January 2014

Hon Me, one of the three Korean grocery stores over on Kauffman Road in Fairborn, now features in its front window a list of all the Korean Christian communities and churches in the Dayton area. So now I can tell you what the archdiocese website doesn’t:

The Dayton Baksam Korean Catholic community has its home at the Marianist center, Bergamo, out on Patterson Road between Kettering and Beavercreek. Queen of Apostles Chapel there is underused (they’ve recently had Sunday Mass only at 10:30 AM), so it’s a nice place for them. Also, a fair number of the older Marianists served in the Korean missions and know Korean.

Cincinnati has the St. Andrew Kim Korean Catholic Community on 3171 Struble Rd. The building and grounds look very nice from the website and Google Streetview. The website has left them off the archdiocese’s list of parishes also, although they are mentioned in several pieces of archdiocesan paperwork on the website, and in archdiocesan news releases. St Andrew Kim’s website says that they have weekday Mass on Thursday 8:00 pm and Fri 7:30 pm; and Sunday Mass at 11 am. Confession is 30 minutes before Mass. There’s several devotions running after Mass, Catholic education classes for kids and adults, and a Korean choir. It seems like an active bunch of folks.

There are also Korean Catholic communities in Cleveland and Columbus.

St. Andrew Kim’s website also features a brief history of Korean Catholics in Ohio, Indiana, and the archdiocese. It’s in Korean, so Google Translate is your friend. (Unfortunately, GT is your friend who doesn’t know much Korean.)

The USCCB has an article in English about problems and strengths of US Korean Catholics. For example, although vocations coming out of the US community are pretty large, most communities here are still served by priests sent over here from South Korea.

The only article I can find from a US Korean Catholic’s pov, though, is this essay by an adopted lady, though it’s an interesting essay in itself. Here’s some nice pictures of the NYC Korean community fixing up their newly assigned church, and another article on Harrisburg’s Korean Catholic parish.

On a totally different note, here’s part one of a 2007-2008 “miniseries” named Kyrie that some Korean Catholic kids put together, playing off weepy soap operas and K-dramas. There are seven parts and it’s pretty silly, but I think you’ll see some personality types you recognize from Catholic school….

Here’s a listing of Korean Catholic parishes and communities in the US. Here’s another listing at fiat.org.

Re: the Korean saints mentioned about, St. Andrew Kim Taegon was a Korean priest, a brilliant and brave man. He was martyred by beheading in 1846; his father was martyred in 1839 while Kim was still in the seminary over in Macao. St. Peter Son Son-ji was a married lay catechist from Inchon (Imcheon) who was martyred on December 13, 1866.

One of the more enduring falsehoods to come out of the catechetical confusion that followed Vatican II is the idea that Jesus’ baptism represented an occasion of understanding or “discernment” about His mission, as though prior to this he was oblivious to His special relationship to God the Father. It reared its head recently in a homily delivered by — you guessed it — Ken Overberg, S.J., before the congregation at Bellarmine Chapel on the campus of Cincinnati’s Xavier University:

So why was this event remembered and handed on? Perhaps because of its significance for Jesus’ understanding of his life and vision for his ministry. Taking seriously that Jesus was fully human (as the Church teaches—and also fully divine) we recognize that Jesus had to discern his life’s path just like we all do. His encounter with John and the baptism must have marked a turning point in Jesus’ life, giving him a deepening sense of being God’s “beloved,” called to live and proclaim Abba God’s loving presence, the Reign of God. The specifics of all this would have to be worked out and confirmed in the doing. In all four gospels, the stories of Jesus and John the Baptist mark the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.

The pertinent sections in the Catechism of the Catholic Church are paragraphs 535-537, and nowhere in them will you find support for Overberg’s speculation. Rather than describing His baptism in terms of understanding or discernment, the CCC holds that it as “the acceptance and inauguration of his mission as God’s suffering servant.” Immediately following this sentence, the Catechism tellingly refers to the “‘baptism’ of his bloody death” and that “he is submitting himself entirely to his Father’s will: out of love he consents to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins.” Perhaps all this sanguinary language in official Church teaching explains the notoriously Atone-o-phobic Overberg’s reluctance to give a straightforward explanation of Jesus’ baptism.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati announces that Springfield bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, who last year performed an exorcism in reparation for Illinois’s new same-sex marriage law, will lecture on Church teaching on homosexuality next month at the Athenaeum:

Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki will explain Catholic teaching regarding homosexuality with truth and compassion as the featured speaker of the annual Le Blond Lecture presented by The Athenaeum of Ohio. As Bishop of Springfield Illinois, Bishop Paprocki received national attention in 2013 when he publicly opposed the legalization of same sex marriage in Illinois. His lecture entitled: “Marriage, Same –Sex Relationships, and the Catholic Church” will be held on Wednesday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Athenaeum’s Bartlett Pastoral Center located at 6616 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45230. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit http://www.athenaeum.edu or contact Father Earl Fernandes …

The news comes to us from the new January issue of the Clergy Communications newsletter and appears in the “Miscellaneous” section. Interestingly, that section immediately follows news of the activities of the Social Action office, which we are told is focused on surely more pressing matters like immigration, gun control, and “local food.”

Scott Wartman of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports on the impact Pope Francis’s critique of capitalism will have on politics and policy. The one Republican interviewed doesn’t seem especially fazed, and unsurprisingly the Democrats and Jesuits are elated. Here are the concluding paragraphs:

Both Democrats and Republicans in the region didn’t feel the pope’s message changed the political landscape.

What the pope said in Evangelii Gaudium is nothing new, said attorney Mark Guilfoyle, a Catholic and Northern Kentucky attorney involved in many Democratic causes. Pope Leo XIII said pretty much the same thing in his 1891 encyclical Rarum Novarum, he said.

Guilfoyle, a Democrat, doesn’t see the pope’s message as changing church teaching or having a big impact on the Catholic vote.

“I would think any right-thinking Democrat or Republican would agree that unbridled greed is a sin and something that ought to be avoided,” Guilfoyle said. “That’s all he’s saying.”

The pope’s comments will likely have some political impact for the GOP, Fr. James Bretzke, a Jesuit priest and professor of moral theology at Boston College, said. Based on the pope’s guidance, conservative bishops will have a harder time urging Catholics to vote for a candidate solely because the candidate is against abortion or gay marriage, he said. Instead, Francis called on Catholics to take a more nuanced approach that includes economic policy when deciding who to vote for, he said.

“I think it’s going to be difficult for the Catholic congressman in my home state of Wisconsin, Paul Ryan, to claim that his (proposed) budget is in tune with Catholic social teaching,” Bretzke said.

If the pope’s teachings are followed, capitalism wouldn’t go away; it just means it would provide a just wage for workers, decent health insurance and access to good education, said Thomas Groome, a professor of theology at Boston College.

“It is not that he opposes capitalism,” Groome said. “He wants a moral capitalism.”

Schickel said he likes the new pope and thinks he’s encouraging good debate.

“It opens up a discussion, which I think is good,” Schickel said. “There are evils to materialism.”

To His Holiness, our Holy Father Emeritus, Pope Benedict XVI, in whose pontificate I began my apostolic mission, to him I express my continued admiration and esteem for the guidance he selflessly gave to the Church, emphasizing a theology and an ecclesiology of continuity. A theology that builds and does not destroy. An ecclesiology that appreciates the contributions of every age that does not disdain the past which through the hard labors of others paved the way for the future.

— Bishop Salvatore R. Matano of Rochester, during the opening section of his homily for his Installation Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral, 3 January 2014

Note to fellow Rochester expatriates: (and others with an interest in the goings-on of my home town and diocese) EWTN is televising “the “Mass of Installation of the Most Reverend Salvatore R. Matano as the Ninth Bishop of Rochester” tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 3) at 2:30 pm EST as part of its “Cathedrals Across America” program. On a related note, the Catholic Courier of Rochester has posted series of interviews under the theme of “Getting to Know Bishop Matano.” They’ll also be streaming the installation Mass live, along with Vespers tonight at 7:30 pm EST, though it’s unclear where to find the feed on the website.

Update, 4 Jan. ’14. Notes from yesterday’s Installation Mass.

The good. Bishop Matano’s homily. It began with a ringing endorsement of “continuity” between the old and the new and ended with an invitation to pray in the Church’s “universal language,” Latin. (There were three Latin references in the homily.) He also spoke of the Church before Vatican II positively, especially during the ’50s, something rarely heard in Rochester. And he spoke of the urgency and necessity of priestly vocations, linking the priesthood to the Eucharist. He also stressed the importance of Catholic schools, largely decimated by his predecessor. I will link to the text as soon as it’s available online.

The bad. The liturgy itself was ridiculous. From the woefully off-key cantor — my children asked me to mute the television — to the absurdity of the Old Testament reading being read exclusively in Spanish (if we’re going to include foreign vernacular languages, why not Italian given the ethnic background of the local population?) and the second done in sign language by a wildly gesticulating “reader” (as a woman nearby translated his gestures), Bishop Clark’s bizarre, effete, and politically correct liturgical practices were on display for all the world to see. Although that could prove useful to Bishop Matano as it publicizes the need for reform, it does reveal how much work he has cut out for him. The liturgy was most likely planned by the staff of “longtime” vicar general Fr. Joseph Hart, whom Bishop Matano reappointed. (On a positive note, I didn’t notice any Extraordinary Ministers, which would have been rather silly given the number of priests in attendance.) All in all, it was a good day for the long-suffering people of my home diocese. We’ll be saying prayers of thanksgiving this weekend. Read the Catholic Courier‘s coverage here.

Update, 7 Jan. ’14. The better. From Cpt Tom in the comment box:

There is much more positive than negative (though what you mention was certainly the BAD). Word has it that the PC nonsense was going to be even worse with the Rochester Chancery trying to dictate the whole mass. Apparently Bishop Matano and his MC pushed back on most of it. If you didn’t notice, the altar servers were in cassocks and surplice, all male (seminarians), clouds of incense with the congregation blessed at the offertory (though they had to be signaled to stand), Bishop Matano chanted his parts of the mass, and communion to the congregation was only given in one form (hosts) (hence no EMHC). There is also a rumor that the DOR Diocesan Liturgist quit over this mass. If true, a positive development indeed.

It is also the case that at the solemn vesper service the night before, not only was Bishop Matano in Surplice and cassock, but so was Bishop Clark.

BTW, cleansing fire has the homily text and the video.

Last summer, my oldest son gave me a copy of the accompanying book to Kenneth Clark’s magisterial video series, “Civilisation.” So we decided to take advantage of some holiday downtime to watch the series and read along; today’s frigid, snowy weather was a perfect opportunity for it. My favorite episode is the second, “The Great Thaw,” on the flowering of Christendom in the 12th century, which along with the other twelve episodes is on YouTube.

Clark summarizes the episode and century this way:

Chartres is the epitome of the first great awakening in European civilisation. It is also the bridge between Romanesque and Gothic, between the world of Abelard and the world of St. Thomas Aquinas, the world of restless curiosity and the world of system and order. Great things were to be done in the next centuries of high Gothic, great feats of construction, both in architecture and in thought. But they all rested on the foundations of the twelfth century. That was the age which gave European civilisation its impetus. Our intellectual energy, our contact with the great minds of Greece, our ability to move and change, our belief that God may be approached through beauty, our feeling of compassion, our sense of the unity of Christendom — all this, and much more, appeared in those hundred marvelous years between the consecration of Cluny and the rebuilding of Chartres.

Three priests, the first two of whom I am privileged to call friends, offer their thoughts on Pope Francis.

First, Fr. Martin Fox of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, answers the question, “What do I do if I don’t like the Pope?” Here’s his conclusion:

When Pope Francis talks about the economy, and markets, and caring for the poor, he doesn’t wipe away what all his predecessors said; he intends his words to be an added commentary. Very frankly, I prefer what Pope John Paul II wrote on this subject; but I think the differences are more a matter of emphasis than fundamental content. I had the benefit, in the seminary, of reading a hundred years of papal documents on the social teaching of the Church, and that gives perspective.

In any case, Pope Francis knows that he’s building on what John Paul II did. And in any case, we owe both of them our heedful attention.

But what if someone says, I don’t like what Pope Francis said here–or did there? Is that person a bad Catholic?

No; no more than if you say the same about your parent, that makes you a bad son or daughter. It’s more in how you say it, and how you approach your mother or father overall.

Next, Fr. Robert Sirico, a priest partially responsible for my reversion, describes Pope Francis “without the politics.” Here’s a snippet:

While renouncing the notion that the market alone is sufficient to meet all human needs, Francis is also prepared to denounce a “welfare mentality” that creates a dependency on the part of the poor and reduces the Church to the role of being just another bureaucratic NGO. The complexity of his thought surprises some, on both the Right (some of whom worry, needlessly, that he is a liberation theologian) and the Left (who are already using his words to foment a political “Francis Revolution” in his name). Such tendencies reveal a rather anemic understanding of this man but also of Catholicism, which has historically been comfortable balancing the tensions of apparent paradoxes (Divine/human; Virgin/Mother; etc.). It is too facile a temptation to collapse 2,000 years of tradition, commentary and lived experience into four or five politically-correct hot button sound bites that are the priority, not of the Church, but of propagandists with an agenda.

And lastly, Fr. Raymond J. De Souza of Canada reflects on Time magazine awarding Francis its “Person of the Year” prize, largely by situating him vis-à-vis his two immediate predecessors:

The 20th century posed three enormous challenges, not only to the Church, but to all of Western civilization. The first was from “above,” the totalitarian state seeking to crush all social institutions, including marriage, family and the church. The second was from “below,” the sexual revolution and its attendant social changes, which undermined marriage, family and the church. The third was in the entire intellectual environment, in which the possibility of knowing the truth at all, especially moral truth, was radically questioned.

It is possible to understand John Paul II and Benedict XVI as two parts of an epic, world-changing, 35-year pontificate, which went into battle on all three fronts. Call it “police work” or manning the barricades or clambering aboard the ark in rough waters — it was necessary. If Francis now is able to return to what the Church usually does in times of relative tranquility, it is because of what went before. Does the Church appear to be more attractive under Francis? Time is right about that, for she is attempting to be more of who she properly is.

There is a lot to ponder in all three pieces.