Fox and Friends – September 20, 2020
“Religious freedom is a fundamental right; it’s protected by the first amendment of the consititution. It’s not given by the first amendment, it’s protected by the first amendment,” said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone.
Angelus – September 29, 2020
The office of San Francisco’s mayor announced Tuesday that places of worship will be permitted to hold services indoors at 25% capacity, up to 100 people, beginning Wednesday.
Restaurants will also be allowed to reopen for indoor dining at 25% capacity, up to 100 people.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco thanked the mayor, as well as the thousands of Catholics who urged that they be permitted to attend Mass.
The Tablet – September 29, 2020
Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco thanked the U.S. Department of Justice for its three-page letter sent Sept. 25 to Mayor London Breed calling on her to “promptly” end discriminating against religious believers by loosening the city’s harsh restrictions on houses of worship.
“I am very grateful to the Department of Justice for this letter calling on Mayor London Breed to stop violating the civil rights of Catholics and other believers in San Francisco,” Archbishop Cordileone said in a statement.
The Mix – September 17, 2020
The Archbishop of San Francisco is pushing back against the state’s coronavirus restrictions on churches and worship. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone put out a call for people to rise up to protest this religious discrimination at a “Free The Mass” event.
Catholic San Francisco – September 28, 2020
The U.S. Department of Justice on Sept. 25 warned San Francisco officials that current restrictions on public worship in the city may be unconstitutional, drawing praise from Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
“Catholics in San Francisco have been patiently suffering injustice for months. At last, a competent legal authority is challenging the city’s absurd rules, which have no basis in science, but are grounded in hostility to religion and especially the Catholic Church,” Cordileone said Friday.
Law Enforcement Today – September 27, 2020
According to a news release issued by the United States Department of Justice, they are calling on the mayor of San Francisco reminding her that the city’s policy of restricting houses of worship to only a single worshiper regardless of their size is contrary to the Constitution.
Currently, San Francisco has no such restrictions on other indoor settings such as gyms, tattoo parlors, hair salons, massage studios, and daycares, the release said.
The Justice Department sent a letter to San Francisco Mayor London Breed in which they referred to the policy as “draconian” and that it suggests hostility to religious people and the free exercise of religion.
SF Gate – September 26, 2020
The United States Department of Justice sent a strongly-worded letter to San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Friday, warning of “further action” if current restrictions on places of worship amid the coronavirus pandemic are not lifted.
Under the city’s current health order, only one congregant at a time is allowed to worship indoors. Even though San Francisco is permitted to allow 25% capacity at indoor places of worship under its status as a red tier county, local officials have taken a stricter approach.
NBC News – September 25, 2020
DOJ calls on San Francisco to end pandemic policy on places of worship by Alicia Victoria Lozano
The U.S. Department of Justice asked San Francisco on Friday to end its one-congregant rule at places of worship during the coronavirus pandemic, warning the policy could violate the U.S. Constitution.
In a letter to Mayor London Breed, the DOJ said the rule of allowing only one worshipper inside religious centers while multiple patrons can go into gyms and personal care businesses infringes on the First Amendment right to exercise religion and discriminates against people of faith.
ABC 7 – September 26, 2020
The Department of Justice sent San Francisco Mayor London Breed a letter Friday, urging her to open up places of worship claiming the current guidance “may violate the First Amendment.”
The letter sent by sent by Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, David Anderson, claims the city’s current COVID-19 restrictions favors businesses and not houses of worship.
Catholic Telegraph – September 28, 2020
The U.S. Department of Justice on Sept. 25 warned San Francisco officials that its current restrictions on public worship in the city may be unconstitutional, drawing praise from Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
“Catholics in San Francisco have been patiently suffering injustice for months. At last, a competent legal authority is challenging the city’s absurd rules, which have no basis in science, but are grounded in hostility to religion and especially the Catholic Church,” Cordileone said Friday.
World Religion News – September 28, 2020
Under COVID restrictions, San Francisco bans indoor worship and limits outdoor services to 12 people, but Catholics, Led by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, marched in San Francisco recently, demanding city health officials ease COVID restrictions.
California Political Review – September 27, 2020
The Mayor of San Fran has violated the First Amendment to the Constitution. Thankfully AG Barr is not letting Mayor Breed to get away with banning religious freedom. Churches are being closed, while Walmart and target are crowded, protestors and rioters are roaming the streets and homeless encampments are fill to the brim, sleeping bag next to sleeping bag. But she opposes your right to prayer in a church.
“Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband and David Anderson, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, argued that the ban raises concerns about religious freedom and may violate the Constitution in a Friday letter to Mayor London Breed.
Christian Post – September 27, 2020
The Justice Department has warned San Francisco Mayor London Breed that the city’s limitations on indoor worship to one congregant at a time in response to the COVID-19 pandemic “is contrary to the Constitution and the nation’s best tradition of religious freedom.”
In response to the city’s policy of only allowing one person at a time to enter houses of worship, the Justice Department said in its letter to Breed that the city could not limit places of worship to a single congregant while “allowing multiple patrons in other indoor settings including gyms, tattoo parlors, hair salons, massage studios, and daycares.”
The limitation is “draconian, out of step with the treatment afforded other similar indoor activities in San Francisco, wholly at odds with this Nation’s traditional understanding of religious liberty, and may violate the First Amendment to the Constitution,” wrote Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California David Anderson.
Daily Wire – September 26, 2020
DOJ Warns San Francisco Over Its ‘One Congregant’ Policy In Letter by Eric Quintanar
The Department of Justice sent a letter to the city of San Francisco on Friday warning them that their “one congregant” policy, under which only one member of the public is allowed in a place of worship at a time, regardless of the size of the building, was raising questions about the right to exercise religious freedoms in the city.
“San Francisco’s treatment of places of worship raises serious concerns about religious freedom,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband and U.S. Attorney David Anderson in the letter. “In particular, the limitation of indoor worship to one congregant without regard to the size of the place of worship is draconian, out of step with the treatment afforded other similar indoor activities in San Francisco, wholly at odds with this Nation’s traditional understanding of religious liberty, and may violate the First Amendment to the Constitution.”
National Catholic Register – September 26, 2020
The archbishop of San Francisco penned an op-ed in the Washington Post this week citing the First Amendment as he called for city officials to relax the current restrictions on public worship, which are some of the strictest in the country.
Rather than asking for special treatment, “all we are seeking is access to worship in our own churches, following reasonable safety protocols — the same freedoms now extended to customers of nail salons, massage services and gyms,” Archbishop Cordileone wrote in the Sept. 16 op-ed.
“It’s only fair, it’s only compassionate, and, unlike with these other activities, it’s what the First Amendment demands.”
NBC Bay Area – September 26, 2020
Is it time to go back to church? The U.S. Attorney is threatening legal action against San Francisco if it doesn’t allow churches to reopen.
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is relieved the U.S. Attorney’s Office is pressuring the city to allow places of worship to open.
The Department of Justice sent Mayor London Breed a letter that said current COVID-19 restrictions limiting places of worship to one person at a time infringe on religious freedom and violate First Amendment rights.
CNS News – September 25, 2020
San Francisco Will Allow Only 1 Person in Cathedral With Capacity of 3,000 by Terence P. Jeffrey
“They allow only one person at a time in a cathedral that has a capacity for about 3,000 to 3,500–if you include the standing room,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone told CNSNews.com in an interview.
CNSNews.com asked the archbishop: “Do you think that the city government of San Francisco is specifically targeting religious practice and the Catholic Church?”
“Very clearly they are targeting the Catholic Church,” he said.
“They are clearly targeting us. They are clearly targeting us,” he later emphasized.
CNSNews.com also asked the archbishop: “Are there actually people in the government of the city of San Francisco who want to target the Catholic Church for discrimination?”
“All I can do is draw an inference that there is because we are clearly being targeted,” he said. “We are being discriminated against. So that has to be intentional. Somebody inside there must want to do this because it is very intentional.”
Archbishop Cordileone said that the attack that the City of San Francisco has launched on the freedom of worship is the “most severe” he has seen yet on the First Amendment-protected right to the free exercise of religion.
“I never expected that the most basic religious freedom, the right to worship — protected so robustly in our Constitution’s First Amendment — would be unjustly repressed by an American government,” he wrote in an op-ed published Sept. 16 in the Washington Post. “But that is exactly what is happening in San Francisco. For months now, the city has limited worship services to just 12 people outdoors. Worship inside our own churches is banned.”
“In that op-ed,” Archbishop Cordileone told CNSNews.com, “when I said freedom of worship what I meant is: Religious liberty means a whole lot of different things. Most fundamental within that is the freedom of worship. They are not the same thing. Freedom of worship is the most basic part of freedom of religion. So, we have seen the free exercise clause being chipped away by these court cases that are trying to keep us from practicing, serving the community in accord with the moral values we get from our faith. But now they are starting to chip away even at the freedom of worship, even going inside the walls of the church and saying we can’t do that.”
At the same time, the archbishop emphasized the he is not trying to hold Masses or religious services in a manner that will put the health of the congregations at risk.
“The city asked faith communities to submit a safety plan for when we go back to indoor worship in May. And we sent ours—the same ones that we’re following all over the country,” he said.
“It’s a model that was developed by the Augustine Institute in Rome,” he said. “They put together a team of experts, of health-science experts, theologians, liturgists, to come up with a way to do Mass safely that is respectful to the ritual of the Mass. So, the whole country is following these and each diocese may make a few little adaptations.”
The City of San Francisco has not responded to the archdiocese’s safety plan that was submitted four months ago.
“So, we submitted ours in May,” said the archbishop. “The health officer himself spoke approvingly of it to me. Retail stores sent in their safety plans. They got their safety plan approved for 50-percent indoor capacity and went back into operation. We are still waiting to hear back officially on our plan.”
The archbishop emphasized his intention to “make sure our people are safe.”
“Now, I understand that we have to be safe and I have been emphasizing this all along,” said the archbishop. “It’s not like we want to be reckless when we go back to worshipping indoors. As I said, I issued those safety protocols and I want to make sure our people are safe. I mean, I’m a pastor of souls, so I care for their bodies, too. I want to make sure that our people are safe. We want to do it in a responsible way, and we can do it in a responsible way. But we want to be treated fairly and equally as others.”
The Archdiocese of San Francisco is currently conducting a petition drive aimed at getting San Francisco Mayo London Breed to back away from the rule that says only one person can enter a church.
“There is a petition drive going on now to urge the mayor to free the Mass,” said Archbishop Cordileone. “People can sign up at FreeTheMass.com. They can sign this petition to urge the mayor to let up.”
San Francisco Chronicle – September 25, 2020
The U.S. Justice Department called on San Francisco Mayor London Breed to end the city’s policy that limits the number of visitors to places of worship to one person at a time, calling the practice discriminatory and saying it’s a possible violation of the First Amendment.
In the letter sent to Breed on Friday, Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California David Anderson said that the policy is “wholly at odds with this nation’s traditional understanding of religious liberty.”
San Francisco Chronicle – September 24, 2020
How S.F. restrictions on worship discriminate against Catholics by Angela Alioto
As a lawyer, and as a Democrat, and as a Catholic, here’s the bottom line: I can’t believe the way we Catholics are being treated unequally by the city of San Francisco: Only one person allowed in a church for private prayer at a time? . . .
This is not a health rule, this is anti-Catholic animus, pure and simple. . .
I’m a discrimination trial lawyer, and besides the Constitution (as if that weren’t enough), there are several other laws the city is violating by denying us our right to practice our religion, with precautions, of course. These laws apply to everyone, including Mayor London Breed and the city and county of San Francisco. . . .
It shouldn’t take a court decision to correct this injustice. But if the archbishop wants a lawyer, I’m available.
San Francisco News – September 22, 2020
Organized by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, Catholics gathered in front of City Hall at the Civic Center Plaza and the Cathedral of St. Mary the Assumption to protest perceived discriminatory government policies on church gatherings. According to the Archbishop, the procession’s purpose was to call on Mayor London Breed, Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax, and San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón, to ease restrictions on public worship in San Francisco. The Archdiocese said that thousands attended the procession.
Kerknet-redactie – September 22, 2020
De aartsbisschop van San Francisco klaagt aan dat de beperkingen voor religieuze instellingen veel strikter zijn dan die voor hotels en winkels.
Aletiae – September 21, 2020
Already in San Francisco shopping malls are permitted to operate at 25% capacity. Restaurants have been opened for outdoor dining.
Meanwhile, Churches are permitted a mere 12-person congregation outdoors. The city of San Francisco plans to increase the sanctioned number of congregants to a mere 50 parishioners outdoors and 25 indoors starting October 1.
Archbishop Cordileone has stated that 25 parishioners is less than 1 percent of the capacity of San Francisco’s St. Mary Cathedral. How are these inordinate restrictions going to ever meet the needs of the hundreds of thousands of Catholics in San Francisco?
Il Ussidiario – September 21, 2020
In California e in altri stati americani è vietato seguire la Messa all’interno dell’edificio religioso, nonostante i centri commerciali siano aperti
Gaudium Press – September 22, 2020
Mons. Cordileone convocó una manifestación ayer, que terminó en el City Hall y en eucaristías.
Tempi – September 22, 2020
San Francisco continua a serrare le chiese, «le élite si prendono gioco di Dio» by Caterina Giojelli
L’eldorado dell’uguaglianza riapre saloni di bellezza, negozi e palestre, e impone restrizioni assurde solo a messe e preghiere. Monsignor Cordileone porta i fedeli in piazza
Domradio – September 21, 2020
In San Francisco sind die Hotels wieder vollständig geöffnet, Einkaufzentren dürfen eine Vielzahl von Kunden pro Tag bedienen. In Kirchen sind aber weiterhin nur 25 Besucher zugelassen. Erzbischof Cordileone wehrt sich.
Religion ORF.AT – September 22, 2020
Der römisch-katholische Erzbischof Salvatore Cordileone von San Francisco (US-Bundesstaat Kalifornien) fordert von der Stadt ein sofortiges Ende der Coronavirus-Beschränkungen für Gottesdienste. Er sprach von einer „Verhöhnung Gottes“.
Sacramento Bee – September 21, 2020
San Francisco, California, Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone on September 20 2020, described restrictions on worship due to the coronavirus as a mockery. He was speaking on the steps of the Cathedral of St Mary of the Assumption.
Fox News – September 21, 2020
The Catholic archbishop of San Francisco on Sunday criticized why indoor retail shops are open but not houses of worship during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.
“The City continues to place unrealistic and suffocating restrictions on our natural and constitutional right to worship. This willful discrimination is affecting us all,” Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said in his remarks posted by the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption online. “Yes, discrimination, because there is no other word for it. We ask: why can people shop at Nordstrom’s at 25% capacity but only one of you at a time is allowed to pray inside of this great Cathedral, your Cathedral? Is this equality?”
Net NY – September 21, 2020
San Francisco’s archbishop told hundreds of Catholics gathered near City Hall Sept. 20 that “it is because of our Catholic faith that we are being put at the end of the line” by city officials in enacting what could be the country’s harshest pandemic restrictions on religious worship.
“The city continues to place unrealistic and suffocating restrictions on our natural and constitutional right to worship. This willful discrimination is affecting us all,” said Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone. “Yes, discrimination, because there is no other word for it.”
Washington Times – September 21, 2020
“It has become clear to me that they just don’t care about you,” he said Sunday, Catholic News Agency reported. “We have been patiently putting up with unjust treatment long enough, and now it is time to come together to witness to our faith and to the primacy of God, and tell City Hall: No More!”
The archbishop’s anger comes against a political backdrop in which San Francisco is allowing businesses to open to various capacities.
“One person at a time in this great Cathedral to pray? What an insult,” the religious leader continued. “This is a mockery. They are mocking you, and even worse, they are mocking God. … This willful discrimination is affecting us all. Yes, discrimination, because there is no other word for it. … We ask: why can people shop at Nordstrom’s at 25% capacity but only one of you at a time is allowed to pray inside of this great Cathedral, your Cathedral? Is this equality? No, there is no reason for this new rule except a desire to put Catholics — to put you — at the back of the line.”
ABC 30 – September 21, 2020
San Francisco’s Catholic Archbishop is blasting City Hall over COVID-19 restrictions, prohibiting indoor worship services.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone says local officials are “mocking God” by refusing to let indoor masses take place.
Hundreds of Catholics marched to St. Mary’s Cathedral Sunday, to send a message: We are essential.
The American Spectator – September 20, 2020
San Francisco Archbishop Demands That Political Leaders ‘Free the Mass’ by Anne Hendershott
In a Catholic Church that seems to be led by cowardly sheep instead of shepherds, San Francisco’s courageous Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is an exception. Unlike the majority of bishops throughout the country who have been silent in the face of discriminatory policies limiting or even preventing public Masses, Archbishop Cordileone has been willing to stand up to the inequitable treatment the city’s Catholics have received from a city administration intent on preventing parishioners from entering their own Churches for Mass.
True to his name, which means “heart of a lion,” Archbishop Cordileone has decided it is time to push back against the unfair policies imposed by a recalcitrant city government and has mobilized parishioners to prayerfully participate on Sunday, September 20, in a Eucharistic procession to City Hall to protest the religious discrimination in the city. The San Francisco Archdiocese has ordered 100 banners, which read, “We are Essential: Free the Mass!”
New York Post – September 21, 2020
Constitution at risk in November and other commentary by Editorial Board
With banners reading “We are Essential: Free the Mass!” thousands marched Sunday in a “Eucharistic procession to City Hall to protest the religious discrimination.” The city lets only one person into a church or cathedral at a time for private prayer, when retail stores open at 50 percent capacity and restaurants can serve indoors at 25 percent seating. Massive street protests are kosher, yet the city limits even outdoor Masses to 12 people, priests included.
MSN News – September 21, 2020
Large Catholic demonstration in S.F. demands reopening by Rusty Simmons
More than 1,000 people gathered at Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco on Sunday, converging from Catholic parishes throughout the city and then marching to the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption on Gough Street in a protest that demanded the immediate reopening of indoor services.
SF Gate – September 21, 2020
The Catholic archbishop of San Francisco led a protest on Sunday criticizing the city’s restrictions on reopening churches during the coronavirus pandemic.
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone delivered an impassioned sermon at an outdoor mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption after a march through the streets, calling for the right to worship indoors.
The Catholic Talk Show – September 21, 2020
In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys are joined by Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco to discuss the unjust and draconian restrictions put on the Mass in San Francisco.
First Things – September 21, 2020
Catholics at the Back of the Line by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone
Months ago, we submitted a safety plan to the city including masks and social distancing, just like indoor retail stores did. The city said “yes” to indoor retail but we Catholics are still waiting to hear back. The city continues to place unrealistic and suffocating restrictions on our natural and constitutional right to worship. This willful discrimination is affecting us all. Yes, discrimination, because there is no other word for it. We ask: Why can people shop at Nordstrom’s at 25 percent capacity but only one of you at a time is allowed to pray inside of this great cathedral, your cathedral? Is this equality? No, there is no reason for this new rule except a desire to put Catholics—to put you—at the back of the line.
Daily Wire – September 21, 2020
The Catholic archbishop of San Francisco claimed that the city’s strict coronavirus lockdown restrictions against houses of worship are “mocking God.”
According to Catholic News Agency, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone participated in one of several outdoor Eucharistic processions on Sunday, which converged near San Francisco City Hall before proceeding to the cathedral.
CBS Bay Area – September 20, 2020
Led by outspoken San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone, hundreds of Catholics marched in San Francisco Sunday, demanding city health officials ease COVID restrictions on public indoor religious services.
San Francisco Chronicle – September 20, 2020
“Places of worship were closed in the city for almost six months after the mid-March shelter-in-place order. Even though the state has said San Francisco can reopen churches at 25% capacity, Mayor London Breed announced last week that one person would be allowed inside churches at a time for prayer.”
Free The Mass Demonstration – September 20, 2020
“For months I have pleaded with the City on your behalf, advocating for your need of the consolation of the Mass, and the consolation you derive from the practice of your faith and connection with your faith community. City Hall ignored us. City Hall ignored you. They didn’t deny it, but they simply ignored you. It has become clear to me that they just don’t care about you. To them you are nothing, to them you don’t matter. Let me repeat that: to City Hall, YOU DON’T MATTER.”
– Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone.
Gateway Pundit – September 20, 2020
On Sunday morning Archbishop Cordileone explained why Catholics must resist the unjust repression of our right to worship.
Catholic New York – September 18, 2020
In imposing severe restrictions on indoor worship services because of Covid-19 protocols, the city of San Francisco “is turning a great many faithful away from their houses of prayer,” said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone.
National Catholic Register – September 18, 2020
The archbishop of San Francisco penned an op-ed in the Washington Post this week citing the First Amendment as he called for city officials to relax the current restrictions on public worship, which are some of the strictest in the country.
Catholic Culture – September 17, 2020
With San Francisco restricting attendance at indoor worship to one person (and outdoor worship to 50), Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone announced three Eucharistic processions to “free the Mass.” He also wrote a Washington Post op-ed defending the right to worship.
The Catholic Voice – September 21, 2020
We simply cannot live without the Eucharist by Bishop Michael C.Barber, SJ
We are lucky in that in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, we have been able to hold Mass and the sacraments outdoors. Except for a week of smoky air, this has served us well. I have witnessed weddings, baptisms, ordinations and confirmations celebrated outdoors with reverence and dignity. Our parish churches are still open for private prayer and adoration.
Catholics living in the City and County of San Francisco have not been so fortunate. The government there has imposed draconian, discriminatory prohibitions against religious worship. Only 12 people are allowed at outdoor Mass in The City. I think Archbishop Cordileone is quite right to invite his parishioners to sign a petition, and participate in a public procession of protest to “Free the Mass” (See https://sfarchdiocese.org/events/free-the-mass).
First Things- September 18, 2020
The Church in San Francisco by Mark Bauerlein
The latest installment in an ongoing interview series with contributing editor Mark Bauerlein. The Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, metropolitan archbishop of San Francisco, joins the podcast. He discusses how his city’s lockdown rules unfairly single out churches and religious believers for particularly harsh restrictions.
Univision – September 18, 2020
El arzobispo de San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, señaló que la iglesia es una actividad esencial, por lo que convocó a sus feligreses a una marcha este domingo 20 de septiembre para pedir que les permitan tener misas dentro de las iglesias.
Univision – September 18, 2020
La Arquidiócesis de San Francisco convocó a miles de feligreses a participar en una marcha el próximo domingo para exigir la eliminación de lo que consideran restricciones “injustas” y “excesivas” contra la celebración de misas en las iglesias de la ciudad durante la pandemia de coronavirus.
Telemundo 48 – September 18, 2020
El Arzobispo hizo un llamado a los feligreses para que participen en una procesión para pedir que se flexibilicen las restricciones que tiene la iglesia.
San Francisco Chronicle – September 18, 2020
S.F. to allow indoor worship services soon, but archdiocese to protest policy by Sarah Ravani , Nora Mishanec and Tal Kopan
On Wednesday, Salvatore Cordileone, the archbishop of San Francisco, called San Francisco’s restrictions on church services “profoundly harmful and unequal treatment” in a Washington Post opinion article. He said the city’s announcement that it would allow indoor service for up to 25 people doesn’t go far enough.
Catholic Herald – September 18, 2020
In imposing severe restrictions on indoor worship services because of COVID-19 protocols, the city of San Francisco “is turning a great many faithful away from their houses of prayer,” said San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
Breitbart – September 17, 2020
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco is urging Catholics in his archdiocese to “Free the Mass” and publicly demonstrate against the coronavirus restrictions on worship that are inconsistent with rules applied to other non-religious activities in the city and county.
On Sunday, Cordileone sent a memorandum to the priests of his archdiocese regarding the reopening of churches for public Masses.
“We can’t be silent any longer,” Cordileone warned his priests. “We cannot simply stand by while our people are treated with this lack of compassion for their needs, and this lack of respect for their rights. I have therefore formed a strategy committee consisting of both chancery staff and others, both clergy and lay, to advise me on how we can best make our voice heard in a peaceful but forceful way.”
Washington Post – September 16, 2020
Catholics must resist government’s unjust repression of our right to worship by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone
I never expected that the most basic religious freedom, the right to worship — protected so robustly in our Constitution’s First Amendment — would be unjustly repressed by an American government.
But that is exactly what is happening in San Francisco. For months now, the city has limited worship services to just 12 people outdoors. Worship inside our own churches is banned. The city recently announced it will now allow 50 for outdoor worship, with a goal of permitting indoor services up to a maximum of 25 people by Oct. 1 — less than 1 percent of the capacity of San Francisco’s St. Mary’s Cathedral.
This is not nearly enough to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of Catholics in San Francisco. In imposing these restrictions, the city is turning a great many faithful away from their houses of prayer.
People can freely go to parks here, as long as they stay six feet apart. If they follow proper social distancing and wear masks, people can eat on an outdoor patio with no hard numerical limit. Indoor shopping malls are already open at 25 percent capacity. Catholics in San Francisco are increasingly noticing the simple unfairness. As one of my parishioners asked recently, “Why can I spend three hours indoors shopping for shoes at Nordstrom’s but can’t go to Mass?”
And it is not just San Francisco. According to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, six states with a combined population of 67 million Americans single out religious worship for unfavorable treatment compared to similar secular activities: California, New Jersey, Maine, Virginia, Connecticut and Nevada.
We Catholics are not indifferent to the very real dangers posed by covid-19. This is one of the reasons Catholic churches have developed rigorous protocols to protect public health in our facilities. We submitted our safety plans to the city in May along with other faith communities, and while indoor retailers had their plans approved and went into operation, we are still waiting to hear back.
Meanwhile, the scientific evidence from other jurisdictions is clear: These safeguards are working. As three infectious-disease specialists who reviewed the evidence on more than 1 million public Masses over the past few months concluded, there have been no documented outbreaks of covid-19 linked to church attendance in churches that follow the protocols. We have demonstrated that we know how to hold Mass safely. There is no reason not to allow us to put that knowledge into practice.
Nor do our concerns stem from hostility toward government. We Catholics respect legitimate authority, and we recognize that the government has a right to impose reasonable public health rules, just as we recognize its right to issue safety codes for our church buildings. But when government asserts authority over the church’s very right to worship, it crosses a line. Our fundamental rights do not come from the state. As the authors of our Declaration of Independence put it, they are “self-evident,” that is, they come from God.
Even this injustice, though, is not as hurtful as the simple lack of compassion. I sometimes wonder whether the increasingly secular elites imposing these restrictions understand the pain they are unnecessarily inflicting. The sacraments as we Catholics understand them cannot be live-streamed. People are being denied the religious worship that connects them with God and one another. For hundreds of thousands of San Franciscans facing the simultaneous challenges of a pandemic and economic downturn, the church is their key source of spiritual, emotional and practical help. I worry about the poor, the jobless and especially the addicted whose major access to community help is the Alcoholics Anonymous meetings formerly held in churches all over the city and the country.
As one of my parishioners, Kathryn Reese, wrote recently in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Even more than food for my body, this is food for my soul. I need it. My faith is what got me through all these years, raising my kids, going through a divorce, working as a correctional officer and correctional counselor in San Quentin, and volunteering for my community.” And the Rev. Moises Agudo, who pastors the overwhelmingly Latino churches in the Mission District, echoes the sentiment, saying that his people have lost many things because of the pandemic but “the consolations of the Mass should not be one of those things.”
We want to be partners in protecting the public health, but we cannot accept profoundly harmful and unequal treatment without resisting. This is why I and other Catholics from across San Francisco will join in a public demonstration this Sunday calling on the city’s mayor, London Breed, to treat religious believers fairly.
At our demonstration, we will not be asking for special treatment. We just don’t want religious worshipers singled out for unfavorable treatment relative to people participating in activities with comparable risk profiles. All we are seeking is access to worship in our own churches, following reasonable safety protocols — the same freedoms now extended to customers of nail salons, massage services and gyms. It’s only fair, it’s only compassionate, and, unlike with these other activities, it’s what the First Amendment demands
Church Militant – September 15, 2020
Eucharistic Processions Slated for San Francisco by Martina Moyski
Abp. Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco has announced three simultaneous eucharistic processions throughout the city scheduled for Sept. 20 that will rendezvous outside the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption. The processions will commence at St. Anthony, St. Patrick and Star of the Sea parishes, walk past city hall to the cathedral, where multiple safe outdoor Holy Masses will be celebrated in English and Spanish.
San Francisco News – September 16, 2020
Archbishop Calls For Public Demonstration by Simone Badaruddin
“Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone called on parishes and their followers to participate in a public demonstration of worship in protest of San Francisco’s restrictions on in-person Mass attendance. Cordileone shared details with priests of his archdiocese in a memo on Sunday, September 13. Separate processions will begin on Sunday, September 20 at St. Anthony, St. Patrick, and Star of the Sea parishes. The groups will converge at United Nations Plaza near San Francisco City Hall and walk to the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption for multiple outdoor Masses, to be given in English and Spanish. He added that participants will be wearing masks and maintain social distancing.”
Zenit – September 16, 2020
“In his September 13 homily on the Cathedral Plaza, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco invited the faithful to participate in a public call for reopening churches for worship at a level consistent with other activities in San Francisco and with stringent health and safety protocols in place: ‘I invite you all to participate in this public witness of our faith, and to invite your friends and fellow Catholics to join as well.'”
Do Rzeczky – September 15, 2020
“Next Sunday faithful of the Archdiocese of San Francisco will depart from different parishes. They are to merge into one Eucharistic procession and pass by the town hall.”
Crux – September 16, 2020
“San Francisco’s archbishop is calling on all parishes in the archdiocese to each gather parishioners to participate in eucharistic processions to U.N. Plaza next to City Hall Sept. 20 ‘to witness to the city that faith matters.’ Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone said Sept. 13 that three parishes are each organizing a procession that he hopes all parishes will join.”
America – September 15, 2020
“San Francisco’s archbishop is calling on all parishes in the archdiocese to each gather parishioners to participate in eucharistic processions to U.N. Plaza next to City Hall Sept. 20 ‘to witness to the city that faith matters.'”
San Francisco Chronicle – September 14, 2020
Some people do not go to Mass or any other worship services. Some people are spiritual, not religious. Some people don’t believe in God at all.
I understand that. As a Black Catholic woman, I’ve lived, I’ve worked, and I’ve volunteered for my neighbors in San Francisco my entire life. When I help hand out turkeys at Thanksgiving, I have never asked the families who want them, “Who are you going to thank?”
San Francisco is a large, diverse city — racially, ethnically and religiously. I am here to tell you that Catholics are a big part of that diversity. When Catholics serve in the many ways we do, we serve all our neighbors without regard to color or creed.
I am aware that Mayor London Breed knows that. I know she grew up here too and she knows all the good works Catholics do, never asking to see a baptismal certificate.
Mayor Breed: Why is San Francisco the only city in the entire United States that has shut down the Mass for months, limiting it to just 12 people out of doors?
The mayor says she will increase that to 50 in mid-September. “Maybe”, she says, but not for sure. Why only 50? That does not meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of Catholics in this city. It is not just Catholics who are being deprived of various worship services: Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Protestants, are all in the same boat.
When Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone called on the mayor to lift unfair restrictions on the Mass, I said, “Amen!” We know we have to respect our own health as well of that of our neighbors. We aren’t asking to be wild folk here. Reasonable limits, face masks and social distancing — we are all OK with that.
But this is what no part of me can understand: As I began to collect my thoughts for this plea to the mayor and my neighbors, I was waiting for my daughter to make a Nordstrom shopping trip. I love Nordstrom. I love to shop. When we go there, we spend two to three hours inside, wearing masks. Why am I allowed to shop for shoes while I am not allowed to go to Mass?
I figure that many might not really understand what this deprivation from Holy Communion means to people like me. Let me tell you.
Communion at a Catholic Mass is for me, as it is for all Catholics, the Bread of Life. It’s like getting an espresso from Starbucks for the soul, but so much more than that. Once I take Communion, then I’m like the Energizer Bunny. I miss it so much.
I am not the only one. Father Moises Agudo is pastor of majority-Latino Mission churches. Father Agudo recently wrote in the National Catholic Register about his own parishioners: “Coronavirus has taken much from them. The consolation of the Mass should not be one of these things.” More than 1,700 people have already signed this online petition supporting Archbishop Cordileone’s call in just the first week.
It’s not a problem for me to be socially distanced. I gladly wear gloves and mask. Mayor Breed , please understand that this is taking away the most important thing in my life that keeps me going as a woman, as a Black woman, and as a Catholic.
Even more than food for my body, this is food for my soul. I need it. My faith is what got me through all these years, raising my kids, going through a divorce, working as a correctional officer and correctional counselor in San Quentin, and volunteering for my community.
Can we compromise?
I don’t want to stand on my rights. Hell is a place where everybody stands on their rights. What’s really important living in a big, diverse city is that we respect each other, and have compassion for each other and for our differing needs.
Mayor Breed, I supported you and every San Franciscan I know voted for you. Will you help us now?
Kathryn Reese has been a parishioner of San Francisco’s Church of the Epiphany for more than 40 years.
Relevant Radio – September 11, 2020
Interview with Archbishop Cordileone by Cale Clarke
“Cale sits down with the Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone. They discuss everything from his life growing up as a fisherman to evangelization and jazz music. They also discuss the current restrictions imposed by the City of San Francisco on churches.”
The World Over with Raymond Arroyo – September 10, 2020
“First of all, what’s most troubling is the words she used to open up that statement, ‘houses of worship will be allowed.’ The government has no right to allow or disallow houses of worship to worship. That right, is a natural right. It’s guaranteed by the First Amendment, the government has no authority to tell us whether or not we can worship. The government has the authority to tell us what we have to do to ensure public safety when we worship. So, this to me is the most concerning thing.”
Crisis Magazine – September 10, 2020
‘The Evil One Is at Work Here’: An Interview with Archbishop Cordileone by Michael Warren Davis
“Editor’s note: Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, in partnership with the Benedict XVI Institute, has launched a petition calling on lawmakers to lift ‘extreme restrictions on public worship.’ His Excellency kindly granted Crisis Magazine an interview to discuss his efforts.'”
Daily Caller – September 9, 2020
“The Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, said that the on-going restrictions placed on religious worship by the city of San Francisco are ‘an injustice’ that must be fought against and ‘eradicated.’ In an interview with the Daily Caller, Cordileone said that when the pandemic was beginning and civil authorities issued lockdown orders, he agreed to temporarily cease religious services in order to help “flatten the curve.” But the length and extent of the ban has become too much for him to abide.”
ACI Prensa – September 8, 2020
“About two thousand people have signed a campaign that demands that the authorities of San Francisco, in California (United States) put an end to the ‘unjust restrictions’ on the celebration of Mass in open spaces. The signature campaign published on the website of the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship (Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship) of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, highlighted that its Archbishop, Msgr. Salvatore Cordileone, ‘demands that San Francisco lift extreme restrictions on public worship.'”
Catholic Philly – September 3, 2020
“Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco has asked the city’s mayor and health officials to ease attendance restrictions on public Masses the archbishop says are unfair. Currently, Masses may be celebrated only outdoors in San Francisco, with only 12 attendees. According to archdiocesan spokesman Mike Brown, a dozen priests have been celebrating Masses simultaneously on Sundays at Cathedral Plaza in the city.”
The World Over with Raymond Arroyo – August 20, 2020
National Catholic Register – September 6, 2020
Archbishop Cordileone is Right. Free the Mass! by Father Moises Agudo
“Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone recently called on Mayor London Breed to lift the unfair restrictions on the Mass. He is right. San Francisco is the only government in the entire Bay Area to tell people of faith: Only 12 people allowed and only outdoors. This is both an injustice and a lack of compassion. I am the pastor of the Mission Churches in San Francisco. My parishioners are part of the rich diversity of San Francisco and include many poor, hardworking faithful people. Coronavirus has taken much from them. The consolation of the Mass should not be one of these things.”
LifeSite News – September 4, 2020
“San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone is calling on political and health authorities to ease the continued severe restrictions on public worship in San Francisco. Under San Francisco coronavirus restrictions, only outdoor religious services are currently permitted, with a maximum of 12 people attending. Cordiolene has now launched a petition calling on Mayor London Breed; Dr. Grant Colfax, director of public health; and Dr. Tomás Aragón, a San Francisco health officer, to ease the restrictions.”
Catholic News Agency – September 4, 2020
“Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said Friday that the city’s current restrictions on public worship— which prohibit indoor services of any kind, as opposed to other entities such as retail which have been allowed to reopen indoor operations— show ‘callous unconcern’ for people’s spiritual needs.”
Catholic World Report – September 4, 2020
Double standards for gatherings in San Francisco a source of growing frustration by Anne Hendershott
“Archbishop Cordileone’s statement is his most recent attempt to bring attention to the inequitable treatment the City’s churches have received from a recalcitrant administration apparently intent on preventing churches and faith communities from gathering. At the same time that churches in San Francisco are prevented from holding even outdoor gatherings of more than a dozen people, the City has been allowing indoor retail stores to operate at 50 percent capacity and outdoor patio dining. San Francisco County is now allowing restaurants to reopen at 25% of dining capacity (but cannot serve more than 100 indoor guests.)”
Life News – September 1, 2020
“The archbishop of San Francisco demanded in a statement Monday that the mayor ease what the archbishop calls ‘unfair restrictions’ for worship gatherings that pose a “serious deprivation” of Catholics’ rights. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone accused San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax, and Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón of placing undue restrictions on religious worship despite evidence that returning to worship would prove safe if normal precautions are taken.”
New Haven Register – September 3, 2020
“Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is pressing San Francisco to ‘at a minimum’ lift the 12-person cap on outdoor worship services, saying Mass can be conducted safely. In a letter Monday to Mayor London Breed and city officials, the archbishop complained that large, scheduled street protests “have been allowed to continue unhindered,” while outdoor services are much safer ‘since the people are stationary, social distance is respected, and the participants are wearing masks.'”
Spirit Daily – September 1, 2020
“In a letter to San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed and other city officials, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone on Monday called on the city’s secular authorities to, ‘at a minimum, remove the excessive limits on outdoor public worship.'”
The Pilot – September 2, 2020
San Francisco Archbishop Asks City to Ease Mass Restrictions
“Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco has asked the city’s mayor and health officials to ease attendance restrictions on public Masses the archbishop says are unfair.”
California Catholic Daily – September 1, 2020
“Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is urging San Francisco officials to ease restrictions on public worship, saying the city’s ‘excessive limits’ limits to curb Covid-19 are unfair and a deprivation of religious organizations’ First Amendment rights. No outbreaks have been linked to U.S. Catholic churches that follow safety guidelines, the archbishop said.”
San Francisco News – September 2, 2020
“Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, wrote a letter to Mayor London Breed on Monday, August 31 to throw out ‘excessive limits’ on outdoor activity. A local ordinance banned indoor worship services, where the SF Archdiocese has been holding mass outdoors. The city ordinance limits outdoor worship services to no more than 12 people. The letter criticizes the cities priorities that label worship as non-essential.”
The Tablet – September 3, 2020
“‘San Francisco is the only government in the entire Bay Area that restricts public gatherings to 12 people out of doors. Ours and others’ faith is being treated as less important than a trip to the hardware store, or a nice dinner out on the patio,’ Archbishop Cordileone said in his Aug. 31 message to Mayor London Breed, Dr. Grant Colfax, the director of public health, and Dr. Tomas Aragon, a city health officer.”
San Francisco Chronicle – September 1, 2020
SF unveils reopening plan for schools, businesses, churches by Rusty Simmons and Steve Rubenstein
“The relaxation of restrictions on outdoor worship followed the release of a letter Monday from San Francisco Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone calling on Breed to remove ‘excessive limits on outdoor public worship.'”
“‘We have shown we can celebrate the Mass safely,’ the archbishop wrote. ‘Ours and others’ faith is being treated as less important than a trip to the hardware store or a nice dinner out on the patio.’ The archdiocese has sparred frequently with city officials during the pandemic.”
ACI Prensa – September 2, 2020
“Mons. Salvatore Cordileone, Arzobispo de San Francisco (Estados Unidos), pidió a la alcaldesa de la ciudad, London Breed, que “como mínimo, elimine los límite excesivos para el culto público en espacios abiertos” para evitar el contagio del coronavirus.”
La Croix Africa – September 21, 2020
L’archevêque de San Francisco a appelé, dimanche 13 septembre, à l’organisation de processions eucharistiques dans la ville de Californie afin de protester contre les mesures sanitaires liée à la crise du coronavirus. Ces processions doivent avoir lieu ce dimanche 20 septembre.
Catholic Voice – August 31, 2020
“’San Francisco is the only government in the entire Bay Area that restricts public gatherings to 12 people out of doors. Ours and others’ faith is being treated as less important than a trip to the hardware store, or a nice dinner out on the patio,’ Cordileone stated.”
Relevant Radio – August 31, 2020
Happiness in Uncertain Times by Timmerie Geagea
“I think young people who are living in a very sort of transitional world there’s nothing, sort of, hang on. They’re looking for something that has timeless value, and all the beauty of the church is given to the world is what is a truly timeless value.”
“Thanks to young people who are serious about their faith. They’re not looking to reshape the church and change it in their own image and promote their dad. They’re looking for something that is a solid value that will connect them with the sacred because there’s been such a dismissal of the sacred in our society now they want something that can connect them with that.”
“We’re trying to open that door [of beauty to the Church] widely by providing practical resources to parishes so they can have more beautiful and reverent liturgies, and also revitalize the Catholic culture of the arts because the church has always been a great patron of the arts. So we’re beginning to commission new compositions of sacred music that have a timeless value but also connect with the culture in which we’re living.”
“We have parishes that are just a couple miles apart; in the one they can only have 12 people outdoors and the other ones don’t have a limit on people outdoors though they’re just a couple of miles apart.”
Catholic World Report – August 31, 2020
“Cordileone called the city’s restrictions on outdoor Masses ‘a serious deprivation of our rights as Americans under the First Amendment and our spiritual needs as people of faith.'”
Catholic Canada – August 31, 2020
“In a letter to San Francisco’s Mayor London Breed and other city officials, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone on Monday called on the city’s secular authorities to, ‘at a minimum, remove the excessive limits on outdoor public worship.’ ‘Particularly for us as Catholics, attending the Mass and receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in person is the source and the summit of our faith, and we have shown we can celebrate the Mass safely,’ Cordileone wrote Aug. 31.”
Catholic Culture – August 31, 2020
“Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has called upon San Francisco Mayor London Breed and other public officials to ‘at a minimum, remove the excessive limits on outdoor public worship.'”
B16 Announces “Free the Mass”! Petition to Mayor Breed in Support of +Cordileone – August 31, 2020
Contact: Maggie Gallagher Maggie1960Gallagher@gmail.com
Archbishop Cordileone Calls on San Francisco to Lift Unfair Restrictions on the Mass
Benedict XVI Institute Launches Petition to Mayor Breed: Free the Mass!
Archbishop Salvatore j Cordileone released a statement calling on Mayor London Breed, Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax, and San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón, to ease unfair restrictions on public worship in San Francisco:
“I am grateful that the Mayor and other government leaders in San Francisco acknowledge the importance of mental and spiritual health to the overall well-being of our people, in addition to physical and economic health. I am therefore calling on the Mayor and her public health officials to, at a minimum, remove the excessive limits on outdoor public worship.
“Particularly for us as Catholics, attending the Mass and receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in person is the source and the summit of our faith, and we have shown we can celebrate the Mass safely. As three major infectious disease specialists recently pointed out, ‘over one million public [M]asses have been celebrated following guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus…for Catholic churches following these guidelines, no outbreaks of COVID-19 have been linked to church attendance.’
“San Francisco is the only government in the entire Bay Area that restricts public gatherings to 12 people out of doors. Ours and others’ faith is being treated as less important than a trip to the hardware store, or a nice dinner out on the patio. This denial of access to safe outdoor public worship is a serious deprivation of our rights as Americans under the First Amendment and our spiritual needs as people of faith. One million public Masses without any Covid outbreaks demonstrates that it is just as safe in San Francisco as in other parts of the state, such as San Mateo County, to permit large gatherings for outdoor public worship with reasonable safety precautions.”
In response to the Archbishop’s call, The Benedict XVI Institute launched a public petition so Bay Area Catholics can voice their support for the Archbishop and demand the Mayor lift unfair restrictions. “Let us have the Mass,” said Maggie Gallagher, executive director. “We need the Body and Blood of Christ. We cannot worship via livestream. Our faith is incarnational all the way down. We have shown Catholics can celebrate the Mass safely. Enough is enough. It’s time for Catholic San Francisco to speak up!”
Petition Link: https://www.benedictinstitute.org/liftunfairrestrictions/
Letter from Three Infectious Disease Specialists: “Evidence-Based Guidelines to Celebrate Mass Safely Are Working.”
Viet Catholic News – September 27, 2020
The Catholic World Report – July 22, 2020
“Dana Gioia is probably the greatest of these contemporary poets, but there are others who are now being read and noticed. One of the most remarkable is James Matthew Wilson, an associate professor in the department of humanities and Augustinian traditions at Villanova University. Though he is said to belong to the ‘West Chester’ school of formalists associated with Gioia, such inside baseball is less important than the fact that he has produced a remarkable body of both criticism and poetry. . . .
“In Kirsch’s view, the poet-critic knows how it is done because he or she is actively doing it at a high level. This is certainly the case with Wilson, whose The Fortunes of Poetry in an Age of Unmaking was a battle cry against those who disdained the traditional craft of poetry from plush chairs, either university-endowed or seated next to Mr. Fallon on the late night circuit. No civilized-but-impotent yawp, it is accompanied by a body of work that has earned him a raft of prizes, including in 2017 the prestigious $50,000 Hiett Prize in the Humanities awarded by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. Perhaps more valuable is the approval of critics such as Gioia, who has labeled him ‘the most conspicuously talented young poet-critic in American Catholic letters.’ . . .
“While academic modernism judged formal poetry dead, Some Permanent Things displays a remarkable variety of forms and subject matter, both indicating the complexity and creativity of life. Its theme matches its formal qualities insofar as the collection as a whole is governed by the desire to see permanence in nature itself and in the goods of family, communities, and the Church. . . .
“The River of the Immaculate Conception, a poetic sequence created in commemoration of the premiere of Frank LaRocca’s Mass of the Americas, takes this same approach of love of what is present with truthfulness about the double origins of our modern world. . . .
“James Matthew Wilson may never make the late-night circuit. So much the worse for the circuit. But if we are thinking about the fortunes of poetry in an age of social media, I’ll bet the works of both the titled modernists and the interloping Instas will be the ones that will disappear after their fifteen minutes of fame is up. The poems Wilson likes to read and write will be the ones that people continue to like to read. As they tell stories and reveal the characters of men, women, and places, all in the light or the shadow of grace, they repay the reader not just with pleasure but the sense that there is a deeper order to our world that clicks away as surely as the beats of the poem.”
Dappled Things – May 2020
First Things – March 2020
National Catholic Register – February 22, 2020
Catholic News Agency – May 15, 2020
National Catholic Register – May 15, 2020
The Catholic Telegraph – May 15, 2020
Medium – March 19, 2020
“Right when I am at my point of deepest solipsistic despair, in walks Frank La Rocca. His Ave Verum Corpus from his Mass of the Americas is a profoundly beautiful work written by someone who has thought very deeply about all of the problems of voice leading. I don’t mean to suggest that he is somehow writing ancient music. He’s not. He’s writing modern music that is informed by ancient principles.”
Dappled Things – March 2020
“The River of the Immaculate Conception: In Commemoration of the Premiere of the Mass of the Americas is a poem in seven parts by James Matthew Wilson, published as a chapbook by Wiseblood Books. The following interview with the author about the poem was conducted by email.”
First Things – March 2020
“In The River of the Immaculate Conception, James Matthew Wilson confirms his vocation as a public poet. Commissioned by the Benedict XVI Institute, this poem sequence of seven parts leads us through the lives of St. Juan Diego, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and Père Marquette, with interludes on the interconnectedness of art, place, and theology.”
First Things – March 2020
“This is all necessary preface to understanding another, warmer narrative that flows beneath the ice: in the words of poet James Matthew Wilson, “another history than the one we’re used to.” This narrative is the current into which Wilson’s newly released chapbook The River of the Immaculate Conception taps. The book consists of a song cycle divided into seven related but formally divergent parts. Each part highlights a different episode in the story of Catholic faith in America. The whole is both an echo of the structure of the Mass itself and, more specifically, a response to the music of Frank La Rocca’s Mass of the Americas.”
Catholic San Francisco – January 29, 2020
“Just a year after its premiere, the newly composed Mass setting ‘Mass of the Americas’ has reached the hands of Pope Francis, as Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone presented him with a hand-bound copy of the score on Jan. 27 at the Vatican.
Archbishop Cordileone said Pope Francis “reacted with a smile and his eyes lit up,” as he received the gift. In a phone interview from Rome, the archbishop explained to him that the Mass setting, which unites popular devotional music from Mexico with sacred polyphony, was being celebrated in cities in the U.S. and Mexico ‘with the vision of promoting unity among the people on the entire American continent.'”
First Things – December 10, 2019
“When I was asked by the Benedict XVI Institute to write a poem in commemoration of Frank La Rocca’s Mass of the Americas, which the Institute had commissioned, I knew that some part of that early education would find a place within it. In fact, I knew in my heart that it must be called The River of the Immaculate Conception, though I was not quite sure yet what that would mean.
La Rocca’s Mass was composed for performance within the liturgy for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. In 2018, when the Mass premiered, that feast coincided with San Franciscans’ annual Cruzada Guadalupana, a pilgrimage made in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. La Rocca had been asked to draw on the traditional hymns of Mexico, and on prayers in the Spanish and Aztec languages, and to harmonize them with English and Latin. His Mass thus celebrates our country as one consecrated to the Immaculate Conception, but one which also lives under the protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of all the Americas. La Rocca’s Mass asks us to learn to see the Americas as one in their Catholic faith, just as Pope Saint John Paul II asked us to do in Ecclesia in America (1999). The Americas are many, our countries are many, but we are all citizens of the City of God.”
Religion en Libertad – November 26, 2019
“El sábado 16 de noviembre se celebró en la Basílica de la Inmaculada Concepción de Washington, D.C., por primera vez según el rito tradicional, la Misa de las Américas, compuesta por Frank La Rocca e interpretada por el Coro Benedicto XVI bajo la batuta de Richard Sparks. Ofició la celebración el arzobispo de San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone. Tras la misa, al cantarse la Salve, el obispo Corazón de León (que es lo que significa su apellido en italiano) no pudo ocultar sus lágrimas de emoción. Puede verse el momento en el minuto 2:16:56, pero vale la pena escuchar la Salve completa desde el minuto 2:13:00, acompañada por la realización con imágenes de Nuestra Señora en distintos lugares del templo. A la derecha de monseñor Cordileone en ese momento se encuentra monseñor Charles Pope.”
The Way of Beauty – November 21, 2019
“I haven’t had the privilege of hearing this in person, but readers may be interested to know of a newly composed music for the Extraordinary Form Mass. It was performed in Washington DC recently and was recorded by EWTN.”
The Tower – November 21, 2019
“‘It was probably the most beautiful Mass I had ever attended,’ said Mary Boneno, a sophomore Theology major. ‘I especially loved how they incorporated the culture into the music, such as the traditional Mexican folk hymn sung during the vesting ceremony and the “Aue Maria” during the de-vesting ceremony.’ Boneno also stated that she thought it was ‘the proper amount of inculturation, in which the culture of the Americas was lifted up into the liturgy, rather than the liturgy being diluted to fit the culture.'”
New Liturgical Movement – November 21, 2019
“Our publisher Dr William Mahrt attended the recent celebration of the Pontifical Mass in Washington DC, the first time Frank LaRocca’s Mass of the Americas was performed with the celebration of the Extraordinary Form, and was kind enough to share this review with us. A complete video of the ceremony is included below, and several pictures of the Mass, courtesy of photographers Matthew Barrick and Jeffrey Bruno, and the Benedict XVI Institute.”
Fr. Dwight Longenecker – November 21, 2019
“I was privileged to have a front row seat for the Mass of the Americas in Washington last Saturday. Wow! What a fantastic experience! The Mass of the Americas is a production of the Benedict XVI Institute in San Francisco. The Mass on Saturday is the brainchild of Archbishop Cordileone. In the round table seminar after the Mass the Archbishop explained that for most of his life he had worked in California with Hispanic communities and he appreciated their folk religion Catholic customs and devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It also hit him that the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception occur in the church calendar within a few days of each other. The United States is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Americas. Why not commission a Mass setting which brings all these things together?”
Our Sunday Visitor – November 19, 2019
“They had me at Santca Mariatzine. Although truth be told, that was the icing on the cake, so to speak, of the Mass of the Americas, a gift of the Benedict XVI Institute for Sacred Music and Divine Worship. They say their mission is “opening the door of sacred beauty to bring people closer to God.” And Santca Mariatzine is the Ave Maria translated into the language Our Lady of Guadalupe spoke to Juan Diego.”
Patheos: The Deacon’s Bench – November 18, 2019
“A few days back, I mentioned the debut of a new Pontifical Solemn High Mass, the Mass of the Americas, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. It happened this past Saturday. You can watch below the full video of the Mass, celebrated by San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone. Worth noting are the first 20 minutes or so, which includes the archbishop being vested for the Mass. Among other things, he dons a dalmatic.'”
Chiesa e post concilio – November 19, 2019
“Estrapolo da gloria.tv. L’arcivescovo di San Francisco (USA), Salvatore Cordileone, ha celebrato il 16 novembre l’annuale Messa Solenne Pontificale in Rito Antico nella Basilica dell’Immacolata Concezione a Washington D.C. L’enorme chiesa era gremita. Tra i fedeli c’era l’inviato di Gloria.tv Jungerheld.
Cordileone ha predicato che la bellezza nutre l’anima e ha suggerito che l’odierna mancanza di bellezza ‘spiega il turbamento spirituale in cui ci troviamo.'”
National Catholic Register – November 19, 2019
Catholic News Agency – November 18, 2019
Alleanza Cattolica – November 16, 2019
Aleteia – November 18, 2019
The Catholic Thing – November 18, 2019
Fr. Z’s Blog – November 1, 2019
Community in Mission – October 29, 2019
Register Radio – October 25, 2019
Corpus Christi Watershed – October 24, 2019
The Missive – October 21, 2019
Washington Examiner – October 24, 2019
Aleteia – October 24, 2019
Dappled Things: A Journal of Ideas, Art & Faith – September 2019
Dappled Things: A Journal of Ideas, Art & Faith – September 2019
National Catholic Register – August 3, 2019
Mosaic TV – April 7, 2019
Catholic Arts and Artists, Mosaic TV – February 2019
National Catholic Register – September 25, 2018
Catholic Community Radio – September 4, 2018
Sonrise Morning Show – August 23, 2018
Benedict XVI Institute Names Award-Winning Bay-Area Composer Frank La Rocca as its First Composer-in-Residence
The New Benedict XVI Institute Schola Recruits 25 San Quentin Inmates to Chant at the First Latin Mass Celebrated at the Prison in Three Generations
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