Sunday, July 27, 2008

Eucharistic Marginalization

"They have taken away the Lord and we do not know where they have put Him."
- St. Mary Magdalen, Easter Morning
-Parishioners entering a Catholic Church in the Diocese of Rochester on any given Sunday

Tabernacle? What tabernacle? Check out the See of Rochester, as destroyed by Bishop Clark.

(Actually, it's more of a "miasma...")

Once again, H/T to Rich at Ten Reasons - well spotted!

UPDATE: Another H/T, this time to Dr.K, for providing this link to the DOR's website. Interesting. And very telling.


ben said...

Typical DOR. Only 4 more years, but as I understand it the next bishop will haft to tear out the
2M$ organ to restore our Lord to his proper place.


A Secular Franciscan said...
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Kit said...

Wow. Is that what you think I'm doing, Lee? Then you misunderstand. It's not about being more orthodox than the Pope or presuming to be more Catholic than thou - if you knew me in person you'd laugh at the thought.

My concern, raised here, is that in this catechetically challenged generation AND diocese, the removal of the tabernacle from a place of prominence to back rooms or afterthought "side chapels" added in the midst of post-modern renovations takes the focus of the Real Presence.

Bp. Clark using "God is in the people" as the justification for doing this in the cathedral and green-lighting it elsewhere in other Rochester parishes is indeed problematic...perhaps even heretical (egad!) That brand of me-ism as opposed to oh, say monotheism, flies in the face of the Catechism of the Catholic Church - not just Kit's unskooled opinion.

I find this trend of dismantling and sidelining the tabernacles troubling. I made this post to provide my perspective as one who came from outside this Diocese. I find the architecture and destruction of the Rochester Cathedral to be extraordinarily ugly and the worship space gratuitously austere, and not conducive to experiencing the spiritual refreshment I seek when I go to Mass or to Adoration.

The few Masses I've attended with Bp. Clark at the helm have made me uncomfortable inasmuch as he very obviously wants the focus to be on him. Case in point, the mandatory 3 Hail Marys following Mass. He doesn't process out, he stands up prominently on the dais in his "church in the round" while everyone else kneels. Big deal? Maybe not in the grand scheme of things, maybe not to you, but to me, it seems a deliberate attempt on his part to be the center of attention. No other priest at the MANY pasrishes I've attended make it a point to do so. Rather, they wait in the narthex to greet and send everyone on their way.

So thanks for the vaguely insulting comment - you are free to voice your opinions here so long as they are not gravely offensive, but I think you will find yourself in the minority both in your judgment of me and my motivation in raising this issue, and in disparaging those who love tradition and are eagerly awaiting its return in Rochester.

A Secular Franciscan said...

Actually, I wrote that before I read your piece - more in reaction to what some other people had written elsewhere. Your piece was tame compared to some of the others' pieces.

I believe Bishop Clark can be criticized for some of his actions - or failutes to act (as with the Corpus Christi situation). But sometimes people have focused only on the negative and painted too black and unbalanced a picture. Some have even resorted to distortions and false allegations - I remember a few years back, for example, when some folks tried to imply he was having a homosexual relationship with the Bishop of Albany!

One of the things I do want to point out, however, is that everything he has done has been reported to the Vatican, and the Vatican has seen fit NOT to remove him. If he is so bad, why has the Vatican (especially considering who the current Pope is) not deemed his actions worthy of removal?

Kit said...

Lee - I think one word sums it up: YET.

He has not been removed YET. I wish I knew the answer as to why not.

Again, I have had the distinct professional displeasure of knowing some particulars of what's gone on within the Diocese that I cannot and will never discuss here.

That said, I'd wager that the Vatican has a LOT worse to contend with than the DOR's shenanigans, but I do believe that what happens here is on the radar. (Don't think for one minute that the Charles Curran issue doesn't linger in the memory of this Pope, and that his speaking visits here don't curl a lip or at least raise an eyebrow)Whether that or the sum of all the other parts is enough for decisive action to be taken as opposed to waiting for time to run its natural course with this Bishop, however, remains to be seen.

Rich Leonardi said...

One of the things I do want to point out, however, is that everything he has done has been reported to the Vatican, and the Vatican has seen fit NOT to remove him. If he is so bad, why has the Vatican (especially considering who the current Pope is) not deemed his actions worthy of removal?

Lee Strong uses this almost comedic defense repeatedly; as though the fact that the Vatican hasn't taken the extraordinary step of deposing Bishop Clark evidences support for the man's destructive policies. It's like saying that a President is successful so long as he isn't impeached and convicted. Such is the logic emanating from the culture of dissent.

Kit said...

Well said, Rich.

A Secular Franciscan said...
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Kit said...

"It's like saying that a President is successful so long as he isn't impeached and convicted."

Again, as concerns Bp. Clark, imho, this is a very valid point.

Kasia said...

I would observe that it's been incredibly rare that a bishop has actually been removed, rather than simply allowed to sit out his term. Rightly or wrongly, the Holy See simply doesn't do it very much. So in that sense, as well as being the means by which an officeholder would be removed, it's really not that dissimilar from impeachment.

The main difference I see is the nature of the term: presidents are elected to serve a four year term, whereas bishops are appointed to serve until age 75 or death, whichever comes first. In that sense, perhaps it would be more fitting to liken a sitting bishop to a sitting judge in a jurisdiction that appoints its judges. I would not say that, say, no sitting appointed judges could have been "that bad" if no one had seen fit to try to remove them. I'm sure if we looked back we could find some "real doozies".

So Lee, perhaps it would not be entirely unfair to apply your "We've had some real doozies" statement about presidents (with which I agree with you absolutely) across to bishops, even if we don't agree off the bat on which bishops constitute "doozies"?

Rich Leonardi said...

Hi Rich, stretching the truth? Or maybe we have different understandings of the connotations of the word "repeatedly." I request documentation - your old bugaboo.

You made a version of this argument on your site within the past year. (You know this of course.) Do you now deny it? And something else you do repeatedly is falsely accuse others of "stretching the truth" or violating the Eighth Commandment. (You did this on my site last year and were temporarily banned for it.) That's called defamation and is a violation of the same commandment; it would usually prompt a conscientious person to make a trip to the confessional.

Rich Leonardi said...

Um, no, that's not what I said, nor what I was implying. I simply said that the Vatican has not deemed what he has done worthy of removal.

So you were being master of the obvious, then? A reasonable reading of your words would take them to mean that Bishop Clark has cleared some threshold of competency in the eyes of the Holy See.

Moreover, why is it that you choose to dodge the matter at hand? Your post at your site was no doubt motivated by the national attention received by the "Father Joan" thread. Bishop Clark appointed a notorious dissenter to preside as pastoral administrator over one of the few remaining tradition-friendly parishes in the diocese. Do you have any comment on that decision or are you content to besmirch traditional Catholics by mocking their "scapulars, medals, and hair shirts"?

Anonymous said...
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Joe of St. Thérèse said...

The removal of the Tabernacle in many parishes is a depressing fact.

For parishes that have the Tabenacle moved to the side, or outside the Church, I find that it is ignored. The lack of genuflections is a depressing, it makes Jesus' words come home, when I come back will there be any Faith left?

The removal of the Tabernacle has by default made the priest the center of attention. Once we focus on persona sacrdorte and not on Christ, we have a major problem.

Much can be eliminated by turning the priest around and bringing the Tabernacle back to the center of the Church. For believing that Jesus is Lord and God, we're sure not showing it by banishing him to side chapels and places not of honor and respect.

CrankyProfessor said...

I will say that though the tabernacle is on a side altar at St Stephen's in Geneva there IS Perpetual Adoration!

- -
I find in this (and similar) situations that reading more history helps calm the mind.

Any idea that the Vatican is the kind of organization that will actually move against a bishop who has only 4 years until retirement age, especially a bishop quite well-connected in Rome, is a dream. The Church has *never* operated that way.

In fact, it was only the aftermath of the American and French Revolutions and the destruction of confessional states that gave the papal administration as much influence in the initial choice of bishops as they have had in the 19th and 20th centuries!

-the Cranky Professor

a thorn in the pew said...

Just because one hasn't been removed does not mean they shouldn't be removed. I will say, at least, the events that take place in the DOR are done in full view. In our diocese they are done swiftly and with much "hush". It does not make either right and it does not shake my belief in the hierarchy. It is tedious and frustrating when we need to look beyond our local ordinaries to find the truth. As a layperson, it often makes it seem like there are "mini-Vaticans" who do as they want with no regard to canon law, the GIRM or the catachism(let alone scripture). DOR may replace the Diocese of Los Angeles soon in lack of loyalty to Rome and truth(maybe they have).

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

If LA is the worst, the DOR must be 1a, or their tied.

A Secular Franciscan said...

I apologize for any offense my post might have caused.

Kit said...

Thanks for that, Lee - no offense taken, or I wouldn't have posted it!


I like looking at all sides of an issue, despite appearances/my own strong opinions of this particular topic. You are always welcome to visit and comment, as are those who disagree with you, as long as it remains somewhat civil.

Oz said...

In Sydney, all church renovations have to be approved by the diocese (i.e. the Cardinal's office). He will not allow *any* renovations to proceed unless the church meets certain guidelines - including the fact that the tabernacle must be in clear view at the front of the church and there must be a crucifix present. We know one distressed priest assigned to a parish which had neither. The parish agreed to put a crucifix in but the tabernacle is in another room altogether and they won't move it. Hence the renovations to the presbytery cannot get approval :-)

At least the current Cardinal is trying to undo some of the neglect that occurred during the reign of his predecessors.