Showing posts from 2011

Father Conrad Kimbrough, RIP

Father Kimbrough and friends. Born 10 May 1927 Ordained 11 February 1978 Died 5 July 2011 Here is the text of my homily for the Mass of Christian Burial  celebrated on 8 July 2011 at Sacred Heart Church, Salisbury. In the Temple at Jerusalem, a veil of cloth separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the sacred precincts; this was a token of the distance between the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. This is the veil that was torn in two at the death of the Lord Jesus (Luke 23:45), signaling that the types and figures of the Old Covenant had given way to the reality of the New Covenant. But even in these last days, sinful man is still separated from the holiness of the living God, and to glimpse his glory, the veil must be drawn back. The task of a priest, Father Kimbrough used to say, is to draw back the veil between God and man and then hide himself in the folds. And so he did, first as an ordained minister of the Episcopal Church and then as a priest of Jesus Christ i

Anglicans and Invalid Sacraments

When Catholics speak of Anglicans and sacramental invalidity, most people would assume that we're speaking of Holy Orders. But there is another kind of sacramental invalidity which will make it impossible for many Anglicans, both lay and ordained, to be received into the Catholic Church through Anglicanorum coetibus or any other means, and that invalidity is in the Sacrament of Marriage. The Catholic Church believes that only Catholics are bound to marry in the Catholic Church (according to canonical form) and, therefore, that any two baptized Christians who consent to marry each other are by their exchange of consent creating between themselves the bond of sacramental marriage. (N.B. And this is despite the fact that Protestants generally do not count marriage as a sacrament, but there it is.) So, for example, if two Anglicans get married by any means (a judge, an Anglican minister, an Elvis chaplain at a Vegas wedding chapel), then they are bound to each other by the lifelong

Sturm und Drang Over the New Roman Missal

Unless you've been living in a tent for the past year, you should be aware that this fall on the First Sunday of Advent (27 November 2011), the Catholic Church in the United States will begin using a new translation of the Roman Missal, the book which contains all of the prayers needed to say Mass. The new translation, the work of nearly a decade, is certainly not perfect, and the process used to reach the final product was perhaps not the best that could have been devised. Nevertheless, the new translation is certainly a great improvement over the "Sacramentary" that we've been using for forty years, a book that is not so much a translation of the Missale Romanum as it is an adaptation. Now that we're in the home stretch of the process and parishes are beginning to study and practice the new texts, a few of the people who have been involved in preparing the new Missal but who did not get everything they wanted are beginning to hold their breath until they t

Calling All Anglicans!

Any Anglican in the United States who wants to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church under the provisions of the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus should be in direct contact with Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington. If not now, when? If not you, who? It's time. It's past time. Just do it.

An Extreme Need for Silence

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us. Yad Vashem is Israel’s official memorial to the martyrs of the Nazi Holocaust, or as it is called by the Jews, the Shoah. The Hebrew words Yad Vashem, taken from the Prophet Isaiah, mean “a place and a name.” At Yad Vashem the millions of Jews who were exterminated like vermin have both a place of final rest and a name to be remembered. During the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, Pope John Paul the Great made a pilgrimage to Yad Vashem, and there in the powerfully stark Hall of Remembrance he spoke of the horror inflicted upon the Jews by a dehumanizing ideology of hatred. In part, the pope said: “In this place of memories, the mind and heart and soul feel an extreme need for silence. Silence in which to remember … Silence because there are no words strong enough to deplore the terrible tragedy of the Shoah … I have come to Yad Vashem to pay homage to the millions of Jewish people who, stripped of everything, especially of human dignity, were murdered

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham

Today in Rome and in England , something momentous occurred. In accordance with the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus , the Holy See created a new canonical structure in England and Wales for Anglicans who want to be Catholics. It is called a Personal Ordinariate , and it is essentially a non-territorial diocese which allows Anglicans who become Catholics to preserve their Anglican parochial, liturgical, and devotional identity in the Catholic Church. The Ordinariate is named for the Mother of God as she is venerated at the ancient English shrine of Walsingham, and it has been placed under the heavenly patronage of Blessed John Henry Newman, the Anglican priest who became a Catholic and then a priest and a Cardinal of the Catholic Church in the mid 19th century. This is a bold move on the part of Pope Benedict XVI. In a single stroke, Benedict has broken the logjam of official ecumenical conversations which began with such promise in the 1960's but which had lately be