing it would be IF those in charge of parish oversight of Liturgy (pastors?) would heed the Holy Father's words.
I faxed this to my parish at noon today. I'm certain that some of the more difficult words will probably have to be "interpreted", however. Which words, you ask? Those like: sacred, sanctity, Gregorian, chant, & Latin. They don't seem to "jive" with guitars, drums, bongos, dancing & clapping!
Liturgical music must be reverent, accentuate the sacred, Pope writes
Vatican, Dec. 04 (

In a new document released December 4, Pope John Paul II has emphasized that liturgical music must convey a sense of reverence and appreciation for the sacred.

The new document takes the form of a "chirography"-- an administrative directive bearing the papal signature, and containing specific instructions. It was released for the 100th anniversary of Tra le Sollectitudini, the document on sacred music by St. Pius X. The Pope's new document is dated November 22: the feast of St. Cecilia, the patron of music.

All liturgical music "must have sanctity as its point of reference," Pope John Paul writes, adding that "not all musical forms are appropriate for liturgical celebrations."

While acknowledging that music can express different cultural traditions, the Pope cautions that all sacred music must "respect specific criteria," and stresses that the music must avoid "any concession to frivolity and superficiality." The liturgy of the Catholic Church, he writes, "must never become a laboratory for experimentation."

Pope John Paul confirms the teaching of Vatican II that Gregorian chant "should be preserved in the first place for liturgical ceremonies, with hymns that are celebrated in Latin."

The Pope urges the Congregation for Divine Worship to "pay closer attention" to the issue of liturgical music. He repeats that exhortation in a plea for episcopal conferences to "pay close attention" to the music used in the liturgy in their respective countries.

© Copyright 2003 Domus Enterprises. All rights reserved.

Note the Holy Father asks the CDW to "pay closer attention" to this. The Apostolic Letter itself has not yet been translated into English and is only available in Italian. If you read Italian, here is the document. Hopefully, it will translated soon.

Who are these people trying to impress?

PETA Billboard Depicts Virgin Mary Cradling Chicken Carcass

The group PETA or sometimes called, "People Eat Tasty Animals", apparently have sunk to a new low, if that is at all possible. Will this ad attract Catholics or others to their cause?

More about Archbishop-elect Raymond Burke

Those of us in the St. Louis archdiocese have much reason to rejoice in the recent appointment of Bishop Raymond Burke as shepherd of our archdiocese. As Bishop of LaCrosse, he sent letters to "Catholic" lawmakers to inform them of their duties of their office with regard not only to the laws of the state, but also with regard to the moral law.

From the article:
La Crosse Bishop Raymond L. Burke sent letters to the lawmakers as the first step in efforts to get them to change their pattern of voting, which Burke said contradicts the church's teachings on abortion and other issues related to human life. On Tuesday, Pope John Paul II appointed Burke to serve as the archbishop of St. Louis.

"If they were to continue to do that, I would simply have to ask them not to present themselves to receive the sacraments because they would not be Catholics in good standing," Burke said in an interview.

However, the same, old, tired argument comes from the "Catholic" politicians, "But I can't let my religion take precedence over my duties as a legislator". These politicians who fail to uphold the moral law by hiding behind these lame statements are no more "Catholic" than this keyboard I'm using - except, that they were baptized at some point in their life.

Holding positions that are contrary to the Church's doctrinal teaching because of ignorance makes one a material heretic. Once one is presented with the Church's teaching, one's persistence in denying that truth makes one a formal heretic. Many of these politicians, because they have been duly informed of the Church's teaching, have chosen instead to become formal heretics and as such they have voluntarily withdrawn from communion with the Church.

Anyway , enough of my this article about Bishop Burke. We should give thanks that we have been so blessed to have him as our new archbishop!

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Hardworking Wisconsin bishop follows Vatican policies precisely

More reasons for St. Louis faithful to be thankful.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Hardworking Wisconsin bishop follows Vatican policies precisely Patricia Rice Post-Dispatch Religion Writer 12/02/2003

The Wisconsin bishop who will become the archbishop of St. Louis next month is a staunch conservative who is expected to carry out most of the initiatives Cardinal Justin F. Rigali introduced during the past nine years.

Archbishop-elect Raymond L. Burke, 55, has been the bishop of La Crosse, Wis., for the last nine years. The Vatican announced Tuesday that Burke will succeed Rigali, who moved to Philadelphia in October as its archbishop and a cardinal.

On Jan. 26, the former Vatican church lawyer will be installed as the St. Louis archdiocese's ninth bishop and eighth archbishop at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica.

St. Louisans will get a hardworking bishop who follows the finest points on all Vatican directions precisely, from major policies to revisions for bows and nods at Mass.

"He is a humble man who takes his responsibilities very seriously," said Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz, former editor of the Catholic Times of La Crosse.

"With the liturgy, he is very concerned about reverence and order. And you can expect that, on the moral issues, he will be teaching and affirming the church on such things as abortion and contraception."

A staunch conservative

Burke displayed his religious conservatism in the fall of 2002. His diocese was one of two U.S. dioceses to pull out of the annual Crop Walks fund-raisers, sponsored by the ecumenical Church World Services. He told Catholics not to walk because the agency finances family-planning services and gives out condoms in developing nations.

A few years ago, Burke took the unusual step of publicly disagreeing with another bishop, then-Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland, over the idea of married men being ordained. Weakland suggested it be discussed. Burke said it was a bad idea.

Burke drew attention last year when he criticized the popular novels featuring the English schoolboy-magician Harry Potter. He sent all the schools and the seminaries in his diocese a letter saying that Potter "may not be suitable for young Catholic readers."

Open-door policy

Burke said Tuesday that he will bring to St. Louis his open-door policy in dealing with alleged victims of sexual abuse. He promised to personally sit down face-to-face with each person who accuses a priest of sexual abuse — something Rigali had delegated to others and been criticized for by victims' advocates.

In La Crosse, Burke spoke face-to-face with about 30 victims, he said. During that time, he removed one priest from active ministry. When allegations of abuse by two retired priests were brought to him, he removed their right to say Mass.

Burke said he had never met with any of the groups representing victims. David Clohessy, national spokesman for the Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests, said his group has no chapter in La Crosse but at least one member.

Barbara Dorris, leader of SNAP in St. Louis, will ask Burke for a face-to-face "so that a genuine dialog can begin."

"His first focus, we believe, should be to encourage victims to contact therapists, police, prosecutors and our support group so that dangerous predators can be arrested and children can be kept safe," she said.

Meets with seminarians

Beyond meeting with abuse victims, Burke said his primary duty is to "provide priests" to lead parishes and to recruit young men for the seminary. On Tuesday, he had lunch with the seminarians at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Shrewsbury.

At a time when most dioceses around the nation have closed high school seminaries, Burke opened a residence house in La Crosse for boys who are considering the priesthood. They attend a Catholic coed high school but live in the seminary-like dorm.

Mater Redemptoris Convent offers a similar program for high school girls considering to become nuns.

A friend of Rigali

Burke's name had been mentioned in St. Louis as the top candidate to replace Rigali as early as August. But he was mentioned less frequently inside the Vatican and by U.S. bishops.

A few other cardinals were pushing for other candidates. Bishop J. Terry Stieb of Memphis, Bishop George Murry of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Bishop John H. Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla., Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, Ill., and Bishop Wilton Gregory of Belleville were mentioned.

For months some bishops said that as the elected head of the bishops conference, Gregory was never a contender. His duties will be particularly heavy during the coming months as the audits and academic studies on sex abuse by priests are completed and made public.

Burke is a longtime friend of Rigali's.

Rigali attended Burke's ordination to the priesthood at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome in 1975. The two Americans knew each other when both worked in different offices at the Vatican.

As recently as this fall Rigali had Burke to dinner at the archbishop's residence on Lindell Boulevard, where some other guests were teasing Burke by calling him "St. Louis Archbishop-elect."

Rigali said in a telephone interview Tuesday from his Philadelphia office that he has full confidence that Burke is what St. Louis needs and will administer the archdiocese well.

"Each bishop has different gifts," Rigali said.

"A most lovable guy"

Burke on Tuesday compared his appointment to a sports swap. In June 2002, Wisconsin got St. Louis native Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of Milwaukee and Tuesday St. Louis got Burke.

"I hope that you will not be disappointed with the exchange," Burke told a group of priests and other archdiocesan workers at the Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali Pastoral Center in Shrewsbury.

"Ray's a most lovable guy, with a big heart, a ready smile, a balanced man with great common sense and with a towering intellect," said Dolan, in a phone interview from Philadelphia, where he is leading a retreat for Rigali's priests. "When (Burke) speaks of prayer you can tell it comes from a deep well of personal experience. It's not showy piety."

"Keen on rural life"

Burke said his preaching style is more like Rigali's than Dolan, a dynamic and popular preacher.

He's also an activist. "I'm keen on rural life," he said Tuesday, wearing a green ribbon that promotes family farming. The Wisconsin, farm-bred, Irish-American, is former chairman of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, which promotes ethical treatment of the environment and farm workers.

La Crosse's mostly rural diocese on the east side of the Mississippi River has 209,400 Catholics spread over seven small cities and mostly farmland in 19 counties across 15,078 miles. The St. Louis Archdiocese has 555,600 Catholics in the city of St. Louis and 10 counties spread over 5,968 square miles.

Burke is expected to have a long tenure here. At 55, he may well stay here until at the age of 75, a bishop must give his resignation to the pope.

"We'll miss him"

In La Crosse, there was a sense of loss as the news of Burke's appointment spread.

"We knew we wouldn't keep him long, because he has such qualifications," said the Rev. Robert S. Hegenbarth, pastor of St. Leo the Great in West Salem, Wis. "He was a great listener always concerned with the needs of the diocese, very traditional, very conservative. We'll miss him."

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Encouraging archiepiscopal trends by Dr. Edward Peters

This is another article on today's appointment of Most Rev. Raymond Burke to St. Louis, as well as other recent appointments the Holy Father has made.

New Bishop appointed to St. Louis

From the St Louis Post-Dispatch:
Pope John Paul II today named Bishop Raymond Burke of La Crosse, Wis., as archbishop of St. Louis.

The post has been vacant since Cardinal Justin Rigali took over the Philadelphia archdiocese in October.

Burke arrived in St. Louis Monday and spent his first night in the archbishop's residence on Lindell Boulevard. He will hold a news conference at 10:30 this morning at the pastoral center in Shrewsbury.

During a brief interview at the recent meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, he said, "I love St. Louis."

Like Rigali, the 55-year-old Burke has ties to Rome. He studied at the American seminary and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, was ordained a priest in a St. Peter's Basilica ceremony and was elevated to bishop in a ceremony presided over by Pope John Paul II. He is a canon (church) lawyer.

Burke, born in Richland Center, Wis., was appointed bishop of La Crosse on Dec. 10, 1994.

Burke will be installed as archbishop on the afternoon of Jan. 26 at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica on Lindell. That is the fifth anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to St. Louis.

==end of article ==============================

For those who may not recall, Bishop Burke was one of the bishops who signed the letter proposing a Plenary Council for the Church in the U.S.

Here's a bio of Bishop Burke:

Bishop Burke was born in Richland Center, Wis., on June 30, 1948. He attended elementary school at St. Mary's, Richland Center, and after his family moved to Stratford, Wis., he attended St. Joseph's School there from 1959-62.

He attended high school at Holy Cross Seminary, La Crosse, Wis., from 1962-66, and also studied college courses there from 1966-68 before attending The Catholic University of America from 1968-71. He then studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 29, 1975, at St. Peter's Basilica by Pope Paul VI.

His first assignment was as associate rector of the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman, La Crosse, and he also taught religion at Aquinas High School in La Crosse. In 1980, he returned to Rome to study Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. After completing his studies, he was named Moderator of the Curia and Vice Chancellor of the Diocese of La Crosse in April of 1984.

In 1989, Father Burke returned to Rome when Pope John Paul II named him Defender of the Bond of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. He was serving in this position when he was appointed Bishop-Elect of the Diocese of La Crosse by Pope John Paul II on Dec. 10, 1994.

Bishop Burke's Episcopal ordination by Pope John Paul II took place at St. Peter's Basilica on Jan. 6, 1995, the Feast of the Epiphany. He was installed as diocesan bishop on Feb. 22, 1995, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Reconciliation Weekend in St. Louis Archdiocese

This weekend marks "Reconciliation Weekend" in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. This year, priests will be available to hear confessions in 51 parishes.

See for more information.

Our own "Sunday Eucharist Parish Survey"

As if Liturgical Dance is not enough, the powers that be at Immaculate Conception Parish are now inviting all parishioners to take this survey to see what they think of ICD's "worship services". Look carefully at the questions - it's all about one's "experiences" - one's feelings. Lord, who are these people and why are they here?

Sunday Eucharist Parish Survey.htm

It is strange, though, that not once is the question asked "Why do I go to Mass?".

From this Sunday's Bulletin:
Everyone recently received a Liturgy Survey in the mail. Please place your survey in the basket in the gathering space or bring it by the Parish Office by next weekend, Dec. 7th. Results of the survey will be tabulated in January. Additional copies of the survey are also available in the gathering space or in the Parish Office. Thank you!

So the rush is on! Get your "survey" forms in....more liturgical planning is surely needed to make our "worship services" more relevant....I can hardly wait!!!!!

Another Fine Article from James Hitchcock

In this article called "Religious freedom and the dogma of intolerance", James Hitchcock cogently offers his insights on why "orthodox believers are now regarded as the enemies of freedom".

Further, he warns us,
"Secular animosity towards orthodox religion can only grow stronger, and it will be increasingly difficult to protect even the civil freedom of what are deemed to be 'exclusive' religions. I fear, however, that most professing believers do not understand how deep the issue really goes, nor are they prepared, intellectually or emotionally, to respond to it."

This is an excellent and timely article.