Monday, July 21, 2008

We have a stable group

The Diocesan Planning Commission has issued their Preliminary Recommendations regarding Church closings. What they recommended for cluster No. 3 has a troubling note.

2. You re-evaluate the need for the “extraordinary form” of Mass in the Wilkes Barre area.

First off, isn't the planning commission over-stepping their bounds a bit here? It was my understanding that the commission was responsible for planning the church closures, not determine the way the faithful were to worship.

Sounds as if there are those with an agenda on the commission.

Not surprising though, in a Diocese where it is difficult to find a mass celebrated totally in agreement with the rubrics.

What are rubrics some of you may ask?

Those pesky directions for the priest written in red in the big book up on the altar.

Let me remind the planning commission of something.

In July 2007 POPE BENEDICT XVI (the guy in charge) issued a Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum freeing the the old Latin Mass from it's imagined constraints. In it he gave permission to ANY priest, anywhere to say the Mass.

Without consent of his bishop.

Which is where most of the problems lay. Todays liberal Bishops, especially the American ones were horrorstruck that Dioceses they had spent years destroying with their liturgical dance and clown Masses could now start to be saved by a priest saying what has been termed the "Extraodrinary Rite" of the Catholic Church.

Immediately the USCCB raised questions about five words in the document "...a stable group of faithful". The Holy Father said that "...a stable group of faithful" could ask for the Mass. The roadblocks were put up immediately by the liberals in the church.

What could they mean by that? How many make up a stable group?

Well, our good friend Cardinal Dario Castrillion Hoyos, head of the Pontifical Council Ecclesia Dei rectified it for us.

CC: It’s a matter of common sense … In every bishop’s household there are maybe three or four persons. This is a stable group … It is not possible to give two persons a Mass, but two here, two there, two elsewhere – they can have it. They are a stable group.

So then the group at Holy Rosary are a stable group.

There is a need for the Mass.

People in Cluster 3, let your cluster members know.

I will.


Christian said...

I have been reading the complete list of recommendations on the Diocesan site and it seems that many of their reponses are programmatic in nature. For example, all Clusters are advised to have "A new Mass schedule be developed that reflects good stewardship of priestly resources and maximizes opportunities for larger assemblies to provide a more robust celebration of the liturgy."
Also all parish consolidations mention: Pending the Facility assessment result. The funniest example of this, I think, is Northern Region Cluster 5, which recommends "Consolidated Parish between Holy Family, Scranton and St. Peter Cathedral, Scranton. We also recommend that the parish site be at St. Peter, pending the facility assessment results." I wonder what the results of that study will indicate.

Of interest is that they recommend merging St. Michaels of Scranton (FSSP parish) with St. Patricks, at St Patricks. They base this upon #1 pending facility assessment results, and #2 the potenetiality of the FSSP not being able to staff St. Michael's in the future.

They also rejected the desire of the St. Thomas More Society (former Episcopalians using the Anglican Use Liturgy) to move to a site that is more 'Traditional.' They stated there is no NEED to move right now. In another Cluster with St. Anthony of Padua, which houses the St. Thomas More Society (why they weren't in the same cluster makes no sense to me) they indicate that the relationship with STM society will continue at least until the dust has settled on called to Holiness. I take that to mean that they are unwilling to plan a new use for a church with so much in flux right now. I also take it to mean that they are only considering A) Maintaining the status quo of any individual parish or B) Consolidating and Closing facilities. They clearly seem to take a pessimistic view of the future and where there are areas of 'growth' -- force those into a very conservative facilities model, seemingly planning for the growth to not have long term potential.

Out of 50 Clusters, the Reid Group rejected the conclusions of 20 clusters.

Raphael said...


I find it unbelievable that the Planning Commission would even consider merging the Diocese's ONLY extraordinary form parish. And I can't understand why they would reject the desire of the St. Thomas More Society to move to a more suitable location.

I agree that there is no consideration of future growth. As interest in the extraordinary form grows, perhaps St. Michael's parish will need to expand. The same goes for the St. Thomas More Society, especially with all the current instability in the Anglican Communion.

Kevin - "pax tecum" said...

Hey...are you ok? Haven't heard from you in a while...

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Yeah, I'm fine. Just haven't seen anything worth blogging about recently. I should blog everyday, but haven't felt like it.

Thanks for coming over.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Here are my thoughts concerning the eventuality of merging St. Michaels with a NO parish.


And I don't think the FSSP will allow that to take place.

I find it laughable to think one of the reasons listed is that the FSSP will not be able to staff St. Michaels in the future. It is the Diocese that is unable to staff their churches due to the HUGE vocation crisis going on here. This just shows how uneducated the planning commission really is.

The FSSP has no shortage of seminarians. This year alone 8 priests and four deacons have been ordained by them. What did the Scranton Diocese manage? 1 or 2 maybe? And more drop out every year.

The seminaries of traditional orders are bursting at the seams, NO seminaries are starving for want of young men. Perhaps if the mainstream church fully embraced Catholic doctrine and the Catholic Mass maybe we would see a turnaround.

Christian said...

If cooler heads do not prevail, the FSSP may not have a choice. When Bishop Timlin invited them to the Diocese, he assigned St. Michaels as a personal parish. The parish remains part of the patrimony of the Diocese. Theoretically, if the Parish cannot support itself (including contributing to the Diocesan and School assessments) it will be a drain on Diocesan resources in areas other than Priestly assignments. The Parish as a personal community has not been extant for more than 12 years I believe. Further, I do not think it is the Holy Father's wish that the Ext. Form be located in Isolated communities. The argument could be made that the Fraternity would better fulfill its mission, and the intent of Summorum Pontificum by maintaining a presence in the Diocese, brigning the TLM to a wider community. It would be nice to have one Missa Cantata per community, let alone a low mass per parish. I'll bet the pioneering parishioners of St. Michaels would prefer not to make the sacrifice and drive as far as they do (LONG distances).

Furthermore, if the TLM does spread, will St. Michael's parishioner and financial base dwindle as many of these families are able to find it closer to home?
The challenge is for the parish to convince the Diocese that their 'experiment' will not leave the Diocese holding the bag if they cannot support themselves.