Fort Worth Star-Telegram from Fort Worth, Texas on April 24, 2004 · 17
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Fort Worth Star-Telegram from Fort Worth, Texas · 17

Fort Worth, Texas
Issue Date:
Saturday, April 24, 2004
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Saturday April 24 2004 I Star-Telegram www sun iwgictmnmiiKcx FROM 1A I NATIONAL CATHOLICS Continued from LA does Arinze emphatically replied yes But Arinze also made clear that decisions on whether to deny communion would be made by the US Catholic bishops not by the Vatican “The norm of the Church is clear The Catholic Church exists in the United States and there are bishops there Let them interpret it” he said" Hite exchange occurred during a Vatican news conference c411ed to unveil a long-awaited document commissioned by Pope John Paul II that mandates strict adherence to church norms for celebrating Mass and giving and taking Communion the central rites of Catholicism The rules are meant to reinject a measure of sobriety to liturgical practice and come in response to what church conservatives see as serious abuses: the growing participation of laypeople in religious ceremonies the use of unapproved prayer texts and the introduction of non-Catholic elements into the church service Bishop Wilton Gregory president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops called the Vatican statement “a carefully developed tool to foster the authentic celebration of the Mass” “There is no more important work than the care and attention that we give the sacred liturgy” Gregory said in Washington DC “Fidelity to the liturgy as given to us by the church is fidelity to Christ” “ The document 71 pages in English translation was watered down from an earlier djaft that reportedly forbade altar girls applause dance and certain music during Masses Those provisions were leaked to' a Catholic magazine last summer creating a furor among priests who want the -Kfhurch to be more inclusive Especially in parts of the world where traditional religion is declining those clerics believe the Catholic Church must adapt -The document released Friday is softer than the draft and ltgely restates existing rules fl Conducting Mass and wor-sing at church fallows girls and women to s 1 at the altar if a local bish-o Irmits Music it says must V rue and suitable sacred if lie” Only approved Scrip-t readings are allowed and sfesUd not be replaced with rionfeligious selections such as poetry the document says ’ Laypeople may not distribute Communion or deliver sermons except in extreme circumstances when priests and deacons are scarce or indisposed the document says The lay faithful including women currently take lead roles in the Mass in some parishes which the Vatican is attempting to discourage SA-he spokesman for the Ro-Catholic Diocese of Fort th did not return a phone iJfsage seeking comment Fri-evening £jfWo priests in the Fort WetTh diocese said the Vati-chhi’s rules are standard practice in most churches ‘Tn my personal opinion these are the norms of the church These are things we are supposed to be doing” said the Rev Dan Kelley pastor of St George Catholic Church in Fort Woih “I think some priests tenefto do things that are not by the lipok and I think it confuses laypfople” -lie Rev Vincent Elsen a hospital chaplain said he knew of a few churches in the diocese that allow the practices the Vatican is discouraging “They have been approached that it’s sort of out of order” Elsen said The document is also firm in reiterating church policy that Communion must not be shared with non-Catholic Christians nor be administered to Catholics who know they are n “grave sin” and have not gbnd to confession to atone Catholics believe that they are receiving the body and blood of Christ when they receive the Eucharistic wine and The Vatican statement Highlights from the document on celebrating Mass: Only priests and deacons may read the Gospel at Mass and a priest "should ordinarily” deliver the homily He may occasionally delegate that reading to a deacon “but never to a layperson" If no priest is available to celebrate Mass a bishop may delegate a layperson as an "extraordinary minister of Holy Communion" for a specific time Anyone conscious of being in grave sin shouldn't accept Communion without first going to confession Priests may not deny sacraments to Roman Catholics who are seeking them "in a reasonable manner are rightly disposed and are not prohibited by law from receiving them Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion " It is "laudable" to have altar boys serve at Mass girls or women may also serve Rites taken from other religions cannot be introduced into a Mass Priests may not celebrate Mass in a temple or sacred place of any non-Christian religion “Care should be taken lest out of ignorance non-Catholics or even non-Christians come forward for Holy Communion " wafer at Communion It is too important a ritual the Vatican says to be tampered with or altered by individual priests fulfilling a “personal whim” Arinze a Nigerian who is frequently mentioned as a possible candidate to succeed John Paul and become the first black pope is known for his conservative doctrinal views He heads the high-profile Vatican department that writes the rules for administering and receiving the sacraments Staff writer Aman Batheja contnbuted to this report which includes material from The Washington Post Kerry stands firm on abortion rights By JAMES KUHNHENN KNIGHT RIPPER NEWS SERVICE WASHINGTON — Sen John Kerry a Roman Catholic and former altar boy reasserted his defense of abortion rights Friday as a Vatican official called on priests to refuse Communion to politicians who support abortion rights “More than 30 years after Roe vs Wade became the law of the land it has never been more at risk than it is today” Kerry said at an outdoor abortion-rights rally in Washington ‘We are going to have a change in leadership in this country to protect the right of choice” At the Vatican Cardinal Francis Arinze made his comments to reporters while delivering a directive that restricts changes in celebrating Mass The directive doesn’t mention the issue of Catholic politicians and abortion but reporters raised it with the cardinal Arinze said any “unambiguously pro-abortion” Catholic politician “is not fit” to receive Communion Kerry didn’t refer to the cardinal’s comments Friday His press secretary David Wade declined to address the remarks directly ‘7ohn Kerry is a believing and practicing Catholic” Wade said “His faith has had an enormous impact on his life He also believes in the separation of church and state “He believes that as president he needs to make decisions for all Americans whether they are Catholic Protestant Jewish or of any faith” The Rev Vincent Elsen a hospital chaplain in the Fort Worth Diocese expressed dismay at Arinze’s comment and said that a politician’s policy positions should not affect worthiness for Communion “By the same token a politician who is in favor of the death penalty should be refused Communion” Elsen said Staff writer Aman Bathea contributed to this report knowamish:eurniture NO PARTICLE BOARD Our quality Is our reputation You won t 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