Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pope Francis Alters Cath. Mass to Add St. Joseph; Doing So Gives Church's Grace to "Fatherly Care"

The Vatican announced today (June 20, 2013) that Pope Francis has approved a change in the Catholic Mass -- effective immediately -- to include prayers referencing St. Joseph, according to the Huffington Post website.

The additions -- which in English amount to five words inserted after the Eucharistic prayer -- were issued by the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The new words, "with blessed Joseph, her spouse," follow a mention of Mary and are included in three different versions of the prayer.

The change reflects the church's growing interest in "fatherly care," said the Rev. Dan Merz, associate director of the Secretariat of Divine Worship for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"It's emphasizing that St. Joseph was someone who protected the Blessed Virgin and who cared for Jesus. We call him the foster father of Jesus, but we have to think of that word in the sense that he fostered the humanity of Jesus," said Merz. "He nurtured and helped Christ grow into an adult."

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