This is for American friends, especially those who are in or able to get to the City of Brotherly Love.
On 21 April there will be a one-day conference, Matrimony: Rediscovering Its Truth, to be held at Philadelphia’s Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on Saturday 21 April. The keynote speaker will be Raymond Cardinal Burke, assisted by Fr Gerald E. Murray J.C.D., Pastor of the church of the Holy Family in New York and commentator on EWTN, and Fr Gerald Dennis Gill S.S.L., M.Div., Director of Sacred Liturgy, and Rector and Pastor of the Cathedral Basilica. The day-long programme will end with Mass celebrated by the cardinal and enhanced by the cathedral choir. They also throw in lunch!
Given the calibre of the main speaker it is certain to be a faithful and erudite exposition of the Catholic teaching on the sanctity and importance of marriage for the Church and the world.
Since I cannot be there maybe one of you will go and tell us how it goes!
The summer school has wound down and the participants have been wending their way, at various speeds, back to home. My return was direct. The change from a sunny but sweaty Côte d’Azur summer to a grey and cool English summer was not entirely unpleasant. The English climate is far friendlier to those of us who wear a habit.
My liturgical impressions of the summer school have already been explored in some detail. To round them off, and to balance them, a few quick remarks are needed.
First, for all the impressiveness, beauty, authenticity and utter tradition of the ancient rites, and their placing of the worshipper into the unbroken, organic stream of Catholic worship over century upon century, there can be no easy waving away of the post-conciliar catechesis and liturgical formation those such as me have received. This is a reality that must be faced if the middle aged are to be engaged in liturgical renewal. For all that I sympathise with those who feel that, liturgically, it is “1962 or bust” for the future, nevertheless this cannot be imposed en masse and immediately without some serious, and counterproductive, collateral damage, to use the modern euphemism. Continue reading “A Winters’ (sic) Burke”→
In the past 36 hours, the solemnity of Our Lady’s Assumption, the Summer School here at La Garde-Freinet has celebrated 3 solemn liturgies, each involving at least one greater prelate. Others took the photos and can offer a better review in detail. What follows is more by way of reaction and reflection from one who is something of an outsider.
Two particular and abiding resonances stand out for me. One is from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2010) #16 which, drawing abundantly from the documents of Vatican II, describes the Mass this:
The celebration of Mass, as the action of Christ and of the People of God arrayed hierarchically, is the centre of the whole of Christian life for the Church both universal and local, as well as for each of the faithful individually.
The second resonance is of our Lord’s prophetic promise to Peter in John 21:18:
Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.
Rome is proving to be as much a hotbed of intrigue as it ever was. This Synod is frightening in that, given this day and age, so little direct information is coming from it. Yet some are doing their detective work, and some of the news is heartening, some of it not.
From Rorate comes a fascinating bulletin, containing a little joy to balance its affliction. The joy is that Cardinal Burke is not the pariah some have been making him out to be. A few weeks ago came the ominous rumour that he was about to be removed from the Signatura, and thus from the Curia, and into a benign and powerless sinecure. Then some (as noted in the Rorate artcile) said his interventions at the Synod were received coldly. We cannot know for sure given the information quasi-blackout. Yet Rorate took a factual list and deduced quite soundly that he cannot be in such low esteem with the bishops given that a group of them have elected him moderator of one of the groups preparing a final submission. If this is an accurate measure of the esteem in which he is held, it will be a brave move indeed to move him out of the Curia. However, Pope Francis is not timid.
Indeed it seems several very orthodox bishops have been elected to these reporting committees. Now we can see why Cardinal Kasper might want a news blackout, and why Cardinal Mueller wants every bishop’s speech published. Cardinal Mueller’s logic is quite defensible: all Catholics have the right to know what their bishops have said. But with so many orthodox, hold-the-line bishops being elected, Pope Francis’ “ad hoc, and without prior announcement” appointment of six extra prelates to help the (orthodox) Cardinal Erdö of Budapest compose the final document to be sent to the pope, we see what can not unreasonably be seen as an attempt to head off the orthodox school. Given that Cardinal Kasper regularly falls back on “I have discussed this with Pope Francis” as his defence of last resort, one could deduce with some confidence that he has had a hand in these appointments.
Has Fr Z and Fr Hunwicke have pointed out, among these new appointees will be found no Africans. Three hispanics, but no Africans. The Africans have very strong views on family and marriage in their local context, as witnessed by South African Cardinal Napier this week, and he makes some excellent points. The Africans speak boldly. They represent the fastest growing region of the Church. They are not trusted to help draft the final relatio. A pity.
So Burke waxes, and transparency wanes. Let’s all stay tuned.