On July 17th, 2019, the Diocese of Orange dedicated Christ Cathedral. A transformation of the Crystal Cathedral, as Bishop Vann articulates in the commemorative July 14th edition of Orange County Catholic, into the new hub of Catholic worship in Orange County. As part of the liturgical dedication, relics from ten saints were placed in the reliquary at the base of the altar.  The Diocese stressed the selection of relics represented the diversity of Orange County Catholics and their Korean, Mexican, North American and Vietnamese heritage. Beyond cultural diversity, what message does the selection of  the relics convey? 

St John Paul II

St Junipero Serra

St Andrew Dung-Lac

St Andrew Kim Taegon

The North American Martyrs of St Johnde Brebeuf,  St Charles Garnier and StGabriel Lalemant

St Rafel Guizar Y Valencia

St Justino Orona Madrigal

St Atilano Cruz Alvarado

Each one is a man.  Each one is clergy from priests to a pope.  No representation of laity.  No representation of women.  The visible reliquary will be a reminder to all coming to Christ Cathedral, for decades or centuries to come, of the Diocese's prerogatives in the 21st Century of accentuating clericalism, an affirmation of orthodoxy from a past pontificate.

A message transmitted across the plaza in the studios of EWTN and broadcast with Diocesan collaboration: https://www.ncronline.org/news/media/rise-ewtn-piety-partisanship

A reminder each Eucharistic celebration of dismissing the essence of the Body of Christ coming together collectively in communion with the saints. A constant reminder of the disparity of opportunities for women to fully serve the Church.

As the Crystal Cathedral was transformed to Christ Cathedral, hopefully the Diocese and Church will transform to affirm the voice and participation of laity and full participation of women.  Then may the relics under the altar be a reminder of  a bygone era and a constant reminder of the transformative power of the Eucharist when all are welcome to partake and go forth to serve.

Thirsting for Justice in Southern California

Barbara Born