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In the October and November issues of AD2000 Michael Apthorp has shown how Brisbane's bishops have failed to correct liturgical abuses reported to them, and in the December issue Brian Bibby rightly points out the difficulty of implementing a reform program when many Australian 'bishops [and] priests ... live in open defiance of the Pope ... and do so with impunity'.
Indeed, in Brisbane's Catholic Cathedral, some of the most sacred parts of the Mass depart significantly from the rules.
For example, the 2004 Vatican document Redemptionis Sacramentum, in Section 106, declares that 'the pouring of the Blood of Christ after the consecration from one vessel to another is completely to be avoided, lest anything should happen that would be to the detriment of so great a mystery', adding that in any case jugs are 'never to be used for containing the Blood of the Lord'. Both these requirements, however, are regularly flouted at the Cathedral.
Likewise, the priest is required to complete the Eucharistic Sacrifice himself by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ before distributing Communion to the Extraordinary Ministers and altar servers, and yet at the Cathedral simultaneous Communion is regularly practised. This contravenes the prescriptions of Redemptionis Sacramentum, Section 97, and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Sections 157-160.
Archbishop Bathersby needs to bring the liturgy of his own Cathedral into conformity with that of the Universal Church. By so doing he will be setting a valuable example to his parish clergy and will assume more moral authority when instructing them to do likewise.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 21 No 2 (March 2008), p. 14
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