Pope Francis has had a profound impact on the Diocese of San Diego. In 2015, he named its leader, Bishop Robert McElroy, and seven years later elevated him to a cardinal. The pope’s initiatives aim to build a listening Church, which intentionally engages and responds to the needs of its members, particularly the marginalized. The directors of the diocese’s pastoral offices share how that vision has shaped their ministries.
Father Michael Pham, Vicar General, Office for Ethnic and Intercultural Communities
From the beginning, it was obvious from his open approach, that this pope, a Jesuit named Francis, would be different. He challenged us to open our hearts and minds. He raised fundamental issues, inviting us to encounter one another and dialogue, and to pray for a better Church proclaiming the Good News.
I was particularly drawn to his vision of an inclusive Church and his drive for more listening and collaboration. Pope Francis purposefully sought to hear from voices often not heard. He appointed cardinals from smaller countries which previously were unrecognized, and found many avenues to listen to laypersons, specifically to women and young people.
The mission of the Office for Ethnic and Intercultural Communities reinforces Pope Francis’ vision — “May the Church be the place of God’s mercy and love, where everyone feels welcomed.”
Guided by Cardinal McElroy, we strive to witness the grace of cultural diversity, encouraging the cultural communities to preserve their faith traditions and share them with their parishes and the greater Catholic community. Their leaders have been invited to participate in the decision-making councils of the diocese.
The office promotes understanding, reminding us that we are “one family in Christ.” In 2020-21, we created online forums to listen and dialogue about racism and its effects, and to identify steps, especially in our Church, to heal. The process of sharing continues in many parishes.
In 2018, the diocese held its first Pentecost Mass for All Peoples, bringing together about 1,500 people to pray and celebrate our faith. This year’s event is preparing to receive almost 3,000 on May 27 at San Diego Miramar College.
Our office continues to be inspired by the Holy Spirit and by Pope Francis’ words and actions: “To accept that we have been set free by Christ — His passion, His death, His resurrection — is to accept and bring fullness even to the different traditions of every people. True fullness.”
Director Robert Ehnow, PhD, Office for Life, Peace and Justice
The Office for Life, Peace and Justice’s mission is centered on Catholic Social Teaching’s recognition of human dignity and the sanctity of life for all persons, from conception to natural death, welcoming the immigrant, tending to the incarcerated, and caring for the environment.
Pope Francis’ papacy has prioritized ministering to those on the margins, including immigrants displaced by war and economic turmoil, the incarcerated, the homeless, and the working poor.
Pope Francis designated 2016 as the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, a year of forgiveness and compassion. The year purposefully included an offer of understanding and reconciliation to the most vulnerable members of our global community.
During Pope Francis’ first visit to North America in 2015, he met with more than 100 inmates at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility outside of Philadelphia. This visit highlighted his solidarity with prisoners and their families, providing an example of how to be compassionate to those marginalized community members.
Pope Francis’ second encyclical, “Laudato Si’” (Praise Be to You), calls all of us to action to turn away from consumerism and a “throw-away culture” to be responsible stewards of God’s creation — our environment.
Pope Francis labeled abortion as murder and continues to uphold Catholic teaching on the intrinsic evil of abortion while simultaneously offering compassion to mothers who face difficult choices regarding families.
His papacy guides and motivates the diocesan ministries in our office, whose mission is aligned with the priorities that Pope Francis has set for the Universal Church, ones focused on being in solidarity and offering service to individuals and communities living on the margins.
Chancellor and Director Marioly Galván, Office for Evangelization and Catechetical Ministry
Pope Francis’ papacy has brought a renewed vision for the ministry of the catechist and the vital role of evangelization within the life of the Church.
In Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), his first apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis underscores the kerygma as the foundation for sharing the Good News; simply stated, the love of Christ. His approach redirects our universal call to partake of the shared mission of placing the encounter with Christ as our ultimate goal before any program or catechetical event.
This framework has greatly shaped the level of intentionality and engagement; particularly, as we minister to students and families. The degree with which our pastoral ministers have adopted pastoral listening and accompaniment has dramatically increased our awareness of the needs in our parish communities.
For those serving in catechetical ministry, Pope Francis’ call to be echoes of the living Word has challenged faith formators to delve deeper into the mystery. We are reminded, “all Christian formation consists of entering more deeply into the kerygma” (EV,165). The goal for evangelization is to continue the journey sparked by catechetical formation, to make known the love of Christ, to witness the presence of Christ along the journey and not perceive Him as an archaic and distant occurrence.
Pope Francis’ approach essentially is the “how” in ministry, complementing the philosophical and foundational teachings of St. John Paul II, namely the “what” we should believe, and those of Pope Benedict XVI, the “why” we should believe.
Most recently, Pope Francis has formally instituted the Ministry of the Catechist in his apostolic letter Antiquum Ministerium, affirming the service of catechists and emphasizing the importance of their ongoing formation.
Director John Prust, Office for Family Life and Spirituality
Ricardo Márquez and I were lucky to start working for our office riding a wave of ministry momentum that started with Pope Francis’ historic calling of the Synod of Bishops on the Family in 2014. The pope summarized the conclusions of this synod in his apostolic exhortation on family life, Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love).
While there were no changes in doctrine that came out of the synod, it did open up important conversations about the way we, as a Church, minister to families and marriages. And it prompted our own bishop, now Cardinal, McElroy to call a local iteration of the synod focused on the joys and challenges in family life we face in San Diego and Imperial counties. Where has the Spirit been moving among us? How is the Holy Spirit challenging us to grow?
The synod yielded proposals and challenges for our diocese. A few themes stood out. One was the challenge to witness to both the beauty and the realism of the Catholic vision for marriage and family life. Another was the importance of mutually discerning and accompanying one another as we work to build a culture of families serving families.
Our office, which opened in August 2017, joyfully partners with parishes and ministries to bring to life those proposals. We offered a new marriage preparation program, called “Witness to Love,” that aims to accompany newly married couples far past their wedding day. We launched a marriage enrichment series to help couples resolve problems and strengthen their relationship. We began a ministry to serve separated and divorced Catholics. And we began “Healing Pathways,” a series of workshops that provide basic tools for families to respond to challenges in mental health, addiction and parenting.
Director Maricruz Flores, Office for Youth and Young Adults
“A home, as we all know, demands that everyone work together. No one can be indifferent or stand apart, since each is a stone needed to build the home.” This excerpt from “Christus Vivit” (Christ Is Alive!), Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, paints a portrait of what youth and young adult ministry should be. Each and every one of us — youth minister, youth, young adult, confirmation coordinator, DCM, DRE, catechists, volunteers — make up this home. Pope Francis invites us to be united, to form a home, because this ministry is not meant to be done alone.
“Christus Vivit” is a letter to all young people and those who work in youth and young adult ministry. He calls us to action, to genuinely and authentically accompany our young people, to form our young people as leaders and pray for them fervently.
Inspired by the pope, our diocese began a process in September of 2019 that asked young adults from every parish to “dream big” about how they would create a Church that engaged their generation and helped them to grow in their faith. The consultation, called a synod, was titled “Christ Lives! A Time of Dreams and Decisions.” The young adults presented 25 proposals to then Bishop McElroy, who committed to implementing them.
Our office is leading that implementation. Our office offers our complete support in forming leaders, offering workshops, and providing a welcoming environment for all in youth and young adult ministry. From our Theology on Tap nights to Camp Emmaus to formation workshops, our mission aligns with that of Pope Francis: to walk with our young people in their journey of faith.
Msgr. Steven Callahan, Tribunal
In December 2015, Pope Francis announced a number of changes in the process of seeking a marriage annulment. Four of these changes were most significant in making this process less cumbersome to complete.
Before December 2015, if a prior spouse lived in another diocese, our Tribunal had to seek consent from the Tribunal of that diocese before we could start the case. Since December 2015, we no longer need to obtain that consent.
The second significant change in procedure is when our Tribunal reaches an affirmative decision of nullity, the decision no longer goes to another Tribunal for automatic review, as was required before December 2015. Eliminating automatic review has cut about two months off the length of time for an annulment case to be completed.
Third, Pope Francis allowed certain “clear-cut” cases to be done with a briefer process on the condition that both parties consented. Examples are a marriage that came about primarily because of a pregnancy, a marriage where one or both parties were not open to children, a marriage where a party did not commit to marriage for life and reserved divorce as an option, and the case of a party who did not intend to be faithful to his/her spouse.
The fourth significant change was the request of Pope Francis to eliminate the fee for cases if the Tribunal could afford to do so. Cardinal McElroy was happy to abide by this request.
With these changes, I also took the opportunity to revise and simplify our annulment petition form to make it as easy as possible for someone to submit a case for consideration by the Tribunal.
Director Noreen McInnes, Office for Liturgy and Spirituality
When Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope, in great humility, he likened himself to the portrait of the tax collector, Matthew, in the Caravaggio painting The Calling of St. Matthew. Matthew is portrayed, hunched over, grasping his coins, unaware that Jesus is pointing to him, beckoning him to come and follow Him. Pope Francis shared Matthew’s sense of undeserved mercy and reflected it in his motto, “miserando atque eligendo,” which roughly translates to “having mercy, He called him.”
Mercy, foundational in Pope Francis’ pontificate, led to him declaring 2015-2016 the Holy Year of Mercy. The Office for Liturgy supported the dedication of Holy Doors throughout the diocese as places of pilgrimage and promoted the sacrament of reconciliation for our diocese to fully embrace the Year of Mercy and all its benefits.
Pope Francis continued to advocate for mercy in his proclamation that the Church is a field hospital that must care for the sick, acknowledging that every one of us is sick. He emphasized that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” This became the underpinning for diocesan training for liturgical ministers. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are taught that the minister at Mass is not to determine the disposition of the communicant.
We also encourage ministry to the marginalized through workshops for Pastoral Care of the Sick. As St. Augustine taught, we become what we receive and therefore we receive the Body of Christ, to become the Body of Christ, to serve the Mystical Body of Christ.
We are particularly grateful to Pope Francis for appointing Cardinal McElroy to the Diocese of San Diego. The cardinal shows mercy to everyone he encounters. I can attest to it because I am a recipient of that undeserved mercy.
Appaswamy “Vino” Pajanor, Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Charities
During his public life in India, my father had the opportunity to interact with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta. So I was surprised by what he told me in what would become his last conversation with me before he died a week after Pope Francis was elevated: “This pope is going to make our Church more vibrant with the Holy Spirit, and a place filled with faith-in-action.” This became very real to me after experiencing Pope Francis’ influence on Catholic Charities’ work in our diocese.
In Laudato Si’, the pope urged everyone to work collectively without geographical boundaries, and to enhance the lives of others with a focus on equity and social justice. This call to action is in sync with what Christ calls us to do in Matthew 25, which is the mission of Catholic Charities.
Pope Francis, in a video greeting, called Catholic Charities the “salt, leaven, and light that provides a beacon of hope to those in need.” This energized our work in the diocese. Just in the last couple of years during the pandemic, we created the Emergency Food Distribution Network working with our parishes to feed the hungry, we added homeless shelters for women and men, we acquired hundreds of low-income housing units for seniors so they can spend their golden years with confidence, and we responded to the migrant crisis by welcoming the stranger with love and care, giving them hope.
Our team is constantly striving to do what the pope has asked us to do, “to be builders of the world, to work for a better world.”
Original story in the Southern Cross.
Wow… the Diocese of San Diego has discovered that the Catholic Church has a pope. Nary a word was said in praise of Popes JPII or BXVI for decades. But they gush over Fwancis like schoolgirls over a movie star.
Is the Church in San Diego really vibrant and revitalized as a result of these initiatives and Pope Francis’ inspiring leadership? How’s Mass attendance in comparison with thirty years ago or twenty? How many Catholic weddings, baptisms, and First Communions compared with 20-30 years ago? What’s the average age of Mass attendees? Is it over 55, like it is in most places in America?
No. What you see in that article is a manifestation of the bureaucratic church that has become too bloated with middle lay office managers for its own good. Like a university that now has scores of mid-tier administrators creating policies and programs, dioceses now have dozens of mid-tier program directors doing the same thing. So we get parish recycling programs and facile proposals about working together without regard for international borders. They are almost all useless. And they cause tuition and pastoral center expenses to go up astronomically. And the drivel will increase year over year because these people need to generate new articles, powerpoints, fliers, videos, announcements, and program proposals to justify their jobs and their salaries. If over half the pastoral center staff were to be immediately terminated, it wouldn’t affect parish life at all; it wouldn’t affect the lives of ordinary Catholics in the diocese at all. It is a totally useless, unnecessary church bureaucracy.
The world is a very dangerous place. China is quietly building up its military in an anticipated invasion of Taiwan. War with the United States is on the table and Ross Babbage in an editorial in the NYT suggests China has the capacity to neutralize our defences and bring us to our knees. Open borders are an important element of strategy as China is pouring young men through our porous southern border for possibly nefarious purposes. What then shall we make of Apaswamy “Vino” PajanorIn’s comment:” [in] Laudato Si’, the pope urged everyone to work collectively without geographical boundaries. ” Again, when I read about merciful inclusivity from Father Michael Pham: ” I was particularly drawn to his vision of an inclusive Church and his drive for more listening and collaboration. Pope Francis purposefully sought to hear from voices often not heard” and thought of the one glaring exception–those who prefer the TLM — I keep asking myself, “Why?” I just read of Jordan Peterson being drawn to the TLM. We should be glad, but Francis would not approve. Something is very wrong here. Finally Noreen McInnes mentions “Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are taught that the minister at Mass is not to determine the disposition of the communicant,” thus undercutting disciplinary measures for obstinate pro-abort politicians. Then I remembered Pelosi received holy communion at the Vatican. It would seem the Eucharist is not a powerful medicine for her conversion to pro-life; perhaps her disposition at communion has something to do with it. Other than this I enjoyed the article and wish the San Diego diocese well.
No, it is not true that the Holy See is teaching nations to quit defending their borders. No, it is not true that Pope Francis has not heard from those who prefer the TLM. And no, a lay eucharistic minister should not be determining on his/her own the spiritual disposition of a communicant. What could be the motivations of such errors and insinuations, so blatantly and nonchalantly printed here? Pope Francis in an interview in September 2021 knew what such comments and reports are all about. “I personally may deserve attacks and insults because I am a sinner, but the Church does not deserve this. It is the work of the devil,” Pope Francis said. God save the Pope, and preserve the Church from her enemies.
Of course I was not inferring that lay people should read the souls of those coming for communion, as if they could do so, or, even if they could do so. My bad in not being clearer on that point.
As to Pope Francis hearing from traditionalists, I give you this: “The Church will accompany anyone moving forward; the Church doesn’t have the obligation to “accompany” anyone moving backwards.” You have the mind of Pope Francis, jon, I give you that. Not such a big tent, after all.
That’s right. The Church will never “accompany” anyone going to dissent, to disobedience, dissent, and hell.
The Church doesn’t have a “tent” for the disobedient, the dissenter, the heretic. The Church will never “accompany” anyone moving backwards in the spiritual life. That’s irresponsible.
I got two responses from you, jon, so I must be doing something right. You may be right about the Church not accompanying the dissenter etc., But yesterday’s fidelity may be today’s dissent and tomorrow’s obedience. It gets a little tricky. It may be that the next pope may restore Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum, a wise move in my estimation, even though I have never been to a TLM. Then consider too, the likes of Fr. James Martin S.J. who currently enjoys the pope’s favor, even though by most standards he is tip-toeing on what appears to me to be thin theological ice. I cannot see him embracing Veritatis Splendor, for example. If the synodal way process ends up embracing him in the upcoming years, shall the Church then be accompanying itself to dissent? These are not easy issues to resolve as these are strange and difficult times for the Church.
Dan, as long as you stay with the Church and the Pope, it does not matter. Part of the problem today is that people find a 500 year old document on the Internet and misinterpret it.
I do not think “restore Summorum Pontificum” is the right terminology. Another Pope could issue another document that alters the availablility of the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.
I think Fr. Martin fully embraces Veritatis Splendor now. He does not dissent on Church teaching. I am no fan of Fr. Martin’s , but I have never seen him dissent from Church teaching. People have sent me links to what they call his dissent and it never is.
I do not think you understand they synodal process as well. The Church cannot dissent from itself.
Please try to understand things. Read the source documents and not secondary sources, like someone telling you what the documents say or what Fr. Martin says or is.
Dan, you have said often that you have never been to a Latin Mass. jon has said often that he attends the Latin Mass. I give you this food for thought from the interview with Cardinal McElroy (31:10 marker) on youtube. The one on inclusion.
“It also means being attentive to the hurts of those who are more traditional Catholics you know. In our dialogues, the question of the pre-conciliar Mass came up, which people have called the Trinitarian Mass or Latin Mass; it’s the Mass before the Council. Many people go to that and feel wounded about the changes recently. We have to attend to that pastorally for people and try to be what help we can, as a bishop and others within the Church as a whole.”
I do wonder if people attend the TLM due to feeling “wounded about the changes recently.” I do read from time to time, and I get the sense that for many they go to the TLM because for them it is a deeper immersion into prayer and into the theology of the Mass. If this is so, and I have no metric with which to gauge the depth of their longing, I wonder how far Cdl McElroy is willing to pastorally attend to these people’s wants and desires. And of course I ask the same of Pope Francis. That said, I wonder if I were to attend a TLM if I would adopt the same armchair perspective I currently have. Before they are gone, I really ought to attend one. Who knows, maybe I will then name jon as ally.
I daresay that McElroy may have accurately described the interior disposition of some of those who prefer the “Tridentine Mass”, perhaps including many who comment here such as “Dan.” They are “hurt”. They are “wounded.” Brilliant observation there, Your Eminence. And I daresay some try to mask that “hurt,” “woundedness”, and perhaps “anger” by adopting this feigned “armchair perspective” demeanor. But one can sense from their comments here that they are not at all mere “armchair” observers. They betray their “hurt” and “woundedness” by attacking the Pope and the rest of the Magisterium (while sometimes trying unsuccessfully to sound subtle and roundabout about it). Good try though, but many of us can sense dissent and hurt a mile away.
Another observation: the suggestion that “yesterday’s fidelity may be today’s dissent and tomorrow’s obedience. It gets a little tricky” shows a lacuna, a deficiency, in “Dan’s” understanding of what Catholicism is about. For someone who merely wants to follow is own “magisterium” (that is, his own preferences, point-of-view, ideas) yeah, things will get tricky. But being Catholic is not that. Being Catholic among other things is about “sentire cum Ecclesia,” (thinking with the Church), as new circumstances, new opportunities, and new knowledge present themselves. The human experience is not a static thing, people; it has never been. Therefore as the Church continues to sail through the vicissitudes of this earthly life, Catholics are called to think as the Church thinks, which means to think as the Magisterium and the Pope think, because they teach as God would have them teach. Plus, wherever the Pope is, there is the Church: “Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia.” For Catholics who think with the Church, life may still present many changes and challenges, but on board Peter’s reliable Barque, for such Catholics the life of faith is never “tricky.”
A listening Church is good, even necessary. Yet, are we listening to the spirit of the age or the Holy Spirit? We should be listening to the Sacred Scriptures and Sacred Tradition. Of course, the Fathers of the Church, Saints and others have true and edifying things worth listening to. But, nothing of the Holy Spirit can contradict Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. The Holy Spirit will never tell the Church that fornication is okay, for example. Sex belongs only in the context of marriage, which is one man and one woman.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
Dear Anonymous Clergyman, whoever you are, when it is rough even getting up in the morning when things in the world and nation are going so badly, and when one feels as if she is being sold a rotten bill of goods by some in the Church and waits for the eventual stab in the back and death to come, you are always a refreshing breath of fresh air that breathes life back into the bones once again. God bless you. ”
Dry bones, dry bones, going to walk around. Dry bones, dry bones, dry bones going to walk around. Now hear the word of the Lord.” (Laughter.)
Actually, the lyrics to the old Gospel song are “Them dry bones going to walk around.”
“Them bones gonna rise again.”
You can listen. You can register, You can understand. That does not mean you are going to abandon who you are.
Just because someone says “I don’t like your Mass times” does not mean you have to change your Mass times.
You can listen and grieve. You can listen and advise. You can listen and shake your head.
“Listening Church”, “Synod on Synodality”, “Walking together”… All this blithering gobbledygook is just code-language for completely jettisoning the Judeo-Christian moral code, Catholic doctrine, and the understanding that we need to repent and be reconciled with God. Jesus established a “TEACHING church”. Jesus did not ask for sinners to tell Him what they thought about redemption, He TAUGHT us what we need to hear.
Yes…where were all the Great Lights of the Diocese of San Diego during the reigns of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI?
I want the TLM available throughout the diocese. Accompany me!
It is about what God wants, not what you want.
And to whom does God reveal His Will?
1 Corinthians 2:11-17
And here it is:
11 Among human beings, who knows what pertains to a person except the spirit of the person that is within? Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.
Now the natural person does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God, for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it, because it is judged spiritually.
The spiritual person, however, can judge everything but is not subject to judgment by anyone.
For “who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”
Here’s the rest:
There is no 1 Corinthians 2:17
‘I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT’
687 ‘No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.’ Now God’s Spirit, who reveals God, makes known to us Christ, his Word, his living Utterance, but the Spirit does not speak of himself. the Spirit who ‘has spoken through the prophets’ makes us hear the Father’s Word, but we do not hear the Spirit himself. We know him only in the movement by which he reveals the Word to us and disposes us to welcome him in faith. the Spirit of truth who ‘unveils’ Christ to us ‘will not speak on his own.’ Such properly divine self-effacement explains why ‘the world cannot receive (him), because it neither sees him nor knows him,’ while those who believe in Christ know the Spirit because he dwells with them.
688 The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is the place where we know the Holy Spirit:
– in the Scriptures he inspired;
– in the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are always timely witnesses;
– in the Church’s Magisterium, which he assists;
– in the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit puts us into communion with Christ;
– in prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;
– in the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;
– in the signs of apostolic and missionary life;
– in the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work of salvation.'”
So who are “us” and “we”?
Those who believe in Christ; those who believe in the Holy Catholic Church
“Those who believe in Christ; those who believe in the Holy Catholic Church”….then if “Listen to this” and “what God wants” each claim to be “Those…..”, which one knows God’s Will?
It is obvious. The one who says “I want” is not even seeking God’s Will.
How is it obvious? One says “I want the TLM available throughout the diocese. Accompany me!” and the other says “It is about what God wants, not what you want.”….how does the other know that it is not God’s Will to have the TLM available throughout the diocese and accompany the supplicant?
“Paul Stanley Bergeron’s” dilemma and question is typical of one who either doesn’t know or doesn’t recognize the ministry and charism of the living Magisterium of the Church.
The other person did not say that it is not God’s Wil to have the TLM throughout the diocese and accompany the supplicant.
To prefer the TLM over the Missal of Pope Paul VI means to go backwards from the decision of an ecumenical council. The Church in all of its history has never done that. The Church has never reversed course from the decisions of ecumenical council. Therefore instead of saying, “I want the TLM available throughout the diocese,” your demand should be: “I want a reverent, dignified, celebration of the Mass of Pope Paul VI as envisioned by Vatican II, available throughout the diocese.”
jon, please let us know in which Vatican II document the Mass of Paul VI is found. Thanks.
The Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, “Sacrosanctum Concilium” (1963) mandated the reform and the restoration of the Roman Rite. The second sentence of that document reads: “The Council therefore sees particularly cogent reasons for undertaking the reform and promotion of the liturgy.” And years later in 1969, the Missal that emerged from the work of those appointed by the Church for this task is the Missal of Pope Paul VI.
Asking for the TLM is not going backwards because the TLM is itself the result of an Ecumenical Council. The laity have the right to ask for a respectful, devout, and reverent liturgy and if the only way to get it is via TLM then that is what is going to happen.
“Manuel” has just proven why preferring the TLM is a step backwards: because it is a move back to the liturgical norms during the time of the Council of Trent; and doing so, firstly, negates the decisions and prescriptions made by a more recent ecumenical council, that of Vatican II, and secondly negates the liturgical preferences and norms of our time. The laity may very well have a right to the Mass, but not necessarily to the TLM. And who said the Missal of Pope Paul VI cannot be offered reverently and with dignity? It can, and the more Catholics call for it, the better. The answer to a devout liturgy does not equal going backwards to the Tridentine Mass. The Church will accompany anyone moving forward; the Church doesn’t have the obligation to “accompany” anyone moving backwards.
It is not that it is moving backwards. Those with a preference are showing their willfulness. I miss reverence but it has more to do with respecting sacred silence than the TLM. Pope Benedict XVI emphasized the need for silence.
Pope Francis characterized preferring the TLM over the Missal of Pope Paul VI as going backwards. He mentioned this recently at least twice. First, he wrote in July 2022: “we cannot go back to that ritual form which the Council fathers…felt the need to reform”. (Desiderio desideravit, 61).
And then in September of last year to a group of liturgists and instructors he said: “There is a spirit that is not that of true tradition: the worldly spirit of ‘backwardness’, fashionable today: thinking that going to the roots means going backwards.…To go backwards is to go against the truth and also against the Spirit. Make this distinction clearly. Because in liturgy there are many who say they go ‘according to tradition’, but is not the case: at most they will be traditionalists. Another person used to say that tradition is the living faith of the dead, whereas traditionalism is the dead faith of some of the living. They kill that contact with the roots by going backwards. Beware: the temptation today is backwardness disguised as tradition.”
But it is not the Mass. it is an attitude. I am sure you have noticed. I have noticed that those who post here about how the TLM is so reverent and make false criticisms against the Mass (no adjectives, no added names as if it was something other than) do not hold traditional Catholic values. Or obey traditional Catholic morality or training in virtue.
We now know that these are not just poorly catechized Catholics. The FBI told us that.
Who said it’s about the Mass? Backwardism is an attitude. Traditionalism (that is, adhering to a tradition not handed down by the Magisterium) is an attitude.
This is a great article. A tonic, a reminder that so many are doing the work of Christ without calling attention to themselves.
This is so wonderful.
Always there is more to be done, but this is a great start.
I would be interested to know how many of the diocesan staff members featured in the article vote for Democrats. I bet at least 80%. I’d bet a lot of money. What you see in this article is the Democrat Party as “church.” This “church” won’t attract the young because they can already do what this “church” asks by voting for Democrats, plus they don’t have to have the hang-ups about going to Mass on Sunday and getting sacraments.
This vision of “church” and these sorts of “ministries” not attract anyone except ardent Democrats who want a cushy company job in which they can get paid to push their politics on others. Not much different from political staffers in Sacramento, really.
More like “selective listening.”
I found it interesting that this tribute was featured prominently in the Southern Cross, but when Pope Benedict XVI left us, not a word in the subsequent issues of the Southern Cross about him or his substantial contributions to the Church. The ‘canceling’ of B16 continues apace – does not reflect well on current leadership.
That is odd because Pope Benedict XVI made McElroy a bishop.
Everyone makes mistakes.
Like you expect the cardinal to be loyal to the pope who appointed him?
It’s not odd if you know that the Southern Cross is about as Catholic as the National Catholic Reporter Fishrap.
This is strictly a vanity project commissioned by McElroy as a fawning Thank You to Pope Francis for his promotion to the cardinalship. The pastoral directors were most likely required to write those unctuous “What Pope Francis Means to me” pieces.
McElroy wants to be appointed to the see of Washington, DC.
A Listening Church,,, ba ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha these idiots want the Church to listen to nearly 3 generations of barely/poorly Catechized Catholics… so they can continue the construction of the apostate Church