Mar 14, 2007

Cardinal Rigali: Tabernacles belong in the center

Making the rounds on the Net are an article, "Keeping Christ in the center of our lives and our churches" (click on this post's title), and the above photo, from the March 8, 2007, Catholic Standard and Times Archdiocesan newspaper in Philadelphia.

The photo is from the Mass on March 4 at Philadelphia's Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul at which the cathedral's new tabernacle, in the center of the sanctuary, was blessed.

The previous tabernacle placement was on a side altar.

Cardinal Justin Rigali, who hails from our Archdiocese, was "clearly moved" to have Jesus back in the sanctuary. In his first pastoral letter, in 2004, he urged exactly that, and he fosters Forty Hours, Adoration, Benediction and frequent Confession aimed at worthiness to receive.

The new tabernacle is on a small ledge upon a new Pietrasanta marble reredos that is a freestanding "screen" right behind the altar and that replicates the cathedral's 50-year-old altar remarkably well.

A freestanding reredos would be a great way to place the tabernacle centrally in many a theologically challenged wreckified or recently built church - and a certain cathedral we can think of.

Be sure to read this article.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new reredos in the Philadelphia cathedral looks very nice. Of course, such a move is unnecessary in the Los Angeles cathedral since it has a chapel for reservation of the Blessed Sacrament whereas it seems the Philadelphia cathedral did not. The holy father's apostolic exhortation specifically mentions consideration of a centrally located tabernacle in the sanctuary of churches that do not have a Blessed Sacrament chapel. Just as we won't see the tabernacle moved to the area of the papal altar in Vatican City's St. Peter's Basilica, neither will we see the tabernacle in the sanctuary area of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It LOOKS like a tabernacle too. At TajMahony it looks like a phalic symbol, or maybe an ATM kiosk.

3:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Holy Father has just issued another document on pro-abortion,
pro-euthanasia politicans that is, at least in my opinion, worth
next to nothing.

On the one hand he throws down the gauntlet when he states that
opposition to these evils is NON NEGOTIABLE, but on the other hand
he picks up that gauntlet by stating that they MUST VOLUNTARILY

What kind of Papal leadership is this? Where is it leading us?

I know I will be criticized for clearly stating what should be
more than obvious to any thinking Catholic, but I follow Our Lord's
words "the truth shall set you free"!

What this statement really means is that we can expect more of the
same old same old that has led the Church, if led is what you call
it, down and down since Vatican II.

I yearn and pray for another Pontiff like Leo XIII, Pius XII, a
Pontiff that fully knows that only he has was given the Keys, not a
cabal of weak-kneed or even apostate Bishops!

St Athanasius the Great, PRAY FOR US!

You comments on this posting will be greatly appreciated.

God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founder & Chairman
Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remain in profound respect for Justin Cardinal Rigali - one of Los Angeles' finest. Ad multos annos, Emninencia~

11:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

To: His Eminence Cardinal Rigali -

Well done! Well done, "thou good and faitful servant." Devootion to the Real Presence on our altars is the center of our Catholic faith. Without the Eucharist, we are nothing. "I am with you all days."

11:28 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 2:25 p.m.,

The Holy Father says in #69, "Therefore, the place where the eucharistic species are reserved, marked by a sanctuary lamp, should be readily visible to everyone entering the church."

"Readily visible to those entering the church." Is that really the case here in our cathedral?

The cathedral website says:

"The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels contains ten devotional chapels on the Plaza level and one on the Mausoleum level. Unlike most Cathedrals, the chapels do not open to the nave. Rather, they are accessible from the South and North Ambulatories which surround the main body of the Cathedral, thereby achieving a more peaceful setting for prayer. The Mass is not celebrated in these chapels."

The cathedral's "interior" page describes "pipe organ and choir space," but not the tabernacle or the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

Most everyone knows, by the way, that St. Peter's Basilica is not an example for the usual parish.

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless Cardinal Rigali!

It is interesting to note that St. John Neumann, who was the fourth bishop of Philadelphia, introduced the Forty Hours' Devotion here in America.

This is a wonderful devotion that is unfortunately vanishing, and it is gratifying to see it making a comeback, at least in Philadelphia.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Quintero:
I had absolutely no trouble finding the descriptions of the Blessed Sacrament chapel and the tabernacle on the cathedral's web site...use the pull down menus for "Architecture" and "Art". Careful reading of the holy father's apostolic exhortation, taken with other official documents concerning proper reservation of the Blessed Sacrament, clearly show that such reservation chapels enjoy the Church's favor, especially in churches that receive large numbers of tourists, as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and the Basilica of St. Peter do.
Anonymous 2:25

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:25:

The placement of the Chapel at the LA Cathedral is horrible. People stream by the glass door as they enter and exit the cathedral, without a genuflection or the slightest acknowledgement that they are walking right by the Body of Christ. The placement of the Chapel promotes a complacency towards the Real Presence.


2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mike,
One genuflects when in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament but not when in transit past the Blessed Sacrament chapel. We do not, for example, genuflect every time we pass a Catholic Church knowing that the Blessed Saacrament is reserved inside. Our liturgical rubrics are very practical, common sense protocols for maintaining proper decorum and that's why they should be observed.
Anonymous 2;25

12:30 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 2:25 p.m.,

Yes, I had no trouble finding the info about the chapel, either. That was not my point.

My point was that the listing of the chapel anywhere besides the interior of the cathedral suggests that the placement of the chapel is at variance with the Pope's desire that people be able to see the placement of the Blessed Sacrament as they enter a church.

If Blessed Sacrament chapels enjoy the Church's favor, then Pope Benedict and Cardinal Rigali better shape up and stop saying and doing anything favorable to any central placement anywhere.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 11:15 a.m.,

Thank you very much for the info about St. John Neumann and Forty Hours!

6:23 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Mike,

Thank you for your eyewitness testimony about the way people act as they walk by the chapel.

You are so right that the side placement induces complacency toward the Blessed Sacrament. Well said!

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Quintero,
I believe you are missing the isn't "either/or" but "both/and". Cardinal Rigali, Cardinal Mahony and Pope Benedict are all on the same page. There are some instances, such as St. Peter's Basilica, St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, and the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles in which the Blessed Sacrament chapel, apart from the main worship space, works best while in other places, such as the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul in Philadelphia or St. Basil Church in Los Angeles, the centrally located tabernacle works best. And the holy father wisely leaves it to the diocesan bishop to determine which option works best in any given situation.
Anonymous 2:25

6:57 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 2:25 p.m.,

When Mike said "genuflection," he also said "or the slightest acknowledgment."

You cannot disagree that when we are near our Eucharistic Jesus we should make the Sign of the Cross or bow our heads -- and be SILENT.

And you cannot possibly claim that people are obeying any liturgical rubric when, as all of us see all too often, they stand beside a Blessed Sacrament chapel talking loudly, cackling and even braying.

That in no way is "proper decorum."

It is an observed fact that central placement of tabernacles increases awareness of, and reverence for, the Blessed Sacrament and placement anywhere else decreases them.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 2:25 p.m. at 6:57 p.m.,

Thank you for checking in again!

Yes, the Holy Father allows for Blessed Sacrament chapels, but you have to admit that many of them do not meet his criterion of being readily visible to people who are entering a church.

Some Blessed Sacrament chapels are not even in the church building. Some are LOCKED. There are even a few cases where former storage closets have been used.

You also have to admit that even when Blessed Sacrament chapels are right in a church's interior, all too often people ignore them and act as if Jesus is not there. Everyone has SEEN that happen.

Bishops need to foster belief in, reverence for, and love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Central placement of tabernacles helps!

7:11 PM  
Blogger Cathedral Media Productions said...

In Cardinal Rigali's weekly Lenten reflections on the Archiocesan website and on YouTube you can see the new tabernacle in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia in the background. (Beginning with the 4th Sunday of Lent and with more deatial in the coming weeks.)

Here is the link:

12:43 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Cathedral Media Productions,

Thank you very much for this news and the link. I'll go to them, and no doubt the rest of our readers and commenters will, too.

2:40 PM  

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