The Dioces Of Orange Clarifies

by Jimmy Akin

in Liturgy

The Diocese of Orange has issued a clarification regarding Fr. Martin Tran’s apparent statement that kneeling after the Agnus Dei contrary to the norm in his diocese constitutes a "mortal sin."

HERE’S THE DOCUMENT ON THE DIOCESAN WEB SITE.
(CHT to the reader who emailed.)

And here’s the money quote:

Fr. Tran regrets any concern or hurt caused by the misuse of the term "mortal sin" in this context. The Diocese concurs with Fr. Tran’s clarification.

The context in question is the passage from the parish bulletin where Fr. Tran threatened with mortal sin those parishioners "disregarding the permission of the local Bishop or despising the authority of the local Bishop" by "setting their own norms" in the liturgy.

So Fr. Tran and the diocese are refusing to endorse the claim that kneeling after the Agnus Dei is a mortal sin, which is a good thing, because as I pointed out before, that claim is totally absolutely 100% crazy.

So the clarification is good.

Unfortunately, the statement on the diocesan web site (which is unsigned) appears to have a couple of notable drafting problems.

Immediately after the above quotation, the statement goes on to say:

The bulletin article by Fr. Tran was never about "kneeling" or "standing" during Mass, it was about respect for the liturgical practices of the Church as approved by the Pope.

This is not plausible, for reasons discussed before. To those reasons might be added the fact that Fr. Tran explicitly referred to the authority and the permissions granted or not granted by the diocesan bishop, which focuses attention on the actions of the diocesan bishop, and the only norm established by the diocesan bishop that the parishioners seem to have been accused of violating was the norm of standing after the Agnus Dei (which, it must be pointed out, is within the competence of the local bishop according to the U.S. edition of the GIRM).

Still, the key point–that it is  not a mortal sin to kneel after the Agnus Dei in those places where standing is the norm–has been acknowledged, so this difficulty need not detain us further.

A second drafting problem with the statement is found in its first sentence:

The LA TIMES, Sunday, May 28, 2006, story about the liturgical practices at St. Mary’s by the Sea stated that the determination of some parishioners to kneel during the Agnus Dei at Mass was a ‘mortal sin’ because it violated the liturgical norm (to stand) of the province of the USCCB Region XI (CA, Hawaii and Nevada)

Although Region XI does not seem to have its own web site, and although there is precious little about Region XI on the web, I happen to live in Region XI, and it is not the practice in my diocese to stand after the Agnus Dei.

Further, the American GIRM does not empower a region to establish a norm on this question. It is the local bishop that is empowered to do so.

Unless there is a norm that I am not aware of, there is no Region XI norm for standing after the Agnus Dei.

Hopefully this statement will not cause needless consternation or confusion on the part of others in Region XI whose dioceses follow the practice of kneeling after the Agnus Dei.

THE L.A. TIMES ALSO HAS A GOOD EDITORIAL PIECE ON THIS CONTROVERSY.

If you liked this post, you should join Jimmy's Secret Information Club to get more great info!


What is the Secret Information Club?I value your email privacy

{ 135 comments }

Marion June 1, 2006 at 9:57 am

Good people of Orange,
You have an opportunity here. Will you put it to use, or will it go to waste?
Will you act like winners? Because I am conting on you not to act like a bunch of losers.
Smart people who are winners in life know how to discipline themselves and behave with decorum and with respect. That is how you go on to get what you want.
Remember the scene in The Godfather where Don Corleone was complaining to his visitor, “You never called on me; you never invited me into your home. Now you’re asking me to do you this favor. Where is the respect?”
Even mafiosi understand and know how to treat and to be treated with respect. Are you not as smart as they are?
I’m not talking about stand-kneel-sit. I am talking about behaving respectfully. I am talking about being gracious.
It’s just smart politics. It helps you to get what you want.
Even street thugs understand this. Do you?
Just think about that. Please.

Barbara June 1, 2006 at 10:07 am

The USCCB has regions? For what purpose? We already have a bishop. Sounds like another level of beaurocracy.

Tim J. June 1, 2006 at 10:29 am

It seems as if the prayers of the faithful have brought a small victory.
Be sure to offer up a prayer of thanks.

Joseph D'Hippolito June 1, 2006 at 10:33 am

The fact that the diocese issued a “clarifying” statement doesn’t obscure the fact that, throughout this whole matter, Brown and Tran have acted like petty tyrants. Why? Because that’s what they are. That’s what the the Church has trained them to become. For centuries, priests and bishops have demanded blind deference. Now they’re helpless in the face of educated faithful.
Believing that Brown and Tran are genuinely humble servants of God means believing in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the Kansas City Royals’ chances of winning the World Series this year.
How long will some of you sleep? How long will you refuse to realize that the Catholic episcopacy, at least in the United States, is incorrigibly and infernally corrupt? How long will it take before you realize that the only things the bishops care about are power, prestige, secular influence and their own comfort? How long will it be until you realize that a holy, righteous God will judge and condemn these false shepherds, just as He condemned the Israelites’ false shepherds through the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities — and that He may do it in our lifetimes? Indeed, He may well be doing it now.

Jay E. Adrian June 1, 2006 at 11:17 am

Joseph,
Our Lord promised us that there would always be tares among the wheat, but he also promised that he would supply us with shepherd after his own heart. There are good shepherds out there, both episcopal and presbyteral and to deny this is to deny reality. Yes, we can become discouraged, but that doesn’t justify blatant over-generalization. True reformers like Francis and Catherine are always building up the Church in their words and actions, not simply tearing down and complaining like Korah and the other Israelites in the wilderness. To use your scriptural example, any self-righteous Jew interpreting the actions of Assyria and Babylon as being in response not to the sins of the ENTIRE people, but of only a select few Levitical officials would miss the prophetic critique entirely. Be very careful in how you see the existance of sin (including scandal, detraction, and pride) only in others.
Yes, there are tares among the clergy, but no less among the laity. As a layman, I can say that among the Catholic clergy and laity that I have met, there is a far more prevalent trend of forsaking one’s call to holiness and personal vocation among the laity. How are you living out your baptismal promises? What about your personal vocation? Are you really free from the desires of power, prestige, secular influence and your own comfort? Or have you, like the rich young man, gone away sad because you had many possessions? Perhaps his sadness became anger. I have read many words of yours attacking and tearing down (which is sometimes needed when inspired by God), but I have never read words of yours building up the Kingdom of God or nourishing his people. That is the mark of a false prophet. The true prophet calls people to God; the false prophet inspires malice and calls for the destruction of others with delight. Perhaps you do hope and pray for the conversion of all those who reject their vocations, but this has not been expressed. And perhaps you have done and written much to build up the Kingdom of God. But given the relative ubiquitousness of your postings and articles, this seems quite unlikely.
In any event, do not see the Church with the eyes of Medea (of whom you are a part by profession), but with the eyes of Christ.

Louis June 1, 2006 at 11:19 am

I live on the south shore of Lake Tahoe and it is not the norm on either the Nevada or California side of the state line to stand after the Agnus Dei.

Inocencio June 1, 2006 at 11:35 am

Joseph D’Hippolito,
Some suggested
reading
.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Balinda June 1, 2006 at 11:49 am

I think that this clarifying statement is a sham. It’s insensitive and rather smug. In its wording it only vaguely attempts to correct the situation caused by Fr. Tran in all its gravity.
This vagueness – though we’re told that “mortal sin” does not refer to “standing or kneeling” – prevents us from understanding whether it was was meant that “mortal sin” may actually be applied to some other instance within “liturgical practices of the Church as approved by the Pope”, as the statement puts it.
The possible indication that another instance in this area of “liturgical practices” according to the diocese may be labeled as a mortal sin does very little to clarify the situation. The vagueness does little justice to the gravity of the fiasco which has been caused by Fr. Tran’s words and his support from the diocese, and the people who wrote this statement know this. That’s what makes this statement insensitive and smug – OR – not very “pastoral” – as they say.

Dean June 1, 2006 at 12:16 pm

I hope this all means that the diocese will not demand and force people to stand at St. Mary’s by the Sea. Fr. Tran lies when he says that he never meant that kneeling was a mortal sin. Ask the older couple who asked him personally, and received the response that “yes, you are in mortal sin if you kneel”, from him. They wrote a letter to Rome. At least the diocese will back down and cease the gestapo measures. But seriously, how can the faithful put this behind them, when their pastor is shown to be a liar, and when diocesan theology changes with media pressure. What’s next?

Joseph D'Hippolito June 1, 2006 at 12:29 pm

Jay, the fact that I can improve in personal holiness does not relieve me of the responsibility — a responsibility incumbent upon all Christians — to proclaim truth. The truth is self-evident to anybody who wants to see it, who hasn’t been blinded by distorted notions of “obedience.” What is that truth? That Brown is a petty tyrant and that Tran is his boot-licking toady. That the American episcopacy is so self-absorbed that it has forgotten its pastoral identity and responsibility. That only a concerned effort by the faithful will turn the tide.
With all due respect, Jay, you are engaging in that time-honored tradition of Catholic guilt: Focus exclusively on your own foibles and problems so you can’t offer legitimate criticism. That’s straight out of Satan’s playbook. Of course, everyone can improve in personal holiness. But if we waited for “perfect” people to do things, then nothing would get done. Besides, Christ made us “perfect” in His and His Father’s sight through His blood.
All the diocese is doing is covering its own ample posterior. That has been the episcopal modus operandi throughout the nation, if not the world; we saw that in the clerical sex-abuse crisis. How many more lessons must Catholics learn before they see the obvious?

Inocencio June 1, 2006 at 12:40 pm

That’s straight out of Satan’s playbook
No but your pride is…
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Margaret June 1, 2006 at 12:55 pm

So what exactly do you suggest should be done, Joseph, in your infinite wisdom?

Joseph D'Hippolito June 1, 2006 at 1:02 pm

So what exactly do you suggest should be done, Joseph, in your infinite wisdom?
An ecclesiastical form of civil disobedience. Every parishoner at St. Mary’s By The Sea — as well as every Catholic at every diocesan-controlled church in Orange County (as opposed to churches controlled by orders, like the Norbertines or the Servites) — should kneel when receiving the Eucharist. The pastors and the bishop can’t throw everybody out of church, can they?
Rome will not help. Rome is too self-absorbed and isolated from the legitimate concerns of the faithful. Only a dramatic action such as the one decribed above will get Rome’s attention.
As far as my “pride” goes, Inocencio, God created us in His free image. The Church Establishment, however, has worked for centuries to obscure that fact by demanding blind deference even in the face of immorality. No Christian should be forced to acquiece to episcopal immorality or malfeasance.
God did not create us to be servile toadies to men, like Tran. He created us to be free to follow Him and to grow in Him and His Son. If you cannot or refuse to see that as a Catholic, then I must seriously question your knowledge of your faith.

Inocencio June 1, 2006 at 1:29 pm

God created us in His free image
What translation are your reading?
“And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio June 1, 2006 at 1:31 pm

The Church Establishment
You must mean the “Church He established” which He promised would not fail and He would be with until the end of time.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Jay E. Adrian June 1, 2006 at 1:34 pm

Joseph,
To proclaim truth? Yes, indeed. As it stands, however, your statements are not true. Unless you have the ability to judge hearts that belongs to God, your personal judgments are gravely presumptous.. indeed blasphemous.
The problem with your distorted parody of the Christian’s duty to proclaim truth is that you are unable to provide constructive models of what should be done in any particular situation. Rather, you hurl epithets in a manner beyond any useful hyperbole.
I don’t think that an awareness of our personal faults should prevent us offering legitimate criticism. I think that an awareness of our personal faults is the only way to inform a legitimate criticism.
I’m not defending the actions of Brown, Tran or the diocesan PR staff at all. I am saying that repeatedly shouting that ALL the bishops in the States (with the episcopacy the world over implicitly accused) are evil and corrupt. Do you really have the information to make that judgment? Are you really comfortable pretending that you could possibly cognize the happenings across the continent (let alone gain the knowledge to begin with)? Rather you sort through lists of problems and scandals filtered out of the real world and pasted on electronic databases.
“But if we waited for ‘perfect’ people to do things, then nothing would get done. Besides, Christ made us ‘perfect’ in His and His Father’s sight through His blood.”
These words of yours ring true, if not in the way that you mean. The successors of the apostles that we have today as a whole are no worse than the ones we have had through the centuries to the apostles themselves. Peter made some pretty huge pastoral mistakes, not to mention his and the other apostles’ track record during the earthly ministry of Jesus. Did Paul respond by hurling epithets and bemoaning Peter’s filling of his position with a vagueness that allows no constructive suggestions? By no means! Rather, he addressed the issue at hand with authentic theological understanding and worked to build up the Church in the midst of the HUGE mistake that Peter knew better about and could easily have been avoided.
I’m not asking you to stop your critique or refrain from pointing out mistakes (except those that have already been pointed out countless time in the discussion at hand). Rather, I’m asking you to address the issues at hand instead of conjuring up adjectives that properly apply to God’s people throughout history and pretending that any particular part of Christ’s body (we are all incorporated, remember..) has a monopoly on sin. Put your mind to work at offering real suggestions for what should be done in particular cases or ones like them. Build up the Church. It may be presumptive, but tell us what bishops would do if the Church were your chessboard. Get up from your throne of judgment for a moment and put on the pallium of universal pastor. We can very clearly see what doesn’t work ourselves; we don’t need you for that. Rather, give us a peek into your scroll and enlighten us as to what would.
At least it would beat the racket you’ve been stuck in for some time now..

Leo Wong June 1, 2006 at 1:54 pm

According to (the American adaptation of) GIRM 43, “The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.”
Almost certainly “determines” here does not mean personal preference. It seems to have something to do with GIRM 20 (not 387, which deals with other matters than posture), which says in part that “the utmost care must be taken to choose and to arrange those forms and elements set forth by the Church that, in view of the circumstances of the people and the place, will more effectively foster active and full participation and more properly respond to the spiritual needs of the faithful”. In other words, in “determining” the Diocesan Bishop considers his flock, not himself.
Moreover, since according to GIRM 22, “The Bishop should . . . be determined that the priests, the deacons, and the lay Christian faithful grasp ever more deeply the genuine meaning of the rites and liturgical texts and thereby be led to an active and fruitful celebration of the Eucharist,” a determination departing from the stated norm should be introduced pastorally, by providing the faithful with proper catechesis on the reasons for the differing norm and whether this norm is (to use Cardinal Arinze’s oft-quoted words) intended “to regulate posture rigidly” or “to ensure within broad limits a certain uniformity of posture.”
An arbitrary or unexplained determination would therefore unlawful (I am not judging the present case). There is also the matter of application. A determination may be lawful but if its administration is inconsistent, then its application is unjust — inequitable. For example, if a norm is for the entire diocese, punishment for violating the norm must not be limited to parishioners of one parish — that would be inconsistent and unjust (again, I am not judging the present case). Instead, in the words of Canon 1752, “canonical equity is to be observed.” Canon 1752 concludes the entire Code of Canon Law by stating, “the salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church, is to be kept before one’s eyes.” This supreme law guides every Diocesan Bishop’s determinations.

Jay E. Adrian June 1, 2006 at 2:00 pm

Whoa whoa whoa…
There’s a big inconsistency here. Having just graduated with a degree in Hippolyitian, er Hippolitian Theology, I know that we are created in God’s free image and are not to be “toadies.” It is the imperial model forced on the Church by Constantine that brought all the hierarchal understanding and feudal systems into play. Obedience and deference are ploys of controlling people by guilt.
How then can the venerable founder of the Hippolitian School recommend that an entire parish, nay, diocese begin kneeling while receiving communion? Doesn’t this perpetuate the toady system? Why should an educated layperson kneel to receive communion from the hands of a corrupt and otherwise evil cleric (since we have established that they are all corrupt and otherwise evil)? Hmm, it seems to our School that the educated layperson should receive communion in the same way as the cleric. We should process to the altar and auto-communicate. Priesthood of all believers, you know.
Also, it seems that the educated laity have come to a consensus (at least by vast majority) that artificial contraception is not only morally acceptable, but morally obligated in many circumstances. The educated laity freed from blind obedience and Catholic guilt have determined this of their own free will after much investigation. The same is true of the procedure known as abortion. Therefore the Hippolitian School proposes that Catholics in all parishes begin these practices immediately, so as to get Rome’s attention.
But what to make of the venerable Hippolito’s order of medieval piety in the Diocese of Orange? Well, it’s a matter of distinguishing means and end. You see, the words of our distinguished scholar are clear that the scopos of receiving communion in this way is “to get Rome’s attention.” The true end (telos), however, is disobedience itself. Reception of Jesus in the liturgy of the Eucharist is a means ordered to this end.
So lets stand up proudly (but kneel when the liturgy doesn’t call for kneeling) as Citizens of the Republic of Heaven and practice our ecclesial disobedience until us educated laity can truly wrest power from the absurd Constantinian Imperial hierarchal system and reform the Church into our own Body by the almighty power of the Vote, the Check, and the Cyber-Rant.
Stick it to the God-Man!

john chrysostom June 1, 2006 at 2:01 pm

it is interesting to note that Bishop Brown has been careful, to this point, to allow only spokespeople to speak for him and share the diocesan position.
He has had two parish administrators implement changes that he directed. He ordered it done, but has been careful to have these administrators say that they are making the changes.
He meets with Fr. Tran weekly and has been in close communication with him over this issue. Fr. Tran has let parishioners know this.
The invitation to leave the parish and the diocese was done with Bishop Brown’s blessing. Fr. Tran explicitly states this, and the diocese has gone on record as “standing behind Fr. Tran”. (Still, never from Bishop Brown’s own moth, though.)
Bishop Brown has also (through his intermediaries) been careful to enumerate any number of bodies from the Holy See, to the USCCB/NCCB, to of the province of the USCCB Region XI (CA, Hawaii and Nevada).
he has carefully avoided the fact that he, alone, has instigated these changes. He has picked this fight with these people in this little parish. He wants to erase traditional Catholicism in all its forms from the Diocese of Orange, and he is essentially throwing all of his weight on this little parish in order to accomplish that end.
He could relax and adopt a live and let live attitude at any time, but he has pushed these people against a wall because he wants no corner of the diocese to reflect anything that resembles traditional Catholicism.
He has been careful to try and make it look like forcing people to stand comes from Rome, the USCCB/NCCB, to of the province of the USCCB Region XI (CA, Hawaii and Nevada), anybody but himself, alone.
Yet that is the truth of the matter. This whole crisis for these poor people begins and ends with Bishop Tod Brown.

Brian Day June 1, 2006 at 2:34 pm

OK. My $0.02 as a layperson of the Diocese of Orange.
As Leo stated earlier: According to (the American adaptation of) GIRM 43, “The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.”
The rule to stand during the Agnus Dei was implemented a couple of years ago and is diocesan-wide. At our parish (St. Columban, Garden Grove) no one was very happy about it, but we complied.
Bishop Brown, for whatever reason, is hostile to the use of Latin in the liturgy. There is a little bit here and there, but nothing to speak of.
This whole mess started with the retirement of Fr. Johnson (I think) and Bishop Brown’s decision to suppress the TLM with father’s retirement. Rather than accept the decision or find alternate sources, a group of parishioners started a campaign of open dissent. Both the parishioners and Fr Tran (and by extension Bishop Brown) have behaved badly – the parishioners by their open dissent, and Fr Tran by his lack of charity in dealing with the parishioners.
What started as a squabble has spiralled out of control with no one looking good at the moment.
Everyone, please pray for diocese.

john chrysostom June 1, 2006 at 2:49 pm

Here’s an interesting take on the situation in Orange County: Straight up, no chaser… and no bull!

Marion (Mael Muire) June 1, 2006 at 2:53 pm

Thank you, Brian. Your post has shed some very helpful light.
I feel these parishoners’ pain, but they seem bound and determined to run off the cliff.
It’s too bad, because their concerns really are legitimate, from what I have seen the couple of times I have visited there.
If only there were sound, practical methods that they could undertake to resolve this. I know of one, for starters.
I will pray for the diocese.

Susan Teissere June 1, 2006 at 4:05 pm

My husband and I aren’t fooled by the Orange Diocese statement. Bishop Brown forces people to do alot of things like sign a secret oath to keep secret an evil “lifestyle” of a priest who was head of Liturgy for the Orange Diocese! We know it to be fact!! because my husband and I are the ones forced into signing the secret oath to keep secret the evil “lifestyle” of my husband cousin the priest former head of Liturgy for the Diocese of Orange. (Read Los Angeles LAy Catholic Mission newspaper article July 2002 issue ” AllThat Perception Stuff” by Robert Krumpel.)

Inocencio June 1, 2006 at 4:21 pm

Susan Teissere,
May I ask what type of force the bishop used to make you sign a secret oath?
I could not find the article do you have a link?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

john chrysostom June 1, 2006 at 4:23 pm

Marion,
Thanks for your prayers. Thanks to everyone else too. The Catholics of St. Mary’s by the Sea parish are praying too.
The people who kneel aren’t making a scene. Honest. They just kneel. Some people pass out fliers after Mass. There is no yelling. They don’t shout insults. They don’t stage sit-ins. They never disrupt any liturgies at all. Ever. They simply kneel. Some, a minority, pass out fliers. Over fifty five families have agreed to have their names on the fliers. An Open Letter To Bishop Brown was written to inform people about many issues, not just the kneeling, as well as to connect the dots as to what is at the root of these issues, including the issue about kneeling at St. Mary’s and the other liturgical reforms foisted on the parish, while other parishes who stand through the consecration are left alone.
Catholics at St. Mary’s by the Sea are within their canonical rights to question the actions of Bishop Brown and Fr. Tran in accordance with Canon 212 of the Code of Canon Law.
Canon 212 states:

§1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.
§2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.
§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Although strong language has been used by some of these Catholics, none have written anything (or said anything, to my knowledge) that demeans the human dignity of Bishop Brown or Fr. Tran. I know most of these families personally, and I can assure you that they do have authentic charity for Bishop Brown and Fr. Tran.
They just keep kneeling at Mass and have been honest with others about their reasons for doing it outside of Mass by means of their literature. Why is that so wrong?

Inocencio June 1, 2006 at 4:24 pm

Susan,
Ok found the article July 2004.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

john chrysostom June 1, 2006 at 4:26 pm

Inocencio,
Here is a link to the article:
All That Perceptions Stuff — Ex-priest Rod Stephens Still Works in Orange Diocese, Los Angeles Lay Catholic Mission, July/August 2004

John E June 1, 2006 at 4:28 pm

I don’t think the clergy is handling this well and don’t agree with requiring everyone to stand, but don’t you think it would be better for the parishioners to suck it up and stand, and complain to the appropriate people later on rather than kneel in anger and protest during Mass? What’s next, the wearing of rainbow kneepads on Pentecost?
Obedience is easy when you already want to do what is asked of you. It becomes a more telling test of virtue when it’s difficult.

Old Zhou June 1, 2006 at 4:29 pm

Dear Susan,
Are you the Susan Teissere who is listed as one of the signers of the Open Letter to Bishop Brown, dated April 19, 2006?
The article you reference (actually July 2004; link in “Open Letter”), indicates that you had to sign some sort of confidentiality or non-disclosure to have further discussions about this preist personnel matter with Bp. Brown.
Why do you think this is so unusual? Many business meetings and legal meeting also require that participants sign non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements. This is especially common in personnel and procurement meetings in the business world. Some things need to be kept confidential for the sake of all parties involved.
Why did you, obviously, break this “oath” you made to the Bishop? It appears that the matter just includes adult homosexual relationships between you husband’s cousin and his adult partner. Why is this so much your business?
Are you on a campaign against gay priests now?
Or is it about kneeling?
I’m confused.

john chrysostom June 1, 2006 at 4:37 pm

Food for thought…
Jesus warns priests & bishops:

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (Matthew 5:13)
Jesus said to his disciples: “Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, he will put him in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ´My master is delayed in coming,´ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant´s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master´s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master´s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Luke 12:39-48)

Inocencio June 1, 2006 at 4:38 pm

Susan,
“He wouldn’t even talk with us unless we would sign an oath first. Our attorney didn’t know anything about canon law, so he just told us to sign it. Father Cook wouldn’t even tell us what the oath was, only that we had to sign it. It was scribbled on a legal pad and was illegible. Finally, we signed it.
If you could clarify what force the bishop used. The article never used that word and the bishop wasn’t at the meeting when, with the advise of your attorney, you signed the oath.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio June 1, 2006 at 4:41 pm

john chrysostom,
Exactly! God will hold them accountable but that does not free us from our obedience to them as the Catechism of Trent stated and you agreed with.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

john chrysostom June 1, 2006 at 4:46 pm

I am obedient, as are the people who kneel. So what is your criticism, Inocencio?

Inocencio June 1, 2006 at 4:50 pm

So what is your criticism
Huh? If you are obedient to your pastors authority than that is a great way to end the discussion.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

john chrysostom June 1, 2006 at 4:51 pm

Everyone who kneels at St. Mary’s by the Sea is obedient to their pastor’s authority. That’s why they’re able to kneel.

Old Zhou June 1, 2006 at 4:53 pm

Dear John Chrysostom,
And who is “thier pastor” at who authorizes their kneeling?
(A) Fr. Tran
(B) Bp. Brown
(C) [write in] ?

john chrysostom June 1, 2006 at 5:09 pm

Old Zhou,
The correct answer is: (C)
Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, here and here.
Because of Cardinal Arinze’s assertion that people have a right to kneel, and he states that posture, “for the various parts of the celebration of the Holy Mass” and that the Holy See intends that pastors (bishops, priests, liturgists, lay people, whoever you want to claim has authority) should “not regulate posture rigidly in such a way that those who wish to kneel or sit would no longer be free” means that Catholics have a right to kneel and their kneeling isn’t disobedience.
Since the Cardinal was expressing the mind of the Church on the intention of the rubrics that are being utilized to decide on the norms for posture, I think its safe to say that Bishop Brown and Fr. Tran have the authority to ask people to stand, but have no power to demand it, and since kneeling is a right of the faithful, doing so can’t be termed disobedience.
By the way, Old Zhou, since you are such a fan of obedience, why do you all stand for the consecration, in violation of Universal Church norms over at Sts. Simon & Jude?

Old Zhou June 1, 2006 at 5:18 pm

Dear John Chrysostom,
May I ask who taught you that you can
(1) disobey the Priest who is your Pastor or Administrator, designated by your Bishop;
(2) disobey your Bishop,
(3) and count some remote Cardinal as your “pastor” to whom you are “obedient”?
In regard to standing through the entire eucharistic prayer, see the diocesan guidelines,” (PDF) especially footnote 1.
You need to obey the person in front of you, your pastor.
You need to obey your actual territorial ordinary, your bishop.
Don’t think you can be “spiritual” and obey some distant cardinal and call that obedience if you are disobeying (1) and (2).
You might as well say you are obeying Jesus or the Holy Spirit.
It is spiritualistic nonsense, not obedience.

Susan Teissere June 1, 2006 at 5:49 pm

Old Zhou, Yes we are the same Teissere’s that signed the “Open letter”. This was not a “buisness” meeting Old Zhou. It was a SECRETE OATH! Coverup! meeting! Did you read the article? Bishop Brown after our first meeting with him begged for a second meeting, because the first one didn’t go his way, in fact it got totally heated with his priest secretary Fr Michael Mckierran expressing a violent movement towards me, and Bishop Tod Brown had to hold him back with his arm stretched out. That was n’t reported in the article. The Second Meeting that Bishop Brown begged and demanded we have with him was during Holy Week 2002, resulting in same displeasure of the outcome for Bishop Brown, instead this meeting Fr. McKierran wasn’t present, but along with Bishop Brown , his cannon lawyer Fr. Douglas Cook. A note of information for all , Bishop Brown didn’t allow for my husband and I to have our civil attorneys present at those meetings or even a cannon lawyer to represent us. Since the second meeting didn’t go Bishop Tod Browns way, he made sure there will be a third meeting. However our civil attorneys who represented us for protection reasons only. See they are not cannon lawyers , they are just very good catholic laymen, who at the time diidn’t realized the corruption in the diocese of Orange. Our Attorneys were so upset by what happened to my husband and I during the first two meetings. In fact I have copies of the correspondences between our attorneys and Bishop Tod Brown to prove all this took place. Our attorneys said no! Bishop Tod Brown , the third meeting will take place in our office this time around. I bet you can guess Bishop Brown didn’t show up! yep! He didn’t show up! He sent his cannon lawyer Fr. Douglas Cook to do his “dirty work” for him. See Bishop Brown doesn’t like being told what to do. My husband and I know that, because during our meetings with him he pounded his fists on the table we were sitting at and said Michael and Susan I don’t like being told what to do! So on that awful day I will always remember Fr. Douglas Cook said we first must sign a secret oath , then we could talk again to Bishop Tod Brown about the serious situation of my husbands cousin Fr. Rod Stephens. The previous two meetings we didn’t have to sign a secret oath to talk ,infact we talked for at least 4hours total in those previous meetings with Bishop Tod Brown. It was a trick they wanted to use “obedience” against us. After signing the Secret oath, we were told what we signed was to keep quite that Bishop Brown was allowing Fr. Rod Stephens to spend days at the joint residence in Irvine,Calif. with his male “partner”, Bishop Brown was allowing Fr.Rod Stephens to vacation with his male “partner” Bishop Brown was allowing Fr. Rod Stephens attend family functions with his male “partner” and We were not allowed to tell anyone this fact! We couldn’t even tell The Holy Father! After that third meeting My husband and I were so disgusted! Our poor attorneys were tricked. My husband and I new it was a trick and said no! , but our attorneys pleaded for us to sign it so we could hear what the Bishop was going to say and it wasn’t going to hold up in any court of law. And in no way we ever thought what we were going to sign was going to be that! After several hours of our attorneys arguing with Fr. Douglas Cook , Bishop Browns representative. My husband and I just sat there with much anger and sadness and hardly said a word. We couldn’t believe that the secret oath we signed was a yellow piece of paper with scribbled words we couldn’t even read. You would think it being “offical” document it would have been on a legal Church letterhead. Nope! just yellow tablet paper. We got spiritual direction from a priest that we are not under obedience to keep secret, The Secret Oath. He said secret oaths to hide evil are invalid!!!! Old Zhou you asked why it is our buisness, because he is a Roman Catholic priest! Not just some ordinary priests he was head of Liturgy, Evangelization , Catechesis for the Dioceses of Orange! His “lifestyle” was the best kept open secret in the Diocese of Orange. He was teaching false doctrines to my husbands family , being open with his “partner” with the family which gives grave scandal to the family! He has led astray my husbands parents, brothers, sisters , nieces , newphews , cousins , uncles and aunts! You try watching that happen before your eyes and feel helpless. My husband and I prayed for seven years before we even attempted to approach my husbands cousin Fr. Rod Stephens about this scandal which he was causing. We Love Fr. Rod Stephens. We Love Bishop Tod Brown , We Love All the Faithful in the Diocese, We love my husbands family , We Love Jesus Christ and His Church. That is, why it is OUR BUISNESS!!! It better be the Buisness of every Faithfaul Catholic! We have all contributed to the corruption in the Church , by our silent”obedience”. We reap what we sow! So don’t you complain about this and that abuse… unless you are going to put yourself out there on the line to defend against the destruction of the Faith. Pray , Fast, publically “stand up” against the destruction. All done in Love,Charity, and Truth, for The Love of Jesus Christ and His Church.

john chrysostom June 1, 2006 at 5:51 pm

Okay, Old Zhou. You are right. It’s perfectly fine for the people at Sts. Simon & Jude to stand through the entire Eucharistic prayer, because the church has never had kneelers, and kneeling would be too much of a hassle.
Who cares about those nasty old liturgical norms from the GIRM written by the Holy See.
And of course, you all follow every other liturgical norm over there, too. Right?
That whole reputation of being the most liberal parish in the diocese is just bad press, right?
As I recall, there are lots of liturgical innovations over there, including: lay people giving homilies; changing the readings, frequent Masses on the lawn instead of the church, ritual texts that are not approved which are read in the place of approved texts, unblesed tap water is used as holy water, sand was frequently placed in the holy water fonts throughout Lent, people gathering around behind the priest around the altar during the Eucharistic prayer, vessels not in conformity with Church norms are used for the Blessed Sacrament, and the list goes on and on.
I used to be a parishioner at Sts. Simon & Jude and still go there in a pinch if I can’t get to Mass at other times.
I am thrilled that you guys at Sts. Simon & Jude are big on obedience.
Actions speak louder than words, Old Zhou.
Perhaps people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?
Or maybe it’s better to say “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone?”
(But you don’t use masculine pronouns at Sts. Simon & Jude, right?)
How about this one:
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)
It’s very nice and neat that Bishop Brown has carved out a nice, loose, liturgical loophole for you to wriggle through, while ensuring that no such loophole exists in his norms (which reflect his personal preferences) for Catholics who want to kneel and adore God.
Talk about straining the gnat and swallowing the camel!
How about this one, Old Zhou: I kneel because I’m following my conscience.

Susan Teissere June 1, 2006 at 5:52 pm

Old Zhou, what is your real name? WE are open about ours! what do you have got to hide , you seem so confident in putting down me and my husband and people who kneel. I am saying this with Love and Charity!

Old Zhou June 1, 2006 at 6:00 pm

Yeah, Susan, I see all your love and charity in that open letter to your bishop. I think I’ll pass.
And John Chrysostom, the last time I was at Ss. Simon and Jude was before the Diocese of Orange existed. Why do you keep assuming I’m a priest or parishioner there?

Marion (Mael Muire) June 1, 2006 at 6:19 pm

I was interested in discussing the issues of kneeling and traditional liturgical worship in the diocese of Orange, I know something about the topic from first-hand experience; I visit the area from time to time, shared their concern, and hoped to contribute one or two small ideas that might help.
Now I find that one or more folks from this parish have moved the discussion onto another, completely different topic, one which is potentially seriously damaging to people’s reputations. This is an entirely different story, and one in which I am neither part of the problem, nor can I be part of the solution. Therefore I have no business being a further part of the discussion, as I don’t want to risk committing the sin of detraction.
For that reason, I’ll sign off. Good-bye and God bless you all.

Joseph D'Hippolito June 1, 2006 at 6:24 pm

The problem … is that you are unable to provide constructive models of what should be done in any particular situation…
I have asserted that the faithful at St. Mary’s By The Sea and at other parishes controlled by the Diocese of Orange kneel during communion to protect Brown’s tyrrany. They can also get together, seek canonical legal advice and file a class action suit against the bishop.
I am saying that repeatedly shouting that ALL the bishops in the States (with the episcopacy the world over implicitly accused) are evil and corrupt. Do you really have the information to make that judgment?
Jay, have you been reading the papers the past four years concering the clerical sex-abuse crisis? Do the names Roger Mahony and Bernard Law (among others) mean anything to you?
Peter made some pretty huge pastoral mistakes, not to mention his and the other apostles’ track record during the earthly ministry of Jesus.
This is the excuse Catholic episcopophiles always use to defend the misfeasance of bishops. You conveniently forget one thing, my dear Jay: PETER REPENTED! Has Brown repented? Has Mahony repented?
Get up from your throne of judgment for a moment and put on the pallium of universal pastor.
Men like Brown, Mahony, Law, et al would be hauled before public canonical courts in Rome. If convicted, they would be stripped of all episcopal authority and replaced with coadjutors until new bishops could be appointed.

Joseph D'Hippolito June 1, 2006 at 6:37 pm

Now, Jay, to your last rant…
How then can the venerable founder of the Hippolitian School recommend that an entire parish, nay, diocese begin kneeling while receiving communion? Doesn’t this perpetuate the toady system?
No, Jay. God deserves such respect and honor. God requires such respect and honor. The toadies are those (like Tran) who would sacrifice their consciences to placate and appease corrupt tyrants. Think Tariq Aziz with Saddam Hussein.
Also, it seems that the educated laity have come to a consensus (at least by vast majority) that artificial contraception is not only morally acceptable, but morally obligated in many circumstances…the same is true with abortion.
Those are non sequiturs, Jay. People like you use them as excuses to prevent challenges to the illegitimate use of episcopal authority. Besides, if these bishops did their jobs and educated Catholics effectively, the problems you cite would not exist.
So lets stand up proudly (but kneel when the liturgy doesn’t call for kneeling) as Citizens of the Republic of Heaven…
I realize this is foreign to your medievalist mind but all Christians are destined to be citizens of Heaven. Not subjects. Citizens. Christians have blessings and privledges resulting from their redemption (foremost among them being the Holy Spirit), and God is no respecter of persons. We are also called to rule with Christ. Yes, Jay, rule. Not submit to corrupt, tyrannical authority.
One more to come….

Joseph D'Hippolito June 1, 2006 at 6:43 pm

Jay, you deliberately forget that Brown has no canonical standing to demand legalistically and rigorously that people stand instead of kneel while receiving the Eucharist. You also forget that Tran’s insistence that refusing to follow such a legalistic demand constitutes “mortal sin” is abuse of his pastoral position. What is the laity to do under such circumstances? To submit to such tyrannical authority silently is to submit to Satan. It is to excuse episcopal malfeasance for the sake of “obedience.”
In another time and in another place, other people practiced such “obedience” because they were culturally trained to do so. They were Germans and the object of their “obedience” was Hitler and his Nazis.
Now, certainly, Brown and Tran are not Nazis by any stretch of the imagination. They are, however, tyrants. They seek to misuse their respective positions to promote their own agendas, which might or might not have anything to do with Christ.
And Catholics should take this lying down?

Leo Wong June 1, 2006 at 6:57 pm

Would it not be true to say that the Diocese of Orange would not have made its clarification about “the misuse of the term ‘mortal sin'” if the matter had not been reported by the secular press?
“. . . though, historically speaking, the 4th century is the age of doctors, illustrated, as it was by the saints Athanasius, Hilary, the two Gregories, Basil, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine, all these saints bishops also, except one, nevertheless in that very day the divine tradition committed to the infallible Church was proclaimed and maintained far more by the faithful than by the Episcopate. . . . I mean . . . that in that time of immense confusion the divine dogma of our Lord’s divinity was proclaimed, enforced, maintained, and (humanly speaking) preserved, far more by the ‘Ecclesia docta’ than by the ‘Ecclesia docens;’ that the body of the episcopate was unfaithful to its commission, while the body of the laity was faithful to its baptism; that at one time the Pope, at other times the patriarchal, metropolitan, and other great sees, at other times general councils, said what they should not have said, or did what obscured and compromised revealed truth; while, on the other hand, it was the Christian people who, under Providence, were the ecclesiastical strength of Athanasius, Hilary, Eusebius of Vercellae, and other great solitary confessors, who would have failed without them.”

john chrysostom June 1, 2006 at 7:05 pm

Excellent point, Leo!

Leo Wong June 1, 2006 at 7:07 pm

“So lets stand up proudly (but kneel when the liturgy doesn’t call for kneeling). . .”
The liturgy does call for kneeling, though the Diocesan Bishop may determine otherwise.
The question whether the norm of the Diocese of Orange is intended “to regulate posture rigidly” or “to ensure within broad limits a certain uniformity of posture” has still, so far as I know, not been answered. Mr. Brian Day, what has been the catechesis on this norm in the Diocese of Orange?

Old Zhou June 1, 2006 at 7:19 pm

I find the stream of criticism of Ss. Simon and Jude parish from these commentors at St. Mary’s by the Sea to be rather sad.
Ss. Simon and Jude started, in 1905, as St Mary’s Church, an output at the beach of St. Joseph in Santa Ana, with Mass said at a department store on Main Street. In 1908 they bought a Protestant Church at the current site of St. Mary’s by the Sea, and in 1921 took the name of Ss. Simon and Jude, and built their own building in 1923. The Franciscans came in 1964. In 1965, the northwest corner of the parish was divided to form another parish, St. Bonaventure. In 1966, the land for the new, larger Ss. Simon & Jude was purchased, and construction began. From this time, in 1967, the old church building in downtown was a “mission” staffed by the Friars at Ss. Simon & Jude. They had English mass in 1964; guitar mass in 1968. Lay lectors in 1969. Laypersons distributing communion in 1971. The modern parish church was dedicated, after several years of Mass in the school buildings, in 1974.
In 1976, just after the Diocese was erected, St. Mary by the Sea was named one of the first new parishes of the new Diocese by Bp. William Johnson.
That is how the parish started. Unfortunately, the first pastor the new parish of St. Mary’s by the Sea, Fr. L., had a taste for boys, which he continued to enjoy further down the OC coast.
The place was then kind of a broken community, and there was consideration of just closing it down.
Fr. Daniel Johnson was sent there, as a place of exile, in 1978/79, and in the 1990’s received an indult for the Tridentine mass from the second Bishop.

St. Mary’s by the Sea WAS Ss. Simon & Jude from 1905 to 1967. It was a mission of Ss. Simon & Jude until 1977. It was a child parish of Ss. Simon and Jude form 1977 to 1979.
Where did all this animosity come from that is evident in the comments from parisioners at St. Mary’s by the Sea? Animosity not only toward the community of Ss. Simon and Jude, but toward the larger Diocese?
I can only conclude that this is the fruit of Fr. Johnson’s work. He might have built up a community that loved the Tridentine liturgy. Unfortunately, they do not seem to love their brothers and sisters right next door in Orange County. Very sad.

Milly the Millstone June 1, 2006 at 7:46 pm

What is truly sad about this mess is that Fr. Tran was more than likely just following orders with the whole no kneeling thing and now he’s the one forced to write a letter of regret. This poor priest came from Communist Vietnam and landed in a diocese which isn’t too far from communism.

Thu Ha June 1, 2006 at 7:55 pm

Most older Vietnam people even priest follow order no matter if it right or wrong. Fr. Tran takes heat. I dont think a white priests would follow orders like this Vietnam persons.

john chrysostom June 1, 2006 at 8:05 pm

Fr. Johnson never spoke ill of others, especially other priests. No one was ever allowed to do so in his presence. He would stop them and correct them. The same goes for criticism of other parishes. he absolutely never encouraged it. Ever.
I am curious about how someone who hasn’t been to Ss. Simon & Jude since before the Diocese of Orange was formed knows so much about Fr. Johnson (although I must confess you have so far said little that is truthful about Fr. Johnson), and Fr. Lyons, as well as St. Mary’s by the Sea, & Ss. Simon & Jude history?
As far as animosity, I have no animosity towards Ss. Simon & Jude. As I said, I go there for Mass when I have no other options because of time.
I’m not sure how listing a fraction of the things that I have witnessed over the past twenty-three years, and know for certain actually occur at Ss. Simon & Jude parish, can be considered an expression of animosity.
Change of subject:
I was sad to see Marion go, in a way, although Marion’s comments did start to sound a bit “Johnny-one-note” after a while.
I am sure Susan wasn’t trying to change the subject to something off topic. She meant well.
As far as the kneeling goes, though, nobody answered my question form above:
The people who kneel aren’t making a scene. Honest. They just kneel. Some people pass out fliers after Mass. There is no yelling. They don’t shout insults. They don’t stage sit-ins. They never disrupt any liturgies at all. Ever. They simply kneel. Some, a minority, pass out fliers. Over fifty five families have agreed to have their names on the fliers. An Open Letter To Bishop Brown was written to inform people about many issues, not just the kneeling, as well as to connect the dots as to what is at the root of these issues, including the issue about kneeling at St. Mary’s and the other liturgical reforms foisted on the parish, while other parishes who stand through the consecration are left alone.
Catholics at St. Mary’s by the Sea are within their canonical rights to question the actions of Bishop Brown and Fr. Tran in accordance with Canon 212 of the Code of Canon Law.
Canon 212 states:

§1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

§2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Although strong language has been used by some of these Catholics, none have written anything (or said anything, to my knowledge) that demeans the human dignity of Bishop Brown or Fr. Tran. I know most of these families personally, and I can assure you that they do have authentic charity for Bishop Brown and Fr. Tran.
They just keep kneeling at Mass and have been honest with others about their reasons for doing it outside of Mass by means of their literature.
What is wrong with any of that?

Jacqueline Y. June 1, 2006 at 8:20 pm

As a member of a parish in the diocese of Orange, I’d like to point out three things:
1) I sympathize with the parishioners of St. Mary’s by the Sea, but think they have gone overboard in their zeal.
2) St. Simon & Jude has a well-deserved rep as THE most liberal parish in the diocese. I couldn’t feel at home there, & certainly couldn’t raise children there.
3) Fr. Rod Stephens gave grave scandal for years. Many of us wondered agonizingly why the bishop didn’t make him choose either his “partner” or the priesthood, rather than keep both. It’s almost certain nothing would have changed had Susan & her husband not come forward!

Susan Teissere June 1, 2006 at 8:33 pm

Old Zhou, You have no idea or should I say you don’t care what my husband and I went through, because you have shown by your comments in here, to go along with the destruction of the Faith. I don’t live in the Orange Diocese. You say my husband and I don’t have love or charity .Yes that old line again. People who are out to destroy the Churchs teachings always say that against those who are defending the Churchs teachings. Jesus Christ knows our hearts, he knows we weep for what is happening in the Church, I am not trying to be dramamtic. I am speaking from my heart. I found this blog about six months ago , in fact blogs in general. I don’t wish to go on about this but, I feel I have to respond to the comments in here. My husband and I have personal expereience with Bishop Tod Brown and what Bishop Tod Brown is doing and allowing of the destruction of the Catholic faith in the Diocese of Orange as well as my husbands family. I have everything documented by our civil attorneys that the meetings took place with our depostions etc.. We are not afraid to speak out! We are doing it out of Love and charity. Iam not worried about what anyone of you thinks of us, You will not be with me on my judgement day.We are willing to lose relationships with family and friends , even people we don’t even know. In fact we lost relationships with my husbands family ,not because we wanted it that way, they did. We have to be willing to give up our entire life for Jesus Christ The Way , The Truth and The Life!

Brian Day June 1, 2006 at 8:53 pm

The question whether the norm of the Diocese of Orange is intended “to regulate posture rigidly” or “to ensure within broad limits a certain uniformity of posture” has still, so far as I know, not been answered. Mr. Brian Day, what has been the catechesis on this norm in the Diocese of Orange?
I cannot answer the question at the moment. The topic of posture has not been addressed diocese-wide since the norm change a couple of years ago. I’ll try to talk to some of our priests this weekend to get a read on how rigidly the norms are to be applied.
At our parish, most people stand at the Angus Dei. A few people kneel, but none of the priests comment about it. So there seems to be a bit of “live and let live attitude” at our parish. Of course, the Church holds 1500 people so a few “kneeler’s” tend to go unnoticed. :-)

Bender June 1, 2006 at 9:09 pm

After reading the usual hate speech from the usual suspects in Orange, and by parishioners at St. Mary’s by the Sea in particular, I see this going only one of two ways, either —
(1) Obedience and public penance by the protesters; or
(2) Imposition of ecclesiastical censures against the parish of St. Mary’s by the Sea.
That is, either the protesting parishioners comply with the lawful authority of the bishop, or they face formal suppression as a remedial measure to encourage them to cease their contumacy. I’m no expert on such matters, but the censure of interdict has been imposed in the past in order to overcome to overcome contumacy or willful stubbornness.
Given the abhorent behavior of the protesters throughout, I would not be one to complain if the bishop placed the entire parish of St. Mary’s by the Sea under interdict, excluding them from the sacraments completely, until they publicly apologized and repented. Either that, or recall the (unjustly) hated Fr. Tran and simply do not appoint a successor, leaving the parish vacant.

J.R. Stoodley June 1, 2006 at 9:31 pm

Susan T.,
If what you say is accurate I am horrified. I had no idea things were that bad anywhere in the Church.
To those (perhaps with a Chinese or Spanish pseudonym (or real name?)) who suggest that out of obedience you should have kept silent about the matter, I would recommend reexamining the spirit of the virtue of obedience. ANy virtue can be taken to far and become a horrible charicature of the real thing.
I stand by what I wrote in the 100% crazy post that I would recommend the people prostrate themselves before the priest and bishop, apologize for their former rebelliousness, kiss their hands, and obey this liturgical regulation.
The sinfulness of the bishop and the sinfulness or misplaced obedience of the priest only increase the virtue of doing this, it seems to me. It seems the right thing to do in any case, but also if anything you do (besides prayer) can get through their heads, it would be that. Oppose the rebellious bishop to his face on the issue of homosexuality. Bring the matter to Rome, and to the public if need be. You have higher levels of authority to be loyal to.
In this issue of kneeling though, the longer these two threads go on the clearer it is that there is no clear Chruch position on whether regulations like this can be disregarded by the faithful. Also, even if the local bishop and priests probably ought to be flexible, if they do not then might a parishioner still be required to obey the local authority? If Cardinal Arinze wants bishops and priests to be flexible, that does not automatically make kneeling a right if the bishop or priests chooses not to be flexible. If Secretary Rumsfeld recomends Generals allow soldiers to ignore a specific kind or order but one General decides and announces that the will be stricty enforcing that order, do the soldiers have the right to rebel because presumabley the General should have taken Rumsfeld’s advise? Not a perfect analogy but it’s the best I can come up with at the moment.
Since it is such an unclear and debated subject, I would suggest that pastors be flexible, but if the pastors are ridged then the parishioners should be ridged in their obedience.
Make known that you would rather kneel, but that you will stand because you are loyal Catholics who only wish to obey and be loyal to the Church. Then fight with tooth and nail against the evils perpetrated by this bishop regarding homosexuality and doctrine. Your obedience in the one thing will show your good will, instead of making you look to outsiders like crazy fundamentalists just looking for an excuse (even one as petty as kneeling at a certain time) to protest the post-Vatican II Church. This will help you maintain your image as faithful Catholics when you protest something that is clearly within your rights and even responsibilities to protest.

john chrysostom June 1, 2006 at 9:34 pm

Bender,
Give me a break! There has been no hate speech.
Not from me, and not from anyone at St. Mary’s here or anywhere else.
You sound kind of hateful, though.
Most of your posts seem negative or contrary, not just in this blog, but everywhere I’ve encountered you.
This situation in Orange County really seems to have brought out the worst in you, too.
I doubt Bishop brown will close the parish, unless he wants more L.A. Times articles written about him (very likely along with a lot of other media (print, television, and radio), not to mention attention on the blogs).
Besides, why close a whole parish because 55 families quietly kneel at Mass.
That would make Bishop brown look very bad. Somehow, I don’t think a bishop who hired a PR firm at a cost of $90,000 dollars to advise him to emulate Martin Luther by nailing his “Covenant with the Faithful” to his cathedral door in response to the sex abuse scandals would want that kind of bad publicity.
Especially given the fact that these people aren’t vicious, at all. they’re actually quite nice. Many of the people who still kneel are elderly.
But you want to drive these sweet little old men and ladies and young Catholic families, and hard working Catholics whose donations have supported Bishop Brown’s diocese for many, many years to be scattered to the four winds.
Sheesh.
Bender, sometimes, honestly, your posts remind me of the Wicked Witch of the West cackling into her crystal ball, shrieking, “I’ll get you my pretties!”
Off with you now! Before somebody drops a house on you!

Susan Teissere June 1, 2006 at 10:15 pm

JR, it is all true and my husband and I have it documented. Don’t you read the newspapes or other information sites. What do you think caused so many Catholics to be ignorant of what The Catholic Church teaches , bingo on fridays and donuts and coffe in the hall after Mass. I suggest you read Good Bye Good Men , by Michael Rose this book is all about how young men seminarians who are loyal to the Churchs teachings got harrassed, abused and kicked out of the seminaries. Another good read is Donna Stiechens book called Ungodly Rage. This book is about how feminnist, new age and pagan nuns infiltrated the convents and Catholic schools. And if you are a serious reader there is a new book comming out called The Rite of Sodomy by Randy Engel I hear it is a well documented book on active homosexuals in the church and shows the root of the Sex abuse scandals. We must educate ourselves on these issues , because it is because of these thimgs the Church, at least I can say the Church in the USA is in this destructive mess.

Inocencio June 1, 2006 at 10:26 pm

Susan,
“He wouldn’t even talk with us unless we would sign an oath first. Our attorney didn’t know anything about canon law, so he just told us to sign it. Father Cook wouldn’t even tell us what the oath was, only that we had to sign it. It was scribbled on a legal pad and was illegible. Finally, we signed it.”
May I ask again, could clarify what force the bishop used?
The article never used the word “forced” and the bishop wasn’t at the meeting when, with the advise of your attorney, you signed the oath.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Jacqueline Y. June 1, 2006 at 10:30 pm

Eternal Father, grant your wisdom and grace to our bishop, Tod Brown, to Father Martin Tran, and to all the priests of the Diocese of Orange. We pray especially for the people of St. Mary’s parish. Grant healing and holiness to all concerned. We humbly ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Susan Teissere June 1, 2006 at 11:23 pm

Inocenio, If you want me to say he pointed a gun to our heads , well no, he didn’t use that kind of force. Fr. Douglas Cook stated at theverybeginingof the meeting,he had the authority to represent Bishop Tod Brown and that authority was given by Bishop Tod Brown. We din’t dream what we were told to sign was going to be those things.I guess you can say we were trying our hardest to find trust in Bishop Brown,would finally do the right thing and that Bishop Tod Brown would apologize and clarify in a letter to my husbands family and the layfaithful of the diocese of Orange that Fr. Rod Stephens open homosexual lifestyle and false teachings werenot approved by Bishop Tod Brown and The Catholic Church. Nope no such luck! I guess you can say it was an obedience thing! Our attorneys at the time were not so intuned to the corruption in the Church, they are good catholic laymen taught to obey bishops and priests, so I can say that was a big part of the “Force” My husband and I will never forget that day or the other two meetings with Bishop Tod Brown, it will be past down in our family for generations. My husband and I came out of those meetings well changed forever , for the better.My husband and I are just a simple young married couple, who Love Jesus Christ and His Church. It seems that I can’t say that enough.

Jared Weber June 1, 2006 at 11:59 pm

JRS: Gotta say that I don’t believe that people should stand in this situation if their consciences are telling them to kneel. The documentation I’ve read–from ewtn.com and other places–backs this.
I’m reminded of the following scene from A Man For All Seasons (Robert Bolt, 1966):
——-

The Duke of Norfolk: Oh confound all this. I’m not a scholar, I don’t know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can’t you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!
Sir Thomas More: And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?

——-
Speaking for myself, when I did not kneel (in Los Angeles now, not OC), I did not feel properly disposed to discern Christ’s Presence in the Eucharist. My wife has confirmed that the same is true for her as well. If something as simple as kneeling can help do this, what harm is there?
And that really is the point of this whole thing: What is the big deal, from the bishop’s and Fr. Tran’s POVs, with having some people kneel? In their eyes, what possible harm does it do to have these people kneeling in adoration?
I just don’t get it.

J.R. Stoodley June 2, 2006 at 12:06 am

Inocencio,
I tend to agree with you on things, but in this case I would suggest you back off the issue of Susan’s actions. There definitely seems to have been deception and coerceon on the part of the bishop and naivity on the part of Susan and her husband and lawyers. Exactly how the situation came about you and I will never know, but it seems clear to me that in such a strange grave situation they were not bound by their “oath,” morally at least, I don’t know about legally.
In any case we must keep in mind that obedience like all aspects of legitimate religion is aimed at achieving union with God. In this case it is through humble acceptance and obedience towards authorities God has placed you under. At some point obedience can change from this to slavenly accepting anything that comes down the pike from the powers that be, no matter how bad it is. This would be a false sense of obedience that is anything but following God’s will.
I’m not saying you, or even Old Zhou, are advocating this kind of “deformed” obedience, but your comments could be construed that way.

Susan Teissere June 2, 2006 at 12:40 am

JR,Inocencio, Old Zhou, do you belong to a priest group in the Orange Diocese? Your comments sound like priests. JR, morally or legally the secret oath is not bindingin any court of law. Secret oaths to hide evil are invalid!

Maureen June 2, 2006 at 3:29 am

Jimmy — I’ve got a serious question.
Suppose you’re a frail person who can’t stand for a very long time. (Wobbly, prone to fainting, bad legs, stuff like that.) Suppose you unwarily attend a Mass in this Diocese of Orange. Suppose that you try to kneel down after the Agnus Dei, but are glared at and told that you won’t get Communion if you kneel. Suppose that, after trying your best to stand up for the entire length of the Lamb of God till the end of Communion, you fall and crack your head on the pew, doing yourself all kinds of damage.
Who would this person sue, Jimmy? The archdiocese, the diocese, the parish, the bishop, or the priest?
And what happens if ambulance chasers decide to target the Diocese of Orange?

Maureen June 2, 2006 at 3:32 am

Susan —
I don’t know for sure about JR or Inocencio, but Old Zhou is definitely just your average over-knowledgeable lay Catholic nerd. :) Welcome to the weird little world of the Catholic blogosphere, where we all love to mouth off.

Inocencio June 2, 2006 at 6:23 am

“I tend to agree with you on things, but in this case I would suggest you back off the issue of Susan’s actions”
I asked for clarification of her comment.
She had said this more than once: “We know it to be fact!! because my husband and I are the ones forced into signing the secret oath” yet the article she said had all details said she signed it with the advise of her attorney.
I simply wanted documentation of the force the bishop used. I am not attacking Susan. When such a claim is made I always ask for documentation.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Inocencio June 2, 2006 at 6:25 am

JR,Inocencio, Old Zhou, do you belong to a priest group in the Orange Diocese?
I can only answer for myself. I am not of the Orange Diocese. I am a husband and father of six children so far.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Old Zhou June 2, 2006 at 7:37 am

Dear Susan,
Although I did discuss priestly vocation with the Franciscans at Ss. Simon & Jude when I was younger, I do not have the honor of being a priest of the Diocese of Orange County, assisting Bishop Brown in the exercise of the apostolic ministry.
But I have enjoyed liturgy with Bishop Brown and Cardinal Mahony.
Maybe that is why I appreciate the African drums during Mass at my own parish.
By the way, for those who want to skip Fr. Tran, and Bp. Brown, and claim Cardinal Arinze as their “pastor,” well, let me ask if you have any real life experience with Catholic or Christian life in Nigeria, or other parts of Africa, such as Kenya. Order and obedience are very important, whether in family, society or church (also in Vietnam and East Asia). If you told Cardinal Arinze that you were taking him as your “pastor” ask skipping over your local priest and bishop, he would probably whack you over the head with his crozier, hoping to enlighten you. Such nonsense is foreign to African culture.

J.R. Stoodley June 2, 2006 at 7:49 am

Susan,
I too am not a priest and have never even been to the diocese of Orange.
If you reread what I have written, you will see I am backing you up on the who secret oath thing. I feel for you on the kneeling issue and only called it petty when describing how most “outsiders” (an intentionally vague word) must see it. I just disagree with your ultimate reaction to that offence.

J.R. Stoodley June 2, 2006 at 7:58 am

Inocencio,
Whatever your actual intentions, when you keep quoting things on obedience and keep harping on the one point of Susan’s misuse of the word “forced” people will, rightly or wrongly, infer a certain message or agenda behind your posts. It might be wiser to explicitly state your position and then quote stuff to back it up.
I know you have a thing about just wanting to represent the Church’s positions not your personal thoughts and feelings (or something like that) so this is just a suggestion about how you might be more effective, not a real criticism.

J.R. Stoodley June 2, 2006 at 8:44 am

Jared, I just spotted your last comment.
Ultimately if the people have informed their conciounces well and done considerable discernment on the matter and as a resulf think they should rebel in this way (because of the enforcement of this regulation it is not just a matter of kneeling when everyone else is standing like it would be in most places) then that might be the right course of action. There is the controvercial issue of to what degree you can ignore the Church if your conscience seems to tell you to, but I’d rather not get into that right now.
On the other hand merely wanting to kneel because you feel it is more reverent does not constitute your conscience telling you to disobediently kneel.
Also even if one (or several) people have come to one conclusion that does not mean people like us can not suggest others.
If I had been one of these parishioners, I might have knelt at first when the instruction to stand for the Agnus Dei went out, in light of Cardinal Arinze’s letter. However, after seeing how the bishop and priest reacted I would have changed my position to the one I gave above (or at least so I think from my vantage point here).

RKBA Democrat June 2, 2006 at 9:39 am

This story is a tempest in a teapot and I’m missing why it’s become the cause du jour.
The Roman Catholic church in Southern California has become notorious for it’s…well, let’s just call them “innovations.” How is this latest controversy at all surprising or out of character?
I realize that there are Roman Catholics in So. Cal who are unhappy with the situation. But there also happen to be at least a dozen eastern Catholic churches in Southern California which are in communion with the Roman Catholic church. While the eastern Catholic churches are not nearly as “liturgically innovative”, they still celebrate valid and licit Divine Liturgies (Masses). Roman Catholics are welcome.
Yet I’ll bet that those same eastern Catholic churches are relatively empty as compared to the Roman Catholic parishes in the Diocese.
I understand the concept of bearing witness. I also understand that people are reluctant to change. But at a certain point you have to wonder why people choose to be unhappy when there are other orthodox Catholic alternatives in their midst.

Inocencio June 2, 2006 at 12:27 pm

J.R. Stoodley,
Fair enough.
If anyone is interested I think this
article
sums up the Catholic understanding of obedience.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

bill912 June 2, 2006 at 12:42 pm

“When such a claim is made I always ask for documentation.” Gee, Inocenco, you’re getting a lot of flack for asking a logical question!

Inocencio June 2, 2006 at 12:51 pm

Hi Bill912,
I hope all is well with you!
After I went through RCIA a decade ago I started listening to Catholic Answers. My favorite apologist always said when someone makes a claim you respond “documentation please”. Of all the things listening to Jimmy has taught me over the years that has been the most important.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Leo Wong June 2, 2006 at 1:49 pm

“Welcome to the weird little world of the Catholic blogosphere, where we all love to mouth off.”
All of us bloghards better remember Matthew 12:36-37:

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.

Today Jesus asks Bishops: Do you love me?
Don’t miss the beautiful catechesis by Pope Benedict XVI:
http://www.chiesa.espressonline.it/dettaglio.jsp?id=62182&eng=y

Leo Wong June 2, 2006 at 1:50 pm

At least three classes of the “kneeling parishioners” can be usefully distinguished: 1) the altar servers (and their coordinator), 2) the parish advisory council members who were dismissed, and 3) the other kneelers, some or all of whom were invited to leave the parish and the diocese.
Altar servers should follow the diocesan norm, unless the pastor determines otherwise. At St. Mary’s by the Sea, where there is no pastor, the servers should have followed their Bishop’s directives, or resigned.
Whether the parish advisory council members were validly dismissed by the parish administrator depends on Church law, the laws of the Diocese of Orange, the by-laws of the council, and possibly other factors. Whether the parish advisory council members should have resigned is a matter of discretion. Probably, they cannot be required to be more obedient than the other kneelers, but they should have resigned if their kneeling was a scandal in the parish or prevented the proper functioning of the parish advisory council.
After the Diocese’s clarification, the other kneelers need not fear that their kneeling is disobedience amounting to mortal sin, nor need they take seriously the dubious invitation to leave the parish and the diocese, or the false charge that they are separating themselves from the Church. Considering Cardinal Arinze’s response (which is the Church’s response) to the question about the intention of GIRM 43, and absent further clarification from the Diocese of Orange, they are free to kneel.

Leo Wong June 2, 2006 at 7:06 pm

Still, the key point–that it is not a mortal sin to kneel after the Agnus Dei in those places where standing is the norm–has been acknowledged, so this difficulty need not detain us further.
It is no sin at all to kneel after the Agnus Dei in those places where standing is the norm, so I think we shall hear no more from Father Tran or Bishop Brown about this any time soon.

Inocencio June 3, 2006 at 1:35 am

All of us bloghards better remember Matthew 12:36-37:I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.
Yes, Leo Wong, and don’t forget Matt 7:2 “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.”
May I ask where your quote of Jun 1, 2006 6:57:31 PM comes from?
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Leo Wong June 3, 2006 at 4:33 am

Yes, Leo Wong, and don’t forget Matt 7:2 “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.”
You’re right, Inocencio, we shall be judged as we judge. There should be more fear and trembling among us bloggers.
May I ask where your quote of Jun 1, 2006 6:57:31 PM comes from?
From the most dangerous man in England in 1959 (not Charles Darwin).
God bless. May we be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Leo Wong June 3, 2006 at 5:24 am

“From the most dangerous man in England in 1959 (not Charles Darwin).”
1859: I daily earn the right to be humble.
John Henry Newman, “On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine,” July 1859
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/newman-faithful.html
Newman was called “the most dangerous man in England” in a letter from Msgr. George Talbot to Cardinal Manning — in 1867 I think. In the same letter Msgr. Talbot wrote: “What is the province of the laity? To hunt, to shoot, to entertain. These matters they understand, but to meddle with ecclesiastical matters they have no right at all.” This goes along with Bishop Ullathorne’s earlier statement that it was “absolutely unnecessary that the reasons for our own actions should be explained and that the Catholic community should be informed of the grounds of our proceedings.”
I don’t judge either the monsignor or the bishop, though I disagree with the quoted statements.
My apologies for any typos. The “preview” feature does not work with my browser.
God bless.

john chrysostom June 3, 2006 at 10:52 am

Leo,
I agree with you when you say:

It is no sin at all to kneel after the Agnus Dei in those places where standing is the norm.

It seems to me, that if there is no sin at all in kneeling, it would logically follow that people are free to kneel.
Why, then, are good Catholics browbeating the people who kneel at St. Mary’s by the Sea?
I can understand why “progressive” Catholics would demand the kneeling, and even why they would ironically harp on demanding obedience from these kneeling parishioners, while ignoring their own acts of disobedience (though their disobedience is admittedly not to their local ordinary).
It’s always been easier to take being bashed by the liberals (although it is always a cross when people are against you).
What is more painful, though, is being bashed by those with whom we otherwise completely agree. It is very hard to have those you would otherwise consider friends berate you publicly and privately with very righteous mantras about obedience, as though we know nothing about Catholicism or the proper respect due to those with authority.
My position has always been that the bishop and Fr. Tran are to be respected for their office. Despite Fr. Tran’s heretical position on women’s ordination and the fact that he preaches social justice, almost exclusively, in a way that makes me uncomfortable, not because he is preaching “hard sayings”, but rather because his preaching is clearly from a liberal mindset. I also wholeheartedly respect the office held by Bishop Brown despite the things enumerated in the Open Letter To Bishop Brown.
I will admit, though, that I believe there is strong, objective evidence that Bishop Brown is deeply confused about the Catholic faith. I know that people will say, he’s the bishop, and Pope John Paul II appointed him, etc. I understand that people believe that since the Holy See is not correcting him, or Cardinals Mahony, Martini, etc., then that means that the actions and positions held by these progressive cardinals and bishops have the approval of the Holy See.
However, I know that is not the truth. We have encountered someone in the course of this controversy who has shared with us an insight into how Rome views these matters. This man, a former priest who was laicized, but is in good standing with the Church, had the privilege of driving Cardinal Arinze around when he came to this man’s diocese. I will not mention the diocese, but it isn’t in California. Anyway, Cardinal Arinze told the man that the Holy See was well aware that his own bishop was “very bad”. However, he said that the canonical steps and difficulties that could possibly arise in removing him would take longer (and perhaps create more problems) than simply waiting for him to retire in five years or so.
I think the Holy see has been so afraid of schism, of another situation like that with Archbishop Lefebvre, only this time with liberals, that they have just quietly waited for these progressives to retire.
I don’t agree with that outlook, but I understand full well the danger of a renegade bishop (or even a few renegades) running around validly ordaining renegade priests and validly consecrating renegade bishops.
Anyway, back to my original point: Why are we being persecuted by orthodox Catholics?

Leo Wong June 3, 2006 at 12:30 pm

Why are we being persecuted by orthodox Catholics?
First, let’s not use the word persecuted. The comment section in blogs is such an explosive medium that one should always try to tone things down (I am learning this now and must continually remind myself). These Catholics are interested in your souls.
The kneelers are being asked to obey legitimate authority. That is the point of referring to the fourth commandment. In this case, one is expected to honor one’s pastor, even a poor pastor, which includes obeying him.
If the kneelers kneel to disobey the pastor, they sin. But, of course, they do not kneel to disobey the pastor; they kneel to obey their conscience and the Church, which says that one is free to kneel and which desires that the liturgy nourish, strengthen, and protect their faith. They kneel not to “go above” anyone but to be with the Church. They do not “set their own norms”, “indulge in private worship,” or make the Mass their own “business”, but obey the Latin norm, which is a (not the) norm of the one holy catholic and apostolic Church. This is true whether or not they have thought through it even in this summary fashion.
So I think that those who criticize the kneelers see disobedience where there is obedience. This being so, they rightly call the kneelers to obedience.
I do not think the kneelers are close to disobeying the bishop. He has set (I am not ready to say “determined”) a norm, which does not regulate posture rigidly (as Inocencio would ask, where is the documentation?). Are the kneelers disobeying the parish administrator? Peace. Let us hear what the parish administrator says now. Let bygones be bygones.
Don’t take to heart or even to mind anything said to you in a forum such as this. The Internet lacks tact, which is essential to any good spiritual guidance.
God bless you and fill you with the Holy Spirit.

Nemo June 3, 2006 at 6:45 pm

Old Zhou,
Awhile back in this debate you said Susan shouldn’t concern herself with the ACTIVE same-sex ‘lifestyle’ of her cousin, the priest. You are most wrong. A catholic is obliged to admonish the sinner, especially when the sinner is the shepard of hundreds! Are you joking, or are you insane?
P.S. if you are also serious about enjoying african drums as liturgical music, and hearing mass said by Mahoney, you are doubly insane!
If you are joking, disregard these comments, but if you are not joking, you aren’t a faithful catholic.

Jared Weber June 3, 2006 at 7:14 pm

Thanks, Nemo. Having just picked up on this conversation, I was wondering if anyone would pick up on those statements. A priest in that condition (sexually active with anyone) is directly causing scandal to the faithful. Additionally, the liturgical innovations of the bishops in question are in violation of Liturgical standards set forth by the Magisterium … and are, therefore, DISOBEDIENT. Another scandal.

J.R. Stoodley June 3, 2006 at 8:25 pm

Why are we being persecuted by orthodox Catholics?
I would hate to think that I am “persecuting” anyone just by suggesting they follow their diocesan liturgical regulations. So far I have seen nothing definitive concerning a “right” to kneel when you want to even if the priest or bishop forbids it, including in the letters from Cardinal Arinze. As Inocencio would say, where is the documentation of the “right”? While there is some doubt on the matter, it seems to me that the best position would be for pastors to be very liberal, using the word properly, in their application of diocesan regulations on this matter, but that parishioners should, at least if thier pastors are being ridged, follow the norm.
Also, am I mistaken, or is standing during the Agnus Dei the standard norm for the Latin right? I thought it was, and the United States had gotten special permission from Rome to do things differently (to kneel), while still allowing bishops within the US to follow the more universial norm (to stand) if they wished. If this is correct it may shed a different light on the subject for some.

Leo Wong June 3, 2006 at 8:52 pm

We are talking about kneeling after the Agnus Dei.
Ubi mos est, populum ab acclamatione Sanctus expleta usque ad finem Precis eucharisticae et ante Communionem quando sacerdos dicit Ecce Agnus Dei genuflexum manere, hic laudabiliter retinetur.
Where it is the practice for the people to remain kneeling after the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer and before Communion when the priest says Ecce Agnus Dei (This is the Lamb of God), this practice is laudably retained.

Inocencio June 3, 2006 at 9:41 pm

Leo Wong,
Could you cite your references or if possible include a link.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Phil June 4, 2006 at 3:43 am

I’m so confused. I do want to kneel after the Agnus Dei. Here in the arch diocese of Seattle, I’ve been to parishes that don’t kneel afterwards. It seems very awkward for me to stand during that time. Why are liturgical practices different? We are a univeral church, not a regional church. I moved here from NYC and I keep finding huge differences in liturgical practices on the west coast. I don’t want to be in dissident, but we do need some unity on this topic as a whole church not as regions. It’s just too confusing. Why do US Bishops choose to inteprete things their own way? Why did Vatican II leave so much room for the Bishops to clearly misinteprete the documents.
confused!

Leo Wong June 4, 2006 at 4:36 am

Could you cite your references or if possible include a link.
No. You Google, I go Mass. Maranatha.
Caritas.

bill912 June 4, 2006 at 8:05 am

Inocencio, I reitterate my comment of 2 days ago.
Life is good. Hope U 2.

Anonymous June 4, 2006 at 9:23 am

I was just at mass in Vermont, and people didn’t kneel after the Agnus Dei. Should I have kneeled? I didn’t kneel, perhaps I should have gone against the crowd.

J.R. Stoodley June 4, 2006 at 2:07 pm

Anon,
In the Dioceses of Syracuse and Albany (right nest to Vermont) I have encountered parishes where the people kneel for the consecratin, after the Agnus Dei, and after recieving communion, and parishes where they do not kneel at all. Never for one part of the mass but not after the Agnus Dei. Therefore, if I were in your place, I would have assumed standing for the Agnus Dei was the diocesan norm and would have complied. I tryed to find what the norms are in Vermont with a Google search but to no avail, but I would find the answer if you plan on going there again.
If you’ve read this and the other post on the subject, you know that Cardinal Arinze is sympathetic to those who would rather kneel as an act of devotion even where the norm is to stand. I personally would examine my conscience and consider whether my staning out among all the other people made it worth it, and if possible would ask the pastor what his and the parishioners reaction would be to your kneeling. I wouldn’t want to cause scandal by being apparently disobedient or even rebellious at Mass.
This is all aside from whether there is an actual “right to kneel” in the Latin rite, which I still am not convinced of.

Brian Day June 4, 2006 at 6:09 pm

From a couple of days ago:
The question whether the norm of the Diocese of Orange is intended “to regulate posture rigidly” or “to ensure within broad limits a certain uniformity of posture” has still, so far as I know, not been answered. Mr. Brian Day, what has been the catechesis on this norm in the Diocese of Orange?
I cannot answer the question at the moment. The topic of posture has not been addressed diocese-wide since the norm change a couple of years ago. I’ll try to talk to some of our priests this weekend to get a read on how rigidly the norms are to be applied.

I was able to chat with my pastor for a few minutes today. I asked him about the situation at St Mary’s. He characterized the LA Times article as a gross mischaracterization. Understandably he was very reluctant to criticize his Bishop or a fellow priest.
In talking about “the guidelines” in posture, Father said that it was up to the priest to handle each situation as it arose. Given the situation discussed, he said that he would have handled the situation differently.
My take is that there is no intent “to regulate posture rigidly” within the Diocese. As I stated earlier, this is a squabble between a few of St Mary’s parishioners and Fr Tran that has spiralled out of control.

Leo Wong June 4, 2006 at 7:30 pm

In talking about “the guidelines” in posture, Father said that it was up to the priest to handle each situation as it arose. Given the situation discussed, he said that he would have handled the situation differently.
My take is that there is no intent “to regulate posture rigidly” within the Diocese. As I stated earlier, this is a squabble between a few of St Mary’s parishioners and Fr Tran that has spiralled out of control.

Thank you, Mr. Day. I am certain that the Diocese will never forbid kneeling after the Agnus Dei.
Bishop Brown has agreed to meet with the parishioners, and if the kneelers don’t ask for an apology and don’t bring up other issues, they should be able to kneel in peace. This is now spiritually a more dangerous time for them than for Bishop Brown; may God be with them.

Marion (Mael Muire) June 4, 2006 at 7:43 pm

I wouldn’t want to cause scandal by being apparently disobedient or even rebellious at Mass.
Let’s see . . .
Clown masses.
Hootenany masses.
Mariachi Masses.
Puppet Masses.
Masses with gals in leotards gallavanting (liturgical dancing) up the main aisle (which is forbidden by the Vatican, but, so what? it is done anyway)
Masses where nuns preach the homily (also forbidden, but so what? it’s done anyway) . . .
Remind me again? Precisely who or what it is that we’re not supposed to be “rebelling” against?
I think I sort of forgot.
Oh! Right! Kneeling. Kneeling is what is now seriously taboo in church, and God help you if they catch you at it.
Surreal. Totally surreal.

J.R. Stoodley June 4, 2006 at 9:03 pm

Marion,
Kneeling when the norm is to stand? I’ll grant people should be allowed to do it, but it still sounds like disobedience to me, and in some places will look like it to others. Why should they listen to your complaints about their breaking liturgical rules when you break the ones you don’t like?
I don’t see how the existence of extravagant liberal disobedience automatically excuses mild conservitive disobedience.
I am rather concerned about these lines of unreason that keep popping up in this discussion, that other people are worse so my actions must be fine or that if you criticize me you must be a liberal priest. Where is this coming from? Maybe from an overly “us versus them” feeling, where if “we” do it, it must be ok and if you criticize “us” then you must be one of “them”?

Anonymous June 5, 2006 at 4:09 am

J.R.
Thanks for your help. It is of little practical consequence for me, because I am leaving vermont in a couple days. I was just curious, because I had never seen this before, everyplace else people kneeled after the Agnus Dei.

Marion June 5, 2006 at 5:47 am

J.R. wrote, Why should they listen to your complaints about their breaking liturgical rules when you break the ones you don’t like?
J.R., Many people don’t realize that the Catholic faithful always and everywhere have a right to a true Liturgy, “the Liturgy desired and laid down by the whole Church” and that “undue experimentation, changes and creativity bewilder the faithful.”*
Whereas there has been much in the way of undue experimentation and creativity in the Mass in recent years (i.e., clown Masses, etc.) it should come as no surprise to anyone that many faithful Catholics are upset and concerned as a result. They have every reason to be.
A response to these peoples’ concerns that consists of “you will obey; you will obey” indicates a lack of appreciation of the position into which they have been placed.
Whatever these folks decide to do is between them, their pastor, their bishop, and God. I wouldn’t dream of telling other people what to do. That’s way above my pay grade!
My earlier post was simply my way of expressing the fact that, as a fellow Catholic onlooker, I totally respect and sympathize with these peoples’ legitimate concerns. I agree that if they are upset, they have had reason to be.
_________________________________
*INAESTIMABILE DONUM
Instruction Concerning Worship Of The Eucharistic Mystery
Approved and Confirmed by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, 17 April 1980

Marion June 5, 2006 at 9:43 am

Apart from the specific question of kneeling, Catholics in Orange do have a right to a true and reverent liturgy, one in which liturgical abuses and bewildering innovations are not present. This is the right of the faithful.
This is not about kneeling per se, but about the larger question of liturgical abuses that may or may not exist in Orange, or anywhere else, for that matter.
I just found out today about an organization called the St. Joseph Foundation. From their website: (again not about kneeling, but about proper Catholic liturgy):
“Catholics have rights in their Church just as they have rights under the federal and state constitutions here in the United States. Some of their rights in the Church, including the right of assembly, the right of petition, the right of free association, the right to privacy and reputation and the right to due process correspond to their civil rights. Other rights, especially the right to know the truth about God and His Church, the right to the spiritual goods of the Church and the right to worship according to the norms established by lawful authority have no counterparts in civil law.
The Saint Joseph Foundation serves
Catholics who seek to know and vindicate their rights within the Church – rights that the Church herself recognizes and protects. Whenever individuals or groups believe their rights are threatened or have been violated, the Foundation assists them in using the means established by the Church to obtain remedies.”
http://www.st-joseph-foundation.org/index.php
Might be a good group to know about.

john chrysostom June 5, 2006 at 12:14 pm

The St. Joseph Foundation has been working with Restore The Sacred. We sought their help right away.
I don’t want people to get the wrong ideas about Restore The Sacred. They aren’t radical traditionalists. If they were, they wouldn’t be at St. Mary’s by the Sea anymore because the bishop took the Tridentine Mass away from St. Mary’s by the Sea.
The members of Restore The Sacred attend the normative Mass of the Roman Rite, without difficulty, although they sympathize with those who wish to restore the Tridentine Mass to St. Mary’s by the Sea.
The traditional Catholics at St. Mary’s by the Sea weren’t hurting anybody in the diocese. Neither were the Tridentine Mass traditionalists. I make that distinction because there was only one Tridentine Mass at St. Mary’s, which was, admittedly, the most crowded, but there are three other Sunday Masses and one Saturday vigil which were not Tridentine and were not in Latin. They were just done reverently and in conformity with an authentic interpretation of Church norms. There weren’t altar girls, but nobody wanted them and no one had a problem with their absence (within the parish). The sign of Peace was offered by the priest to the people, but the option of inviting the congregation to share the sign of peace was not utilized because it was optional. It increased reverence and it had the added bonus of not wasting a lot of time as some neighboring parishes do (with a five minute sign of peace where people literally runs up and down the aisles hugging and waving).
Anyway, the Catholics at St. Mary’s weren’t running around making problems for everyone in other parishes. They had been ghettoized because they were of a more reverent mindset and found a haven at St. Mary’s. The same people were equally comfortable with Mass at St. Michael’s Abbey with the Norbertines (but that Mass is also packed, and it is about a 45 minute drive from St. Mary’s by the Sea).
When Fr. Johnson retired and there was no longer the protection of a pastor with canonical rights, Bishop Brown sought to update the parish in a way that shows that he feels the parish is backwards. Some would have been thrilled if the Norbertines could have taken over St. Mary’s, but Bishop Brown was not willing to allow that because that would have only encouraged the continuation of traditional Catholic devotions.
He is clearly trying to break the parish.
Saturday evening when Bishop Brown was at St. Mary’s for Mass, when one woman begged him to restore the Tridentine Mass to St. Mary’s by the Sea, Bishop Brown answered, emphatically, “No. We must move forward.”
That’s his outlook. He’s a progressive. He thinks traditional Catholics are backwards people. He’s using his power to force his personal liturgical preferences and sensibilities on others without consideration for these people or reflection on the fact that their requests are for things that are licit and which have value.
Whereas, Pope Benedict XVI, had this to say about the allowing the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass:

“I am of the opinion that the old rite should be granted much more generously to all those who desire it. It is impossible to see what could be dangerous or unacceptable about that. A community is calling its very being into question when it declares that what was its holiest and highest possession is strictly forbidden and when it makes the longing for it seem downright indecent.” — Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, (From his book) “Salt Of The Earth”, Ignatius Press, 1997

Pope Benedict XVI’s views on kneeling: The Theology of Kneeling

john chrysostom June 5, 2006 at 12:29 pm

Here are two threads about Bishop Brown’s agreement to meet with St. Mary’s by the Sea parishioners:
Bishop Tod Brown Agrees To Meet With Restore The Sacred
and
Meeting of Minds?
I quote one important post from another member of Restore The Sacred that is significant, because it gives one something to consider:

I would give much credit to Bishop Brown if he had come to apologize instead of congratulating Fr. Martin Tran for doing a “good job” at St. Mary’s:
1. For the Liturgical violations in our parish and throughout the Diocese of Orange. (Bishop Brown favors changing the Rubrics yesterday he changed to “happy are all of us who are invited to this meal” Fr. Martin Tran is also known for changing the rubrics)
2. For sending into exile 55 families “with the permission of Bishop Brown you are officially invited to leave the parish and the Diocese” (I got a letter like that)
3. For Saying that kneeling after the Agnus Dei was a “mortal Sin”. (Even though they are trying to backpedal on this one. At the end is the same if you kneel in the Diocese of Orange after the Lamb of God is a mortal sin!)
4. For having suspended the altar boys’ coordinator and altar boys for the newly discovered “sin of kneeling”
5. For having prohibited the “Sanctus bells” to be rung at the Sanctus and after the Lamb of God. (Of course that would invite people to kneel!)
6. For getting rid of the Crucifix on the altar.
7. For having extra ordinary ministers of Holy Communion against directives of Redemptionis Sacramentum 102. (No more than 10-15% of parishioners approach the cups with the Precious Blood)
8. For not allowing parishioners to use the Communion rail with the exception of 12 noon Novus Ordo Latin Mass and daily Masses (later on they will get rid of the Communion rail when no one uses it!)
9. For Fr. Martin Tran public statement that women should be priests! (I was present when he made that statement!)
10. Mass attendance has dropped to approximately 50% along with donations.
11. For forcing the shaking of hands after the sign of peace.
12. For forcing on to us the “musical” hymnals from Oregon Press. (With ugly & deceiving covers and full of horrible songs) and more…….
I wander which of the above “accomplishments” of Fr. Martin Tran made Bishop Brown the happiest.

Garvan Kuskey June 5, 2006 at 7:33 pm

The confusion about kneeling after the Ecce Agnus Dei stems from six words inserted into §43 of the GIRM which reads “The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei UNLESS THE DIOCESAN BISHOP DETERMINES OPTHERWISE.” What Bishop Brown is not letting on is that these words were adopted by the bishops EXCLUSIVELY for
Masses celebrated in venues where it would be difficult to kneel, such as Masses in stadiums, outdoors in fields, or in crowded auditoriums. It was not intended to prevent kneeling in churches, as a review of the transcripts of the NCCB meetings on June 15, 2001 and November 14, 2001 will reveal.

Nemo June 8, 2006 at 8:26 am

It is plain that Old Zhou can’t defend his position, or he would’ve responded by now.

Nemo June 8, 2006 at 8:28 am

BTW, Old Zhou,
Since when did the liturgy exist to please us?

bill912 June 8, 2006 at 8:35 am

“Are you joking or are you insane?”
“…you are doubly insane.”
“It is plain that Old Zhou can’t defend his position, or he would’ve responded by now.” Translation: “Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!”
Old Zhou, I don’t blame you for declining to respond to such immaturity.

Nemo June 8, 2006 at 8:52 am

Bill,
you can’t say I’m immature when Old Zhou is attacking a catholic for contacting her bishop about her ACTIVELY homosexual cousin. you should be more careful when you come into the conversation late.

Nemo June 8, 2006 at 8:55 am

by my second comment I was calling on Old Zhou to throw in the towel.

Nemo June 8, 2006 at 9:00 am

bill,
As a faithful catholic (for so I presume you to be) souldn’t you be a little angered by a fellow catholic saying he ‘enjoys’ hearing the liturgy said by the likes of Mahoney? Think girly men dancing around the altar with incense for 15 minutes, followed by women reading the Gospel.

Nemo June 8, 2006 at 9:29 am

Bill,
It was too personnal to call Old Zhou insane, because it distracted people like you from my valid point, that Old Zhou is incorrect. So I apologized to you, Old Zhou, but continue to strongly oppose your view.

J.R. Stoodley June 8, 2006 at 6:35 pm

Old Zhou may not read old posts like this. He may not have read it since it droped of the recent posts list.

Inocencio June 8, 2006 at 10:21 pm

“It was not intended to prevent kneeling in churches, as a review of the transcripts of the NCCB meetings on June 15, 2001 and November 14, 2001 will reveal.”
Can anyone provide a link for these transcripts? I ask because I cannot find them online and §43 of the GIRM states“The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.”53
The footnote quotes:
53. Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, no. 40; Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction Varietates legitimae, 25 January 1994, no. 41: AAS 87 (1995), p. 304.
The GIRM was canonically approved.
The Decree of Publication of the GIRM
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal was canonically approved for use by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on November 12, 2002, and was subsequently confirmed by the Holy See by decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on March 17, 2003 (Prot. N. 2235/02/L).
And §390 states: “It is up to the Conferences of Bishops to decide on the adaptations indicated in this General Instruction and in the Order of Mass and, once their decisions have been accorded the recognitio of the Apostolic See, to introduce them into the Missal itself. These adaptations include
The gestures and posture of the faithful (cf. no. 43 above);
If someone could point out where I could see the transcripts I would be very grateful. Nothing that I have read so far has stated that the bishops adopted these “EXCLUSIVELY for
Masses celebrated in venues where it would be difficult to kneel, such as Masses in stadiums, outdoors in fields, or in crowded auditoriums”
.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Old Zhou June 8, 2006 at 11:13 pm

Dear Folks,
I have not been paying attention to this since it dropped off of the “recent” activity. I don’t have any particular fixation on this discussion.
If I’m insane, then at least I know that I’m insane in good company–all of the Roman Catholic bishops of California. We seem to get along quite well, whether Tod Brown in Orange, or Cardinal Mahony in Los Angeles, or Vigneron in Oakland, etc. Nothing like being in a room with six or so of our state’s bishops and being perfectly at rest and at home in fellowship with them. And if that makes me “not faithful” in your opinion, well, so be it.
But from the earliest days of the Church (such as St. Ignatius of Antioch) until today, it is clear that if you separate yourself from your bishop, you separate yourself from the Church.
Jesus did not call the disciples because they were already right or holy. He just called them because those are the ones he chose. I’ll stick with the one’s Jesus calls, even if they are still, like me, in the word of St. Leo the Great in today’s reading on Job, a mixture of light and darkness. (I trust all you holy, faithful Catholics regularly pray the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours).
Take care!

Jared Weber June 9, 2006 at 1:16 am

But from the earliest days of the Church (such as St. Ignatius of Antioch) until today, it is clear that if you separate yourself from your bishop, you separate yourself from the Church.
So, are you saying that people shouldn’t have separated themselves from Bishop Lefevre?
And you haven’t defended your statement on the gay priest. But I guess that statement would place one “at home in fellowship” with Mahony and Brown.

Nemo June 9, 2006 at 9:13 am

Bill912,
See what I mean?
Old Zhou,
Following your bishop doesn’t insure salvation. Mahoney is disobeying the GIRM, which states that either a priest or a deacon, NOT a WOMAN, must give the homily. Furthermore, native music replacing tradtional hymns would only be allowed in the nation of origin and only to make the Mass more understandable. Being unfaithful to the GIRM, even in the company of all the bishops of your state, is still a sin (I’m not saying you are commiting a sin, since I can’t read souls). When I said your were an unfaithful catholic, it was true. But it was not a judgement on your conscience.

Leo Wong June 9, 2006 at 1:56 pm

It was not intended to prevent kneeling in churches, as a review of the transcripts of the NCCB meetings on June 15, 2001 and November 14, 2001 will reveal.”
Can anyone provide a link for these transcripts?
http://www.adoremus.org/0303BishopRules.html
Nothing that I have read so far has stated that the bishops adopted these “EXCLUSIVELY for Masses celebrated in venues where it would be difficult to kneel, such as Masses in stadiums, outdoors in fields, or in crowded auditoriums.”
No, they did not. The adaptation of GIRM 43 presented a number of issues, and as is clear from transcripts, the bishops were confused by it all, as well as ignorant of what Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani actually said.

Inocencio June 9, 2006 at 4:03 pm

Leo Wong,
Thank you for the link.
Take care and God bless,
Inocencio
J+M+J

Leo Wong June 9, 2006 at 7:02 pm

Dear Inocencio,
Please tell us what you get from it.
God bless you,
Leo Wong

Leo Wong June 10, 2006 at 7:50 am

But from the earliest days of the Church (such as St. Ignatius of Antioch) until today, it is clear that if you separate yourself from your bishop, you separate yourself from the Church.
In his Epistle to the Ephesians, St. Ignatius of Antioch praised unity. As Jesus Christ is the will of the Father, so the bishops are the will of Jesus Christ, the priests “fitted as exactly to the bishop as the strings are to the harp,” and the people a choir,“a perfect unity with God.”
But the American bishops are not unified:

The American prelates appear divided on the revisions. A poll taken last summer found that 52 percent of bishops favored the changes, while 47 percent judged them “fair or poor.”
— Daniel Burke, Familiar words of Catholic Mass face changes, Religion News Service. For the bishops’ discussion about kneeling, see “Unless the diocesan bishop determines otherwise”

I was therefore struck by today’s first reading, in which Paul writes:

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.
— 2 Timothy 4:3–4

And in today’s Gospel reading, who are they who:

go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in cathedrals, and places of honor at conventions.
— Mark 12:38–39

And are not the poor kneelers of St. Mary’s by the Sea more like the poor widow who:

put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For . . . she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had.
— Mark 12:43–44

Leo Wong June 10, 2006 at 11:55 am

Dear john chrysostom,
What is happening at St. Mary’s by the Sea now? Has Father Tran said anything? When are you meeting with Bishop Brown? Has he said anything? If you would, write here after tomorrow’s Mass to tell us how it went.

Old Zhou June 10, 2006 at 12:58 pm

Dear Leo,
The issue is not whether or not the American bishops are unified. Or the bishops of Africa.
The issue is the real, practical, local obedience and unity of these folks with their real, actual, local, legal, proper ecclesial authorities of (1) the pastoral administrator, Fr. Tran, (2) their bishop, Tod Brown of the Diocse of Orange.
Until these folks work through the issues, with a right attitude of humility, obedience and love with these particular real, breathing people who are the legitimate ecclesial authorities over them (Fr. Tran and Bp. Brown), there will be no peace.
Poor analogy: you can read, and even write, all the books you want on how to have a successful marriage. Quote outstanding authorities. But all that is pretty pointless if you spend all your time at home fighting with your spouse.
We need to be real, incarnational, sacramental people who live in the real world with the real people God has placed over us. That is the way to peace.

Leo Wong June 10, 2006 at 3:36 pm

Dear Old Zhou,
I just meant to show that what St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote does not apply.
At the moment, we (I) don’t know what Fr. Tran and Bishop Brown are ordering. Their condemnation was very clear, their clarification not. Until Bishop Brown makes a more definite statement, I think that one may kneel in his diocese without being accused of disobedience.
Marriage is not so poor an analogy. Everyone might benefit from reading St. Paul. Didn’t the Vatican advise that this be settled in the family?
I think I said previously that I don’t believe in spiritual direction in blogs, much less in blog comments. Based on what I know of Church law, including the American GIRM, and statements from the Holy See, kneeling after the Agnus Dei is permitted whether or not standing is the norm in a diocese. Except for Fr. Tran’s unfortunate statement and the equally unfortunate initial support of that statement by a diocesan spokesman, both now withdrawn, nothing that I have seen from the Diocese of Orange forbids kneeling. I hope that the meeting of the St. Mary’s kneelers and Bishop Brown will reach an understanding satisfactory to both sides. I hope that the kneelers and Fr. Tran have already come to some sort of agreement, even if only an agreement to disagree. As “spouses” they do have to live together. I hope that john chrysostom will give more information on what is happening at St. Mary’s by the Sea.
Have you read the transcripts that Inocencio was interested in? Very interesting, no matter what one thinks the norms should be.
Enjoy your trip to Rome. Maybe you could report on how the norms are obeyed there.

Leo Wong June 13, 2006 at 2:40 pm

For those interested:
A Letter from Mary Tripoli

Old Zhou June 13, 2006 at 3:38 pm

Hi Leo,
Thanks for putting up that letter.
I believe the “church with no kneelers” is Ss. Simon & Jude in Huntington Beach, which is intimately related, historically, with St. Mary’s by the Sea.
I’m glad Mary found the Franciscans that staff the parish so hospitable.
It may be a very good thing for those who have so much enjoyed the special, particular enviorment at St. Mary’s by the Sea during the term of the last pastor to consider that, perhaps, “there is a time for all things,” and now is the time to disperse back into the general parish life in the Diocese, rather than going to a particular place for a particular environment, especially since that particular environment no longer exists.
“Your local parish” is really a good place to be, in general.

Leo Wong June 13, 2006 at 5:45 pm

Hello, OZ,
I hope the meeting with Bishop Brown will be a meeting of hearts and minds.
With your spirit.

peter June 15, 2006 at 6:50 pm

This is disgusting? How in the hell a priest can say that his parishioners (those who dont stand for communion) have committed a mortal sin? I bet he is the Bishop’s friend. Shame on the bishop who is protecting a priest like that. He probably should’nt be a priest at first place. sick and disgusting..yak

JOHANNIM February 22, 2008 at 2:21 pm

AS A RESIDENT IN THE DIOCESE OF THE CHIEF PRESBYTER TOD BROWN OF ORANGE COUNTY CALIFORNIA NEIGHBOUR TO THE GRAND AYATOLLAH IN L.A. ROGER MAHONEY, I WONDER HOW THESE TWO RAINBOW CLERICS ARE DEALING WITH THE MOTU PROPRIO SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM AND THE LACK OF NECESITY IN THE CHURCH TODAY TO KISS THE ASSES (ARSES) OF LIBERAL NEO MARXIST-RAINBOW BISHOPS FOR PERMISSION TO HAVE A LATIN (TRIDENTINE) MASS IN SOME OBSCURE CEMETARY IN THEIR BLOODY CORRUPT DIOCESE & ARCHDIOCESE ???????? I GUESS THESE BOY-LOVIN PRELATES ARE HOPING FOR OR WAITING FOR THE HOLY FATHER TO DIE IN HOPE THAT THEY WILL HAVE A NEW AND IMPROVED SECULAR-HUMANIST PONTIFF. SORRY “GOOD OLE BOYS, BROWN, MAHONEY, O’CONNOR AND HIS GANG IN THE U.K. AND THE DISOBEDIENT REVISIONIST NOVUS ORDO BISHOPS OF FRANCE, CANADA, HOLLAND AND GERMANY IT IS MORE LIKELY THE LAW IN THESE VARIOUS COUNTRIES WILL GET TO THESE CHILD MOLESTING PRELATES AND PRIESTS FIRST AND PUT THEM BEHIND BARS FOR THE DAMAGE THEY HAVE INFLICTED ON INNOCENT CHILDREN. REPROBATES LIKE TOD BROWN OF ORANGE COUNTY AND ROGER MAHONEY OF LOS ANGELES NEED TO WAKE UP TO THE FACT THAT THE POST VAT 2 DAYS OF DO YOUR OWN THING, CUMBYYA PROTESTANTIZING BULLSHIT IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ARE OVER, PHONEY ECUMENICISM IS OVER AND THE POPE RUNS THE CATHOLIC CHURCH NOT “NATIONAL BISHOPS CONFERENCES. THE HALLOWEEN MASS IS OVER MAHONEY, THE DANCING, HAND HOLD DORRITO MASSES ARE OVER BROWN. ALL WE NEED FROM YOU PERVERTS IS JUST GO AWAY OR BETTER YET JOIN THE EPISCOPALIANS.

JOHANNIM February 22, 2008 at 2:33 pm

ADDENDUM—- EXACTLY WHY DO YOU THING MILLIONS HAVE LEFT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS BEGINNING WITH THE PONTIFICATE OF PAUL 6 AKA MONTINI. TO START WITH THE ANCIENT MASS WAS STOLEN FROM THE CATHOLIC PEOPLE ALL 1.5 BILLION OF THEM AND REPLACE WITH A PROTESTANTIZED VENACULAR & MASONIC SERVICE CALL THE NOVUS ORDO MISSAE OF PAUL 6TH. THE NOVUS ORDO RELIGIOUS (NUNS & MONKS ALIKE) WERE TOO BUSY GETTING THEIR HAIR DONE OR TRAVELLING TO HAWAII TO WORRY ABOUT STUFF LIKE RELIGIOUS VOWS, MONASTIC HABITS, DIVINE OFFICE, AND THE DAYS WHEN WANTING TO BE A PRIEST USUALLY MEANT LOVIN YOU ALTER BOYS (A LOT) WAS FAST COMING UPON US. ROME (THE VATICAN) NEEDS TO GET OFF IT’S ASS AND FIND OUT EXACTLY WHY MILLIONS HAVE LEFT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH SINCE THE UN-NECESSARY COUNCIL REFERRED TO AS VATICAN 2.

bill912 February 22, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Wow! What a fine example of Christian Charity!

David B. February 22, 2008 at 4:28 pm

“you are Peter, and upon this Rock I will build My Church, and the Gates of Hell will not prevail against it.”

David B. February 22, 2008 at 4:31 pm

The two posts seem to contradict one another, at least as far as the praise/then no praise “Gollum moment” over Papa Ben goes.

David B. February 22, 2008 at 5:03 pm

Duh,
Well, duh! (couldn’t resist, mate) Only an arse would be obessed with arses!

Previous post:

Next post: