Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In wake of sex abuse scandals, priests to host Latin Mass

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With many questioning the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese over allegations of sexual misconduct by clergy, and subsequent inaction by diocesan officials, several priests here are planning something they hope will "promote unity" among the faithful: A special Latin-language "Solemn High Mass."
The Mass, to be held June 29 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church here, is to be celebrated in the "Extraordinary Form," or according to the 1962 edition of the Roman Missal, which typically includes prayers in Latin and the priest facing towards the altar during the celebration.
News of the Mass comes as the Kansas City diocese has been rocked by three cases of allegations of sexual misconduct by clergy in recent weeks.
One priest was arrested on charges of possession of child pornography May 19, but the diocese had waited five months before taking evidence to the police. Another pastor was removed from ministry June 3 over allegations of sexual abuse of minors dating back to the 1970s and '80s. It came to light June 9 that a man had accused the diocesan vicar general of sexual misconduct four years ago over an incident that had occurred in 1984.
Acknowledging the "discord and disunity during this present darkness," organizers of the Mass write that they want to "promote unity, which is borne of a common history or tradition -- hence why we have opted for a Solemn High (Traditional) Mass."
Announcement of the Mass came via an e-mail letter from the diocesan worship office yesterday.
"How glorious will it be to see those of your fold theretofore unacquainted...kneeling next to one another in the pews!" exhorts the letter. "Amidst all the discord and disunity during this present darkness, let there be light!"
Organizers say EWTN may shoot footage of the Mass for broadcast, which will be offered for the intentions of Bishop Robert Finn and for "unity among his flock."
Fr. Shawn Ratigan, a local pastor whose computer was found to contain child pornography in December, was moved to a religious sisters’ community in January. He lived there for five months before his May 19 arrest.

full article at National Catholic Reporter

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