Syracuse 400-year-old tradition here end with questions

syracuse.com/articles/opinion/index.ssf?/base/opinion-2/1178701133113060.xml&coll=1
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Latin Mass’ End **

**A church and a 400-year-old tradition here end with questions **
Wednesday, May 09, 2007

To the Editor:
On April 29 at 10:30 a.m., the goodly crowd had gathered at St. Stephen’s Roman Catholic Church in Syracuse. People had assembled for the weekly celebration of Sunday Mass.
Their Mass was unique in as much as it was said or sung in Latin according to the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope Pius V in the 16th century. Actually it dates back even further. After the Bible, Catholics consider this to be their holiest book.

The Roman Missal of St. Pius V was replaced by Pope Paul VI in 1969 and although the traditional Missal has not been abrogated it has been left to the predisposition of the local bishop.
St. Stephen’s pastor, a newly appointed monsignor, made his way to the pulpit on this Sunday morning in April for a special announcement. The message was brief - the message was incontrovertible.
The Latin Mass would be no more!
The bishop had closed St. Stephen’s and with it the Latin Mass. The monsignor indicated he was as surprised as the congregation. He had only heard about it on the previous Friday. He assured the parishioners that they would be welcome at his church (no Latin Mass) which had not been closed.
Another choice, according to the pastor, would be to attend the Latin Mass across the street. That church is operating under the authority of the Society of St. Pius X. [edited by Moderator]

What country/state is this in.

In NY we have a Syracuse near a Utica:o

Yes, this is Syracuse, NY.

But all we have here is one side of the story.

I am sorry but I go against the trend today and will side with the bishop in every case until it is proven that he is wrong.

As we only have the side of one person who is upset I do not believe that we have enough information.

From the linked article:

A bishop who believes in tradition saw the need to end a 400-year-old tradition that a Pope - St. Pius V - decreed would last forever and a recipient of the traditional title monsignor said, “We have to listen to our Bishop.”

While on the surface it appears to be an abrupt ending of the latin mass, the parish directory shows that there was also a 7 PM and a 9 AM mass that were NOT in latin. My feeling is that probably the parish was too small in membership and was considered by the bishop for closing.
Our area has closed several of these small churches, and it is always a traumatic moment for the parishioners. In the future, without sufficient clergy to serve these “mission” churches as we call them, we can expect that more of these will either close or be absorbed into neighboring parishes. Some are truly not able to sustain themselves financially and the older buildings are often in need of major repairs which makes it impractical to incur this expense.

It must be very difficult for a bishop to have to make this decision, and I pray that his people will extend a spirit of understanding and compassion rather than upheaval.

I’m not sure of the diocese in question here and am making no allegations but in a couple of other dioceses, a judge has ruled that a bishop can not sell off church property to pay lawsuits. So whether you side with the bishop where he closes churches is really pointless unless it’s a matter of faith or lack of attendance.

I don’t view it as a problem as ultra-traditianalsm and adhering to each old rule scrupusly is just as bad as do-as-you feel protestantism

This has nothing to do with any lawsuits or such.

To bring this up is nothing more than a red herring.

It has nothing to do with this topic or my choice to stand on the side of the bishop when people make accusations against them because something is done that they do not like.

While in a couple of other cases a court of law has determined that a bishop may not sell off property there are no cases I know of stopping a bishop from closing down a parish. Especially if the case is as presented by Joysong.

I also would like to note the misrepresentation that the author of the editoral made. After reading it I got the impression that this was a TLM parish but as Joysong points out that is not the whole truth. I wonder what else has been left out.

And what exactly is ultra-traditionalism? This was an indult parish.

According to Joysong who lives in that diocese this was not an indult parish as they had Mass in the vernacular offered as well.

Joysong lives in SW Pennsylvania like I do. I posted this as a start of conversation on the possible granting of the universal indult we all have been expecting. All TLM indults are on day by day Bishop’s pleasure.

…and a Rome near a Utica, which is where I’m from… more Catholic churches and Italians and tasty food than you can shake a big stick at :wink:

[quote=KathleenElsie]Joysong lives in SW Pennsylvania like I do. I posted this as a start of conversation on the possible granting of the universal indult we all have been expecting. All TLM indults are on day by day Bishop’s pleasure.
[/quote]

True, I live in PA, but your OP did not give any information about wanting to start this conversation. You simply posted it leaving the reader to think some thoughts that did not reflect the true position of the bishop, but looked as if the TLM was once again being shot down.

As I suspected, here are some articles that reveal more of the reasoning behind the decision.

More than 35 churches or missions throughout the seven-county Diocese of Syracuse will close. The total is expected to edge up Thursday after the last in a series announcements by Bishop James Moynihan.

Most changes announced Wednesday will take effect when current pastors retire or their terms expire. Priests are eligible for retirement from full-time ministry when they are 70. They are typically appointed to serve as pastor of a parish for a six-year term, renewable once.

The restructuring is a response to the declining number of priests and shifting populations. The diocese includes Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Oneida and Oswego counties.

syracuse.com/newsflash/state/index.ssf?/base/news-21/1178767775300340.xml&storylist=state#continue

These parish statistics speak to me about a decline in membership and the age of a very old structure needing maintenance.

syrdio.org/index.asp?path=Parishview&id=132

200 members
1915

And here, finally, are the mass schedules which show an additional mass at 9 AM, which did not appear in the previous link. Nevertheless, it is not exclusively a TLM parish:

catholicweb.com/directory.cfm?fuseaction=display_site_info&sitetype=&siteid=53640&OffAdsOnly=1

St Stephen Parish
305 N Geddes St
Syracuse, NY 13204
Phone: (315) 422-5224
United States
Sat: 7 p.m.
Sun: 9, 10:30 a.m. [Latin].
Mon thru Sat: 7:30 a.m. Fr Peter Gleba

Although I am from PA, the only reason I resourced the info is to avoid the sensationalism that some might take in an initial reading of your post. :wink:

Joysong,
Sorry that I got your place of residence wrong but thank you for the good work here.

I normally do searches as you have done. Its not all that hard to do.

But alas, this is finals week. I had/have 6 finals this week, 2 Monday, 2 Wednesday, and 2 Thursday, as well as three papers being due. Not only that, I have an end of the year dinner on Friday and Graduation Saturday. Added to that is all the packing and planning for my move to the Carmelite Novitiate. Had to fly out to the Novitiate last weekend, did a lot of studying on the flights. Going home for a short vacation before the start of the novitiate.

So needless to say, I am busy and will most likely be cutting back to visiting here only on Saturdays when the Novitiate starts.

Oh well, thanks again!

Hello David,

Not a problem at all re my residence, and as busy as you are, it was kind of you to take time to reply. My prayers and good wishes go with you as you finish up at school and begin your novitiate. There are two special priests for whom I pray every day, and I will also remember you. God bless you, and see you on Saturdays! :thumbsup:

Carole

And what does that have to do with being an indult parish. St. Josephat’s in Detroit offers both the 1962 Missal and the N.O. Mass.

When it offers the 1962 Missal, it does so under an indult. ( I suppose that since the NO Mass is in the vernacular, that, by definition, means it too is under an indult :stuck_out_tongue: )

Hi Brendan,

Honestly, I don’t believe the thrust of our discussion was whether or not this parish was an indult parish, and it seems to be beside the point. I excepted the article because it looked as though the bishop was persecuting yet another TLM. This TC section of the forum has been under the illusion that bishops are against this liturgy and are just being contentious.

Rather, there was a lawful reason for closing the parish that had nothing at all to do with the form of liturgy it offered. Same reason we see so many closings in my own diocese — not enough priests, and not enough parishioners to warrant keeping the building going. Did you notice that there were only 200 members? Not 200 “families” which might double or triple that figure, but only 200 individuals. That says to me that this would have closed long ago if it were in my area.

I just hoped to prevent unwarranted and unjust commentary from folks here regarding the action of this bishop, by researching the background.

[quote=KathleenElsie]I posted this as a start of conversation on the possible granting of the universal indult we all have been expecting.
[/quote]

I could be wrong, but I read the OP’s words here as, “See another TLM parish closed! When are we going to get our universal indult so this can’t continue.”

The TLM may not be an “indult” for too much longer. :wink:

Since this parish seems to be the exclusive home for the TLM in that Diocese and is being closed, has the Bishop offered an alternative home for the TLM congregation? From the remarks made by the pastor, it seems as though he has not done so. What would it take to move the conregation to another parish that is still active?

It is these type of actions by Bishops that cause such an uproar among traditionalist Catholics. I don’t think anyone here is accusing the Bishop of attacking the TLM community in his Diocese, just the fact that it seems they are being neglected during this trying time.

Since this parish seems to be the exclusive home for the TLM in that Diocese and is being closed, has the Bishop offered an alternative home for the TLM congregation? From the remarks made by the pastor, it seems as though he has not done so. What would it take to move the conregation to another parish that is still active?

Why would the bishop be under obligation to find these parishioners a new congregation, when at this time, the TLM liturgy is an indult not offered in very many parishes? When our parishes close, the parishioners know which ones are nearby and realize they have a couple of choices where to register. Are you saying he is not permitted to close it because the people have no alternative? You may want to reflect that the US has states where there are none offered at all.

Back to St. Stephen’s. It seems there are three masses (or two depending on which listing is accurate), and only 200 members. Statistics here have shown that only 40% of catholics (and that’s stretching it a bit) attend mass. Divide 80 by 3 masses, and we find that each liturgy may have only 25 people present. I hope I’m wrong about the 200 members, and that maybe it means something else in the parish profile?

My guess is that the TLM draws worshippers from outside the parish and perhaps there are more than 25. This is what the disagreement is in our diocese, that so few attend these as to make it unfeasible for the bishop to permit separate liturgies in light of the priest shortage. Our priests often serve outside their own parishes in the mission churches just to serve the N.O. liturgies.

No, it will remain an ‘indult’, in the exact same way that the vernacular Mass is an indult (which it is).

It will just be a Universal Indult.

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