Monday, October 24, 2011

Holy Boldness: Bishops speak out... {updated}

Updated 6:00 pm: Added a link to a recent "Red Mass" homily at South Bend, IN at Notre Dame.  Check it out.
I grew up unaccustomed to hearing bishops speak out on current events in the news like abortion, or about certain topics in the liturgy. I most especially  did not grow up witnessing bishops take on members of the media, or Hollywood personalities who attacked the Church. Then again, my recollection of media years ago was one that was more objective.  They reported the news, but not before a lot of fact-checking.  I see this generation of bishops much more bold and willing to speak out.   Some want more and they want it now, but I prefer to rejoice over small victories rather than lament over the long road ahead.  We need to pray for the bishops, and for our priests. 

I don't think it's a matter of the internet giving us greater access to what other bishops are saying and writing about.  I think there is a real shift in how this new generation of bishops believes some things should be handled, and they are choosing not to be wall-flowers.  Here are some items in the news worth reading....

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Archbishop Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas defends Bishop Finn of Kansas City, Missouri.  Bp Finn was recently indicted for, "a midsemeanor charge of failure to report child abuse".  He also raises some very interesting questions, revealing a double standard you might not spot if looking at this case from a distance.  Father Z's analysis of Archbishop Naumann's article is a good one: Archbp. Naumann (Archd. KC) on Bp. Finn (D. KC-St. Joseph) and the Kansas City Star.  The Remnant and the Bill Donohue of the Catholic League also have good defenses of Bishop Finn.

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USCCB President and Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan, talked about "cheap shots" by Susan Sarandon aimed at the Pope.  The actress and dissident Catholic referred to the Holy Father as a "Nazi".  Even some unlikely secular sources objected to her remarks.  Archbishop Dolan talks about the matter and expresses gratitude to the New York Post for it's public chastisement of Sarandon.

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Father Z fisks another good piece written by a bishop on the beauty in the liturgy, which Bishop Morlino says is NOT just a matter of taste.

Also posted this morning at the blog of Father Z was this short video clip from a sermon by Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette. He offers some catechesis about the ad orientem posture of the priest, where he leads the people in worship with all facing the same direction.  Is the priest "turning his back" on the people? Watch and listen very carefully. 

As I have posted in my sidebar is something which sums it up in a sentence: Seek not the face of the priest in the Mass, but the face of Almighty God!

If you want to see discussion, I suggest going to Father Z's where the combox is always lively.

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It is worth noting that this new generation of bishops are being heard in a variety of ways.  They are using social media to connect with people.  If you check in on the Twitter feed of Indianapolis Auxiliary Bishop Christopher Coyne, you will see that he sends out a sting of tweets each morning and periodically during the day.  Archbishop Dolan blogs pretty much weekly and he often takes on the media there in New York.  The newly ordained, Bishop Dowd, is active on facebook, as he was before his installation as an auxiliary in Canada.
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A homily from a recent "Red Mass" in South Bend, Indiana at Notre Dame by Bishop Kevin Rhoades is quite the punch.  Here's an excerpt from homily at the October 10 Mass,  just uploaded on the 19th:

I am speaking about these things at this Red Mass this evening because of the current situation the Catholic Church is facing here in the United States. There is a subtle, and increasingly not so subtle, effort by some in our society to restrict our religious liberty. And they are enjoying some success. We see an increasing number of federal government programs and policies, and also programs and policies in some states, that infringe upon our rights of conscience and violate our religious liberty rights as individuals and as an institution. Assaults on our religious freedom appear to be growing in ways that perhaps we may never have imagined even a few years ago. The problem is such that a few weeks ago our United States Conference of Catholic Bishops established an Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty. I ask you, as members of the legal profession, as judges, lawyers, as law students and professors, and also those who serve in public office, to join us in the defense of our religious freedom and our rights of conscience.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
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