Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Word from KC: "Misappropriations of... the Council"

At a local conference on liturgy last weekend, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph launched his strongest words yet on some elements which have long made the diocese unusually prominent in the US church.
As the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars gathered at the Hilton Airport Hotel to discuss the Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sancrosanctum Concilium, Bishop Robert W. Finn told them that the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph "contributes much in faith, service and positive moral influence," but has been nonetheless "tested, like other places, by misappropriations of the spirit of the Council."

"Kansas City is home to institutions which, on the one hand, have seen in the Council a license to promote democratization of the church and to proclaim, in too many instances, a 'prophetic freedom' for departing from the most fundamental of church teachings," Bishop Finn said in his homily as he celebrated the convention's opening Mass Sept. 22.
You don't need to be told who that line refers to, right? But, wait, there's more....
"On the other side, an international society of clergy and laity that maintain very serious suspicions about the validity of Catholic Church teachings and practice since the Council has established its U.S. base in our diocese," he said.
If you don't get that one, here's a hint: Yom Kippur isn't the group in question's favorite holiday. (On which note, a Good Yontif to our elder brethren as the Day of Atonement begins tonight.)

More Finn:
"It is perhaps true that in an earlier age, there was a deeper awareness of the transcendent power of the sacred rights and the efficacy and finality of each ritual action of the priest at Mass," the bishop said.

"In fact, we are celebrating the same Holy Mass, under the same divine mandate, and with the same infallible purpose and result," he said. "Certainly we would be at odds with Sacrosanctum Concilium and the discipline of the church if we, as individuals, were to add, remove or change the well-defined elements of the church's liturgy."

Noting the continuing debate over liturgy, Bishop Finn said that "at times it seems as though the pendulum is still swinging somewhere between innovation and restoration, and that we are not much closer to home than when we started."
In other appearances, the bishop celebrated a pre-game Mass last week at KC's Kauffman Stadium for the players and staff of the hometown Royals, sticking around for batting practice and the game.