The following comes from a Jan. 2 posting on The Eponymous Flower.
The bishop of Springfield in Illinois, Thomas John Paprocki Joseph, gave instructions to return the tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament back into the center of the sanctuary in the churches of his diocese.
Bishop Paprocki, who was appointed in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. wrote the pastoral letter Ars et celebrandi adorandi to his diocese. In it he points to the rich tradition and teaching of the Church for celebration and adoration of the Holy Eucharist.
The bishop outlines the historical development over the past decades and is critical of the displacement of the Blessed Sacrament from the center of the chancel and sometimes even its utter removal from the sanctuary. The places in which the Blessed Sacrament was banished, sometimes are not more than rudimentarily adapted closets. This removal of the Blessed Sacrament to often difficult-to-find side chapels has to come to an end.
“With this in mind, in order that more of the faithful will be able to spend time in adoration and prayer in the presence of the Eucharistic Lord, I direct that in the churches and chapels of our diocese, tabernacles that were formerly in the center of the sanctuary, but have been moved, are to be returned as soon as possible to the center of the sanctuary in accord with the original architectural design. Tabernacles that are not in the center of the sanctuary or are otherwise not in a visible, prominent and noble space are to be moved to the center of the sanctuary; tabernacles that are not in the center of the sanctuary but are in a visible, prominent and noble space may remain.”
The first part refers to churches which were built before the liturgical reform, the other two parts on churches built afterwards.
Bishop Paprocki calls the believers to mind that the proper reverence for the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is to genuflect. The bishop calls the diocese, to spend more time with the Eucharist to promote Eucharistic Adoration and Eucharistic processions through the streets of the parishes.
The Diocese of Springfield is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Bishop Paprocki comes from the Archdiocese of Chicago and in 1978 was ordained a priest there. In 2003 Pope John Paul II. appointed him auxiliary bishop of Chicago under Francis Cardinal George. Pope Francis accepted the Cardinal’s resignation last September 20 for reasons of age at 77 years. The appointment of Blaise Cupich, his successor, is considered one of the most controversial personnel decisions of the Argentine Pope. Msgr. Cupich is considered one of the liberal outsiders in the US episcopate.
Cardinal George recently exercised strong criticism of Pope Francis. Both Chicago and Springfield have an above average number of priestly vocations. Bishop Paprocki is also a promoter of old Rite institutions in his diocese.
To read the original posting, click here.