Week of Ordinations in Florence & Gricigliano

nullOn Monday, June 28, 2010, twelve first-year seminarians received their cassock from Monsignor Gilles Wach, Founder and Prior General, at the magnificent Chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano in Florence. They were tonsured on June 29, Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, by the Most Reverend Athanasius Schneider, ORC, Auxiliary Bishop in Kazakhstan, in the seminary chapel of the Immaculate Conception in Gricigliano. Bishop Schneider also conferred the Minor Orders of Porter, Lector, Exorcist, and Acolyte, the same day to over forty young men. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone, Bishop of Oakland, California, ordained a deacon and several subdeacons on Wednesday, June 30.

On Thursday, July 1, Feast of the Most Precious Blood, the Most Reverend Raymond L. Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, ordained three priests — Canon Aaron Huberfeld (Danbury, Connecticut), Canon Michael Stein (Washington DC area), and Canon Antoine Boucheron (Le Mans, France). That same evening, the Most Reverend Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence, offered Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament with Te Deum in the seminary chapel of Gricigliano. Archbishop Burke, Bishop Cordileone, and Bishop Schneider assisted at this solemn Liturgy, which was followed by a festive dinner on the seminary terrace and a fireworks display sponsored by various benefactors. (www.institute-christ-king.org)

View Photos of the Week’s Ordinations and Events »

The Judge of Bishops

PHOTO: Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest

WHISPERS IN THE LOGGIA– As the Holy See remains open for business on Saturdays, weekend news is always a possibility on the beat… and true to form, a move announced this morning will likely garner no shortage of reaction in church circles, and from all sides at that.

Earlier today, B16 named the church’s “chief justice” Archbishop Raymond Burke to the membership of the Congregation for Bishops, giving the 61 year-old prelate a seat at the dicastery’s all-important Thursday Table, whose votes recommend prospective appointees to the Pope.

As a result, Burke’s impact on the process and its outcomes could extend for two decades; normally renewed on a five-yearly basis, Curial memberships automatically cease at age 80 both for bishops and the college of cardinals, which the Wisconsin-born prefect of the Apostolic Signatura is likely to join at the next consistory, currently expected to take place sometime in mid-2010.

Best known for his oft-controversial commentary on public life, the naming of the former St Louis archbishop gives the US its fifth seat on the 30-member A-list group, joining Cardinals Bernard Law (archpriest of St Mary Major), William Levada (prefect of CDF), Francis Stafford (retired Major Penitentiary) and Philadelphia’s Justin Rigali, a former #2 at Bishops who’s become the Stateside hierarchy’s standout kingmaker since his appointment to the congregation in September 2007.

While Burke is the youngest US member the congregation’s seen since Law’s arrival at the peak of his clout in the early 1990s, its most youthful American until today was Levada, 73; Stafford and Law are both 77, and Rigali turns 75 next April. By custom, the heads of both the Signatura and the Apostolic Penitentiary (the top tribunal for matters pertaining to the internal forum) each hold a seat on Bishops.

Though it can only be gauged with time, the emergence of a potential — and potentially significant — “Burke effect” on Stateside appointments bears watching.

Since Rigali’s return to the table, the congregation’s American choices have trended heavily toward pastoral, conciliatory candidates whose ideological leanings have proven tough to read. Along these lines, the recent picks have mostly shown little inclination to enforce Burke’s reading of Canon 915, whose preclusion from Communion of anyone “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin” would, in the prefect’s clearly and frequently articulated judgment, see the Eucharist denied to Catholic politicians who defy church teaching on abortion.

While last spring’s selection of Archbishop Robert Carlson as Burke’s St Louis successor can easily be viewed among said bunch, the new prelate-maker’s penchant for unstinting fidelity with a taste for stoking public debate was reflected in at least one recent high-profile pick: Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone, a protege of Burke’s who was named to head the northern California diocese in March.

Again, whether the presence of the sanctions’ first and most prominent advocate will lead to a shift won’t become clear for some time. In the meanwhile, though, it makes a process that’s lately become far more complex all the more interesting.

Also named to Bishops this morning was the Vatican’s “Worship Czar,” the Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, whose longstanding ties to Pope Benedict have seen him dubbed the Ratzingerino, or “Little Ratzinger.”

Tomorrow morning, Burke will offer a Pontifical High Mass in the Roman rite’s “extraordinary form” in St Peter’s Basilica. The celebration with the 1962 Missal — a cherished cause of the archbishop’s — is believed to be the first public use of the pre-Conciliar Mass at the Vatican since the liturgical reform was implemented in 1969.

H.E. Bishop D’Arcy Opposes Terry’s ‘Circus’

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NCRegister.com – Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort-Wayne, South Bend, Ind., is not supportive of the protests organized by Randall Terry against the University of Notre Dame’s decision to honor President Barack Obama.

“Bishop John D’Arcy has urged Catholics ‘to stay away from unseemly and unhelpful demonstrations,’ such as those advocated by Randall Terry and others who have pledged to create a ‘circus-like atmosphere’ surrounding Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony,” Vince LaBarbera, director of the Catholic Communications Office of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, told the Register yesterday. 

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Archbishop Burke Celebrates Pontifical Mass in the Usus Antiquior in Lourdes

H.E. Archbishop Raymond Burke

H.E. Archbishop Raymond Burke

Last Saturday, Feast of St. Marcus, Archbishop Raymond Burke, the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, pontificated in the Extraordinary Form in the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at Lourdes in the context of the annual pilgrimage of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest (ICRSS). As the Spanish blog Benedicámus Dómino reports, afterwards the Archbishop gave a talk and a Q&A session, and on the Sunday the Superior of the ICRSS, Gilles Wach, celebrated Solemn Mass, again in the Basilica, at which Archbishop Burke assisted.

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Vatican Official: Bishops Have no Choice But to Refuse Communion to Pro-Abort Politicians

By Hilary White

ROME, January 30, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Archbishop Raymond Burke, in an exclusive interview last week, told LifeSiteNews.com that the issue of pro-abortion politicians continuing to receive Holy Communion is still one of major concern and that it is the duty of bishops to ensure that they are refused.

He told LifeSiteNews.com, “I don’t understand the continual debate that goes on about it. There’s not a question that a Catholic who publicly, and after admonition, supports pro-abortion legislation is not to receive Holy Communion and is not to be given Holy Communion.”

“The Church’s law is very clear,” said Archbishop Burke, who was appointed last year by Pope Benedict XVI as the head of the Church’s highest court, the Apostolic Signatura. “The person who persists publicly in grave sin is to be denied Holy Communion, and it [Canon Law] doesn’t say that the bishop shall decide this. It’s an absolute.”

Among the US bishops directly to address the issue, Archbishop Burke was one of around a dozen who vigorously supported a directive of the Vatican that said pro-abortion Catholic politicians “must be refused” Holy Communion if they attempt to receive at Mass. Others have refused to abide by the Vatican instruction and the Church’s own Code of Canon Law, saying they would rather focus on “education” of such politicians.

Archbishop Burke called “nonsense” the accusation, regularly made by some bishops, that refusing Holy Communion “makes the Communion rail a [political] battle ground”. In fact, he said, the precise opposite is true. The politician who insists on being seen receiving Holy Communion, despite his opposition to the Church’s central teachings, is using that reception for political leverage.

In 2004, when self-proclaimed Catholic and candidate for the Democrat party, Sen. John Kerry, was frequently photographed receiving Holy Communion despite his vigorous support of abortion, the US Bishops Conference issued a document which said only that it is up to individual bishops whether to implement the Church’s code of Canon Law and refuse Communion. The issue has remained prominent with the appointment of Joe Biden, another pro-abortion Catholic politician, as Vice President of the United States of America.

Archbishop Burke recalled previous experiences with Kerry, pointing to the several occasions when the senator was pictured in Time magazine receiving Communion from Papal representatives at various public events. Burke said that it is clear that Kerry was using his reception of Holy Communion to send a message.

“He wants to not only receive Holy Communion from a bishop but from the papal representative. I think that’s what his point was. Get it in Time magazine, so people read it and say to themselves, ‘He must be in good standing’.”

“What are they doing? They’re using the Eucharist as a political tool.”

In refusing, far from politicising the Eucharist, the Church is returning the matter to its religious reality. The most important reasons to refuse, he said, are pastoral and religious in nature.

“The Holy Eucharist, the most sacred reality of our life in the Church, has to be protected against sacrilege. At the same time, individuals have to be protected for the sake of their own salvation from committing one of the gravest sins, namely to receive Holy Communion unworthily.”

Archbishop Burke also dismissed the commonly proffered excuse that such politicians need more “education”. Speaking from his own direct experience, he said that Catholic politicians who are informed by their pastors or bishops that their positions in support of pro-abortion legislation makes it impossible for them to receive Holy Communion, “I’ve always found that they don’t come forward.”

“When you talk to these people, they know,” he said. “They know what they’re doing is very wrong. They have to answer to God for that, but why through our pastoral negligence add on to that, that they have to answer to God for who knows how many unworthy receptions of Holy Communion?”

Archbishop Burke said that the issue had been debated enough. He rejected the idea that the matter should be left to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, saying the Conference has no authority in the matter. “This is a law of the universal Church and it should be applied.”

“I think this argument too is being used by people who don’t want to confront the issue, this whole ‘wait ’til the Conference decides’…well the Conference has been discussing this since at least 2004. And nothing happens.”

When asked what the solution was, he responded, “Individual bishops and priests simply have to do their duty. They have to confront politicians, Catholic politicians, who are sinning gravely and publicly in this regard. And that’s their duty.

“And if they carry it out, not only can they not be reproached for that, but they should be praised for confronting this situation.”