Sunday, June 1, 2014
TO SANCTIFY, TEACH AND GOVERN--WHO DOESN'T KNOW THIS ABOUT THE THREE-FOLD MINISTRY OF BISHOPS, INCLUDING THE BISHOP OF ROME?
I was reading a comment by a Catholic about the situation at Mt. de Sales and she wrote that she had no idea that Mt. de Sales Academy was under the Bishop of Savannah when it comes to its Catholic identity and that if the Bishop of Savannah became concerned about this educational institution's Catholic identity as it concerns the Church's teaching on sexuality and marriage, that he could intervene and use his authority to either confirm or remove the Catholic identity of the school.
Southerners in a congregationalist Protestant culture sometimes think that the Catholic Church operates as Protestant Churches do, independently of one another. They also seem to think that a Private Catholic School is independent of the bishop. It isn't. Of course the bishop defers to the board of trustees in the administration of the school and its policies but if something goes off track or policies are made that compromise the Catholic mission of our institutions the bishop can intervene. His role is to govern his diocese and the Catholics in it as well as its institutions.
While I am not opposed to the additional Eucharistic Prayers for Mass, and in fact use Roman Canon infrequently, I do realize that most Catholics very seldom hear what was once the only Eucharistic Prayer for Mass, the Roman Canon also named the First Eucharistic Prayer.
As I prayed it this morning for the Solemnity of the Ascension, given the controversy in Macon over our private Catholic High School, I was struck by the following which is prayed prior the the Epiclesis:
"...Be pleased to grant her [the holy Catholic Church] peace, to guard, unite and govern her throughout the whole world, together with your servant Francis our Pope and Gregory John our Bishop, and all those who, holding to the truth, hand on the catholic and apostolic faith..."
The other Eucharistic Prayers in no way convey this truth as clearly as the Roman Canon does. Just imagine if Catholics heard that each and every Sunday at Mass and every day at daily Mass. The law of prayer is the law of belief. But if it is missing or seldom prayed or heard, how can we believe--"the law of prayer is the law of belief" even for corrupt prayers or prayers that omit what is important!
How many of our Catholics simply don't know or believe that part of the Roman Canon I emphasize because they've never really heard or prayed it?