Supports Bishop Foley on Ad Orientem Flap

I have to say I was very puzzled by the flap about Bishop Foley's directive on ad orientem, and very disappointed in the incoherent opposition to it offered by some prominent laymen, the St. Joseph's Foundation, and The Wanderer— all of whom were entirely in the wrong about it.

It's understandable that American Catholics assume anything a bishop says or does is wrong. In this case, though, a cursory review of the relevant canons and liturgical regulations would have shown instantly that Bishop Foley was right to do what he did, and in fact, has an obligation to do so. For instance. Canon 392 specifically charges the bishop to "be watchful lest abuses creep in to ecclesiastical discipline" (also 683, 1339, 1341, 1342, etc., etc.). Priests are bound to obey him (273, etc.), and he has the right to punish them if they don't.

There are lots of other regulations, too, all so clear, and so in tune with common sense on this matter that, frankly, I cannot see why there was any objection to his directive in the first place—except that the laity has the idea that there are no regulations any more, and that anything a bishop says is arbitrary. This is a grave failure on the part of those who would restore orthodoxy and obedience, and it shows why that movement isn't taken seriously.

Less understandable is the presupposition that EWTN can do no wrong, and that any directive staling that EWTN must change its practices must be an attack on orthodoxy. Catholics who want to restore orthodoxy and obedience in the Church have to know doctrine and law. That's a simple point, and an obvious one, but it sure got lost in this case.

Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D.
President Pangaeus Companies
Dallas, TX

Shocking Headlines about DRH Get Results

The shocking headlines of your item regarding the Dominican Retreat House had the desired effect. They cancelled the Women's Spirituality Series. I am grateful for your "heads up" reporting. However, I have been personally blessed in over thirty years of attendance at their retreats, and I hope you will reconsider asking pastors to blackball them by refusing to advertise their retreats. As a Catholic who is loyal to the pope, I have never heard error preached there. I believe they are trying to "open up" the House in order to raise funds, and that this was an error in judgment. Thank you.

Sue Winkler
Alexandria, VA

Canonize The King? Patron Saint of MTV?

I had to comment. Someone should tell Bishop Tod Brown of Orange, CA that you have to be Catholic to become a canonized saint in the Catholic Church. I once saw an article in the Herald of a man who stopped his "campaign" for the canonization of Elvis once he found that bit of information out.

Barbara Froio
Sterling, VA

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