Thursday, September 22, 2005

Trautman on the Synod

Just got the jump for this week's America. It's a special edition for the Synod on the Eucharist, which begins next Sunday, 2 October.

The top piece comes from Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, chairman of the BCL -- the USCCB's Committee on the Liturgy. And, guess what, he makes some good and solvent points.
[The Instrumentum Laboris for the Synod] fails to recognize real issues facing the church in the contemporary world.

The document speaks, for example, of “shadows in the celebration of the Eucharist,” citing “a neglect by the celebrant and the ministers to use proper liturgical vestments and participants’ lack of befitting dress for Mass,” “an inadequate catechesis for communion in the hand,” “the scant architectural and artistic quality of sacred buildings and sacred vessels” (No. 33) and “the use of the communion plate...the keeping of the tabernacle key in a secure place” (No. 39). The list goes on.

These are hardly the burning issues of the day. While they are supposedly examples of “a weakened sense of the sacred in the Sacrament,” they could all be addressed by enforcing the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, the authoritative document on the correct celebration of the Eucharist. There is no need for 250 bishops from all parts of the world to incur great financial cost and loss of time from their local churches to ponder these insufficiencies.
He's right.

-30-

14 Comments:

Blogger Jimmy Mac said...

His career is doomed.

The truth shall make you free, but not successful.

22/9/05 16:09  
Blogger Jeff said...

He's wrong, wrong, wrong.

I agree with him that bishops should do a better job enforcing the rules laid down in the GIRM. Why aren't they? Have some of them bought into notions of liturgy that are at variance with the understanding of the Church? Has the practice of the Church, in seeking modernization and adaptation, forgotten the value of some of her own traditions?

Have people forgotten some of the values that the rules in the GIRM are supposed to embody and foster? Have people simply lost touch with a sense of what the liturgy is all about?

All of these questions need to be hashed out. Anyway, the initial document is only a starting place for the discussion. But if Bishop Trautman thinks everything is hunky dory and going well in the US in terms of liturgy, that in itself is a very good reason for him to go to Rome and listen to what the other Bishops and the Pope have to say.

22/9/05 17:25  
Blogger GregY said...

He's right and he's wrong. He's right b/c the problem for the vast majority of pew-sitting, lukewarm Catholics is the need for deeper conversion, which no amount of solemn, awe-inspiring liturgy will effect. He's wrong b/c there is great value in these external features (greater reverence, solemnity, traditional architecture, statuary, etc.) in helping the "converted" and especially in passing on the faith to the young--ie, the catechetical power of good liturgy.

22/9/05 17:36  
Blogger CBM said...

Don't expect BXVI and the Synod Fathers to get to deep into that which Arinze's document last year dealt with. Me thinks that this synod will be unique. How? I have NO IDEA but I am fairly sure that Pope Benedict XVI isn't into "gestures" and wasting time and money on "get togthers". I really like those things but Providence has chosen differently for me and the former Cardinal Ratzinger. He's the Pope and he IS a Christian of extraordinary wisdom and substance. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
CBM

22/9/05 17:57  
Blogger pazdziernik said...

Wow. Bishop Trautman seems to put a price on the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic Faith. Interesting.

22/9/05 18:21  
Blogger Ben said...

What are the "issues" Bishop Trautman thinks need to be addressed? Does he say in the article? It seems we have lost the understanding of lex orandi lex credendi. The way we worship has very much to do with the way we believe. I think we can look at the sad state of affairs with the liturgy and see how it corisponds with the sad state of affairs with the belief of the avaerage Catholic. I can't think of one thing good bishop Trautman contributed the the state of the liturgy in the U.S. His ilk need to fade away and realize they failed the Church. I am still curious if the Bishop said anything in the article suggesting what should be done or if it is just an attept to thwart bringing back the GOOD traditions that have been thrown out with the bath water since Vatican II. When is he going to enforce the GIRM?

22/9/05 19:51  
Blogger Jon said...

Squirmin' Traut!

22/9/05 22:08  
Blogger Todd said...

He's dead-on right. If you're going to bring the world's bishops together (and I'm not convinced Trautman thinks it's a bad idea) give them something substantive to discuss and discern, not a prepared document of items already seemingly decided-upon.

It wouldn't surprise me if the pope permits a good bit more open discussion on what the bishops think they really need to effect better liturgy.

And a worldly caution: few countries are better off liturgically than the US. Our issues are not the issues for the rest of the world, and vice versa. But our bishops need a forum to keep things improving, not wait around for some of the others to catch up.

22/9/05 22:22  
Blogger rascalities said...

pazdziernik:
"Wow. Bishop Trautman seems to put a price on the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our Catholic Faith. Interesting."


No. He seems to be putting a price on a Synod that might prove to be overly concerned with minutiae. He would appear to prefer just a bit more gravitas than what it is being demonstrated in the document he's quoting.

Sounds about right...

22/9/05 23:31  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

Memo to pazdziernik: Trautman's not the only one doing that sort of thing.

Right down the street, the going rate is $25 for a Sunday "announced" Mass; $10 for a weekday "announced" Mass; funerals and weddings $150.

And the Pastor is VERY traditional!

23/9/05 00:39  
Blogger David said...

well that Pope has said to shorten the synod by one week and to talk of "new discussions". But it will give the bishops the opportuinty to hob nob with one another and feel important for a couple weeks. It will be good for their egos.

23/9/05 01:11  
Blogger Gene O'Grady said...

Trautman seems like my kind of guy, and a lot of these issues (as well as the assumptions that liturgical inadequacies somehow date from the sixties, and stem from pro-Vatican II people) seem silly, but I think it is hard to dispute that there has been inadequate catechesis on reception of the Eucharist in the hand.

23/9/05 09:22  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Trautman is a ninny and lives in the world of antinomianism--except, of course, such will not be tolerated by HIS subjects.

It does not require extraordinary perception to hear the pouting and prissiness in his "comments." After all, it's Trautman's own personal BCL which has been slapped in the chops by this Synod's agenda.

So NyahNyah is his response.

No surprise.

23/9/05 09:59  
Blogger patrick said...

Well, Trautman's probably right that this Synod is a waste of time and money. On the other hand, if it wasn't, he wouldn't like it either.

23/9/05 15:57  

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