Father Tran and the Diocese of Orange clarify remarks made in the LA Times article.
The LA TIMES, Sunday, May 28, 2006, story about the liturgical practices at St. Mary’s
by the Sea stated that the determination of some parishioners to kneel during the Agnus
Dei at Mass was a `mortal sin’ because it violated the liturgical norm (to stand) of the
province of the USCCB Region XI (CA, Hawaii and Nevada)
The LA TIMES article quoted from Fr. Martin Tran’s weekly bulletin column in which
he addressed the issue of respect for the general liturgical norms and practices of the
Roman Catholic Church approved by the Vatican, the US Conference of Catholic
Bishops and Bishop Tod Brown.
His article resulted from ongoing local differences and rejection of various liturgical
practices by a small group of parishioners. Here is the quote in question from Fr. Tran’s
"As I said before, Liturgy is the `public worship of the Church whose authority
belongs only to Rome, the national Conference of Catholic Bishops and the local
bishop, and not a private worship or business which belongs to any person(s)
or group that can take it into their own hands by intentionally setting their own
norms, disregarding the permission from the local Bishop or despising the
authority of the local Bishop, and the National Conference of one’s country. That
is clearly rebellion, grave disobedience and mortal sin, separating oneself from
the Church. The reason for this is that all the current liturgical norms of the
Diocese and of the U.S. are officially recognized and allowed by Rome.
Fr. Tran regrets any concern or hurt caused by the misuse of the term "mortal sin" in this
context. The Diocese concurs with Fr. Tran’s clarification.
The bulletin article by Fr. Tran was never about "kneeling" or "standing" during Mass, it
was about respect for the liturgical practices of the Church as approved by the Pope.
Pretty much as Jimmy Akin dissected the situation in that the Times went further than what was actually said. Though the original statement is still pretty ironic for the liturgical norm challenged diocese where diversity does not include kneeling.
Update: Jimmy Akin looks at the clarification and is less than impressed with it and charitably calls attention to some "drafting problems" with it that in one cases spins the original bulletin column and in another makes a statement about liturgical norms USCCB Region XI that is likely just not true.
Gerald publishes some letters from parishioners of Father Tran’s parish that while Fr Tran is now saying that kneeling is not a mortal sin he considered it serious enough to dismiss two altar servers, an altar server coordinator, and someone from a parish council.
I wonder if they might make some changes to the lectionary there.
.. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. (Except within the Diocese of Orange and wherever prohibited by the local ordinary)