Thursday, March 22, 2012

On Bishop Lori's Elevation Article Notes Archbishop Carroll and Catholic America's Mother Church

Religion News Service has a good piece up that looks at the History of the Catholic Mother Church of the United States. See Lori in Carroll’s seat.

The place is the See of the Archdiocese of Baltimore . The occasion to take this look back is that Bishop Lori will soon become an successor to Archbishop Carroll who was America's first Bishop. There is much in google books that is free to read about Archbishop Carroll and his relatives that played a role in Catholic and secular American history.

The article is good, and quotes a recently scholarly piece for much of the article. I don't have access to the full paper.

I think there could be an wrong impression that there was a somewhat overly hostile relationship between the Holy See and the young American Church after reading the article. I never got that impression from my reading. In fact the Holy See seemed very interested in the "American" experiment. Also no doubt Carroll had to deal with an anti Catholic public so appearances were important.

However there was a real reasons perhaps Carroll wanted to keep the Holy See at bay at times. Cardinal Dolan, who is a student of American Catholic history, gave a wonderful talk a few years back on a event marking the anniversary of the United States Diplomatic relations with the Holy See. Sadly I can't seem to find this video anymore.

Much of the talk was on the efforts over our history to get a Vatican Delegate of Nuncio to the United States. There was much hostility to this in anti Catholic quarters. However many American Bishops were also cool to the idea as Dolan noted .

It took some time for the Bishops to assert authority over their flock on some matters. This included Priests as well.

Well into the 1800's many Bishops seemed to get very irritated that when they tried to discipline their Priests they would take appeals to Rome. Everyone gets their day and Court and such.

The problem from the Bishops viewpoint was the fact that often the Holy See ruled for the Priests. So having an Apostolic Delegate around might perhaps make that problem worse. In the Bishop's viewpoint perhaps the Holy See did not exactly get that some niceties of Canon Law as to discipline could not be followed to the letter in this fledgling Church

It's an interesting article so read it all.

Prayer for Government
We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

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