Via Media

Via Media

Taking Possession

Zadok went over to Cardinal Levada’s new titular church for the "taking possession ceremony". As per usual, nice photos, interesting historical tidbits for context.

The first thing to note is that S.Maria in Domnica is a diaconal title – Cardinal Leveda is a Cardinal Deacon, the lowest of the three orders of Cardinal. Normally, Cardinal Deacons are Cardinals who serve the universal church in the Roman Curia. This is appropriate because the deacon traditionally had adminsitrative duties as part of his reponsability.

The Church used to be a diakonia – one of the Church’s centres of charitable distribution in early Christian Rome. This particular diakonia is assoiated with the martyr-deacon Laurence, one of the most honoured saints of the Roman calendar. Cardinal Levada made reference to this fact in his homily and refered to the example of Catholic chariable giving as being one of the ways in which the light of Christ overcomes the darkness of the world. The sanctuary of S.Maria in Domnica is decorated with frescos of St. Laurence’s charitable activities.


Sr. Bernadette, a Daughter of St. Paul in Rome for the year, was at the Mass yesterday, and another Mass today at the PNAC with Cardinal O’Malley.

The Roaming Roman has her weekly (cause it’s Lent) report up, with lots of photos from Staion Churches, plus a visit from Archbishop Dolan)

Michael Paulson with Cardinal O’Malley at his church – Santa Maria Della Vittoria (home of Bernini’s Teresa in Ecstasy)

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posted March 26, 2006 at 5:47 pm

Regarding news on new cardinals, I read on that a new cardinal was ordained in Venezuela. What made this interesting to me was his comments:
“..stressing the need to “work together for progress, for inclusion of everyone without discrimination, for human rights, for social co-existence, justice, fraternity, freedom and peace.””

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David Kubiak

posted March 26, 2006 at 6:34 pm

It is worth noting, as Zadok does, that this church was the titular of Cardinal Levada’s predecessor at the then Holy Office, the great Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani – ‘cuius nomen sit semper magna cum pietate memoratum’.
It is also worth noting that until Pope John consecrated them all, the Cardinal Deacons were not bishops (cf. Cardinal Newman). His idea was that it was not appropriate to have non-episcopal papal electors, but the muddling of historical function involved was unfortunate. Now it is in Canon Law that all the cardinals must be consecrated bishops unless they get a dispensation, as the academic types like Cardinal Dulles have done.
Another historical footnote is that only in his titular church could a cardinal in Rome celebrate pontifically from the throne, and he could enter in unbound cappa. There is a picture right at the end of the old regime of Cardinal Cody taking possession of Santa Cecilia in the cappa he never dared put on in Chicago.

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David Kubiak

posted March 26, 2006 at 6:50 pm

Looking at the pictures of Cardinal O’Malley reminds me of another piece of trivia. Until 1969 prelates created from religious orders wore choir dress the color of their habits. As I recall, Franciscan prelates did not wear brown, but an ashen color that was supposed to have corresponded to St. Francis’ own habit.
Fr. Tucker was lamenting a while back the paucity of pictures of old-style religious prelates. There are a number of the Blessed Cardinal Schuster, but my suspicion is that many religious prelates had started dressing like seculars long before 1969.

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Tim Ferguson

posted March 27, 2006 at 6:57 am

In a rectory in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, there was a wonderful print of a group of religious Cardinals in their Cardinalatially-adapted habits in a salon at the time of the First Vatican Council. They’re all laughing jovially, except for a scowling Franciscan in the corner. I asked the associate pastor at the time what the picture was all about. He said, “Looks like the Franciscan Cardinal just proposed women’s ordination.”

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