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Friday, August 26, 2011

Gathering storm (Parts one & two)

A gathering of Maryknollers that calls itself "Common Table" met for the third time in two months to discuss ways to refan into flames the smoldering embers of Vatican II.

In addition to "The Situation", models of authority as presently exercised by leadership, communication and transparency (or the lack and need thereof) were also discussed. The meaning of our oath, and whether we consider ourselves primarily priests and Brothers, or Missioners, or Maryknollers were shared. Ways we might refound Maryknoll and mission in the 21st century were also briefly mentioned as topics for future deliberation.

A voluntary steering committee of four members will facilitate topics for the next gathering, to which all Society members are invited. Only attendees will get detailed minutes.


Another topic discussed was our reaction to the gathering earlier Wednesday, when Monsignor Bill Brentwood, pastoral vicar from the New York archdiocese, gamely described the ways Holy Mother Church will strive to get the Eucharistic toothpaste back inside the liturgical tube.

Apparently the guiding rubric and answer to most questions about the New Roman Missal is "Because it's closer to the Latin", in fulfillment of the Lord's injunction: "By this shall all know you are my disciples, if your worship more closely reflects the Latin."

Never mind that Latin scholars pointed up THOUSANDS (OK, hundreds) of mistranslations among the 10,000+ changes that were made to the Mass AFTER the U.S. Bishops signed off on the "final" draft.

Never mind the contradiction that "Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again" will be dropped because "there is no Latin translation" when, in fact, in the Pre-Vatican II days there were NO Eucharistic acclamations and all were made AFTER the Council. Someone (Cardinal Wilton Gregory, I hear) didn't like it so out it goes.

Never mind that "Chalice" replaces "Cup" in the words of consecration, being "closer to the Latin" "Calix", although inexplicably "Cup" survives into Eucharistic Acclamation B "...and drink think this cup..." (Whoops! Now they might catch this before the books come out October 1)

The egalitarian accessibility to the liturgy once proffered by Mass in the vernacular will be thus sacrificed on the high altar of clerical Romanocentric conformity.

On the other hand, we delude ourselves if we think people will get their bloomers all in a twist over this. Hell, they stuck around during the days when the Mass was entirely in Latin and Greek. The Powers-That-Be are equally deluded if they think this will in any way stem, much less reverse, the hemoragghing of active Catholics from attendance at Mass.

The good Monsignor sought to assuage our misgivings by assuring us this, too, is a work in progress which will be reviewed, evaluated and changed as necessary, "in about 40 years."

Yeah, I'm assuaged.


  1. You mention the "Maryknoll oath." What is it exactly? Usually, an oath is quite specific, for instance, public servants "vow" to uphold the laws ....and the Constitution of the United States,etc." When one testifies in court, one swears to " the truth, help me God." One also "declares that the information is true to the best of my knowledge," to the IRS when filing taxes. What does the Maryknoll oath say. I don't remember a special wording when I took it in 1960; is there such a thing now, and does it mean obedience to the Sup. General, or the Council, or to the Church, or to ones' superiors, or to the general membership. In light of your letter (next page) concerning Roy's situation and so-called harming the group of priests who feel that he cast the Society in a harsh light, isn't time to sort this out?

  2. "I, Joseph Raymond Veneroso, son of Valentino and Vera Veneroso of the diocese of Albany, NY, member of the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America, in the presence of Almighty God, and of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Queen of the Apostles, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, promise and swear that I will consecrate my whole life to work of the missions committed, or to be committed in the future, to this Society, to observe the Constitutions, and to obey my legitimate superiors. So help me God and these His Holy Gospels."