Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
July 26, 2010
World News in Brief
Liturgical changes concern pastoral musicians
Changes coming in the English text of the Mass, and how the transition to the revised liturgy can best be managed, appeared to be the principal concerns of the nearly 2,000 people attending the annual convention of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians July 12-16 in Detroit.
"All of the musical settings need to be rewritten," Annette Wright, a parish music director, said of the new Mass texts Catholics are expected to use.
While that will mean challenges for pastoral musicians, it also will mean the opportunity for composers to write new music, said Wright.
The problem with just tweaking the current settings, she explained, is that most parishioners are so familiar with some of the current settings - such as Marty Haugen's Mass of Creation - that altering the music to accommodate additional words would probably just trip people up.
In January, the Vatican said the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments was in the final stages of reviewing the last sections of the translation before issuing its recognitio, or approval.
Once the Vatican approval is received, the president of each bishops' conference will decide when the new missal will start being used in each country. But composers are already coming up with new settings.
Case of dismissed Catholic professor is under review
A University of Illinois faculty committee is reviewing the dismissal of a Catholic adjunct professor of religion after a student complained about the instructor's explanation of the Church's teaching that homosexual acts are morally wrong. The review comes after Kenneth Howell, the professor who also directed the Institute of Catholic Thought at the Newman Center at the university, said he was told after the spring semester he would no longer be teaching two courses on Catholicism even after offering to change the content of the class in question. Howell's dismissal followed a complaint from a student, writing on behalf of another student in the Introduction to Catholicism class who wanted to remain anonymous, to the head of the religion department. The complaint said the professor's May 4 email to students explaining the morality of homosexual acts amounted to "hate speech."
Peace Day message to focus on religious freedom
Pope Benedict will focus on religious freedom's contribution to peace in his World Peace Day message for 2011, the Vatican said. The theme the pope has chosen for the Jan. 1 celebration is Religious Freedom, the Path to Peace, the Vatican announced July 13. A Vatican statement said: "In many parts of the world there exist various forms of restrictions or denials of religious freedom, from discrimination and marginalization based on religion to acts of violence against religious minorities."
Indian state legislature bans slaughter of cattle
The upper house of the legislature in India's Karnataka state has passed a controversial bill banning the slaughter of cows, ignoring fierce opposition by Christians and Muslims. Pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party lawmakers passed the bill July 15 without a debate after the main opposition Congress Party boycotted proceedings. Church leaders in Karnataka said the move was aimed at appeasing the Hindu majority. Orthodox Hindus consider the cow sacred. Muslims and Christians, who eat beef, have strongly opposed the bill. Its passage through the upper house means it only needs the governor's signature to become law. More than 500 people, including Christians, demonstrated against the bill July 14. The bill proposes to ban the slaughter of cattle and the purchase, sale and disposal of cattle for slaughter. It will also prohibit the use and possession of beef, which effectively bans beef consumption.
iPad app won't replace Sacramentary, says priest
Are Catholics soon going to see their parish priest celebrating Mass with an iPad instead of traditional liturgical books? That's the impression left by recent reports about Italian Father Paolo Padrini's planned launch of an iPad application that features the Roman Missal on its 10-inch screen. But Padrini and Church officials say no one should throw the printed books out yet. "Liturgical books on the altar will never be replaced by the iPad. This is an additional instrument, not an attempt to get rid of paper books," Padrini said in late June. "If I went on vacation, I'd take along my iPad and celebrate Mass that way. Obviously in my parish, where I have the books, I'm not going to deliberately use an iPad." The application should be ready this month and will feature the Roman Missal in various languages, including English, French, Italian, Latin and Spanish.
Take a break and listen to God, says pope
Take advantage of summer vacation by spending time on the essentials in life: listening to the word of God, Pope Benedict said. Speaking during his Angelus address at Castel Gandolfo July 18, the pope said it is important people "rest from our daily labours, so that we may give time to the one thing that is truly necessary in our lives - listening to the word of God in attentive stillness." God is that "inner light of love and truth" that gives every action meaning, value, and joy, he said. Without that deeper meaning, everything one does is reduced to "fruitless and disorganized" busyness.
New Internet domain for porn seen as short-sighted
A new Internet domain exclusively for pornography was approved by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in June. Although some proponents of the domain say this will make it easier for people to block pornographic content, critics say that unless regulations make the .xxx domain a requirement, explicit content online will grow since people won't be required to shut down porn sites on other domains. Enough is Enough, a Reston, Va.-based non-profit organization for making the Internet safer for children and families, said expecting pornographers to voluntarily give up their successful .com addresses and locate solely on the .xxx domain is both foolish and shortsighted. ICM Registry, the American company behind the .xxx registry, claims to have 110,000 pre-reservations.
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