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|Items added April 9, 2008|
Letter to EOC - Latin ‘not appropriate’ in
I have been very disturbed lately by the increasing infiltration of Latin into Sunday Masses. I have nothing against Latin, and find the Latin Mass at Clear Creek Monastery. very spiritual and beautiful. At that location, in that setting, it is most appropriate and should be preserved.
While Latin is appropriate for the Tridentine Mass, it is not appropriate for the Novus Ordo, the ordinary form of the Roman Rite used for normal Masses at one’s parish. In those the prayers should be in the vernacular so the entire congregation can actually participate. I have been to several Masses in Tulsa and other areas where the Kyrie, Sanctus (Holy, Holy) and/or Lamb of God has been spoken or sung in Latin.
These are prayers for the congregation to recite or sing. But how can we do that when we don’t know the language? Even if we follow along with a text and learn to properly form the sounds, we are just making noises. That is not prayer - unless you consider it like praying in tongues.
When I travel to Rome, I don’t expect English or Latin, I expect Italian. While I don’t know Italian, I can follow along, and it can be a sublime experience. But if I were actually living in Rome, I would attend the American Parish of Santa Susana, where the Mass is in English and I could truly participate in the Liturgy.
I’ve read all the explanations about the comeback of Latin, and quite frankly don’t buy them. If we want to go back to an “original” Mass, we should be using Aramaic or Greek, with married and female clergy.
The Latin Mass originally had a very noble purpose – to use the vernacular of the people, allowing them to actually understand and participate in the Liturgy. In our Diocese the vernacular is typically English or Spanish. I don’t think we have any Latin speaking communities in Oklahoma, at least outside the Catholic priesthood. By reintroducing Latin back into the Ordinary Rite of the Mass, the Church is perverting the original purpose of the Latin Mass itself.
Editor’s note: Because Bishop Slattery has encouraged incorporating Latin elements in the Ordinary Rite, the EOC asked Msgr. Patrick Brankin to respond: “Mr. Kennington’s desire to participate in the Mass as fully and consciously as he can is exactly what the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council intended in Sacrosanctum Conbcilium, the Council document on the Liturgy. But it is a mistake to argue that no one can participate in the Mass without understanding the language of the Mass. The Fathers of the Council never suggested this, and Mr. Kennington himself says that when he is in Rome he has no difficulty following an Italian Mass.
“I think that Mr. Kennington comes awfully close to confusing our active participation in the Mass with the purpose of the Mass. The purpose of the Mass - whether the Sacrifice is celebrated in any of the liturgical or vernacular languages permitted - is always to give perfect worship to the Father by offering Him the obedience of Christ His Son. We participate in Christ’s self-offering to the extent that we join ourselves to Christ, not to the extent that we are capable of understanding the words of the prayers.”
Letter to EOC - Degraded by torture
BG (with additional from Pax Christi members)
March 16, 2008
U.S. government officials have been attempting to sanitize the horror of torture, calling is by such euphemisms as “coercive interrogation.” The technique of waterboarding, long illegal, has been especially rationalized.
In the past, the U.S. government treated waterboarding as a war crime. Americans who engaged in waterboarding in the Philippines in 1902 were prosecuted by the U.S. military itself. After World War II, Japanese who had used waterboarding on Allied POWs were convicted of war crimes and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
Now? Waterboarding has admittedly been used by the current administration and not ruled out for future use. What have we allowed our government to become? If our government really represents us, what have we ourselves become?
Waterboarding and every other form of torture (including hypothermia and psychotropic drugs, which constitute criminal acts under U.S. law but are being used by the CIA today) are unacceptable according to traditional American ideals and values. They are barbarism and unworthy of any civilized nation.
For Catholics, who believe in the dignity of every human person, this is a grave issue. Torture degrades not only the victims but also those who torture.
|Items added December 15, 2007|
EOC Column - Pax Christi Member
Witnesses Moment of Grace in Los Alamos
September 16, 2007
Letter to EOC - Pax Christi on Immigration
As members of Pax Christi of Eastern Oklahoma, we wish to add our voice to the mix of those weighing in on a couple of current issues. In regard to the immigration issue, we agree with the one who cautions us against “intolerance toward the person whose only fault is a search for work and better living conditions outside his or her own country, and a fear of all who are different and thus seen as a threat.” These words are from Pope John Paul II (“Welcoming the Poor”, 2/26/98).
In regard to the Koran controversy, we concur with the sentiments of the Vatican II Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, where it is written: “Over the centuries many quarrels and dissensions have arisen between Christians and Muslims. The sacred Council now pleads with all to forget the past, and urges that a sincere effort be made to achieve mutual understanding. For the benefit of all, let us together preserve and promote peace, liberty, social justice and moral values.” (Nostra Aetate, #3). It is our hope, and our opinion, that these statements reflect the mind of Christ, and a characteristically Catholic impulse to “Welcome the Stranger Among Us” (U.S. Catholic Bishops statement, 2000).
Pax Christi of Eastern Oklahoma
Rita Boyle, Fr. Richard Bradley, Barbara Geary, Shirley Hogestyn,Steffanie Keefer, John Kennington, Denise Mohr, Mary Jo Neal, Jane Rausch, Molly Rhoads
Editor's Note from
EOC on Immigration Facts
Editor’s note: Donna R. Gabaccia, director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, noted Sept. 24 that “the discussion of immigration has not been a particularly well-informed one, and there are a lot of wild assertions tossed around.” She provided these facts:
Illegal immigrants are not eligible for welfare. They do receive emergency medical assistance from hospitals; their children do attend schools, but most of the children are U.S. citizens. In addition, some illegal immigrant women and their children receive emergency food supplies through the federal program known as WIC.
Before 1917, the U.S. did not require passports from people entering the country. There were no visas, no numerical limits, no waiting periods prior to entry. The few restrictions in place were on Chinese workers, people who had mental or physical handicaps, anarchists, prostitutes or “a person likely to become a public charge,” usually women or widows with children who might need charity. Excluded persons, including Chinese workers, sometimes did enter anyway, often through Canada or Mexico, where borders were not regulated until the 1920s.
In the 1920s, quotas based on national origins were implemented to diminish migration from Southern and Eastern Europe, mostly Italian and Greek sailors who jumped ship or entered through Mexico or Canada without a visa.
Today, entering the U.S. without a visa is a misdemeanor and is the only law that illegal immigrants break. Contrary to popular belief, crime rates among foreigners in the U.S. are lower than among native-born Americans.
Marilyn Duck, Eastern Oklahoma Catholic Sept. 30, 2007
|Items added March 10, 2005|
With that, the place exploded, and 500 students stormed out. The rest of them then started chanting, “Bush! Bush! Bush!”
So much for my speech. Not to mention the Beatitudes.
A new approach to reducing abortions
Clinton's got a good point.
Whatever their view of the legal and political issues associated with abortion, most Americans see the procedure as a failure, a necessary evil, not a moral good...There are concrete steps our political leaders can take that would reduce the seven-figure abortion rate.
For instance, the 1996 welfare reform bill (currently up for renewal) allows states to impose a "family cap" on welfare benefits -- meaning that benefits would not increase for additional children born into a family on welfare.
Twenty-three states eventually enacted the cap.
A wide-ranging coalition -- the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, American Civil Liberties Union, American Life League and others -- argued against the cap. They said it would lead to more abortions. They were right.
No peace on Earth during unjust war
One reads in the papers that the Pentagon expects the war in Iraq to continue till 2010. Donald Rumsfeld will not guarantee that it will be over by 2009. How many dead and maimed Americans by then? How many sad obituaries? How many full pages in the papers with pictures of all the casualties?
The reasons change: weapons of mass
destruction, war on terror, freedom and democracy for the people of
Iraq, American credibility. All are deceptions. This cockamamie and
criminally immoral war was planned before the Sept. 11 attack in which
Iraq was not involved. It has nothing to do with the war on terror.
American-style freedom and democracy in Arab countries are
hallucinations by men and women like Paul Wolfowitz and Condi Rice whose
contribution to the war is writing long memos -- Republican
intellectuals with pointy heads.
Fundamentalism and the 60’s: Reflections on a Decade
For many in our society, fundamentalism has come to embody and represent Christianity. For those unfamiliar with the often complicated world of religion, the two are much the same. The media are often guilty of assuming that leading fundamentalists accurately speak for all of us who identify ourselves as Christian. In analyzing the recent elections results, many analysts have suggested that individuals’ concerned Christian values were responsible for the Bush victory due to their lopsided support for the Republican position on issues such as abortion or gay marriage. Fundamentalist values are influential at the highest levels of power throughout our society (starting with the White House). The time seems right to take a step back and examine what these values are, where did they come from and do they accurately represent Christian belief.
a mistake to say that a decade was good or bad. The 60’s were both good and bad.
Pro-life? Look at the fruits
|Items added October 28, 2004|
America: Land of Religious Freedom or
Catholic election follies continue
The election follies continue. Three cases in point: ... St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke compares today’s United States to Nazi Germany.
...the Web site of National Review ... argue that “to vote for John Kerry in 2004 would be far worse … than to have voted against Lincoln and for his Democratic opponent in 1860. Stephen Douglas at least supported allowing states that opposed slavery to ban it. And he did not favor federal funding or subsidies for slavery. John Kerry takes the opposite view on both points when it comes to abortion. On the great evil of his own day, Senator Douglas was merely John Kerry-lite.”
“If you vote this way,” meaning for a pro-choice candidate, “are you cooperating in evil?” Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput asked The New York Times Oct. 9. “And if you know you are cooperating in evil, should you go to confession? The answer is yes.”
So, there you have it. Kerry-supporting Catholics are Nazi-like appeasers of evil, anti-freedom and need to go to confession on Nov. 3. Click here for complete article
For God's sake, vote him out
Catholic voters can balance issues
Catholics can vote for John Kerry. They don't have to, but it would not be a sin to do so, according to a distinguished theologian:
"A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons."
These are not the words of some radical liberal Catholic theologian who is unconcerned about killing babies. Rather they were written by the cardinal president of the Congregation for the Defense of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger. It says that Catholics are not obliged to vote on one issue, no matter how important that issue might be. They may vote for John Kerry "for other reasons" so long as they are not supporting him merely for his pro-choice stance. Click here for complete article
Is U.S. like Germany of the '30s?
BERLIN -- I can understand, my German friend said, why Germans voted for Hitler in 1933 -- though he did not receive a majority of the vote. The Weimar Republic was weak and incompetent. The Great Depression had ruined the nation's war-devastated economy. People were bitter because they thought their leaders had betrayed them in the war. They wanted revenge for the humiliation of Versailles. Hitler promised strong leadership and a new beginning. But why did they continue to support that group of crazy drug addicts, thugs, killers and madmen? ....
Can this model be useful to understand how contemporary America is engaged in a criminally unjust war that has turned much of the world against it ....
Today many Americans celebrate a ''strong'' leader who, like Woodrow Wilson, never wavers, never apologizes, never admits a mistake, never changes his mind, a leader with a firm ''Christian'' faith in his own righteousness. These Americans are delighted that he ignores the rest of the world and punishes the World Trade Center terrorism in Iraq. Mr. Bush is our kind of guy. Click here for complete article
How war in Iraq derails real war on terror
.... The president talks about homeland security but, under the malign influence of the vice president and the ''neo-con'' intellectuals, he has made the war in Iraq a substitute for the real war on terrorism. Almost three years after the World Trade Center attack, O'Hare Airport does not have the equipment necessary to inspect checked luggage because the Transportation Safety Administration does not have the money to pay for the equipment. Click here for complete article
'Pro-life' isn't a one-way street
Let it be clear that I subscribe to the consistent ethic of life that Cardinal Joseph Bernardin enunciated some years ago. I believe abortion is wrong. I believe the death penalty is wrong. I believe preemptive war is wrong. I also believe that we Catholics must promote this ''seamless garment of life,'' as the cardinal called it, by the methods of civilized discourse -- not by attempts at raw political power, especially since the church has yet to persuade most Catholics of this consistent ethic.
Thus, I will take seriously the ''pro-life'' enthusiasts when they are ready to protest against and denounce the death penalty. I will take them seriously when they also denounce criminally unjust wars. Otherwise, I have to wonder why some ''innocent lives'' enjoy higher value than other innocent lives. Life is, after all, life. Click here for complete article
John F. Kavanaugh, S.J.
Over the past few weeks I have had friends plead with me, “Please don’t vote for Nader again.” “You will be giving the vote to Bush.” “You will be giving the vote to Kerry.” There’s my problem: I don’t want to give my vote to either of them. Such words could infuriate readers as well as family and friends. But if one cannot speak from one’s conscience, from what stance may one begin?
The Catholic tradition affirms the supremacy of conscience, our moral judgment. It also calls for a willingness to inform that conscience. I am open to evidence and argument. But I do not accept the dictum that the sole moral issue of November’s election is either the war or abortion. For me it is an election, a choice, between two terribly deficient candidates. With the best evidence I can muster, by November, I will choose one.
Catholic bishops who fault Kerry cross