New Vatican commission turns its attention to church architecture

Fatima, Portugal

Los Angeles, California

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Benedict XVI, consider this work as “very urgent”. The reality is staring everyone in the eyes: in recent decades, churches have been substituted by buildings that resemble multi purpose halls.

Too often, architects, even the more famous ones, do not use the Catholic liturgy as a starting point and thus end up producing avant-garde constructions that look like anything but a church. These buildings composed of cement cubes, glass boxes, crazy shapes and confused spaces, remind people of anything but the mystery and sacredness of a church. Tabernacles are semi hidden, leading faithful on a real treasure hunt and sacred images are almost inexistent.

The new commission’s regulations will be written up over the next few days and will give precise instructions to dioceses. It will only be responsible for liturgical art, not for sacred art in general; and this also goes for liturgical music and singing too. The judicial powers of the Congregation for Divine Worship will have the power to act.

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Vatican approves new English translation of the Mass


Washington D.C., May 1, 2010 / 06:13 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After eight years of work, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has approved a new translation of Roman Missal that contains the new text of the Mass in English. Once the missal is published in English, it will be gradually incorporated into parishes across America at the discretion of the local bishops.

During the Jubilee Year 2000, Pope John Paul II called for the revision of the English translation of the Missale Romanum. Since then, the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) has been drafting a translation out of the original Latin.

In November of last year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved the draft, which was then sent to Rome for the Vatican’s “recognitio.” While the Vatican is still making its final edits, the missal is expected to be forwarded to the USCCB for publication later this spring.

In addition to the new translation of the Roman Missal, a series of adaptations and proper texts were also approved by the Vatican.

The USCCB explained in a press release that each bishop will be in charge of gradually implementing the changes in his diocese.

“A great effort to produce the new Roman Missal for the United States of America is underway now among the publishers of liturgical books, along with the other necessary resources by publishers of liturgical music and catechetical resources,” said Msgr. Anthony Sherman, Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship.

“Even as that work is underway a full–scale implementation of catechesis for the new Missal should be taking place in the parishes, so that when the time comes, everyone will be ready,” Msgr. Sherman added.

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Editor’s note: It took the Coca-Cola Company less than 90 days to figure out that “New Coke” was a huge mistake. The product is no longer available in retail markets, and the event is now merely an interesting case study in “Marketing 101” courses. Meanwhile, original Coca-Cola remains a best-seller, and the Coca-Cola Company remains the #1 producer of soft drinks in the world.

Forty-five years after its’ hurried introduction, the Catholic Church is finally getting around to correcting a few of the errors in the implementation of the Novus Ordo Mass. Statistics show that in 1965, 74 percent of U.S. Catholics attended Mass every Sunday. Today, that number is down to around 23 percent. In most European countries, Sunday Mass attendance (by percentage) continues to hover in the mid-single digits.

Maybe we Catholics ought to ordain a few deacons, priests and bishops who are former Coca-Cola executives, give them a modicum of freedom to do what’s necessary to turn things around, and see what happens!

Why should the Body of Christ have to continuously suffer from the worst (combined) management AND marketing that the world has ever seen … and wasn’t the Catholic Church “The Real Thing” long before Coca-Cola?

Official Vatican document “explicitly discourages” extending blessings in lieu of receiving Holy Communion

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To put it very simply … there is NO blessing or other type of sign or gesture which should be offered to ANYONE by ANYONE  in lieu of receiving Holy Communion.

Click here to read the official  explanation from the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship