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Letters

Liturgical abuses

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 Contents - Aug 2013AD2000 August 2013 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: Church's clear opposition to all same-sex unions
Holy See announces canonisation of Blessed John Paul II - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World
University: In the lions' den: Catholic ministry on secular campuses - Br Barry Coldrey
Lumen Fidei: The great gift of Faith: Pope Francis' first encyclical - Damian Wyld
Understanding Syria's religious war - Fr Paul Stenhouse
Common good: St Basil the Great: outstanding doctor of the Church for our time - Jordan Grantham
Sacra Liturgia 2013: Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith: interview on liturgy - Zenit News Service
National Assembly: Order of Malta renews and grows - Damian Wyld
Letters: Sense of sacred - Cedric Wright
Letters: Liturgical abuses - Michael Apthorp
Letters: Pope's advisory board - Ken Bayliss
Letters: Catholic statistics - John R. Barich
Letters: Christian example - Arnold Jago
Letters: Humanae Vitae - Frank Mobbs
Books: FRANCIS: POPE OF A NEW WORLD, by Andrea Tornielli - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: CATHOLIC APOLOGETICS: a course in religion for Catholic high schools - Michael E. Daniel (reviewer)
Books: FROM BROTHERHOOD TO PRIESTHOOD: Memoirs of Msgr William A. Mullins - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: ALIVE IN THE SPIRIT, by Fr Ken Barker MGL - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: Order books from www.freedompublishing.com.au
Reflection: Benedict XVI's Assumption homily: 'In God there is space for man' - Benedict XVI

Paul MacLeod, in his welcome review of Fr Nicola Bux's important book on the blight of liturgical abuses (June AD2000), writes, "The people ... have a right to complain, first to their parish priest, and if nothing is done, to the local bishop."

However, this wording suggests that the laity have no right to raise such issues with their bishop without first confronting their parish priest. As far as I am aware there is no such limitation. The 2004 Vatican instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum (section 184) simply states, "Any Catholic ... has the right to make a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan bishop."

That is certainly not to say that a parishioner's direct appeal to the local priest will never be fruitful, only that the complainant is not obliged to take this particular path and is free to contact the bishop without further ado. Besides, the bishop needs to be told what liturgical abuses are taking place in his diocese, since it is predominantly his role rather than the laity's to keep his clergy in check as is stressed in sections 19-24 and 176-180 of Redemptionis Sacramentum.

MICHAEL APTHORP
Brisbane, Qld

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 26 No 7 (August 2013), p. 14

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