Feedback on the Milwaukee Liturgical Conference
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The order of the sacraments of initiation
18. In this regard, attention needs to be paid to the order of the sacraments of initiation. Different traditions exist within the Church. There is a clear variation between, on the one hand, the ecclesial customs of the East and the practice of the West regarding the initiation of adults, and, on the other hand, the procedure adopted for children. Yet these variations are not properly of the dogmatic order, but are pastoral in character. Concretely, it needs to be seen which practice better enables the faithful to put the sacrament of the Eucharist at the centre, as the goal of the whole process of initiation. In close collaboration with the competent offices of the Roman Curia, Bishops' Conferences should examine the effectiveness of current approaches to Christian initiation, so that the faithful can be helped both to mature through the formation received in our communities and to give their lives an authentically eucharistic direction, so that they can offer a reason for the hope within them in a way suited to our times (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).I agree with Pope Benedict that the order of the sacraments of initiation need to have an "authentically eucharistic direction." Sadly, in most dioceses across the Unites States (with some exceptions in those dioceses that have restored the order of the initiation sacraments), the sacraments of initiation have a distinctly "confirmation direction."Anyone out there in a diocese that has restored the order? Your experience?
Also one of our readers shared their observations.
I attended the conference - it was pretty much what it sounded like. On some good notes - no banners, no dancing, no clapping. There were some cheap shots at the new missal translation, but of anyone to come to support the new missal translation (although not an outright…praise) was Bishop Sklba, saying that although it is wordy etc… that perhaps the church is doing the right thing and that it unifies other cultures in making our liturgy more in sync with other cultures. The one positive point was in a talk from Steven Janco telling about how the teens from his parish were upset that they were the only ones at world youth day that didn't know the pater noster in latin - saying that we should teach tradition as well. Overall - no mention of traditional liturgies at all. They didn't bash things, just didn't mention it. It was pretty disappointing overall. (I'm trying to be generous here.) I realized that traditional minded people need to represent themselves as a valid expression of their culture and heritage or they will be completely ignored as the big push among them was "interculturation" and celebration of culture.