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By Diogenes (articles ) | Jul 31, 2006

In England and Wales, Ascension Thursday will now fall on Sunday.

The 4th of July will still be on the 4th of July. But in England I guess that doesn't really matter.

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  • Posted by: - Aug. 04, 2006 9:01 PM ET USA

    Hey! I think Fr Phillip is onto something here! Let's point out to the bishops that Holy Days, on their traditional days, leads to more opportunities to pass the collection basket! Watch the dollar signs in their beady little eyeballs light up! Soon they would catch on, and declare more Feast Days as Days of Obligation.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 04, 2006 2:24 PM ET USA

    Thank goodness they've cleaned up that Ascension Thursday nonsense. If they can just collapse that dreadfully week long Easter thingie into one day, with a fasting requirement of no ice cream during Holy Week then we're all set. Really bungs up the shopping days, don't ya know.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 04, 2006 9:48 AM ET USA

    altarboy, malchus--many thanks for the enlightening tete-a-tete. I am always learning something here and greatly appreciate the candid comments. I hope no one gets bruised in the verbal jostle...but then I have found that it is often the Truth that causes the worst bruises. Fortunately those Truth-bruises heal funny. They make the bruised area even healthier than it was before.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 03, 2006 4:40 PM ET USA

    By the way, I have enjoyed this fraternal dialogue very much. God bless all who love the Catholic Church so much as to enter into this sort of frank discussion with fidelity and zeal. Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 03, 2006 4:36 PM ET USA

    All Trent said was that HC under both species is not required of the laity by divine law (which VCII confirmed). All VCII said was that HC under both kinds may be granted to the laity "in cases to be determined by the Apostolic See". From Trent: "the Church may, according to circumstances, times and places, determine or change whatever she may judge most expedient for the benefit of those receiving them [the sacraments]...and this power has always been hers." Both Trent and VCII stand together.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 03, 2006 4:04 PM ET USA

    malchus: You’re confused; councils can err. The Fathers of VCII wrote that they were reaffirming what was done by the dogmatic Council of Trent but, in fact, a careful reading of the VCII papers shows that the bishops often turned their backs on Trent. Ex: Trent stipulated Communion only under one species (because that practice demonstrates the theology of the completeness of each consecrated species); SC allows Communion under both species (a Protestant practice supporting Protestant theology).

  • Posted by: - Aug. 03, 2006 2:32 PM ET USA

    VCII was an ecumenical council of the Church. It issued particular teachings on the nature of the Church, ecumenism, divine revelation, religious freedom, etc. You are the one who said the Holy Spirit had "nothing" to do with the council. You are the prosecutor, and must prove your case. Prosecute the boneheads who have betrayed the council, but do not malign the council itself. The defense rests with the authentic teachings of the council, the successors of Peter, and the promises of Our Lord.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 02, 2006 11:15 PM ET USA

    Andy, I was, of course, using absurdity to make a point. Judging by some of the comments here, I failed rather miserably. At any rate, I've no respect for folks who invoke the “Holy Spirit Defense” every time someone questions one of their prudential decisions. malchus: I believe that I can only be accused of heresy if I reject or persistently express doubt of Church doctrine. Tell me the Church doctrine solemnly proclaimed by VCII? I think the answer is none, zero, zip, nada. Prove me wrong.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 02, 2006 9:16 AM ET USA

    altar boy: I thought Mel Gibson had settled the matter once and for all when he proclaimed that Jesus spoke only Aramaic. Latin was only spoken by/to Pontius the Pilot, and look where that got him: his wife had nightmares. Of course the Torah at the time of Jesus was in Greek, but Augustine relieved us of that burden. Oh yes, my undergrad degree was BS not a AB, since I took Physics instead of Greek. Sic tempora, sic mores. AMDG

  • Posted by: - Aug. 02, 2006 5:40 AM ET USA

    Better watch yourself altar boy. Before too long they'll start quoting the canons of the Council of Rimini at you.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 01, 2006 11:17 PM ET USA

    "The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium, above all in an ecumenical council." See Catechism 891. The authentic teachings of VCII (dogmatic or pastoral) are the teachings of the Catholic Church. How they have been applied (or misapplied) is certainly open for discussion, but not the teachings themselves. We either follow the Magisterium, or risk becoming our own.

  • Posted by: Andy K - Aug. 01, 2006 10:02 PM ET USA

    Dear Altar Boy, I am uncertain if you are writing in ironic tones or not; I cannot tell in this medium. If you truly think God prefers Latin over any other language, I must disagree. I would imagine the Maronite Church, which is fully in union in Rome with no Orthodox couterpart, would disagree with you. They pray parts of their Eucharistic Prayer in Aramaic.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 01, 2006 5:22 PM ET USA

    malchus: If you can show me where the Church teaches, de fide, that an ecumenical council is automatically guaranteed the guidance of the Holy Ghost, & if you can point to one thing that was decided (de fide) at Vatican II, then I’ll admit to being a heretic. And then the Church acted wrongly in condemning certain ecumenical councils of the past? Oh, if God was guiding the bishops of Vatican II, they obviously weren’t listening, for surely the Almighty prefers Latin over the vulgar tongues.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 01, 2006 4:08 PM ET USA

    tomecom: Are you in contact with the Holy Ghost, too? Welcome to the club! Besides, why should the bishops have all the fun. Come Holy Ghost, Creator blest, and in our hearts take up thy rest...

  • Posted by: - Aug. 01, 2006 3:30 PM ET USA

    Actually it sounds more like the sin of pride than merely being rash. If Et cum Spiritu tuo translates And with your spirit (and it did even in the hand missals before VCII) then Spiritu Sancto can certainly be translated Holy Spirit without fear of offending the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Changing holy days is most unfortunate, to be sure. Denying the Holy Spirit's presence at an ecumenical council is heresy. There is a difference. Mane nobiscum, Altar Boy.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 01, 2006 3:08 PM ET USA

    Altar Boy, saying the Holy Spirit was not involved in the Second Vatican Council sounds heretical to me. The translation of "Holy Ghost" comes from the German, whereas the Latin is better rendered Holy Spirit. English picked up "Ghost" because it is a Germanic language. I like Spirit better myself. God doesn't have a "ghost". Can you see the psalm, "Lord, send forth your Ghost, and renew the face of the Earth"? At any rate, I wish you would stop claiming to speak for Him. It seems rash.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 01, 2006 10:41 AM ET USA

    San Fran Catholic, if any particular individual truly cannot get to Mass (keeping in mind there are usually very early and very late Masses offered on holy days), then he is dispensed from the obligation. Just because a small number of people can't make it on the actual day is no reason to move a holy day, especially one based on a biblical timeframe. Moving these holy days damages our Catholic identity and contributes to a loss of faith as we are subsumed into the popular culture.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 01, 2006 10:19 AM ET USA

    SF Catholic: I just talked to the Holy Ghost and He assured me that he did not advise the bishops to change the Holy Days. On the broader issue of reform, He indicated to me that He had nothing to do with Vatican II, the “Spirit of Vatican II,” or the plague of liturgical reforms that followed. He also told me that he wants the bishops to quit hiding behind His wings and step up to the plate to take individual responsibility for their prudential decisions. BTW: He says he likes “Ghost” better.

  • Posted by: Andy K - Aug. 01, 2006 7:34 AM ET USA

    This decision has been announced after prior approval of the Apostolic See. See CCC 2177 and CIC 1246 for more information.

  • Posted by: - Aug. 01, 2006 6:43 AM ET USA

    For many people, getting away to get to Mass is difficult during the week because of general opposition from those they work for and with, as well as scheduling difficulties of making sure children who are not in Catholic school but are in school get to church. It is great to be self righteous about how no one else really practices the faith--but the Holy Spirit does guide the bishops through the Church. They are the ones called to make these decisions!

  • Posted by: parochus - Aug. 01, 2006 3:08 AM ET USA

    Relax. Ascension Thursday is celebrated on the following Sunday in ALL OF ITALY.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2006 9:32 PM ET USA

    It sure wreaks havoc when you're trying to keep the Novena to the Holy Ghost between Ascension and Pentecost, to say nothing of wrecking the symbolism of "forty," which runs throughout the Old and New Testaments. However, there is one practical argument against changing the day from Thursday to Sunday, which might actually make many bishops' eyes light up: by having a mid-week Holy Day of Obligation, there is an opportunity for collections. More parish money, more chancery money!!

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2006 8:11 PM ET USA

    Uncle Di, As in all things lukewarm, Canaduh is way ahead of you ascetics in the US.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2006 7:46 PM ET USA

    As a resident of Mahonyland, it's been Ascension *Sunday* for as long as I can remember. (I began attending Mass—w/o my lapsed Catholic father or my nonchurchgoing Methodist mother—in 1977, when I was 10 years old.) "Ascension Thursday" seems a bit odd to me & in IMO, getting angry about changing the weekday is a bit too much ado about relatively little. I realize that Jesus ascended on a Thursday—but Good Friday isn't always on the Jewish calendar's 14th Nisan, when it historically occurred.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2006 6:57 PM ET USA

    So England and Wales now join us in this facet of dumbing down our Faith! Lovely!

  • Posted by: Fr T (UK) - Jul. 31, 2006 5:31 PM ET USA

    hUMPTY dUMPTY - not this clerical gentleman! I hate all this swapping and changing for the sake of convenience. (Though I suspect that some of the brethren will use it as an excuse for not celebrating Mass on the now 'empty' days - as many seem to do on their 'day off'...) I notice that in 2008 we will keep All Saints Day on (Sunday) 2 November, resluting in All Souls being shunted to the 3rd...... Even the Anglicans tend to keep these feasts on their proper day!

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2006 5:24 PM ET USA

    Fr. T: This change opens the door to the possibility of some other changes to better deal with declining attendance. For example, given the steep decline in the number of Catholics going to confession, the Church could “transfer” the sacrament of Penance to Sunday Mass. When the priest hands out the bread, instead of “Body of Christ,” he could say “I absolve you…” Problem solved. Imagine the possibilities!

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jul. 31, 2006 5:17 PM ET USA

    Thursday before Sunday except after Christmas, or if sounded as "ic" as in "cynic" or "bishopric."

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2006 5:05 PM ET USA

    They moved the Ascension, Epiphany and Corpus Christi. So now their schedule coincides with that of the majority of the United States. Given the state of the faith in Europe, I'm actually suprised to learn that they were behind us in these moves.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2006 5:04 PM ET USA

    Which matters more: Feast and what it symbolizes, or the day of the week. It isn't the pius lay persons who have a problem, it's the clergy having to do God's Work during their busy week. The Ascension is what counts, not the calendar. AMDG

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2006 4:25 PM ET USA

    I'm not sure why you would expect more of England and Wales than from the Dioceses of the United States. Ascension Thursday fell on Sunday in Texas this year. From the USCCB website: "In several ecclesiastical provinces of the United States of America, the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord is transferred from May 25, 2006, to the following Sunday, May 28, 2006."

  • Posted by: Fr T (UK) - Jul. 31, 2006 3:49 PM ET USA

    It is a mess ...some Holydays are transferred to Sundays (The Solemnities of the Lord - excepting Christmas - but aren't ALL Sundays Solemnities of the Lord anyway?) others not, unless they fall on a Saturday or a Monday when they are transferred. Apparently, the reason for all these calendar gymnastics was concern about the lack of observance of these days on the part of the Faithful....I think the rot started when they first transferred days that fell on a Saturday or Monday to the Sunday.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2006 3:33 PM ET USA

    I think you guys are missing the whole point here. Is it outside God's power to change Thursday to Sunday? Of course not. So it mustn't be outside of a Bishop's conference to do the same. This might be one of them a "sign and wonder" things done so that our faith will grow deeper. Wow. I wonder if they can change 9:00 am Monday to 5:00 pm Friday, and if they could just think how we could market THAT as a fundraiser.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2006 12:40 PM ET USA

    Have no fear. New Orleans will still hold Fat Tuesday on Tuesday. It seems that drunken debauchery is a very important ritual. One must have their priorities after all.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2006 11:58 AM ET USA

    Didn't Card. Mahoney change Ash Wednesday because it fell on Chinese New Year?

  • Posted by: - Jul. 31, 2006 9:28 AM ET USA

    Rationale --- We cannot make the practice of the Faith too burdensome for the poor dears. They might stop coming to church !?!