Archive of August 30, 2011

Archbishop Gomez: new missal is ‘reverent and inspiring’

Los Angeles, Calif., Aug 30, 2011 (CNA) -

The new translation of the Mass promises to help Catholics “enter more deeply into the mystery of the faith” in a way that continues the Second Vatican Council’s liturgical renewal, Archbishop José H. Gomez has said.

“We become what we pray,” he wrote in his Aug. 20 column in the Los Angeles archdiocesan paper The Tidings. “The prayer of our Eucharistic worship is meant to make us become more like Jesus Christ.”

The words Christians pray, and how they pray, shape their beliefs and how they live out their beliefs, he explained.

Those words will now change in Catholic parishes across the United States with the implementation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal, set to take place on Nov. 27, the first Sunday of Advent.

The new translation is an opportunity for “a new Eucharistic catechesis,” Archbishop Gomez  said. The change gives Catholics the chance to “reflect more deeply” on the meaning of Christian worship.

“In our Eucharistic worship, we join our own sacrifices to his. We make our lives a prayer of self-offering — as he did on the cross. In union with Jesus, we offer ourselves to the Father as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.”

The new missal will mean Catholics will learn together “how to pray our familiar prayers in a new way, using new language,” the archbishop explained.

Archbishop Gomez described how the new translation “restores the beauty of the original Latin” and lets Catholics hear “the many Scriptural allusions that are woven into the fabric of the Mass.”

It helps unite worship on earth to “the liturgy of heaven,” he added.

The U.S. bishops’ conference has created a special website for the new missal at

Some of the changes concern the consecration of the Eucharist. When the priest says “The Lord be with you,” the congregation presently responds “And also with you.”

Under the new version, they will reply “And with your spirit.”

“This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper,” the priest now says after the consecration.

“Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb,” he will say under the new missal.

Instead of “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,” the congregation will say “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof.” This is a more explicit reference to the words of the centurion in Luke 7.

Archbishop Gomez said the translators “did a beautiful job.”

“They have given us prayers that will help us to lift up our hearts and minds to give glory and praise to God in language that is reverent and inspiring.”

The Roman Missal resulted from years of work by the Vatican and bishops in the United States, Canada, England and elsewhere. The Vatican’s Vox Clara Committee and the International Commission on English in the Liturgy also worked on the new texts.

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Calif. bill draws fire for letting children consent to STD vaccines

Sacramento, Calif., Aug 30, 2011 (CNA) -

Public action is needed to defeat a California bill that would allow children  as young as 12 to consent to Gardasil vaccines without parental permission. Opponents say the proposal is a violation of parents’ rights and is motivated by the desire to prepare children for sexual activity.

“We’re encouraging people to spread the word, to write letters to the editor, to contact state senators,” said Bill May, chairman of the San Francisco-based Catholics for the Common Good. “This bill has not received very much publicity in the mainstream press.”

“It’s a blatant violation of parental rights to put children in position of being coerced into receiving vaccinations that they don’t need and could jeopardize their health,” May told CNA on Aug. 29.

“Basically, children have no defenses against an adult coming and saying ‘this is good for you, and you should have it, and not let your parents know.’

“How can a child evaluate risks?” he asked.

The proposed law, AB 499, is sponsored by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins (D-San Diego). A vote on it is expected sometime this week.

The proposal would allow children 12 years-old and older to consent to Gardasil vaccinations and other methods to prevent sexually transmitted diseases without telling their parents.

May said that the bill’s emancipation of minors to consent to such treatments presumes that organizations like Planned Parenthood or other adults are going to approach children and “suggest they be vaccinated and make an argument for why it is important for them.”

He warned that the bill has nothing to protect children from those with a profit incentive or other incentives to try to talk children into being vaccinated to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

“Part of it is to prepare them to have sexual activity, which is not a message most parents want to get out at that age,” May said.

The Senate Appropriations Committee had postponed the bill over concerns about its costs. If minors do not need to obtain parental consent, the state will have to pay for the vaccines. A committee analysis estimated the costs at $75,000 to $155,000 per 100 children vaccinated.

However, May thought the proposal was likely to pass this time unless there is “a huge public outcry.”

“Serious questions have been raised about this bill in every committee that it has gone through. The questions have not been addressed and the votes have been straight party line,” he reported.

If the bill passes, opponents will seek a veto from the governor.

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles also opposes the bill. He said it represents “a dangerous government intrusion into parents’ rights.” The bill would undermine parents’ duty to “educate their children in moral values” and to be responsible for their children’s physical and spiritual well-being.

“By passing this bill, in effect, government would be encouraging young people to engage in activities that are contrary to their parents’ moral values — and then to lie about it or keep it secret from their parents,” he said in a July 7 column for The Tidings.

“Children are not mature enough to think through the consequences of complicated medical decisions. This legislation would have children face these decisions without parental guidance — and under pressure from adults and corporate interests that have financial and other motives to promote these medications.”

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Scottish archbishop tells Catholics not to kneel for communion

Glasgow, Scotland, Aug 30, 2011 (CNA/EWTN News) - The Archbishop of Glasgow, Scotland has told Catholics in his archdiocese not to kneel to receive communion.
“The Faithful should follow the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, namely coming to communion in procession and standing to receive Holy Communion,” wrote Archbishop Mario Conti in a letter to all his priests, dated August 25.

“Standing in our Western culture is a mark of respect: kneeling at the altar rails (where they continue to exist) is not the practice envisaged by the instructions in the Missal,” he stated.

The archbishop’s letter was issued ahead of the introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal, which comes into effect throughout the English-speaking world this coming November.

Ironically, his instruction comes only a year after Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in Glasgow. At that papal Mass, all those receiving communion from the Pope did so kneeling on a pres-dieu.

“This is really awful,” one Glasgow priest, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote to CNA.

“The bishop is indeed the moderator of the liturgical life of the diocese. However, what concerns a number of the priests in Glasgow is that our Archbishop knowingly exceeds his legitimate authority when he attempts to remove liberties foreseen by the Roman Missal itself.”

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states that “the faithful communicate either kneeling or standing, as determined by the Conference of Bishops.” The Instruction adds, “(w)hen they communicate standing, however, it is recommended that they make an appropriate sign of reverence, as determined in the same norms, before receiving the Sacrament.”

In 2002, then-Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, Cardinal Jorge Medina Estévez, attempted to clarify the issue after receiving complaints from lay Catholics who were being refused communion after kneeling to receive the host.

The Congregation, he wrote in an open letter, “considers any refusal of Holy Communion to a member of the faithful on the basis of his or her kneeling posture to be a grave violation of one of the most basic rights of the Christian faithful, namely that of being assisted by their Pastors by means of the Sacraments (Codex Iuris Canonici, canon 213).”

He went on to add that even when the Congregation has given its approval for a bishops’ conference to make a standing posture the norm, “it has done so with the stipulation that communicants who choose to kneel are not to be denied Holy Communion on these grounds.”

He also highlighted that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, believed the “centuries-old tradition” of kneeling to receive communion is a “particularly expressive sign of adoration, completely appropriate in light of the true, real and substantial presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ under the consecrated species.”
Cardinal Estévez concluded with a warning that “the Congregation will regard future complaints of this nature with great seriousness” and, if those complaints are verified, it would “seek disciplinary action consonant with the gravity of the pastoral abuse.”

“There is no question of anybody being refused communion if they choose to kneel,” a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Glasgow told CNA on Aug. 30.
“The purpose of the bishop’s letter is to encourage, and certainly not diminish, devotion to the Blessed Sacrament by reminding people of the need to make an act of reverence before receiving Holy Communion standing and in procession – which is the overwhelming custom in the diocese and the rest of Europe.”

The latest development is not first time that Archbishop Conti has made headlines for his stance on liturgical matters.

In 2007, he sent an advisory note to all his priests following the publication of Pope Benedict’s document “Summorum Pontificum” on the provision of the older Tridentine Rite in parishes. The archbishop’s guidelines were dubbed the “coldest, most hostile I have read so far” by the renowned Catholic blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf.
Archbishop Conti turned 77-years-old earlier this year and has already handed in his resignation to Pope Benedict. His replacement could be announced within the next few months.

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With Catholic university's status in the balance, Cardinal Cipriani urges dialogue

Lima, Peru, Aug 30, 2011 (CNA/EWTN News) - Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru is calling for a peaceful end to the ongoing conflict between his archdiocese and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru that could cost the school its Catholic status.

“There are no winners or losers. We need to set aside our arrogance and pride. We need to build bridges. We need to seek out the good. The country is seeking peace, the country is seeking development for everyone, a united family close to God,” the cardinal said during his program Dialogue of Faith on Aug. 27.
Cardinal Cipriani’s comments were in reference to the conflict that resulted from a decision by the Pontifical University in 2007 to deny the Archdiocese of Lima the right to have a seat on its board of directors.  The decision went against the wishes expressed in the will of the late Jose de la Riva Aguero, the Catholic intellectual who donated the land on which the university is built on.
In 2010, Peru’s Constitutional Court ruled the archdiocese had the right to be on the board, but until now the university has not followed the ruling.
The latest act of defiance by the university came on August 19, 2011, when it refused to follow a Vatican order to modify its statutes so they agree with “Ex Corde Ecclesiae”--Pope John Paul II’s document on Catholic universities. The Vatican said that the changes must be made if the university wants to maintain its status as a Pontifical and Catholic institution.
Additionally, university officials were told they must recognize the right of the Archbishop of Lima to select the school’s rector from among three candidates proposed by the University Assembly.
Amidst the ongoing conflict, Cardinal Cipriani reiterated his call for dialogue. “Let us lift the veil from our eyes, the pride from our minds, let us take the road of peace and understanding, but let the truth always prevail,” he said.

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Bishop describes Spanish family's decision as act of euthanasia

Huelva, Spain, Aug 30, 2011 (CNA) - The Bishop of Huelva, Spain is declaring the decision to remove food and water from a 90-year-old comatose woman an act of euthanasia.

“Any action aimed at interrupting food and hydration constitutes an act of euthanasia, in which death is produced not through illness but through the bringing about of hunger and thirst,” Bishop Jose Vilaplana said in an Aug. 26 statement.
Bishop Vilaplana’s comments came in response to a decision by the family members of 90 year-old Ramona Estevez to remove her feeding tube. She suffered a stroke on July 26 that has left her in a coma for over a month.

Estevez has since been hospitalized in the city of Huelva, and on August 23 officials from the health department in the province of Andalusia granted her family members’ request to stop providing food.
Speaking to Europa Press, the woman’s son, Jose Ramon Paez, said the family was carrying out his mother’s wishes. The spokesman for the Socialist Party in Huelva, Mario Jimenez, said the removal of the feeding tube was in accord with the “death with dignity law.”

“The law was followed, which in this country comes before religious ideas,” he said.
A request by the Spanish Right to Life organization to have the feeding tube reinserted was denied.  The organization said it would file a lawsuit against the head of Anadalusia’s health department, Maria Jesus Montero, for possibly violating the right to conscientious objection and for criminally withdrawing care from Ramona Estevez.
In his statement, Bishop Vilaplana said, “We must always be on the side of human life, no matter what its stage of development or existential situation.” 

“We must support those who are last, the weak, the handicapped, in order to ensure that their rights, especially the right to life, are respected,” he said.
The bishop noted that even though some people have tried to portray the removal of Estevez’s feeding tube as a humane act, “(t)he only duty society has with regards to the sick is help them to live, as life is not something we use and throw away.”

The Huelva bishop also asserted that the dignity of human life “must not be linked to the state of consciousness or unconsciousness of someone who is sick.”
“It is not the duty of a doctor to suspend the food and hydration of a person who is a vegetative state, which is a chronic illness that does not cause death,” he added, noting that health care workers have the right to exercise conscientious objection against such decisions.
“Let us accompany Ramona Estevez during her last days in silence and prayer. With great humility, I pray sincerely to the Lord for the family members and people around her, that they may discover in her the mysterious strength of life, which can be perceived even in the body of someone who is elderly, in a coma and weak, and that they might rethink their decisions,” Bishop Vilaplana said.
“Deliberately seeking out death or inducing it, as Benedict XVI has said so many times, is not the answer to the drama of suffering,” he insisted.

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Archbishop Niederauer has unexpected heart surgery

San Francisco, Calif., Aug 30, 2011 (CNA) -

Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco underwent a successful double bypass heart surgery on Monday morning.

The 75-year-old archbishop was vacationing with his predecessor Cardinal William Levada in southern California and experienced some chest discomfort over the weekend.

On Aug. 28 the cardinal took the archbishop to Long Beach Memorial Hospital, where he was given an angiogram. His doctors recommended he stay overnight at the hospital. The next morning his cardiologists recommended surgery.

The archdiocese said it was “encouraged” by the initial report but added that the first 24 hours were “critical” to the archbishop’s recovery. The archdiocese asked for prayers on his behalf.

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angles called for prayers in response to Archbishop Niederauer’s condition.

“My friends, please pray for our brother,” Archbishop Gomez said in a late evening announcement on his Facebook page Aug. 29.
“May our good God grant him peace in this time of trial and bring him to a speedy recovery. And may the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, gain for him comfort and strength.”

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Pope asks forgiveness for 'cradle Catholics' who did not evangelize

Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Aug 30, 2011 (CNA) - Pope Benedict XVI has asked forgiveness on behalf of generations of “cradle Catholics” who have failed to transmit the faith to others.

“We who have known God since we were young, must ask forgiveness,” said Pope Benedict to a gathering of his former students at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, on Aug. 28.

The Pope said an apology is due because “we bring people so little of the light of His face, because from us comes so little certainty that He exists, that He is there, and that He is the Great One that everyone is waiting for.”
The Pope’s comments were made at a Mass to conclude the annual meeting of his “Schülerkreis” or “Study Group.”

The gathering has taken place every summer since 1977 and draws together those who defended their doctoral theses in front of Pope Benedict during his years teaching theology at various universities in Germany.

This year they were joined, for the first time, by those who have more recently written their doctrinal theses on works of the Pope. Together, the 40 invitees had spent four days exploring the issue of the “new evangelization.”

The Pope based his brief introductory comments upon the words of the psalm of the day, Psalm 62, which describes the human soul that thirsts for God “like a dry and weary land.”

Pope Benedict said that believers should ask Christ—who is the living water—to send them “those who seek the living water elsewhere.” Just days after the success of World Youth Day in Madrid, he also asked for particular prayers for young people.

The homily for the Mass was delivered by another former student of the Pope – Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna - who spoke of the need for complete renunciation of self required by radical Christian discipleship.
“Only by not conforming ourselves to this world, can we recognize the will of God and make it the foundation of our lives,” he said.
Pope Benedict’s academic career spanned 26 years and saw him teach at universities in Bonn, Munster, Tubingen and Regensburg, prior to his appointment as Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977. Despite his increasing responsibilities, he has always attended the annual gathering of his alumni, even after becoming Pope in 2005.

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