Deacon Greg suggested this as a quote of the day:
The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, “To Hell with you!” There is no other way to put it.
Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh getting coarse deserves a closer look. He hasn’t been haunting the internet enough, nor the slightly paranoid circles of Catholic thought.
Actually, I can think of another way to put it that is closer to Catholic thinking in those circles. It involves only two words, including one that begins with the letter f. Really: why be simply condemnatory when obscene takes it up another notch? Isn’t that what we’re all about these days: elevating to a higher level of English text?
For the record, I didn’t get the memo from the White House on this one. I’m not buying the schtick that’s starting to emerge from the USCCB on this. I didn’t buy FOCA. I didn’t think their objections to the Stupak negotiations were particularly intelligent or thoughtful. And maybe they have good reason to be discouraged today. But after awhile the wolf cry gets a little old and whiny. Even when they use naughty words.
Maybe I’ve been discouraged a lot longer than these guys who have a guaranteed nursemaid situation. Barring, of course, any written or spoken bit of language with “women” and “ordination” between two periods. Bishops and clergy have it made for life, excepting significant moral misconduct on the scale of the f-word. What if they pony up an effort for national health insurance for Catholics? Cover every American on the Barque, and make sure that employers give us our allotment to run with.
If all the bishops have to offer the public discussion on this is outrage, sorry; that’s not good enough. I can get outrage on the Catholic net anytime I want. It’s time to lead, or simply, get the **** out of the way. Fill in your own blank.
Glory Be …
In the path of your judgments, O Lord, we wait for you;
your name and your renown are the soul’s desire.
My soul yearns for you in the night, my spirit within me earnestly seeks you.
For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:8-9)
Hidden God, as Thomas waited for you in the unfolding of his life, calm me in uncertain times, and settle my doubts as I keep vigil with your saints and holy ones.
Grant me, O Lord my God,
a mind to know you,
a heart to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
conduct pleasing to you,
faithful perseverance in waiting for you,
and a hope of finally embracing you.
Seven sections cover the duties of the acolyte. This one GIRM role folds in the duties covered by three ministries in most American parishes, those of the sacristan, lay Communion minister, and altar server.
First we read that when it comes to people involved in these duties, the Church suggests that fewer is not better:
187. The functions that the acolyte may carry out are of various kinds and several may occur at the same moment. Hence, it is desirable that these duties be suitably distributed among several acolytes. If, in fact, only one acolyte is present, he should perform the more important duties while the rest are to be distributed among several ministers.
Duties during the Introductory Rites:
188. In the procession to the altar, the acolyte may carry the cross, walking between two ministers with lighted candles. Upon reaching the altar, however, the acolyte places the cross upright near the altar so that it may serve as the altar cross; otherwise, he puts it away in a dignified place. Then he takes his place in the sanctuary.
189. Through the entire celebration, it is for the acolyte to approach the Priest or the Deacon, whenever necessary, in order to present the book to them and to assist them in any other way required. Thus it is appropriate that, in so far as possible, the acolyte should occupy a place from which he can easily carry out his ministry either at the chair or at the altar.
These duties are very familiar to us; they are usually performed by altar servers, often one or more youths. One item of discussion in some parishes is the last sentence in GIRM 189: where to seat the acolytes? At the priest’s chair in the sanctuary? With the assembly in the front row? Somewhere in between? That largely depends on the practicalities generated by an individual church’s architecture. How is it in your parish?
Regarding the Liturgy of the Eucharist …
190. In the absence of a Deacon, after the Universal Prayer and while the Priest remains at the chair, the acolyte places the corporal, the purificator, the chalice, the pall, and the Missal on the altar. Then, if necessary, the acolyte assists the Priest in receiving the gifts of the people and, if appropriate, brings the bread and wine to the altar and hands them to the Priest. If incense is being used, the acolyte presents the thurible to the Priest and assists him while he incenses the offerings, the cross, and the altar. Then the acolyte incenses the Priest and the people.
191. A duly instituted acolyte, as an extraordinary minister, may, if necessary, assist the Priest in distributing Communion to the people.[Ministeria quaedam 6] If Communion is given under both kinds, in the absence of a Deacon, the acolyte administers the chalice to the communicants or holds the chalice if Communion is given by intinction.
192. Likewise, after the distribution of Communion is complete, a duly instituted acolyte helps the Priest or Deacon to purify and arrange the sacred vessels. In the absence of a Deacon, a duly instituted acolyte carries the sacred vessels to the credence table and there purifies them, wipes them, and arranges them as usual.
193. After the celebration of Mass, the acolyte and other ministers return together with the Deacon and the Priest in procession to the sacristy, in the same manner and in the same order in which they entered.
About what you expected? Remember that these duties as listed above are for parish-designated acolytes–servers, sacristans, Communion ministers. There is a formally installed office for these ministries. Ready to implement it in your own parish or diocese?
Why do we have a catechism? GDC 121 answers the question with three points: ecclesial communion, a reference work, textbook and guidebook for other catechisms. Let’s read, then discuss:
121. The Prologue to the Catechism of the Catholic Church states its purpose: “This catechism aims at presenting an organic synthesis of the essential and fundamental contents of Catholic doctrine, as regards both faith and morals, in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the whole of the Church’s Tradition”. (Catechism 11) The Magisterium of the Church intends to render an ecclesial service for our times with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, recognizing that it is:
– “a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion”: (Fidei Depositum 4a; cf. Fidei Depositum 4b) it desires to promote the bond of unity in the faith by helping the disciples of Jesus Christ to make “the profession of one faith received from the Apostles”; (Catechism 815)
– “a sure norm for teaching the faith”: (Fidei Depositum 4a; cf. Fidei Depositum 4c) the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers a clear response to the legitimate right of all the baptized to know from the Church what she has received and what she believes; it is thus an obligatory point of reference for catechesis and for the other forms of the ministry of the word.
– “a sure and authentic reference text for teaching Catholic doctrine and particularly for preparing local catechisms”: (Fidei Depositum 1f; cf. Fidei Depositum 4c) the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in fact, “is not intended to replace the local catechism (duly approved)” (Fidei Depositum 4d) but “to encourage and assist in the writing of new local catechisms which take into account various situations and cultures, while carefully preserving the unity of faith and fidelity to Catholic doctrine”. (Fidei Depositum 4d)
The nature or character proper to this document of the Magisterium consists in the fact that it is a comprehensive synthesis of the faith and thus it is of universal value. In this, it differs from other documents of the Magisterium, which do not set out to present such a synthesis. It differs also from local Catechisms, which, within the context of ecclesial communion, are destined for the service of a particular portion of the people of God.
The most famous of the local catechisms in the American memory is the Baltimore Catechism. The one most in the news today is YouCat. That should place those three books in perspective.