FRIDAY - MARCH 31, 2006 @ 11:15 a.m. PST

On Friday, March 31, 2006, hosted an online chat session with Cardinal Roger Mahony from the main Exhibit Hall at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, Calif. Our thanks to Ellie Hidalgo of The Tidings for help with moderating the chat.

Thanks to Steve McBrady of ChurchWerks for arranging this session, and to Collin McBrady for his monitoring and providing the transcript.

Moderator: Welcome to Churchwerks Chat with Cardinal Mahony
CardinalMahony: Welcome

Matt: "Just curious about some new things I've seen at church. May a priest change the liturgy as he sees fit? For example, may he change the words given by ICEL, use a wooden or glass chalice, or allow a lay person to read the Gospel or give a homily? Thank you."
CardinalMahony: Matt:  every priest must follow and use the Roman Missal as published, and may not change any words.  In fact, the Bishops are now developing a new English translation.
CardinalMahony: The material for sacred vessels needs the approval of the Local Bishop, but must be fitting for the Eucharist.
CardinalMahony: At Mass, the deacon and priest are the only ones to proclaim the Gospel and give the homily.  Now and then, others may give a reflection.

Vipool: Is evangelism important for us?
Cynthia: "Do you think the Church will restore the female diaconate, and if so, when?"
Susan: "Cardinal, how do I encourage my adult children to attend Mass? My daughter especially refuses to join me because she says she can pray on her own and that the Mass is boring. I have asked her every week for 2 years now and she only attends on Christmas and Easter. In all other areas, she is a very good daughter. Please help!"
CardinalMahony: Adult children need to discover the deeper meaning of the Eucharist.  Maybe she is not "getting anything out of Mass" because she is not "putting anything into Mass."  Have her attend a Mass for Young Adults near your parish.

Hildebrand: Your Eminence, thank you for your eloquent and clear voice on the immigration issue. But do you think we need to go further and reclaim Cardinal Bernardin's "seamless garment" approach to public policy? Do you think the church should be speaking out about war, torture, the death penalty, poverty, and healthcare in the same way it speaks out against abortion and euthanasia? Do you think there is a tendency for those on the right to claim "their" issues are all principle, but no role for prudential judgment, while everything else is just non-binding prudential judgment?
CardinalMahony: We definitely need to understand the full spectrum of pro-life issues, not just abortion and euthanasia.  Immigration reform is a deeply meaningful pro-life issue.  We also need civility in our discussions, we need to listen, and we need to find "common ground."
CardinalMahony: Jesus gives us both the message and the example--Matthew 25 is really right on target for each of us.

Archilochos: Did I miss the reply to the question  "Do you think the Church will restore the female diaconate, and if so, when"?
CardinalMahony: I responded to it, but it may have gotten lost in cyberspace!  The female deaconate was studied, and it turned out to be something far different than the Order of Deacon.

Joe: Hello Cardinal. With the growing interest in traditional worship of the Catholic Church are we going to see a more generous use of the Traditional Latin Mass?
CardinalMahony: It is not correct to say "traditional worship" in our Church.  For a small slice of Church history, Latin was the language of Mass.  But the Council moved us beyond that to a new Roman Missal.  We must continue forward with the Church.  However, it is important to bring with us our Latin hymns and other treasures from the past ages.

Mariette: When will the Santa Barbara region be made its own diocese?
CardinalMahony: Good question:  when the Holy Father decides it is the right time!!

Ken T: I know that the sexual abuse issues are difficult for you.  Can you comment on the recent large Franciscan settlement?   And do you think that the worst of this behind the Church?....We thank you for helping "Roll Back the Stone" and the courage to heal all involved.
CardinalMahony: Everyone of us wants to bring about full healing and reconciliation with all victims of sexual abuse, and I applaud the Franciscans for moving forward.  We need to continue our efforts as well, and I look forward to the day when all of the cases are settled and the process of healing is underway.

Moderator: From Nancy Estrada: "As Catholics, we feel attacked by other religions and by former Catholics who no longer belong to any Church on the subject of molestations by priests. How can we defend our religion and how can we encourage them to return to the faith again? That is my question and thanks for your time."

CardinalMahony: Our best approach is to live out our individual lives as disciples of Jesus, become more humble and faithful.
CardinalMahony: The Church was built upon human beings, and we are all weak and sinners.  The good news is that Jesus is always with us to correct us and keep us on the right path forward.

Bill: Our pastor removes the holy water from the church during Lent.  I showed him the letter from the Congregation of Divine Worship in which it states that this practice is not allowed.  He chose to disregard the letter and its directives.  Can he do this?  What can I say to him to encourage the return of the holy water from our church?

CardinalMahony: There is no reason to remove holy water from our Churches.  On the Easter Vigil, we replace the former holy water with the new Easter Water. 
CardinalMahony: Your pastor is probably following a practice of some years ago when holy water was removed from Holy Thursday to the Easter Vigil.  But that practice is no longer in effect.

Moderator: From Ess: What is your position on interfaith dialogue?
CardinalMahony: I favor fully ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, and we have many such dialogue groups here in the Archdiocese.  Those dialogues promote understanding and lead to cooperative efforts by all of us.
CardinalMahony: For example, we have a wonderful interfaith coalition on immigration reform.

Mariette: Does Your Eminence believe there is a place for liturgical dance in the US Church?
CardinalMahony: Liturgical dance should never dominate or overwhelm the celebration of the Eucharist.  It must be tasteful, and must always lead us to deeper prayer and reflection.  A good rule:  if liturgical dance leads to applause by the participants, then it failed.

Aaron: As Catholics what else can we do to address the immigration issue, other than demonstrations?
CardinalMahony: We must become educated on the immigration issue, know what needs to be in a just law, write and call our Senators and Congress reps.  But listening and working together are so valuable.

Sharon: My kids love the Internet.  What do you think of using the Internet to help youth learn about and discuss Jesus.
CardinalMahony: The internet is a great tool for evangelization, and I applaud all efforts to use it to learn about Jesus, and become deeper disciples.
CardinalMahony: But we must always know which websites are helpful, which ones are not.

FrBob: Your Eminence,    Would you have a word of encouragement/advice for priests who may find themselves becoming discouraged or dispirited in the face of so many conflicting voices in the church?   How would you hope the Bishops support their priests?
CardinalMahony: Yes, there is great polarization in our society and among groups in the Church.  We must become far more open to seeking common ground in our faith and in living out the Gospels.  Priests, especially, get caught in the middle--that is not fair.  Priests need to be nourished spiritually as well.

Magdalena: What would you do about the border situation? Since there are many many people that try to cross the border they risk their lives and some even die just getting there. What do you think we should do about this?
CardinalMahony: We need immigration reform which sets up a system for orderly immigration, especially from countries where people are seeking jobs here.  Proposals from Sen. Specter are a good example of how we need to proceed.

Fr. Ignatius Reilly: Why have you removed Our Lord -- present in the tabernacle -- from its proper place in the center of the sanctuary?
CardinalMahony: The Kennedy/McCain bill is also a helpful approach to orderly immigration.
CardinalMahony: I'm not sure what Fr. Reilly is referring to.

Francisco: Recently I visited St. John Seminary in Camarillo -- the few seminarians, the college is closed -- we may soon have a church with few or no priests. What is the archdiocese doing to increase the number of priest vocations?
CardinalMahony: We need to realize that our secular society is snuffing out the values of ordained and consecrated life.  We need to re-kindle a spirit of self-giving and sacrifice for the Kingdom of God.  We need prayer and we need to encourage our young people.

Moderator: From Lourdes (at Congress): Thank you for your support of human rights and standing up for the abused and the weak.
CardinalMahony: Yesterday at Youth Day we had a large number of youth come forward after the Mass with interest in serving as priests or religious.
CardinalMahony: Standing up for the abused and the weak is the work of Jesus; we are to imitate him.

Bill: Some of the scheduled speakers at this Religious Education Congress are well-known dissenters of our Catholic Church teachings.  Why are they repeatedly invited back to the Congress and why are those who are requesting a closer monitoring of these speakers and asking for 100% orthodoxy being ignored?
CardinalMahony: I simply don't agree with Bill.

KraigTaylor: In a recent class I was given to understand that the Holy Spirit and not the Priest who is responsible for changing the bread and wine into the Sacred Species.  Is this a correct understanding?  If so wouldn't anyone with the Holy Spirit be able to affect this substantial change?

Moderator: I'm sorry everyone. We've run out of time.
Moderator: Thanks everybody for your participation on the online chat and thank you Cardinal Roger Mahony.


Read the transcripts from other Religious Education Congress online chats

Congress Chat History:
Beginning in 1996 on CompuServe, Cardinal Roger Mahony conducted the first nationwide, online (typing) live from Hall A at the Anaheim Convention Center. in 2001 the Cardinal suggested adding a private chat with students from a school in the Archdiocese. Since then, we have had the tradition of a private school chat.

Los Angeles Archbishop Josι Gomez continued the tradition of a Congress Chat, and now we've expanded our chats to include regional bishops and schools from their region. This year, Bishop David O'Connell joins us for our sixth video chat with a school from his region.

with Auxiliary Bishop David O'Connell of the San Gabriel Region

2019 (All Souls, Alhambra)

with Los Angeles Archbishop Josι Gomez

2017 (St Francis of Assisi, L.A.)  •  2016 (St Mary Magdalen, Camarillo)  •  2015 (St Finbar School, Burbank)  •  2014 (St Columbkille School, L.A.)  •  2013 (St Bernard School, L.A.)  •  2012 (St Dorothy School, Glendora)  •  2011 (St Thomas School, L.A.)

with Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles

2010  •  2010 (St John Chrysostom School, Inglewood)  •  2009  •  2009 (St Elisabeth, Van Nuys)  •  2008  •  2008 (Sacred Heart, Covina)  •  2007  •  2007 (St Benedict, Montebello)  •  2007 (St Rita, Sierra Madre)  •  2006  •  2006 (Holy Innocents, Long Beach)  •  2005  •  2004  •  2003  •  2001  •  2001 (St Jerome, Westchester)  •   2001 (Holy Family, South Pasadena)  •  2000  •  1999  •  1998  •  1997  •  1996

with Auxiliary Bishop Edward Clark of the Our Lady of the Angels Pastoral Region


2016 Marks 20 Years of Congress Chats — The first (typing) RECongress chat was held on Friday, February 23, 1996 on CompuServe with Cardinal Roger Mahony. Ten years later, on Friday, March 31, 2006, the Cardinal's annual chat was conducted in a room hosted on The Cardinal participated in 22 Congress chats (both nationwide and with schools) over 14 years.

At Congress 2016, Archbishop Josι Gomez has continued the tradition of (now, video) chats with school students from the Archdiocese. This was his sixth Congress chat (and fourth video chat) conducted from the Tech Center, located in the center of Exhibit Hall A at the Religious Education Congress. The RECongress chat are now continued through the regional bishops, while the Archbishop now holds an event on Facebnook Live.

Beginning on CompuServe, the RECongress nationwide chats have been hosted by AOL Live! (1997-2000), Beliefnet (2001), (2002-2003), and (2004-2010). The school chats have been conducted on AOL (2001-2006), Yahoo (2007), Chatzy (2008-2012), Skype (2013-2014) and Google+ (2015-2016).


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