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THE CORNFLAKES DISPENSATION

By Fr. Wilson (articles ) | Nov 26, 2003

Elsewhere I have written about the lovely Blessed Sacrament Parish in Dallas, TX., an inner-city parish ably shepherded by Fr Paul Weinberger. Journalst Rod Dreher wrote movingly of his first visit to Blessed Sacrament, an account I included in an article on the Liturgy.

By coincidence I just returned from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where I preach a week-long Mission in Arlington and stayed at Blessed Sacrament for the weekend. As always, it was a thoroughly inspiring visit. I marveled at the full and generous schedule -- daily Masses, rosaries, confessions, spiritual conferences and an ongoing "Center for Virtue and Learning" offering throughout the week a full program of presentations on a variety of aspects of the Faith: scripture, liturgy, spirituality, morality, lives of the saints, Vatican II, etc. And a balanced Mass schedule with convenient Spanish and English-language Masses, anchored by an achingly beautiful, sung Novus Ordo Latin Mass at 10:30AM.

Of course, this must be stamped out. Bishop Grahmann is determined to transfer Father Weinberger. Father's designated successor has been instructed that the Latin Mass must go. The Bishop even criticized Fr Weinberger because there should be, he says, more Baptisms in that church, based on the local births at hospitals.

Now, it could be argued, I think, that Bishop Grahmann hasn't exactly been the greatest advertisement for The Catholic Church: A Great Place To Raise Your Kids.

Moreover -- a thousand baptisms a year aren't enough for a single parish? This single parish is the site of 15% of the baptisms in the 66 parishes of Dallas!!!

Scripps-Howard Religion newswriter Terry Mattingly explores this situation.

One interesting aspect about this is that we have a diocesan spokesman candidly admitting that a Dallas priest would need PERMISSION to celebrate a Latin Liturgy according to the norms of the Missal of Paul VI. The permission of the Bishop is required in that diocese to use the official liturgy of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. The Fathers of Vatican II, postconciliar liturgical implementation documents, periodic exhortations of Paul VI and John Paul II ALL call for the preservation of Latin in the Liturgy, and especially for the fostering of Gregorian Chant.

But in the Dallas Diocese, you need the permission of Bishop Grahmann. One suspects that Dallas clergy must phone the chancery every morning for permission to sprinkle sugar on their corn flakes. The next time you're tempted to rejoice at some Papal or Curial document on the Liturgy, stop and remember that there are bishops like the Bishop of Dallas out there.

And deacons like his spokesman, cynically trashing the reputation of a fine, outstanding and inspiring priest who is the object of the respect and affection of laity throughout the Metroplex and beyond.

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Nov. 29, 2003 2:25 PM ET USA

    smcalum03: The Pope has at his disposal a wide variety of convincing powers with regard to a bishop who refuses to leave. He can publicly announce that the bishop is removed and send another one. Then he could publicly release the clergy from vows of obedience to the disobedient bishop and the laity from any obligation to support him or efforts under his control. Then there are excommunication and interdict. But to do nothing at all? Almost criminal...

  • Posted by: - Nov. 29, 2003 10:52 AM ET USA

    One interesting aspect of the Scandal and its aftermath is that bishops, finally, have had to take responsibility for what happens under their watch. Yet, the Pope, who could remove any of them, gets a pass because he writes nice encyclicals? There's a disconnect. If the bishops refuse to obey all sorts of directives from Rome, what makes you think that at least all of them are willing to leave their posts when the Pope tells them to?

  • Posted by: - Nov. 26, 2003 9:12 PM ET USA

    "The next time you're tempted to rejoice at some Papal or Curial document on the Liturgy, stop and remember that there are bishops like the Bishop of Dallas out there..." And a Pope who appointed him and let's him get away with it. One interesting aspect of the Scandal and its aftermath is that bishops, finally, have had to take responsibility for what happens under their watch. Yet, the Pope, who could remove any of them, gets a pass because he writes nice encyclicals? There's a disconnect.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Nov. 26, 2003 5:03 PM ET USA

    That's fine. To show that he's completely "above board" and "enlightened" I assume that his Grace has no problem issuing a public, unqualified endorsement of Humanae Vitae, an unqualified endorsement of the CDF's instruction on Politicians and Gay Marriage, and an unqualified repudiation of the Democratic Donkey's pro-abortion position. After all, one way to boost baptism is to kill less kids. Wouldn't you agree, your Grace?

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