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Wisconsin bishop instructs pastors to move tabernacles to center of churches

January 08, 2016

Bishop Robert Morlino has directed all pastors in the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, to move tabernacles to the center of their churches.

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Since taking the reins of the Madison diocese in 2003, Bishop Morlino has encouraged priests to relocate tabernacles that had been moved to side chapels. Now he has issued instructions for all tabernacles to be centrally located, telling pastors to make the change, if necessary, by 2018.

“Obviously the reason is because he wants to reiterate that this is the living God residing in the tabernacle,” a diocesan spokesman explained.


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  • Posted by: feedback - Jan. 11, 2016 11:06 PM ET USA

    I have never heard, or read, any rational explanation for moving Tabernacles out to the side, to the back, behind a wall, to separate rooms, etc. It's only justified in high-traffic churches, like cathedrals, then it's done out of respect for the Eucharist. Very good decision, Bishop Robert Morlino! May God bless you for that.

  • Posted by: skall391825 - Jan. 09, 2016 3:40 PM ET USA

    May God bless him.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Jan. 09, 2016 11:56 AM ET USA

    I remember 45 years ago leading a group of Protestant visitors through our Parish Church and telling them that they would always see our tabernacle in the center of our altars so that it was the first thing we saw when we entered, and that there would be a sanctuary lamp to tell us the Eucharist was present. Perhaps someday it will be back on the altar and the Priest will not have to turn his back to the risen Christ, Who is the very Person whom he represents when he is saying Holy Mas

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Jan. 08, 2016 10:49 PM ET USA

    About time. Past about time. And 2018 is way too long but better than never. OK, bishops, here's the lead, go for it.

  • Posted by: jimr451 - Jan. 08, 2016 8:43 PM ET USA

    Wonderful! Our diocese was encouraged to do this several years back, but many parishes opted not to. Hope this becomes the norm in years to come.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Jan. 08, 2016 6:18 PM ET USA

    That's my bishop! One of the two churches that comprise my parish will be affected, which is actually the church that is sort of the "pro-cathedral" while we are without a real Cathedral due to arson several years ago.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jan. 08, 2016 3:32 PM ET USA

    We moved Jesus back to the center of our little parish church a few years ago. After watching my fellow parishioners genuflecting to the blank wall, it just made so much more sense. I am glad that there's one bishop telling his priests to do something besides turning their churches into shooting galleries, as the Dallas Bishop just did.