New bishop assigned
  • It was announced via media this morning that Bp. Armando Ochoa, formerly the Ordinary of El Paso, TX, has been appointed to lead our diocese.
    Have any of you wonderful souls had any experience with Bishop Ochoa in the liturgical realm (I'm really not concerned with other issues, eg. Immigration.)
    Thank you.
  • Looks like I'll need to start practicing Oremus pro Antistite, then. Fortunately, his name has the same stress pattern as Joannes and I don't have to figure out how to put it into the ablative case.... :-D
  • I think this says a LOT!
  • Abott,

    Do you disagree with anything that the bishop actually wrote there? He reaffirmed Church teaching and then added that we must approach these issues with sensitivity to the people involved as well.

    I really don't see anything to be upset about regarding the bishops response.
  • Well, without a link to the whole original piece, I don't have adequate information, but I don't see how the quote in the first paragraph constitutes "harsh words of condemnation". One could conclude that the Bishop was saying, "Don't scare the gays." I don't think that was the case, but again, reporting is inconclusive.
  • So, no one has any direct knowledge of Bishop Ochoa's liturgical philosophy and praxis?
  • He was four years ahead of me in the seminary. He loved my renaissance chorale (we sang unaccompanied polyphony and chant at seminary masses for six years). He is a wonderful human being.
  • That's great Dr. Ford. Bishops who have had exposure to and are likely to have pleasant memories of such music will probably be a very good bishops for musical matters.
  • Thanks, Paul. Perhaps his love of polyphony will be made manifest in some of the musical moments of his installation, I pray. Maybe he'll consult with you (wishin' and-a hopin') so that the joy of Cristobal Morales will resonate as well should there be songs of Jaime Cortez resounding (another wonderful human being.) I just hope for a bit more than a total "Somos el Cuerpo..." songfest for these historical moments.
  • If Bishop Ochoa's "liturgical philosophy and praxis" is anything like his treatment of Fr Rodriguez in El Paso you should have great cause for concern. Perhaps he will reaffirm the Church's teaching concerning the celebration of the Liturgy and sacred music while reaching out with compassion to those who are searching for meaning but are not quite prepared to accept the Church's liturgical norms as normative. "We ought to be singing the propers, you say? Latin? That's your personal opinion and does not express the belief of the Catholic Church." I wish you well, brother, and will be praying for you and your diocese. In the meantime, share with us a copy of the Installation program when it is published.
  • Read the PRIEST's original letter, to which the bishop responded.

    The priest is wrong, the bishop right. The priest actually says in his original letter that any Catholic who doesn't ACTIVELY oppose homosexuality and their "agenda" is guilty of the most grievious sin, then, to top it all off, he uses some REALLY over the top language about "evil horns" appearing in relation to gays.

    How much do I have to ACTIVELY oppose their "agenda"? Is marching in anti-gay pride parades enough for Father? How about writing to my legislators every day to outlaw gay marriage and maybe even homosexuality?

    The priest's language was VERY harsh and over the top. The bishop was merely putting things in context and saying "This is Church teaching, but we aren't going to compare you to devils when your sin is no greater than any other mortal sin."
  • OK, I didn't find it linked, and got lazy. As I said, the facts weren't in evidence. Now that they are, I'm in full agreement.
  • Neither had I, until now. At first, I too, was puzzled as to why the bishop even responded to what seemed to be a mild statement of faith from the priest. Then I discovered that the article only quoted the priest's most MILD statements.
  • Mark P.
    Posts: 248
    Bishop Ochoa was the celebrant at a Mass in Los Angeles. The late Roger Wagner conducted the choir and orchestra in the St. Cecilia Mass of Gounod. Gregorian propers were sung. The music was magnificent. The mass booklet was in Latin and English.

    Bishop Ochoa did everything in English in a very Low Mass, mediocre style. Instead of preaching on the readings (Solemnity of Christ the King), he preached instead on the contribution of the Kennedys to American life (it was around November 22). It was embarrassing.
  • Charles, given El Paso's liturgical guidelines, I think Bishop Ochoa might be a bit on the liberal side when it comes to Communion, but he does seem to hew closely to the rubrics on the Liturgy of the Word.
  • A few salient points in the Diocese of El Paso's liturgical guidelines, for discussion:

    Liturgy of the Word
    —"New to the revised GIRM is the stress upon sacred silence after the readings. There should be a significant pause after the 1st and 2nd reading."

    —"The priest or deacon, after the homily, should return to his chair to observe silence before beginning the Creed or Prayer of the Faithful." [my emphasis]

    —"While words like pulpit and lectern are in common usage, ambo is the proper liturgical word. The dignity of the ambo is stressed and its dignity and purpose are to be guarded. The ambo is not a storage cabinet. The ambo is not to be used for announcements or special presentations by guest speakers. Its sole purpose is for the proclamation of the word (readings, homily, and prayer of the faithful)."

    —"Any announcements are made after the Prayer after Communion which has concluded the rite of receiving Communion. The Prayer after Communion is not a concluding prayer and should not be used as such." [emphasis in original]

    —"Only the Lectionary and Book of Gospels are used for the proclamation of the word. Lectors should never read from missalettes or any other “disposable” worship aid. Great care must also be taken for funerals, weddings and quinceañeras where at times those reading Sacred Scripture do so from a piece of paper (a photo copy from a Lectionary or other liturgical book) pulled from a pocket or simply carried to the ambo folded and undignified in appearance."

    —sacred vessels, even on the credence table, must be placed on corporals

    —the congregation is to stand from the Agnus Dei through the distribution of Communion [current practice in the Diocese of Fresno, where Charles and I are from, is kneeling after the Agnus Dei]

    —intinction is prohibited

    —"The reason for having more ministers of communion at Mass is not so that communion will go faster given the large number of persons sharing communion. The more ministers around the altar at communion time, the stronger the emphasis is that we gather to share around the Table of the Lord." [my emphasis]
  • That last bolded statement is scary. With all due respect to the bishop, he does not seem to understand Ecclesia de Mysterio:

    1. The canonical discipline concerning extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion must be correctly applied so as to avoid generating confusion. The same discipline establishes that the ordinary minister of Holy Communion is the Bishop, the Priest and the the Deacon.(96) Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are those instituted as acolytes and the faithful so deputed in accordance with Canon 230, 3.(97)

    A non-ordained member of the faithful, in cases of true necessity, may be deputed by the diocesan bishop, using the appropriate form of blessing for these situations, to act as an extraordinary minister to distribute Holy Communion outside of liturgical celebrations ad actum vel ad tempus (acting or temporarily appointed) or for a more stable period. In exceptional cases or in unforeseen circumstances, the priest presiding at the liturgy may authorize such ad actum.(98)

    2. Extraordinary ministers may distribute Holy Communion at eucharistic celebrations only when there are no ordained ministers present or when those ordained ministers present at a liturgical celebration are truly unable to distribute Holy Communion.(99) They may also exercise this function at eucharistic celebrations where there are particularly large numbers of the faithful and which would be excessively prolonged because of an insufficient number of ordained ministers to distribute Holy Communion. (100)

    This function is supplementary and extraordinary (101) and must be exercised in accordance with the norm of law. It is thus useful for the diocesan bishop to issue particular norms concerning extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion which, in complete harmony with the universal law of the Church, should regulate the exercise of this function in his diocese. Such norms should provide, amongst other things, for matters such as the instruction in eucharistic doctrine of those chosen to be extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, the meaning of the service they provide, the rubrics to be observed, the reverence to be shown for such an august Sacrament and instruction concerning the discipline on admission to Holy Communion.

    To avoid creating confusion, certain practices are to be avoided and eliminated where such have emerged in particular Churches:

    extraordinary ministers receiving Holy Communion apart from the other faithful as though concelebrants;
    association with the renewal of promises made by priests at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, as well as other categories of faithful who renew religious vows or receive a mandate as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion;
    the habitual use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass thus arbitrarily extending the concept of "a great number of the faithful".

    While the bishop gets it right on some instances, the last two statements in his policy seem to go against the general mindset of the Holy See.

    Now, intinction is actually encouraged by the Holy See (and in even in the USCCB's own norms) as it is an excellent option to provide for the distribution of Holy Communion under Both Kinds without needing EMHCs.
  • Really? Standing all the way through Communion? How wrong and unnecessary.
  • I'm down with Fritz, rip out all the pews, restore the Communion rails, and let the great liturgical amoeba find its way, like the Orthodox. All of the mandates that are left for our bishops to discern, despite the heroic efforts of Fr. Smith and Fr. McDonald of Macon, end up being mere targets for wingnuts on both ends of the spectrum to shoot down like ducks in an arcade booth.
    I just wanted to know if anyone had any direct experience with Ochoa, the Liturgist.
    Seems like that answer is no. But everyone has an opinion nonetheless on his person and disposition.
    Thanks. I'll just wait and see what happens when he comes around my neck of the woods. Hope he still likes polyphony and chanted propers.

    PS. Too bad he couldn't come to CenCA early. He missed the Bach "Magnificat" and Vivaldi's "Gloria" at our church last night. 'Specially "Domine Deus," wherein my wife reminded me why I'm so not worthy of ever having been graced by her consent to matrimony. I'll try to get it to YouTube/Cafe by tomorrow night. GalPals, MAC, MJB, KP, GH, JD.....just wait, Christmas comin' early.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,100
    Wow. That last one is completely off. How sad that even some of our bishops say/allow things like this.
  • Charles: I am very eager to hear your recordings--thank you for being willing to share!

    Re: the last two points from the Diocese of El Paso
    --Those seem to be completely off-the-wall. Almost like someone with no liturgical background at all wrote them. If I were visiting a parish where everyone stood from the AD until the Communion rite had fully concluded, I don't know what I would do! It would certainly be off-putting to say the least. Hopefully there's been some mistake...
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 6,789
    The idea of requiring the faithful to stand throughout the distribution of communion has already been considered by Rome and rejected in a dubium in 2003.
  • Charles, I might just have to break out Ecce sacerdos magnus or Sacerdos et pontifex when he comes out to Cal City.... :-)
  • GIRM 43. In the dioceses of the United States of America, they should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer, except when prevented on occasion by reasons of health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason. Those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the priest genuflects after the consecration. The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise.

    Standing throughout Communion wasn't "rejected." The clarification was that you could still kneel if you chose to. But the bishop is within his rights to determine that standing is normative; in this case, he "determined otherwise", as quoted above.
  • Mark P.
    Posts: 248
    Wasn't all this tiresome standing during Communion business an outgrowth of Cardinal Mahony's "Gaither Faithfully Together?" I didn't hear any outcry about micromanaging of the faithful from the liturgical establishment when the then Cardinal Archbishop of Los Angeles mandated certain postures during Mass. As I understand it, the whole document was written by Gabe Huck.
  • Actually, Mother Angelica made a big deal about it. Sadly, she went through persecution because she stood up for what was right.
  • Ignoring the actual reference from the GIRM that points out that the bishop wasn't wrong, I see ...
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 6,789
    @PGA: As long as you don't end up with petty priests complaining at the faithful who choose to kneel as if they were doing something immoral and illegal, OK.
  • @PGA, the Holy See did commend the United States for retaining the posture of kneeling after the Agnus Dei. I really do not understand why some bishops are allergic to kneeling.
  • Well, frankly, neither do I ... but that's not the point. I was simply pointing out that he didn't over step his authority.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 6,789
    However, priests or bishops in other places who have invoked such norms in such a way as to micromanage the postures of the faithful did overstep their authority: this is the point of the dubium response to Cdl. George which I cited above.
  • @PaixGioiaAmor

    I urge you to read the 2003 Document of the CDF

    and then consider how Fr Rodriguez statement contradicts the teaching of the Catholic Church and merited his removal as parish priest by the bishop.

    Here is one short excerpt on the matter of opposition to the "agenda." Consider that "gay marriage" so-called is a legal reality in a number of states and other sovereignties.

    From par. 5: In those situations where homosexual unions have been legally recognized or have been given the legal status and rights belonging to marriage, clear and emphatic opposition is a duty. One must refrain from any kind of formal cooperation in the enactment or application of such gravely unjust laws and, as far as possible, from material cooperation on the level of their application. In this area, everyone can exercise the right to conscientious objection.

    Your characterization of Fr Rodriguez letter to the El Paso Times is inaccurate and unfair.
  • I read the letter to the El Paso Times. My "characterization" is my opinion of it. What I have said is neither inaccurate nor unfair, but my assessment of the letter.
  • rogue63
    Posts: 368
    Look, people. This is a liturgical discussion on a liturgical forum. Can we keep the unfortunate situation with Fr. Rodriguez out of it? There are other places to where we can talk about that. Charles had a simple question, and the answers have been all over the map. Here's my vote for a moderator to remove this thread---CMAA doesn't need this kind of negative chatter to represent us to the public eye.
  • I agree
  • Maybe the moderator could edit out the references to the priest in question so that we can concentrate on the particular bishop's liturgical stance.
  • So we only say positive things at all times and no one disagrees?

    Why not just put a notice on the top of the board that says "people who post here aren't even necessarily CMAA members and no one's opinion or stance represents the organization."

    Seems a lot better than over moderating conversation and making sure everyone is positive at all times about everything.

    By the way - a great deal of what is said here that is ON TOPIC regarding liturgy would be a "turn off" to most people, if you really want to talk about this board "representing the CMAA."
  • PGA, I believe the interest I expressed initially has been exhaustively addressed and augmented. What else is there to discuss? It is not a matter of suppression of thought or opinion; it is a matter of interest. If you feel there is more to excavate from this mine, then bring it up. Talking about talking? We have too much of that here, there and everywhere already.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    There's a difference between talking liturgical and musical issues, even vehemently disagreeing, and engaging in character assassination.

    Let the blogs attack the bishop or his priests. We have more important things to do here. And neither do I want to be associated with a group that makes a hobby of attacking specific priests, bishops, composers, musicians, etc.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,404
    I know nothing about this new bishop. However, bishops come, and bishops go. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
  • Blaise
    Posts: 394
    ......forever and ever. Amen.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 6,789
    Every comment on this board has an "edit" link at the right margin, so if anyone wants to take out his own off-topic comments, that's the way to do it; just modify the text to something like "[off-topic; deleted by author]", and it'll be fine.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,100
    Or you can change it and "whisper" it to yourself, and it will disappear.