Thursday, December 2, 2010

New Diocesan Liturgist

Anonymous wrote in the comment box:

"We have a new diocesan liturgist. Does anybody know if he is on board with Benedict's reform of the reform? Or are we just going to get more of the same old folksy liturgical minimalism while our brethren in the diocese north of us get to enjoy the treasures of the we still get mostly pianos, amateur guitarists, flutists, drummers and ABSOLUTELY NO GREGORIAN CHANT! "

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Condom use among (male) prostitutes... and others

The lesser of two evils? What about couples where one has HIV/AIDS and the other not? Can condom use be "responsible sex"? Will the Pope's remarks eventually open the door for contraceptive use in "other limited cases"?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Campaign for Human Development question and discussion

George LeRoi Tirebiter has asked a question about the Campaign for Human Development:

"I'd like to see a discussion about the "Catholic Campaign for Human Development" which will collect money from our parishes this month, either directly from the parish (most cases) or through a designated special collection (unfortunately rare). Though they have cleaned up their act for now. the CCHD has a long history of funding Alynskiite organizations that also fund abortions and anti-marriage legislation.

I cannot in good conscience fund, either directly or indirectly, organizations that enable evil. What does stewardship require?"

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sunday Obligation - Re Msgr. Muench's article

Anonymous has requested the following:

How about a discussion of Msgr. Muench's article on Sunday Obligation?

I know there is not universal agreement on whether SSPX masses fulfill the obligation. Although he seemed to indicate that there was.

It is a sad day when the only way the diocese can keep people in it's parishes is by telling them its "obligatory".


Could you provide a link to this article?

Question about First Communion and the wearing of gloves

Anonymous asked this question:

Are first communicants (or anyone for that matter)in the Richmond Diocese allowed allowed to wear gloves when they go up to receive communion IF THEY ARE RECEIVING ON THE TONGUE?. Isn't telling first communicants that they can not wear gloves the same as telling them that they have to take communion in the hand (since it seems that is the only reason for such a policy). Does the diocese treat BOTH ways of receiving EQUALLY? Or are the instructors/leaders allowed to pass off their own personal preferences as diocesan practice/local culture? What are the specific directions that the diocese gives to parishes regarding this aspect of training that his given to first communicants?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Snooz fest!

That's what a disgruntled reader/poster just called this blog! Absolutely! It HAS been a snooze fest this last month or so. Been way off my stride with several other blogs to caretake...

How about some suggestions for topics from you guys and gals... Maybe we can get a conversation going...

I'd love to see the blog more active but as I peruse the Catholic Virginian, I don't see very much to comment on. I could use some help here...

Monday, September 13, 2010

"Fraternity of the disgraced keeps growing"

John Allen, senior correspondent of the National Catholic Reporter has written an interesting article about the Catholic prelates who have become members of the "fraternity of the disgraced." Please don't miss his analysis of this issue. Read here: "Fraternity of the disgraced keeps growing."

The paragraph that stopped me in my tracks was this one:

"Perhaps the most explosive question is whether that fraternity will eventually include the two popes whose reigns coincide with the sexual abuse crisis, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Probably neither pontiff's reputation will be helped, though defenders of both men also have cases to make."

No matter what you think about either of these popes, including them on the list would be as surprising to me as the accusations against Pius XII regarding his lack of action against the Nazis during WWII.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Current Liturgical Art and Illustrations

Katie Beaumont left this comment on a previous blog message. I thought it deserved its own article.

"A little off the topic but....I noticed that current liturgical illustrations tend to look like a bunch of distorted caricatures with oversized heads and huge hands. Does anyone know from where this hand fetish comes? Why the obsession with hands regarding current liturgical illustrations. What is the reason proponents of this caricature-like art form seem to dogmatically connect it to liturgy. It seems to be a complete rupture from traditional Catholic art pertaining to liturgy. Has traditional expressions of art been banned from current liturgical publications? It just seems a little wierd."

Friday, August 20, 2010

First Sunday of Advent 2011 - The New Roman Missal

Well, the word has come down that the use of the New Roman Missal translation will begin on that date. Whether you like it or not, we will soon have to begin to catechize our people. At least by the first of the year, 2011...

New Sacramentaries, new music, new prayerbooks, etc., etc.... A huge undertaking... And added expense for our smaller parishes...

Here's the link to the longer version of the story. Check the USCCB website.

Any comments?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Combier-Donovan to head Office of Worship ~ Catholic Review

And WHY hasn't this news been given to us through the Catholic Virginian??? I am amazed! Or maybe I shouldn't be... Nothing was even hinted at that she was leaving.

You can read of Catherine Combier-Donovan's new position

It begins:

Combier-Donovan to head Office of Worship

From the Catholic Review Staff
Archdiocese of Baltimore

Paulist Father John E. Hurley, executive director of the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Department of Evangelization, announced the appointment of Catherine Combier-Donovan as the new director of the Office for Worship.

Combier-Donovan has held the same position in the Diocese of Richmond since 2006 and has over 10 years of liturgical experience, including parish positions in North and South Carolina and Virginia

Continued -

Saturday, July 31, 2010

An Unexpected Development in the Office of Worship!

Anonymous has written HERE:

Catherine Combier-Donovan, Coordinator of the Office of Worship, has resigned from her role effective August 13, 2010.".

July 30, 2010 9:51 PM


Has anyone heard whether this is accurate? It hasn't hit the Catholic Virginian yet!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Catholic Virginian Blog? Why not?

Anonymous asked that question in the comment box of one of our blog articles. Soooo, why doesn't the Catholic Virginian create a Blog for its readers? Why wouldn't the CV set up a Blog? Do we have to sign a petition? Letters to the Editor?

Maybe Steve Neill simply needs to be asked.

Hmmmm, maybe the topics would soon get out of control...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Provocative Article about Priestly Celibacy

National Catholic Reporter's James Carroll, has written a comprehensive but provocative article in the June 9th issue which describes why progressives in the Church believe that priestly celibacy is a major reason why the Church is experiencing its present problems.

Please take the time to read this interesting article:

Mandatory Celibacy at the Heart of What's Wrong

I hope you will also take time to comment.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sullivan Conference - New Roman Missal Translation

I participated in that conference and found it very helpful in understanding the whats, whys and wherefores of the new translation of the Roman Missal.

In spite of the fact that I am lukewarm in regards to the need for a new translation, I know it is coming. My thing is that I hope the people in the parishes get well catechized in regard to the changes so that confusion can be kept at a minimum. I think what happened during the changeover to the vernacular and more people participation after Vatican II, many many people did not understand why things were being changed. Thus it took a long time before people became comfortable with the new Liturgy, etc. and some simply dropped out... And that, of course, gave rise to the breakaway Latin Mass communities.

I'm looking forward to helping with the transition - I don't want the same confusion again in spite of my own personal desires for things to remain pretty much the same...

What say you folks? Did any of you attend the conference? If so, what did you think?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I think he got it...!

"In terms of what we today can discover in this message, attacks against the pope or the church don’t come just from outside the church. The suffering of the church also comes from within the church, because sin exists in the church. This too has always been known, but today we see it in a really terrifying way.

The greatest persecution of the church doesn’t come from enemies on the outside, but is born in sin within the church. The church thus has a deep need to re-learn penance, to accept purification, to learn on one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice. Forgiveness does not exclude justice.

We have to re-learn the essentials: conversion, prayer, penance, and the theological virtues."

~ Pope Benedict XVI (On the plane to Portugal, 5/11/10) ~

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Strange Clergy Assignments

I saw a couple of odd clergy assignments listed in this week's Catholic Virginian (May 3, 2010).

1. The parochial vicar of St. John, Dinwiddie named sacramental minister at St. Mary of the Annunciation, Ladysmith.

2. The pastor of Church of the Vietnamese Martyrs, Richmond named parochial vicar of St. John's, Dinwiddie.

To the questioning mind, one might say:


But then, there are probably logical reasons for these assignments.... Just caught my eye...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The EF at the National Shrine in DC

You surely will not want to miss NCR's take on the Liturgy at the National Shrine! Along with loads of comments that will raise the hackles of both traditionalists and progressives! Here it is:

DC liturgy: cappa magna, glorious music, Latin glitches

The analysis is by Jerry Filteau.

Technology and the Vatican

The National Catholic Reporter had an interesting article that is worth checking out. The title is - Technology undermining Church structures and it is a blog article written by Tom C. Fox.

It tells me that the Vatican needs to become better at communication in the 21st Century. I think even our traditionalist readers can agree on that...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Clericalism and the Liturgy

The National Catholic Reporter has an excellent article in its April 5th issue about the new clericalism that is rising in the Church. I agree with this article. It really expresses where I stand in the Church. I feel certain most of you do not stand with me... So, you might wish to comment.

Here is the article:
Clericalism and the Liturgy by Fr. Paul Philibert, a Dominican friar, lecturer and writer from Raleigh, NC.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Lots of Questions; No More Answers from the Office of Worship

Katie posed a question today, asking whether Catherine Combier-Donovan, Director of the Office of Worship, is ever going to respond to the questions about the Liturgy we asked months ago. At that time Ms Combier-Donovan seemed very open to corresponding with us through this blog. However, we have heard nothing more from her.

First of all, let me say that I realize that there are time constraints involved. There is a lot going on concerning the New Roman Missal translations and conferences to set up involving it or to attend. But beyond those issues, it would have been nice to hear from her simply to let us know that at the present time, she has no time to engage us at a blog level.

If anyone has any further information, please comment...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A different perspective ~ sexual abuse and clerical celibacy

Another good NCR article on the recent abuse scandal in Germany and Ireland. This one by Hans K√ľng - Ratzinger's Responsibility. Whether you like the National Catholic Reporter or not, it contains many hard-hitting articles that will cause you to think out of the box... and hopefully broaden your understanding of the issues.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Excellent NCR Article about Pope Benedict and the Sexual Abuse Crisis in Germany

This National Catholic Reporter article by John L. Allen, Jr., "Will Ratzinger's past trump Benedict's present" is a very extensive analysis of the history of the sexual abuse scandal in the Church and how the Vatican has reacted to the scandal in the past and the present. I think it is a fair article and an important one. It begins:

"Gino Burresi may sound like the name of a shortstop from the '50s, but among Vatican insiders, it marks a watershed in the sexual abuse crisis. For those with eyes to see, the fall from grace of Burresi, a charismatic Italian priest and founder of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, shortly after the election of Pope Benedict XVI, was taken as a signal that the days of lethargy and cover-up were over.

Burresi, 73 at the time, was barred from public ministry in May 2005, just one month after the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to the church's top job. While the decree cited abuses of confession and spiritual direction, Vatican sources were clear that accusations of sexual abuse involving Burresi and seminarians, dating to the 1970s and '80s,were a principal motive for the action against him....."

I would like to have your comments on this article...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Canon 1251 and Friday's Solemnity of St. Joseph

Can Catholics of this diocese eat meat on Friday, March 19th, the Solemnity of St. Joseph?

Here is the canon that speaks to this question:

Canon 1251 Abstinence from eating meat or another food according to the prescriptions of the conference of bishops is to be observed on Fridays throughout the year unless (nisi) they are solemnities; abstinence and fast are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and on the Friday of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Focusing on the Liturgy

The National Catholic Reporter is focusing on the Liturgy this week. This is a very important series by Tom Roberts that should not be missed. The series began Monday with the article titled: "Battle lines in the liturgy wars"...

Subsequent articles are the following:

The new spin on Vatican II
Wednesday: Pope aims to 'propose' practices
Thursday: Our brains are wired for liturgy
Friday: The hermeneutic of dysfunction, an NCR editorial

Please note: I have no link to the last three articles since they will be published on the days given. Those articles will be easy enough to find by going to one of the links and scrolling down to the bottom of the article.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

These Stone Walls

If you have never visited this blog, you are in for a spiritual journey. These Stone Walls contains a weekly column written by a priest who was falsely accused. He is serving a 67-year sentence. You can read his story and what has happened to him after refusing a deal to plead guilty.

If you are looking for spiritual reading for Lent, this is it! I pray for him every day...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sullivan Conference 2010 “Source and Summit: The Mass as Catechesis”

Don't miss this conference scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, May 18-19, 2010 at two locations in the Diocese of Richmond. The locations are

Church of the Redeemer, Mechanicsville, Virginia
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Salem, Virginia

Here is the theme of the conference taken from the brochure:

"Source and Summit: The Mass as Catechesis. To assist us in our appreciation for and engagement with the liturgy, Rev. Paul Turner will gather with us to reflect on the critical link between liturgy, catechesis, and life. His four keynote presentations will help to prepare us for the coming revisions to the Roman Missal. Breakout sessions led by presenters from around the diocese will further equip pastoral ministers to lead others to deepen their understanding and experience of the liturgy."

Here are the brochures from the East location: Mechanicsville

And the brochure for the West Location: Salem

And here is where to register online: Registration

There are scholarships available.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bishop Williamson Back in the News

Spiegel Online International had a 3-page article today about Bishop Williamson of the SSPX and his continuing denial of the Holocaust. Here is the article: Bishop Williamson Unrepentant in Holocaust Denial.

It appears from the article that the Bishop is not going to change his tune. This could certainly have reprecussions on the dialogue that is going on at the Vatican with the representatives of the SSPX.

You know I am not a traditional Catholic; however, I firmly believe that the Church can hold all of us, as long as there is good will and tolerance among us.

What say you?

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Reform of the Reform - OR...

Katie Beaumont suggested discussion of this article from Catholic News Service, Papal liturgist endorses 'reform of the reform' of the liturgy (CNS, Jan. 7, 2010).

Please go to the link and read the CNS article taken from an interview with Msgr. Guido Marini, billed as "the pope's chief liturgist." I am not allowed to copy the article to this blog; though I would have liked to place the entire article here for you to read.

What say you? I expect to see many nods of approval. I can also hear sighs and groans from many of us who feel that Pope Benedict's "reform of the reform" is not necessarily heading in the right direction.

As always, I ask that you keep your comments civil. Did I really need to say that? Probably not!