Saturday, June 10, 2006

Saturday, June 10, 2006

But from the earliest days of the Church (such as St. Ignatius of Antioch) until today, it is clear that if you separate yourself from your bishop, you separate yourself from the Church.

Posted by: Old Zhou | Jun 8, 2006 11:13:38 PM

In his Epistle to the Ephesians, St. Ignatius of Antioch praised unity. As Jesus Christ is the will of the Father, so the bishops are the will of Jesus Christ, the priests “fitted as exactly to the bishop as the strings are to the harp,”, and the people a choir, “a perfect unity with God.”

But the American bishops are not unified:

The American prelates appear divided on the revisions. A poll taken last summer found that 52 percent of bishops favored the changes, while 47 percent judged them '“fair or poor.”
— Daniel Burke, Familiar words of Catholic Mass face changes, Religion News Service. For the bishops’ discussions on kneeling, see “Unless the diocesan bishop determines otherwise”.

I was therefore struck by today’s first reading, in which Paul writes:

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.
— 2 Timothy 4:3–4

And in today’s Gospel reading, who are they who:

go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in cathedrals, and places of honor at conventions.
— Mark 12:38–39

And are not the poor kneelers of St. Mary’s by the Sea more like the poor widow who:

put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For . . . she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had.
— Mark 12:43–44

See also Comments: “Meeting of Minds?” in Amy Welborn’s blog open book.

The article Bishop Brown Cartoon in has a convenient list of links relating to the kneeling controversy at St. Mary's by the Sea parish in the Diocese of Orange, California.


We will be spending tomorrow at Pyramid Lake, so to get an early start, we decided to go to vigil Masses today. I went to the 4:00PM Mass at Historic St. Mary’s Church, to get an early start on preparing dinner, to which we have invited Jude. The Mass at St. Mary’s is very different from that at the Cathedral. I will only note here two things:

In the pews are copies of the "mass guide" Celebrating the Eucharist. In it, after the "Lamb of God" I saw:

. . .
When receiving Holy Communion STAND

In fact, at St. Mary’s nobody uses Celebrating the Eucharist, and everybody kneels after the Agnus Dei and to receive Holy Communion.

The other thing I note here is that only two verses of the recessional hymn, O God, Almighty Father, were sung, leaving out the Holy Spirit. Maybe he will be recognized tomorrow.


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