Today we review more of the story on Fr. Bryan
Hehir’s next speaking gig coming up April 30 at the Diocese of St. Petersburg’s “Living Eucharist” conference in Florida. For new readers, here’s Part 1, where we shared how one keynote speaker alongside Boston Archdiocesan Secretary for Social Services, Fr. Bryan Hehir, is the non-collar-wearing Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. who advocates publicly for gay priests and tells his audiences they should be reading gay novels and watching gay movies like Brokeback Mountain. Hehir as a senior archdiocesan cabinet official and most influential advisor to Cardinal Sean O’Malley apparently feels just fine sharing the main podium with Fr. Timothy. So here we look at the other keynoter Fr. J. Glenn Murray and then next at Bishop Lynch’s leadership of the Diocese of St. Petersburg where the talk is taking place.
Fr. J Glenn Murray, SJ. Fr. Murray is a Jesuit liturgist and here’s his bio. “J Glenn” specializes in African-American worship, and like everyone else “J Bryan” hangs out with, seems to have had his share of ‘swings at the bat’ to undermine the Church.
He was Director for the Office of Worship in the Diocese of Cleveland from 1995 to 2007. That’s the same diocese where the bishop (Bishop Pilla) resigned in the wake of an embezzlement scandal, where the rainbow flag/colors have adorned their Gay & Lesbian Family Ministry website and where they supported dissident organizations like Future Church with office space in a rectory basement through 2006. But I digress… Fr. Murray himself created a stir in 2003 by issuing new directives in the Cleveland diocese for how Catholics were to receive communion. An article in the August 24, 2003 Cleveland Plain Dealer that extensively quoted Fr. Murray said, “American Catholics are about to experience major changes in the Communion rite as dioceses begin implementing updated General Instruction of the Roman Missal.” The only problem is that Fr. Murray’s changes were NOT actually what the GIRM called for. Among his changes were:
- the congregation using the “orans” posture during the Lord’s prayer (this means hands raised as only the priest does)
- embracing fellow worshippers during the exchange of the sign of peace
- “ undoing a lifetime of tradition by not kneeling in prayer after Communion. Instead, in a sign of the communal nature of the sacrament, worshippers will stand and sing until each person has received Communion.”
Fr. Murray acknowledged the changes would “unsettle many Catholics” but said, “”I think it’s a vast improvement.”
Adoremus summarizes the situation and response. Here are a few excerpts:
These changes were advocated by some liturgists a few years ago — a revision that was eventually rejected by the Holy See….[and] never approved by the bishops. And they were neither included in the new General Instruction of the Roman Missal for the universal Church, nor in the ‘American adaptations’ of the GIRM.
Cardinal Arinze, then head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, even was asked to weigh-in, and he said:
Earlier, similar responses from the Vatican made it clear that changing customary kneeling to standing was not intended; indeed was ‘laudably retained’.
The liturgy office in the Cleveland diocese (and several others) is mandating changes that are neither specified nor mandated in the norms for the universal Church or for the US Church. Far from promoting unity, the effect of mandating these deviations from the customary practice in the Catholic Church in the United States is literally divisive — dividing one diocese from another, one parish from another, one Catholic from another.
Besides having no basis whatsoever to change the Cleveland liturgy, he is also a fan of liturgical dance. In this 2004 report, Fr. Murray was seen “accompanied by scantily clad liturgical dancers in black skimpy costumes dancing with their smoking bowls of incense during a children’s grade school Mass.” He was at the same Religious Ed conference in Los Angeles where Fr. Tim Radcliffe talked about gay novels and movies. Fr. Murray led a “Black Culture” liturgy:
Beginning with a bongo drum sequence and featuring black Gospel singers dressed in native African costumes, the event featured Jesuit Father J. Glenn Murray…He concluded his homily by leading a hand-clapping rendition of “Can’t Nobody Do Ya Like Jesus,” and dancing all around the stage, with Cardinal Mahony, from his presider’s chair, clapping along with the crowd.
Murray left Cleveland in 2007 after Bishop Richard Lennon arrived in 2006 and started cleaning house. But Murray is nothing compared to Bishop Lynch, who we get to in Part 3. In the meantime, first-time site visitors should check out Part 1, about the other keynote speaker on the podium, Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. who advocates for gay priests, celebrates Mass for openly dissenting homosexual groups, and tells his audiences to let their imaginations be “stretched open” by watching Brokeback Mountain and reading gay novels. If you’re outraged by all this, drop a dime to the Papal Nuncio in Washington, DC:
3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW