Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Good for the goose, good for the gander
Ultra-traditionalists aren't the only ones in need of papal 'solicitude'
- Fr William Grimm, Tokyo
- June 28, 2012
That same day, a letter was leaked showing that the leader of those communities, Bishop Bernard Fellay, had already rejected the latest overtures from Pope Benedict 13 days before the Vatican announcement of the DiÂ Noia appointment.
Obsessively pressing oneâ€™s attentions on a person who does not want them is called stalking. In many places and cases, it is a criminal offense.
Archbishop DiÂ Nioaâ€™s appointment even after the latest rejection of the popeâ€™s repeatedly rejected and repeatedly renewed approaches to the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) certainly looks like stalking of theÂ SSPX by the Vatican.
By now it should be clear that despite concessions on the liturgy, offers to play down aspects of Vatican II and repeated attempts at wooing in spite of being spurned, theÂ SSPX and the ultra-traditionalists they represent are just not interested in a relationship with the Vatican and will not be until Rome comes to them in abject and total surrender.
What is the power behind theÂ SSPXâ€™s ability to bring Rome to its knees, begging to be seen worthy to have the sect return to the fold? Whatever that power, there must be glee in theÂ SSPX ranks in knowing they have it.
In the meantime, Rome has given little glee to non-traditionalist Catholics who have remained faithful members of the Church through the past decades. Though Pope Benedictâ€™s personal inclinations are clearly traditionalist, he must know that the majority of Catholics are not traditionalists in his sense and never will be. But they remain in communion with him.
In one sense, those who have remained faithful during a half-century of ups and downs are certainly traditionalist in maintaining their loyalty to the Church in spite of being disappointed, embarrassed and even vilified for their loyalty. It would be easy for them to just leave, a move that more rabid traditionalists actually and vehemently encourage, but they have not. And though increasing numbers are departing, the majority seems likely to continue their allegiance.
That majority has endured the pain of seeing bishops inflict abusive priests upon their communities, the embarrassment of the corruption and confusion at the Vatican disclosed byÂ Vatileaks and the frustration of having liturgical translations imposed upon them that they neither want nor accept. They have watched as Rome "bent over backwards" to appease schismatic rebels while ignoring the opinions and hopes of the faithful.
So, where is the popeâ€™s "pastoral solicitude" for them? Perhaps it is time to provide a bit more solicitude to the faithful Catholics who are the majority of the Church.
There is an old saying that "whatâ€™s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander." That is, favors or provisions made for one party or group should be available to all.
What might "solicitous sauce"Â entail?
Well, for starters, it would involve giving non-traditionalist Catholics the same right to use previous forms of the liturgy that has been given to traditionalists. This would probably constitute a referendum on the translations that have recently been imposed throughout the world, often to the consternation of clergy and laity alike.
There is more. The Vatican should really listen to the voices of those whose concerns and ways of living their faith arise out of their encounters with the modern world, especially those outside of a European ambit.
Rome must admit that the old ways so beloved by many traditionalists failed in the face of a changing world and our leaders must be humble enough to learn from places where the Church is growing in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
And finally, would it hurt the pope or anyone else to simply express some gratitude and admiration to all those Christians who in spite of scandals, confusion and a sense of being ignored and abused continue to engage in the journey of faith as part of the Catholic Church?