The comments of Cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, given at a liturgical conference in London on July 5, concerning the direction in which the priest faces during Mass has caused quite a stir. Even Father Federico Lombardi, the papal spokesman, had to weigh in on the subject after the Holy Father, Pope Francis, had a private meeting with Cardinal Sarah.
So many dramatic events have occurred around the world in the past few weeks that it’s sobering to attempt to find a common thread. Perhaps, it is that we are standing at a pivotal time when either the rule of order will dominate or chaos will become the day-to-day continuum.
The coldblooded murders of police officers in Dallas during a peaceful demonstration on July 7 have shaken our nation to the core. Following a week in which we have seen two black men, one in Louisiana and the other in Minnesota, killed in incidents with the police, these unspeakable tragedies are horrible examples of the effects of our fallen human nature, the presence of sin in the world, and the real effects of what occurs when we forget who and what we are and what we are created to be.
Once again, Pope Francis’ in-flight press conferences grab the attention of the entire world, Catholics and non-Catholics alike. After a unique apostolic voyage to Armenia, having strengthened ties with the Orthodox Church, the pope was asked to weigh in on a number of questions. As usual, our Holy Father answered with supreme honesty and pastoral care.
With the expressed will of his oldest living relative, the body of the Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, will eventually be moved from New York to his home diocese of Peoria in Illinois. This comes after many years of dialogue between the Archdiocese of New York, who had Sheen’s remains interred in the crypt of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and the Diocese of Peoria, who wishes to place Sheen in the crypt of Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, where he received his First Communion and where he was ordained a priest. His parents are buried nearby Saint Mary’s and his remaining relatives still are in the area.
The attempt to suspend the statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse died without a whimper in the State House in Albany where it was being championed by Queens Assemblywoman Marge Markey and a concerted campaign by the New York Daily News. The proposal was bad law and was made even worse by the effects it would have had on the mission of the Church.
In a recent op-ed piece on the Catholic website Crux, Father Edward Beck, C.P., a noted television commentator on matters of religion, opined that he does not believe that there really is an anti-Catholic bias in the media.
The tragedy of the Orlando nightclub massacre is the awful loss of life that occurred there. This largest terrorist incident since 9/11/01 reminds us that the threats from the radical sect of Islam continues to be a real factor in day-to-day life, not just in the United States but around the globe.
This past week, Pope Francis took three dicasteries at the Vatican and merged them into one: The Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for laity, and the Pontifical Academy for Life (which deals with pro-life activities) will be as of Sept. 1, one Pontifical Council for Laity, Family, and Life.
We are blessed in the Diocese of Brooklyn with the gift of 10 newly ordained priests. They come from different backgrounds and different cultures, but all share in common their Catholic faith, their zeal and earnestness to preach the Gospel, and a desire to preach that Gospel here in the Diocese of Brooklyn.