Off The Record

Bishop Finn on liturgy and music.

It’s always interesting to talk with one’s bishop on one’s favorite topic. The gold leaf did not peel off the cathedral dome when the bishop joined me (and a dozen diocesan music committee members) for a meeting yesterday. Neither did the earth shake or birds suddenly fall dead in flight.

The bishop spoke of a diocesan concern, then asked us if we had any questions. We had a nice hour-long chat, mainly about the USCCB struggles to approve the Roman Missal translation. We were all in agreement that the Lectionary was a weaker product than its predecessor (a position I was surprised to hear him take). He also wondered about his brohter bishops delaying on approving the Roman Missal. It was fully in compliance with Liturgiam (In)authenticam, he said. (He didn’t say “in,” of course.) I asked him Liam’s favorite question about the USCCB approving hymn texts for the US by May 2006. (That’s not going to happen.) In our discussion I floated another of Liam’s favorite (and now mine) suggestions to have the USCCB commission Mass settings of the new Ordo Missae when it does come out.

Bishop Finn also talked about measuring a music director’s efforts by the sense of participation and engagement of the assembly. This was not wholly unexpected, but welcome to hear.

I have met my new bishop a few times and each time I come away with a better feeling about him as my bishop. I may need to concede Rock was right all along. Bishop Finn comes off as faithful, sensitive, pastoral, and genuine. He seems very shy and reserved, but does a creditable job in engaging people in discussion. I got a sense he does listen, even if direct eye contact seems difficult at times.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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