Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Opposition is Futile

The Altar
The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I was asked why I did not object that only the options presented by Father Richard S. Vosko are being considered for the reordering (which the Rector keeps on saying is the restoration) of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. One reason—not the only one, but sufficient— is that objection is futile. In a diocese the Bishop is Boss. The former archbishop of Milwaukee put it well:

In a June 30 [2001] letter, [Cardinal Jorge Medina Estevez, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments] said aspects of a planned $4.5 million renovation of the Milwaukee cathedral violated church and liturgical law and asked the archbishop to revise the project.

In his message read at churches July 15, Weakland said, “Many of the concerns raised are merely a matter of personal preference, not matters of church law.”

In the interview [with the Milwaukee Archdiocese Catholic Herald], he noted that he also had to take into account that the archdiocese had signed all of the cathedral renovation contracts in April. The potential financial cost of changing contracts makes it “almost impossible for me to redo the plans at this point,” he said.

He said renovation opponents sought recourse too late. “If they had done it months before, we could have taken it into consideration,” he said.

“In church law, the renovation of church buildings is one of those areas where the local bishop is to make the decision. To take that away from a bishop would be really contrary to the way the law is stated,” Weakland said.

Archbishop Weakland Says He’s Not Disobeying the Pope

See also Philip F. Lawler, Murder of the Cathedral

If asked why I do not object to the plans now, before it is “too late,” the answer is that we have been told again and again that “There are no plans”—the interior committee is still studying and has not made any decisions. The detailed drawings by Father Vosko that the Rector “leaked” to us, every one of which had the altar at the crossing and seating in the transepts, are not plans, because (didn’t you hear) “there are no plans.” True, Bishop Howard Hubbard did take the mic to say that he was amazed that the parishoners haven’t known for thirty years that the altar would be moved to the crossing. This put at end to discussion, since the Boss had spoken, though “there are no plans.”

There will apparently be no more parish meetings before the bishop receives the committee’s report.

See also The Provincial Emails.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

There will be a special place in HELL for members of the heirarchy like Weakland. No doubt, he will be joined by many other illustrious and nefarious bishops.
What they have done to churches and cathedrals in North America should be listed as a capital crime and felony, punishable by lengthy prison sentences.

5:55 PM  

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