Bishop Robert Morlino, the Bishop of Madison in the United States, has announced that, starting in October, whenever he celebrates a Sunday Mass in in his cathedral, it will be celebrated ad orientem. The bishop does not say what will happen on those Sundays when he is not there. Neither does he say what will happen during the week.
Nevertheless, this is a very clear statement in support of Cardinal Sarah, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, who has called on all priests to consider offering Mass ad orientem from the beginning of Advent. Bishop Morlino is to be congratulated on making such a clear statement.
This is an example of how the bishops of the United States differ from those of England and Wales. In the US, bishops have a range of views, and are prepared to step out of line to express them. In this country, it is rare for any bishop to make a public statement that is likely to be controversial, or differ from the collective view of the Bishops' Conference. The Archbishop of Westminster has, of course, made it clear that there will be no return to ad orientem in the Diocese of Westminster, and a few bishops have made similar statements with regard to their own dioceses.
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