College students are pouring into town. The young miss begins school Thursday. Summer will soon be a dream. Speaking of which, one of my favorite pop songs from the 70′s.
Saturday, August 18th, 2012
18 August 2012
18 August 2012
Leave a Comment
Sections 22 through 26 look at “Christ’s Presence in Sign and Symbol.” First, BLS reiterates the well-known teaching on where to find Christ in the church:
§ 22 § In the liturgical assembly, Christ’s presence is realized* in all the baptized who gather in his name, in the word of God proclaimed in the assembly, in the person of the priest through whom Christ offers himself to the Father and gathers the assembly, in sacramental celebrations, and especially, in the Sacrament of his Body and Blood. (GIRM 27) In building a house for the Church that is also the house of God on earth, all the expressions of Christ’s presence have prominence of place that reflects their proper nature. Among these, the eucharistic species is accorded supreme prominence. (Mysterium Fidei 39) From the very beginning of the planning and design process, parishes will want to reflect upon the relationship of the altar, the ambo, the tabernacle, the chair of the priest celebrant, and the space for congregation.
Two comments from me.
The starred note provides a very good brief summary of how the believer has experienced God’s presence. In full:
*From the creation of the world, God’s presence has been mediated through the very works of his hands (Rom 1:20). With the people of Israel, that presence was seen more clearly and even localized at first in the Tent of Meeting and later in the Temple. These were understood as the place or epiphany of God’s glory (the Shekinah) (Ex 40:34-35). In the New Testament, Christ comes to be seen as the complete and definitive epiphany of God’s glory (Jn 1:4; Heb 1:3, 10:5-7). The Church, the People of God, is the continued sacramental presence of Christ, and the new church building is the privileged place of this continued epiphany in the ongoing history of salvation.
This original text suggests the Church as a sacrament of Christ. How do you find that statement?
Another original statement, that it is important not only to consider the degree of honor accorded each of these aspects (altar, ambo, tabernacle, chair, and nave) but also how they relate in the larger “presentation” of the church building. Do you find that a sound expression of an essential point not covered in universal church teaching? Or something that can or should be skipped over?
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
18 August 2012
John Cornwall at The Tablet has a piece up describing “trends” but also some personal experiences, first and second-hand, of the Sacrament of Penance. A few bits I had not considered before, including this co-incidence of sex abuse and the lowering of the age of First Eucharist, and therefore Penance:
Strong and widespread evidence has emerged of a link between early confession and clerical sexual abuse. The lowered age of confession from 13 to seven coincides, according to meta-analyses (see Marie Keenan’s Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church, Oxford University Press, 2011), with the age group of most affected victims. Pius X’s initiative resulted in the frequent exposure of Catholic children to priests untrained in child psychology and pedagogy, in circumstances of unsupervised intimacy. It is perhaps significant that the rise in sexual attacks, which started in the late 1950s through to the 1980s, coincides with not only the explosion of sexual permissiveness of that era, but the tendency for priests to hear confessions outside of the confessional box – in sacristies, parlours and priests’ quarters.
That “strong and widespread evidence,” I’d like to see something of that. I hope it’s something more than blaming the Beatles for Vatican II.
(You readers know I’m a skeptic on the so-called “rise” in attacks in the 50′s. We obviously have no statistics on dead victims and predators. The bell curve of the people we’ve talked to is always going to start somewhere, if we only ask those living as of a certain date. We can never know for sure if there was a slow rise in sexual predation through the first half of the 20th century. That might point to a causation, but it’s likely just one of many.)
I think we can settle that some approaches to rejuvenating the sacrament have failed.
Knocking form III out of the picture hasn’t “forced” people into form I. Form II seems a constant over the years. And for Catholic school students, it may be an interesting part of the problem. School kids can’t be coerced into form I, and the only opportunity many of them experience is form II in an elementary or high school format. Getting into the teen and young adult years, the retreat or pilgrimage experience seems dominant. We have at least a full generation of Catholics who are formed in Reconciliation as second graders, then experience the sacrament in group forms as they mature. But there is little to no follow-up formation in the examination of conscience.
Another interesting insight was that reference to “priests untrained in child psychology and pedagogy.” Six to ten years of hurry-up reconciliation conducted perhaps by amateurs. And even if those retreats and youth events are well-attended, that high is not likely to be found in a Saturday afternoon church where the pastor may have a homily, a wedding, and possibly other concerns.
The author is seeking input on a book. What would you tell him?
18 August 2012
Leave a Comment
Missionary institutes, which would seem to include the main varieties of religious orders established in mission territory, as well as outposts staffed by permanent or temporary, religious or lay, personnel–these folks will need to collaborate with the local bishop:
17. The Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith after consultation with episcopal conferences and missionary institutes should as soon as possible outline general principles according to which agreements should be made between the local Ordinaries and missionary institutes to govern their mutual relations. (Ad Gentes 32)
In making these agreements the continuance of missionary activity and the needs of the institutes are to be taken into account.
The hope is not good relations for the sake of making nice, but the real pastoral needs of the people and the good of the apostolate in that regard.