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Bishops Just Say the Darnedest Things!

Let's meet the Most Rev. Roger L. Schwietz, OMI, Archbishop of Anchorage Alaska.

Bio: Archbishop Schweitz was member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate since his first profession of vows on August 15, 1961, Archbishop Schwietz was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on July 3, 1940 and baptized on July 21, 1940 in Saint Casimir Church. He was ordained to the priesthood in Rome on December 20, 1967 and consecrated Bishop of Duluth at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary on February 2, 1990.
The Bishop is an educated man --
In addition to an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, he has earned a M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Ottawa; a S.T.L. in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome; and a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Loyola University. Archbishop Schwietz was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree from Lewis University in 1998.
And I suppose he should know a thing or two about liturgy, even if he was ordained in 1967. The USCCB must think so because Archbishop Schwietz has held a number of positions within the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. He even served as a consultant to the Liturgy Committee from 1991-1994. The Liturgy Committee. Hmmm?

So can someone, anyone please explain to me how an educated man, an Archbishop, who has served as a consultant to the USCCB Liturgy Committee could say the following things. Emphasis mine.
In order to celebrate the Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal, several challenges must be dealt with.
First, the 1962 Roman Missal must be celebrated with all of the rubrics in place. These would include a sanctuary that has 3 steps, an altar rail, and an altar that does not face the people and is permanently attached to a wall.
The priest must use all of the approximately 400 rubrics required for a licit and valid celebration of the Mass.
The priest must be able to use the Latin language in the appropriate fashion.
All of the vestments must be those that are approved for the 1962 Roman Missal
There must be a stable community that desires and will benefit from the celebration of the 1962 Rite.
There are also some effects on the participants in these Masses.
Women, for instance, would not be permitted to be present at the Baptism of their children. Women would also need to be "Churched" (a rite of purification after childbirth) before they could return to the sacraments.
There would be no lectors or eucharistic ministers.
The readings for Mass would be from the one year and not three year cycle.
All servers would have to be male.
So where do we go from here?
Say what?!? Bishops just say the darnedest things! So where do we go from here? I would suggest that a bishop who thinks such things should be banished to a remote diocese somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Oh yeah, they already did that. Maybe they could make him Bishop of Easter Island or perhaps Riyadh instead and give the good people of Alaska a Bishop who knows the difference between shinola and, well you know...

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Mary Martha said...

I happened to be in Anchorage on September 14th.

I decided to walk over to the Diocese and ask if there were any Latin Masses available.

Not a particularly welcome question. I was told (by a woman in the office and a priest) that Latin was against the rules, and that there would never be a Latin Mass in Anchorage.

Generally... I would say the question (even from a traveler visiting their city) was NOT welcome. With that experience - this doesn't surprise me. I imagine that every effort will be made to ensure that there will be no traditional Mass in that diocese.

Super MashiMaro said...

Riyadh is already covered under the Apostolic Vicariate of Arabia (formerly the Apostolic Vicariate of Aden) in Abu Dhabi (UAE). As for the Easter Island (which is in fact a beautiful place), it's already a part of the Archdiocese of Valparaíso, Chile. However, may Pope Benedict XVI send Archbishop Schwietz to Tehran to be the Apostolic Nuncio to Iran (the same way Pope Paul VI sent Archbishop Annibale Bugnini to Iran in 1976).

Anonymous said...

From The Catholic Encyclopedia as per the (Cong. Sac. Rit., 19 May, 1896,). I presume that everyone knows that 1896 was before the council.

"A blessing given by the Church to mothers after recovery from childbirth. Only a Catholic woman who has given birth to a child in legitimate wedlock, provided she has not allowed the child to be baptized outside the Catholic Church, is entitled to it. It is not a precept, but a pious and praiseworthy custom (Rituale Romanum)"

Anonymous said...

The bishop need not be banished, just depose him. Though he will always be a bishop, he will be a bishop with no authority whatsoever in any way in any place.

Chironomo said...

It's really uncharitable to make fun of a man who is obviously suffering from some illness. I can think of NO OTHER WAY to explain this inexplicable statement which is not only factually wrong (how for instance does an altar "face the people"? Isn't it the Priest that faces the people? It would seem trivially obvious that if the Priest stands on the other side of the altar he would be facing in the same direction as the faithful, or as some would say, have his back to the people), but seems to have been researched carefully to find the creepiest possible thing that could, if desired, be the result of using the 1962 Missal such as Mothers being prohibited from being at the Baptism of their child. Apparently, this particular individual assumed that since the child has to be Baptized before this blessing can occur (that is true), that the Mother would not be allowed in the Church until after said Baptism (that is false), and as such she would not be able to attend the baptism. This assumes that the mother is not allowed to be "physically present" in the Church building until after the blessing occurs, which while this may have been the case at some point in our history, is clearly not the case now. This is probably something that was "taught" to this person during their seminary formation as a "reason" why the EF was backwards and no longer possible to use in the modern world. His final question "So where do we go from here?" should be answered by the Holy See with an appropriate suggestion such as the aforementioned Easter Island, perhaps Guam, Diocese of Antarctica or some other appropriate location where there are no faithful to have to be affected by the insidious EF.

Deirdre Mundy said...

I always thought the custom of churching was sweet and wish it would return! All new moms need lots of prayers and blessings!

And where did the bishop get the idea that in the old days moms couldn't attend the baptism? We have family photos going back to the '20s that seem to suggest that EVERYONE AND THEIR EIGHTH COUSIN was present at the baptism. And especially the mom... unless they faked those "happy new mom with baptized baby" photos.......

Maybe the tradition was different in Alaska......

But in Philly and NJ... moms were there..... (course, it could also just be those Irish... you know how they are! =) )

Anonymous said...
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Patrick Archbold said...

We won't be consigning anyone to Hell here, especially Bishops.

Bro. Thomas, op said...

Don't tell the bishop. But in the post-Vatican II De Benedictionibus there remains a blessing for a woman who is unable to be present at the baptism of her child, as it says, "in order to provide the opportunity for her to benefit from the blessing that in the rite of baptism prompts the mother and all present to thank God for the gift of the newborn child."

The young fogey said...

A contributor to my blog just told me of yours. Thanks for this. The archbishop's obviously blowing smoke and hates this Mass. That so many in charge do says a lot.

The high altar at St Peter's Basilica among other places has always been free-standing. One always could do the Tridentine Mass facing the congregation. By immemorial custom few ever did.

baymedlevel said...

So much anger and hurt from this man of the cloth. How can the bishop possiblly respect and honor the Papa Benedict's Petrine authority. Defiance based on intelectual pride? I'm astonished to know this fellow was a member of the same order who directed the High school and college seminary I attended. I knew many Oblates who were very pious and spiritual.
Oreumus for Bisphop Schwietz. Many live with a veil of darkness over their hearts and minds. Perfidious Who?

Joe (defend-us-in-battle.blogspot.com) said...

It is funny reading this now... almost two years later. On March 6th, the CATHEDRAL....in Anchorage celebrated its first WEEKLY regularly scheduled Mass in the usus antiquior.

Who is the Bishop of Anchorage now.....

wait what? It is still Abp. Schweitz?

Prayers work. And so do well written letters to Rome. The folks up in Anchorage have accomplished a TON!

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