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Archbishop Hart and K19

Today, 10 November 2002, is the 5th anniversary of Archbishop Hart's ordination as a bishop. He did not mention it at this morning's Mass.

There was the usual problem: he sat for the Kyrie and Gloria, while I stood in accordance with the liturgical books.

In the announcements after the Prayer After Communion he spoke about the need for reverence in receiving communion and gave some directions on this. I find it encouraging that he made this attempt to improve the liturgy.

Last night I saw the movie K-19: The Widowmaker. Its about a Russian submarine in 1961. I liked its realistic "flawed heroes". There are people who make mistakes in areas they are responsible for. Things go wrong and by extraordinarily heroic actions they are able to stop a bad situation from getting worse.

When Archbishop Chaput visited Melbourne he began his speech of 29 April 2000 with:

"I hope I don't scandalize anyone, but there's a joke among American bishops that a bishop died and went to hell ... but he didn't realize he was there for three days, because hell is so much easier than being a bishop. No matter what you do as a bishop, the needs of your people are always greater than your abilities, or your resources, or both. ..."

Archbishop Hart's role will always be difficult. I think a lot of the liturgical problems are his mistakes, or at least his responsibility (e.g. instituted lectors, double genuflections and sitting for the Gloria). But he may fix them. That would be an extraordinary achievement.

By J.R. Lilburne, 10 November 2002. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.

Other sites:

nationalgeographic.com on movie K19 The Widowmaker