Last week I brought to your attention the unofficial comments made by Cardinal Sarah on celebrating Mass ad orientem. Pope Francis met Cardinal Sarah to indicate that no liturgical directives will begin in Advent, according to Vatican spokesman. So there is hope for the Church. Weaning ourselves clean of these controversies and staying focused on what we do well as a Church, there is so much we can do and be proud of.
Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, urged priests and bishops at the Sacra Liturgia conference in London on July 5 to start celebrating Masses ad orientem, or facing away from the congregation, beginning on the first Sunday of Advent this year. However, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, issued a statement on July 11 indicating that Pope Francis met with Cardinal Sarah on July 9 to indicate no liturgical directives will begin in Advent. “Cardinal Sarah is always rightly concerned with the dignity of the celebration of Mass, that it might adequately express an attachment of respect and adoration for the Eucharistic mystery,” Fr. Lombardi’s statement said. “Some of his phrasing has been badly interpreted, as if he had announced new, different indications from those now given in liturgical norms and the words of the popes on celebration toward the people and the ordinary rite of the Mass,” the spokesman added.
He recalled that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which “remains fully in force,” indicated that the altar should be built away from the wall so “that Mass can be celebrated at it facing the people, which is desirable wherever possible.” The statement also reminded people that when Pope Francis visited the offices of the congregation for divine worship, “he expressly recalled that the ‘ordinary’ form of the celebration of Mass is that foreseen by the missal promulgated by Paul VI,” and that the extraordinary form permitted by Benedict XVI “should not take the place of that ‘ordinary’ form.” Fr. Lombardi also said it would be better “to avoid the use of the expression ‘reform of the reform,’ referring to the liturgy, given that it’s sometimes the sources of misunderstandings.” (Taken from Catholic Herald)
Pope Francis appoints an American and a woman to head his Press Office:
Pope Francis named Greg Burke to replace Father Federico Lombardi as his chief spokesman and director of the Vatican’s Press Office. Francis also tapped a lay woman, Paloma Garcia Ovejero, previously the Rome and Vatican correspondent for the Spanish broadcaster COPE, to the number two position in the Press Office, instantly making her one of the Vatican’s most visible female officials. A laywoman has never before held the post. Burke is a member of Opus Dei - in their parlance, a “numerary,” meaning a lay person who nevertheless is celibate - which is a Catholic group typically seen as fairly conservative.
“By naming Burke to one of the most visible Vatican positions of all, Francis effectively has inoculated himself against impressions that Americans don’t have a significant place in his Church.” John Allen Jr. wrote. He further expanded stating, “Here’s the bonus shot for Francis on the Burke and Garcia appointments - they’re both laity, in an institution traditionally dominated by clergy….Granted, lay men have held these positions before, but never a woman, making the choice of Garcia in particular a game-changer. For a pope whose warnings against the dangers of clericalism have become the stuff of legend, this is a case in which Francis is, quite literally, putting his money where his mouth is.”
As I am writing this note, I am on a personal retreat with nature in the company of an Archbishop from Shillong India, where I spent twenty years as a seminarian and priest. I am also spending a few days with a classmate of mine, who is a missionary in the Patagonian region of Argentina. It is like coming home for me, going back to my beginnings as a priest and a student.
Fr. Paulson Mundanmani
8:00am, 5:00pm (vigil)
7:00am, 8:00am, 9:15am, 10:45am, 12:15pm, 6:00pm (youth mass)
8:00 am, 7:00 pm;
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament 12 noon-7:00 p.m. (except summer)