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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