16 November 2010

Archbishop Dolan Elected USCCB President

Semi-surprising news, and good news, today from the USCCB.  Breaking from longstanding practice, the Bishops voted to bypass the sitting Vice President, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, and instead elected the Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan (St. Louis native) as the new President of the Conference.

I say that the news was "semi-surprising", because although Bishop Kicanas has been the subject of controversy concerning his handling of an ordination of a known homosexual who later was convicted of molestation, the USCCB has not always been known to take decisive action in addressing these types of issues in the past.

By electing Archbishop Dolan, the Conference gets a President in the line of Past-President Cardinal George-- solid and orthodox.  Of course, don't look for the new President to call for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in every parish.  But then again he won't have the obvious difficulties that Bishop Kicanas might have had in speaking out on issues involving the Church's teachings on priestly celibacy and the sanctity of marriage.

And thus not only is a major public relations disaster averted; more importantly, it is a step in the right direction in the ensuring the clarity of moral teaching by the U.S. Bishops.


Anonymous said...

This is not good news. Dolan is a great friend of the dissenters in the Church.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, don't look for the new President to call for the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in every parish."

Why even say this? The pope himself isn't even calling for that. You're also presuming a level of authority that the USCCB president doesn't possess.

Ricardo said...

Wow. Does your 1st commenter represent the intelligence and maturity level of all your readers?

Peggy said...

Anon: That's news to me and many of us, I think.

Hooray for Abp. Dolan! Hooray for wisdom infiltrating the USCCB meetings.

thetimman said...

Ricardo, I don't know, you tell me. Or ask Peggy, since her answer works for me.

Second anon, respectfully, have you read SP? Every priest has the right to say Mass according to either form. The traditional Mass was never abolished. Pastors are able to decide to do this on their own, without any request from anyone or any permission from anyone. But, and more importantly to your comment, every pastor is directed to provide for the EF when the faithful request it. If he cannot, the Bishop is to provide it. If he cannot, PCED is empowered to correct the situation.

Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, when head of CDW under this Pope, made several public statements that it was the Holy Father's wish that the EF would flourish at every parish.

SP does not provide an "indult", as though the traditional Mass were somehow at odds with the Church's liturgical law. The motu proprio states that it "must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage."

So, I feel quite comfortable in asking whether any prelate will strive to make this Form available in every parish. Of course that is a bit a wishful thinking at the moment, considering the political problems created by enemies of tradition, and also the practical problem of lack of proper liturgical formation in the ranks of priests who were not trained in the ancient form of liturgy. But one day I certainly think that it will be the usual Form used in parishes, and that the OF will be hard to find.

Ricardo said...

Sure, any priest is allowed to celebrate the "traditional" Mass, but, as you said, they are encouraged to do this when enough folks in their parish are asking for it. And not too many are.

As long as there is a parish or two in a diocese that is reinacting this old liturgy, people seem to be happy enough.

thetimman said...

Ricardo, I think I would rephrase your last comment slightly if I could. As long as Catholics in the majority of parishes are kept in the dark about the existence and status of the traditional Mass, they surely won't think to ask for it. As long as priests hostile to-- or ignorant of-- the traditional Mass fail to provide it without being asked (they don't need to be asked), then Catholics will continue to be kept in the dark.

Therefore, as long as the glory of the ancient liturgy is kept locked away, or seen as some great exception to the rule to be confined to remote locales, then "some" people will be happy enough. These happy people are the ones who tried to destroy the Mass in the first place.

The re-presentation of Calvary is what the Mass is. A very old liturgy indeed. Comparing the two usages of the one Roman Rite (as our Holy Father describes them), I would say that the EF's 1700 + year history gives it a little more cache than the 41 year history of the OF.

So, with that in mind, I understand your point entirely.

Anonymous said...

Question for Ricardo - how do you "reinact" a Mass, assuming "reinact" is even a word?

Athelstane said...

Hello Ricardo,

Sure, any priest is allowed to celebrate the "traditional" Mass, but, as you said, they are encouraged to do this when enough folks in their parish are asking for it. And not too many are.

More than you think - but that's beside the point. I urge you to re-read the motu proprio.

Art. V requires that where some faithful request the traditional Roman rite (Extraordinary form), the "pastor should willingly accept their requests." But this manifestly is not a limit on its celebration (or that of the traditional form of the other sacraments). Art I specifies that it is "permissible" to celebrate the mass in the extraordinary form, with conditions imposed under previous indults no longer in effect. Specific permission for all priests to celebrate it at will in masses "celebrated without the people" is given in Art. II. Further, ordinaries are encouraged to erect personal parishes for the exclusive celebration of the EF. (Art. X)

Finally, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei (now part of the CDF) clarified in January of this year that a parish priest may schedule a public Mass in the Extraordinary Form on his own accord (i.e. without the request of a group of faithful) for the benefit of the faithful including those unfamiliar with the traditional mass. See here:

In this respect, ultimately, I think Timman also makes a valuable point. Too few Catholics are familiar with the traditional mass. Yet it is their heritage every bit as much as it is that of (say) the SSPX. Pastoral leadership should entail making this mass - which took its basic form no later than the time of Pope St. Gregory the Great (arguably back to Pope Damasus in the 4th c.) and remained little changed until the 1960's - more widely available.

Anonymous said...

No one cares.