Rochester NY: Bishop Matano on new Missal and bringing Catholics back to Church

There is a missal angle to the new bishop in Rochester, Salvatore Matano.

The Catholic Curier in Rochester, NY has the video of the press conference of Rochester’s new bishop. At 18:20, Bishop Matano says this:

And I hope my first priority will to bring [sic] people back to Mass. I hope I will be able, in some small way, to bring back our brothers and sisters estranged from the Church who no longer worship among us.

I believe the Roman Missal, the third edition, has really been a great opportunity to revive the sanctity and the reverence we should have for the Eucharist and for the Mass, and to see: this is what motivates everything we do in the life of the Church.

Pray Tell has reported previously on Bishop Matano and the new Missal. At the USCCB fall meeting a year ago, Bishop Brom rose to oppose moving forward with translation of other rites and liturgies in the style of the new Missal:

The long and short is this: that I’m hearing, especially from the priests, and from lay people as well, real reservations regarding the English translation of the new Missal, and consequently, reservation that the collects from the new Missal be taken into the Liturgy of the Hours as we presently have them.

Bishop Matano respectfully disagreed:

I do think it is a bit counter-productive to go back in time and give a critique of the new Roman Missal, when so many of us are doing everything possible to nurture support for the new Missal, and to create a unity in our dioceses…  I think we really do have to accept, this is the third edition, work very hard to support it, and encourage it…

At the USCCB meeting next week, the US bishops will be voting to charge ahead with more translations in the style of the new Missal.

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13 comments

  1. The Eucharist is what motivates everything we do in the life of the Church. I agree. Perhaps the first thing a new bishop should do is go to Mass in each church in his diocese – unannounced and siting in the congregation – and then begin his ministry.

    1. @Alexander Larkin – comment #1:
      I might agree with your suggestion. Unfortunately, that would be a violation of Redemptionis Sacramentum. The Cleansing Fire folks would be on him like piranhas for that. A few are already wondering about his experience as a pastor: 3 years. Or maybe it’s just one.

      I grew up in the Rochester diocese. I never found it particularly progressive in terms of liturgy. Lots of part-time organists. The usual front/back musical divides. My last parish there listed the organist with the secretary and custodian under “support staff.” And they were considered wildly liberal.

      If Bp Matano is emphasizing getting people back to church, more power to that.

      As for MR3, I think most liturgy geeks overstate or understate the effect of it on the pewfolk. If you read conservative web pages from Rochester, there are millions of disaffected Rochester Catholics alienated by the last 35 years. (How they still claim “faithfulness” is beyond me.) Are they going to get excited about an MR3 already implemented? They don’t like the women in charge. They want to know where all the “good men” are.

  2. While numerous blogs celebrate the appointment – especially with the hope that his style will bring Catholics back to church, I would highlight this “tidbit” from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper… “According to statistics from the Annuario Pontificio, the annual directory of the Holy See, 22.7 percent of residents in the 12-county Rochester diocese identified themselves as Catholic in 2011, only a shade below the 23 percent who did so in 2001. In the Diocese of Burlington, only 19 percent of diocesan residents identified themselves as Catholic in 2012, down from 24.6 percent in 2001.” Seems like he had trouble keeping people in the pews in Burlington to a greater extent than Rochester has witnessed.

    1. @Bill Hobbs – comment #4:

      Seems like he had trouble keeping people in the pews in Burlington to a greater extent than Rochester has witnessed.

      The numbers from the Annuario Pontifico are insufficient in isolation to make such a statement. To draw the conclusion that you have would require having other demographic information — did the number of Catholics shrink because the Catholics there tend to be older and have been dying off? Is it because there has been an influx of young people who are not Catholic in what is increasingly becoming a socially and politically progressive state and that the number of Catholics has stayed the same (while the percentage has shifted)? Or was it a matter of Catholics actually leaving? The numbers don’t tell us. Even to know that the Catholic population in Burlington was shrinking at the same time the general population was growing is not enough to tell us why (death vs. moving away vs. no longer practicing)

      In the same way, the percentages don’t give us an accurate perception of Rochester — has it really been stable since 2001, or are the number of Catholics shrinking/growing at the same rate as the general population? Again, the numbers don’t tell us.

      To simply conclude that Bishop Matano “had trouble keeping people in the pews” while everything has been stable in Rochester under Bishop Clark is a gross oversimplification. More data might prove the conclusion correct… but the Democrat and Chronicle don’t give us that.

      1. @Bill Hobbs – comment #10:

        Bill — this is exactly the problem. I don’t have the numbers, and neither do you. I’m not making assumptions… I’m pointing out the considerations that make your assumptions and conclusion questionable.

        The numbers in the Annuario Pontificio are good, but only tell part of the story — they can tell you the basic numbers and percentages, but it isn’t enough to draw conclusions as to why.

        Take the numbers as they are — just don’t try to draw unjustifiable conclusions with them.

  3. Its was the language of the previous version that estranged Catholics from the Church? Does he actually talk with lapsed or ex-Catholics?
    My gob has rarely been more smacked.

  4. We can probably agree that, in geeral, the best Catholics are those who enter from other religions. I was speaking with a former minister who entered the church with his wife after many years of praying over and teaching Scripture. The accepted Christ first, then found and accepted the Church & Eucharist.
    Nice order of things. 1. Bring them to Christ. 2. Lead them to Church & sacraments.

    1. @John Swencki – comment #6:
      No, we do not agree that “in general the best Catholics are those who enter from other religions.”

      What a slander to the many faithful lifelong Catholics in our church.

  5. Just go to US Census Bureau – comparing 2010 to 2012 for Rochester area….almost no change in population and percentage of older adults only increased.
    Realize that catholic population trends might be different but doubt it.

    Reminds me of Fr. Michael Kavanaugh and Allan – Allan’s parish stats show a more than 15% decrease or more over 3 years in mass attendance; in the same city, Fr. Kavanaugh’s parish has lost barely 1% – Allan’s excuse is that economic times caused this….which is interesting given that Fr. Kavanaugh’s parish has been impacted by the same economy.

  6. First, I love this blog. I enjoy reading all of the topics and comments with respect to Liturgy. I am not a very well educated Catholic. I only have a high school diploma, but I do enjoy reading and learning as much as I can about the Church. Second, I have lived in Rochester, NY all my life and I have to say that I’m truly disappointed and even a little scared with who we have for our new bishop. I am scared because I think a lot of our lay ministries are at risk. Unlike, some in our diocese I loved Bishop Clark because he was not afraid to discern the sign of the times and allowed lay ministries to bloom in our Diocese. I love all the lay ministers that I’ve met over the years. Many of them have helped me get through some very difficult times in my life. However, I think it’s fair to say that all bishops are having a hard time keeping the pews filled on Sundays! I work with 4 Catholic women (all in their 40s) who do not go to Mass on Sundays. Further, two of these women have been baptized and received their first Holy Communion, but neither have received the Sacrament of Confirmation. I have two brothers, numerous Catholic relatives and friends that haven’t been to Mass in over 30 years except on special occasions. Last month, my parish’s bulletin reported that we have at least 3000 families registered in our parish, but Mass attendance and parish school enrollment is down. I think it’s telling that today’s bulletin shows only 464 parishioners have pledged money for the 2013 annual Catholic Ministries Appeal. I have a hard time believing that a well educated man like Bishop Matano really thinks that some of the new language in the new Roman Missal such as “Consubstantial” in place of one in being with the Father, “Chalice” in place of “Cup” will really bring fallen away Catholics back to the fold. I will pray for Bishop Matano. I will also pray that one day the local church – not the papal nuncio, will write up the terna of candidates to send to the Holy See.

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