Saturday, April 21, 2012

Guess Who is Not Invited to Cardinal O'Malley's Pentecost Bash

Happy Easter! I write to bring you exciting news and to extend an invitation on behalf of Cardinal Seán O’Malley. Following the example set by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, the Cardinal would like to invite all the ecclesial movements and new communities of the Archdiocese of Boston to join him at the end of the Easter Season for the celebration of the Solemn Vigil of Pentecost at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston on Saturday, May 26th at 4PM.

The feast of Pentecost is one of the most important feasts in the Church, when we praise God for the gift of the Holy Spirit which was poured out into the Apostles and who continues to fill the Church with all the gifts and treasures of our faith. The movements and new ecclesial communities are a more recent manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s work in the Church, and the Cardinal has a particular appreciation for the presence and witness of the movements in the Archdiocese of Boston. He sincerely hopes that this Mass on the Vigil of Pentecost will be a moment of blessing and renewal for the Church in Boston. He also hopes to share with you his own words of thanks and support for the important work you do in the New Evangelization.

I am reaching out to you as leaders of some of the communities that are mentioned below, in the hope that those associated with you and with the movement will know that they are invited to join the Cardinal for this beautiful celebration.

Neo-Catechumenal Way
Communion and Liberation
Charismatic Renewal
St. Vincent de Paul Society
Third Orders (Dominican, Carmelite, Franciscan)
Legion of Mary
San Egidio
Opus Dei

On the one hand, I've DEFINITELY seen worse.

On the other, this is yet another instance where the Cardinal gives the Latin rite community a good swift fanny ride on the end of his humble sandal.

If it makes the Latin Rite Community feel any better, it appears the Novus Ordo community isn't invited either.

Let's cut to the chase. Rather than just sending out a general invite to practicing Catholics via parishes, his email lists and groups within the Church, the Cardinal has the propensity to divide the Catholic Church into a list of little factions of charisms and then when his list of favorites comes out, other charisms feel alienated.

If you're going to gin up a list and include a Catholic group whose main charism is crackpot liturgical innovations - which the Vatican is in the process of reigning in - one must then include all the other liturgical divisions the Catholic Church has splintered into when the Latin rite was squashed like a bug.

Sometimes, the folks in the Chancery are trying so hard to be luminaries, they forget to abide by a very wise and ancient maxim: Keep it simple stupid.


Percy said...

Well, the TLM community is more akin to a liturgical use community, like the Anglican Catholics, or a church like the Eastern Churches; it doesn't fall within the standard Roman view of the "new movements" and "new communities", which are apostolates with defined charisms, and it's the focus on those charisms that is likely being linked to Pentecost.

Carol said...

Thanks. I think you are right about the intentions, Percy.

I don't know much about the NeoCats, but from the perspective of liturgical use communities, they are perceived as one.

Perhaps that is an urban legend. But, because of the liturgical innovations and abuses, that's the way they are perceived. Because they were listed on the invites, the Latin community here in Boston feel slighted.

The Cardinal's historical treatment of the Latin Rite community makes them sensitive and no doubt is at play also -- which is why I pointed out the intentions behind this invite were not liturgical in nature by mentioning the NOs were also not listed.

Pentecost is definitely a day for the charisms of the Church and may God bless their initiative with a resounding and enthusiastic response.

Percy said...

While I realize that Catholic blog discussions of the NeoCats, at least in the Anglosphere, may dwell on NeoCat liturgies, I have to say that it's a tail-wagging-the-dog issue; the NeoCats have a lot more going on than that, and any tenderness over their inclusion arises from a lack of sufficient knowledge.

In the Boston area, I am aware that the NeoCats pushed out the pastoral leadership of a parish in Peabody a few years ago, and that Cardinal Sean showed a very very wry sense of humor in appointing as a pastor an ex-Jesuit with a traditionalist liturgical bent. I am only aware of this because of a correspondent colleague of mine who used in to be in that parish; it was nothing that was ever covered in media - dead tree or electronic editions (blogs neither).

Anonymous said...

It's not exactly a "bash" if they are being invited to an Ordinary Form Vigil Mass for Pentecost. Why would TLMers attend, if invited?

Carol said...


I appreciate the contribution of your thoughts - most of which I agree with.

The TLM, and in fact even the Novus Ordo communities, have more going on than the Sacred Liturgy.

But when it comes to the NeoCats and the Latin community,

Here's where and why the exclusion is losing me.

I don't see the NeoCats as a charism any more than I see the Latin Community as a charism. Each of these communities are built around the unique character and content of their Sacred Liturgy. The prayers they use. The music. How they participate. The things they say and do as lay people in the pews as the priest is performing the Holy Sacrifice. How the Eucharist, vessels are handles.

The Liturgy is central to each of our charisms. I can't think of another attribute or activity in any of our communities that define the composition of our animus.

Moreover, the Cardinal's invitation, and your explanation, both come across to me as perceiving that The Feast of Pentecost is only for people with 'charisms'.

Could be I'm overthinking this. Wouldn't be the first time! But I can't come up with any logic for limiting the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost to people with charisms. I definitely agree that people in love with the Holy Spirit and in whom His gifts manifest themselves love, love, love Pentecost. But the people who are not intimate with the Holy Spirit are people who need Pentecost more.

So the whole thing just isn't gelling for me.

Carol said...


They would attend a Pentecost service for the same reason they would attend any other major feast day in our Mother Church, where the True Relic of the Holy Cross resides and where we can all come together from our little communities and splinters.

I am down here in the burbs where everyone is white and speaks English. I'm fond of the diversity of coming together in my Mother Church, where the see is governed in communion with Rome and we all worship together on a special occasion.

Jack O'Malley said...

Had I received a personal invitation from Seáno and Mary Grassa, she of the fat paycheck, I would not deign to attend.

Why would I participate in a ceremony I consider at best heretical and at worst blasphemous?

And where are the Santería sisters and their plucked fowls and the Assisi pagans and their idolatrous baals? And where is that Anglican robber of Catholic churches Rowan Williams of the Cranmerian heresy who knelt with Ratzinger at Assisi and feigned prayer to the Founder of the One True Church?

Ratzinger has declared that the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum was an act of "toleration" for those who are attached to that so-called by him "extraordinary" form of the Roman rite. I decline to be tolerated. I hope Bishop Fellay declines as well.

Let Seán O'Malley sham a pseudo-liturgy with his charismatic hand-waving hand-shaking hand-clapping hand-pawing of the Body and Blood of the Lord in his mockery of the Mass. May the Vengeance of the Almighty be visited upon him and may the Heavenly Hosts confound him.

Reficiatur Ecclesia Tua, Domine.

Carol said...

Honey, where did you get this stuff from?

The valid and Sacred Liturgy is blasphemous and heretical to you?

I go from parish to parish to avoid shenanigans in the Sacred Liturgy. But from It, and through the hands of that priest, I receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, as does everyone else who suffers through the antics of the uncatechized and spiritually abandoned.

Blaspheming and caricaturing this Sacred Sacrifice and our Eucharistic Lord is the most urgent substance for confession one could ever be carrying in their soul.

I don't know where you are getting this stuff from but if it were me, I would contemplate steering my ship away from those landmines.

Love ya.