Aug 21, 2007
The Sunday after Pope Benedict XVI authorized the wider use of Latin in the Catholic mass, I went to St. John Cantius Church in Chicago, which has been celebrating mass in Latin for years. In fact, Catholic priests could always use the Latin version of the 1970 Vatican II–inspired liturgy (which at St. John Cantius is called the missa normativa). What the pope did was authorize use of the pre–Vatican II Tridentine Mass—named for the 16th-century Council of Trent—by any priest in any parish without the special permission of the local bishop.
In July the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) reaffirmed the Catholic doctrine that the church of Christ “exists fully only in the Catholic Church.” Which prompted many people to say, “What, again?” or “Why now?”
In June, Esperanza USA, a national network of Hispanic ministries and churches, sponsored its fifth annual National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast in Washington. The breakfast, which focused on immigration reform, was attended by President Bush as well as several prominent leaders from the Democratic Party. I spoke to the head of Esperanza USA, the Rev. Luis Cortés Jr.
The Mormon Church claims to have some 5.7 million members in the United States, which would make the Utah-based denomination the fourth largest church body in the nation after the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church. Often cited as one of the fastest-growing churches, with a clean-cut image and a focus on family values, the Mormon Church would seem poised to rival within a decade the size of the UMC, which has suffered declines in recent years and now has just below 8 million members.
It takes 10 or 15 minutes to catch up to the shorthand narrative style of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth film based on the J. K. Rowling novels (released at about the same time as the seventh and final book in the series). The screenwriter, Michael Goldenberg, and the director, David Yates, both new to the Potter movies, waste no time in setting up the story, and they don’t pause to make sure that we remember everyone in the large cast of characters.
Mooned: The pastor of Times Square Church is trying to get a state court to block a billboard company from displaying certain ads on the Broadway building that houses the church and its school and day-care center. The ads are for a bidet company, and they show naked backsides with smiley faces on them (Redeye, July 10).