Saturday, July 14, 2001

Milwaukee Cathedral Plan Draws Ecclesiastical Ire

Gustav Niebuhr reported in The New York Times, July 14, 2001.
Two days before the project was formally proposed last August, the Milwaukee chapter of Catholics United for the Faith, a conservative group, presented the archbishop with a petition asking that the cathedral be refurbished but not renovated. The archbishop wrote back, saying it would be easier to discuss the issue if opponents documented how the work was contrary to liturgical norms.

The controversy lay dormant for months, until a member of the group petitioned the Vatican. To the surprise of many, one Vatican office responded, when Cardinal Medina sent a letter to Archbishop Weakland on June 30, saying that several elements of the project should be revised. In particular, he wrote that moving the altar forward and putting an organ where the altar once was would fail ''adequately to respect the hierarchical structure of the church of God that the cathedral by its scheme is to reflect.''