Sirius wrote:I agree that the crux is the right of each religious denomination to manage its own affairs and decide on its liturgical policy. But how should that decision be made in relation to Cobh Cathedral? Should matters of faith and morals be decided by plebiscite? If so, should the electorate be confined to the Catholic parishioners of Cobh or should it be a decision of the laity of the entire diocese? Would you include in the poll the a la carte Catholics who might only attend the Cathedral for family weddings, baptisms and funerals? I think it would be simpler to leave it to the Bishop who, I expect, will make the right decision in consultation with the Roman curia.
In the first place this is not a question of Faith or Morals. If it were those who make up FOSCC and the vast majority of the parishioners in Cobh wouldn't have opposed their Bishop.
A short history of what happened in Cobh.
1992 Restoration project set up - Cobh Parish has to date contributed â‚¬1.3 million to this project - on third of the total - this was the percentage Cobh Parish contriuted to the building of the Cathedral. The population of Cobh is c. 1/13 of the population of the Diocese, therefore the people of Cobh have per head contributed vastly more that those in the other parishes of the Diocese, naturally as this is their parish church. c.18,000 people in the Diocese outside Cobh signed the petition against the changes to the Cathedral.
1998 re-rodering was first announced to the people, even though some tried to say that this had been included in the original Restoration Project as presented to the people - it was not. The basic plan of extending the sanctuary, removing the altar rails (less radical than the eventual plan) and intrucing new cathedra, chair, altar and ambo. The people objected. Everyone agreed that a new altar should be put in place of the present temporary altar, but the rest was unnecessary as people saw it. This is still the situation.
Numerous promises were made to come back to the people with the eventual final plan, this did not happen. On 18th July 2005 plans were submitted to Cobh Town Council for planning permission. That same evening saw the first of the "consultations" with the people, in other words the people were faced with a fait accompli.
At no time since 1992 have any of those behind the project attempted to explain to people "WHY".
If you go into Cobh today and talk to people about their Cathedral, that is the one question that will come up again and again - Why? No effort was made in Midleton to answer this question.
Finally and most importantly this is not a case of 'disobedience' to the lawful authority of the Church. At no time have people been instructed to stop opposing the changes. And there has been no consultation with the Roman Curia on this matter, other than by the people themselves. Had the document 'Liturgical Requirement' which accompanied the planning application, been submitted and approved by Rome then FOSCC and the people of Cobh would have found it very difficult to oppose further.