Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Move out of the way, Father/Sister, this spot is reserved for the Lord!

July 15th, 2009, Promulgated by Dr. K

Fr. Z has made a fascinating post about new norms promulgated yesterday by Bishop John D’Arcy of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend regarding the placement of tabernacles in diocesan parishes. As you might have guessed by the title of this post, Bishop D’Arcy is pushing for tabernacles to be restored to their proper location in the center of the church, either behind a free-standing altar on a raised platform, or on an existing high altar. This is amazing news for the people of Fort Wayne-South Bend. For the record, Bishop D’Arcy is over 75 years old, so he is not available to be named in a Fave Five list for our little activity. Still, this is great news. Hopefully more bishops will follow his example.

Some excerpts from Bishop D’Arcy’s norms and accompanying letter (commentary in brackets and red text):

My experience is that our people… have always desired that the tabernacle be central and visible. They find it confusing when the tabernacle in their churches is not visible, and if possible, central. [Read my mind]

The determination of the positioning of the tabernacle is entrusted to ?the judgment of the Diocesan Bishop.”… In the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, the Bishop has judged that the tabernacle is normally to be prominently located in the sanctuary of the church, along the central axis behind the main altar. Under this arrangement, the tabernacle should be at an elevated, open location in the apse area, or in another central place in the sanctuary that is equally conspicuous. Where a high altar with a tabernacle remains in place, it is appropriate to continue using this noble structure for the reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.[Praise the Lord!]

This prescription is to be observed in all future construction or restoration projects involving places of sacred worship[Where was this great man when Sacred Heart was destroyed?]

In those existing places of sacred worship where the tabernacle is currently located elsewhere in the sanctuary or the main body of the church, a liturgical consultation with the faithful and with the Diocese should begin, regarding the possibility of moving the tabernacle to a central position in the sanctuary. Especially if the tabernacle in a particular church was central at one time and then was moved, it should be returned to its original location.[I would love for our next Bishop to take this stance]

I hope that in three years we will be blessed like the people of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The Lord belongs in the center of our churches, not the priest or the “Pastoral Administrator.”



6 Responses to “Move out of the way, Father/Sister, this spot is reserved for the Lord!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    If only this servant of God were a little younger, he would have made a fine bishop of Rochester.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So there is hope! If we get the right bishop, our tabernacles can return to the proper place of glory. Hosanna in the highest!

  3. Gen says:

    I can visualize all the lay preachers running out from their parishes shrieking and covering their ears. They know they have a home in the DoR.

  4. Dr. K says:

    Some of the big ego priests would be ticked off as well, since they would have to move their centrally located raised throne over to the side.

    Dr. K

  5. Anonymous says:

    Imagine the day when the tabernacle returns to the center of Sacred Heart!

  6. Rob says:

    Wouldn't mind this bishop coming to Rochester for a couple of years.

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