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A Faithful Shepherd in Saginaw

Having just written about the very reverent and orthodox liturgies I enjoyed in New Jersey, I am happy to see Bishop Carlson is bringing order to his Saginaw diocese as well. Like Bishop Finn of Kansas City, Bishop Carlson is not afraid to demand changes to bring his flock in compliance with Rome. We need more of these brave bishops who are not afraid to disrupt the status quo.

Bishop Carlson is ending the use of the female pronoun for God in the “Saginaw Blessing”. It seems it has been common practice for everyone in the congregation to raise both arms as a sign of blessing and sing:

May the Lord bless and keep you!
May he make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
And give you his peace.

May the Lord bless and keep you!
May she make her face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
And give you her peace.

Bishop Carlson offers very good catechesis on the Naming of God. He then applies this teaching to discredit the use of the female pronoun in the second verse of this song.

The sung blessing currently in use in the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw employs in its first verse a paraphrase of the beautiful and traditional text from the Book of Numbers [*See Solemn Blessings #10, Ordinary Time I]. I encourage the use of this profound scriptural prayer. However, the second verse of the blessing as commonly sung does not maintain the necessary clarity regarding the naming of God which is part of our Jewish and Christian heritage and can therefore unintentionally bring about confusion or misdirection in our prayer. Therefore, the use of this second verse should be discontinued.

- Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson, Bishop of Saginaw

Keep Bishop Carlson in your prayers. And while you are at it, pray that more of our bishops will have the courage and grace to be faithful shepherds. We Catholics can be an unruly flock at times.

H/T to Dom for the links.


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