Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Ritual Gnashing of Teeth

Now this is interesting....

So the Ratzinger Fan Club (they loved the character, but what about the man?) has linked to my account of Paul Hewson's summit with Wojtyla. (God called them both to change their names.)

But while perusing, I found this post at Some Have Hats... Seems that some -- who, I presume, have hats -- want to take the case against Mahony to Rome. If this is news to anyone, then I've got a load of dog bites man stories hanging around you might enjoy.

And for those expecting an objective treatment of the topic, they've got an Olsen-Twins-18th-Birthday style counter ticking down to Rog's 75th (5 years, 9 months, 6 days from today). Some balance.

A rabble-rouser blegs:

I need material. Please send me your L.A. stories of liturgical abuse and incidents that are in blatant contrast to the teachings of the Church, such as the Rainbow Sash stuff or throwing a big pagan party at the Cathedral for all the pro-abortion politicians.

OK, someone's upset that a party's not being thrown for them. And it's not the most Catholic thing in the context of a universal church to immediately tar Native American sacred rituals as "pagan." That's not cool. But it's what happens when the only "correct" things are those which resonate with a white, Western European cultural milieu -- ergo, the obsession with the rite properly called Gallo-Germanic. It's far from the one that Jesus used, but oh well -- God has anointed a handful (in the back of a pizza shop) to save the church from the rest of the evil world. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

When Pius XII -- who was so special (i.e. insane) that, in 1950, he got to witness the miracle of the sun four times in a month -- is considered a father of the church, you know you're in trouble. Well, at least I do.



Blogger Matthew Lickona said...


Native American rituals may be sacred, but does that make them necessarily not pagan? (I'm working from ignorance as to what the rituals actually entailed, just asking anquestion about word usage.) has "pagan" as "One who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, especially a worshiper of a polytheistic religion."

And you surely know that concern for the liturgy is not limited solely to adherents of the Mass of the Rite of 1962, and that abuses happen which run against Church directives and not personal preferences.

And why the steady beat of references to the first Mass? You came out in defense of liturgical dance, and there's no record of that at the first Mass, at least, not in the Gospel. Nor is there reference to music - shall we axe that, too? It seems to me that the liturgy has developed over time, like doctrine, and that, as with doctrine, care must be taken to ensure that developments are indeed developments and not deformations. There are, I believe, guidelines that can be referred to on this matter.

And may I suggest that you take care in walking the line between decrying clericalism and celebrating lay involvement on the one side, and calling people rabble-rousers on the other? These people are taking an active role in the life of the Church. It's not to your tastes, but it is a movement of the faithful. And it's not just a few people in the back of a pizza shop.

And when you ask people to respect what Benedict has to say, mightn't they ask that you show a little deference to Pius XII - at least enough not to call him insane?

6/7/05 18:31  
Blogger Gene O'Grady said...

Uh, I'm on the other side of the church from a lot of the people you refer to, but for two issues I very much care about (scriptural scholarship and, yes, liturgical reform) Pius XII, whom I well remember, was definitely headed in the right direction.

And while I don't know where Pius always stacked up on it, but I'd certainly trade the health of the intellectual life of the church 50 years ago for what it is today.

6/7/05 19:24  
Blogger Sr. Bernadette M. Reis, fsp said...

I read a wonderful quote by a bishop whose name I cannot recall. The gist of the quote was that when we enter into a culture that to us may seem unchristian, we had better take off our sandals and walk as if on sacred ground because Christ may already be there and we may not recognize him.

I also remember a wonderful quote from Fr. Groeschel who said something I'll never forget regarding that fact hat we Catholics should be much less judgmental of the people of other faiths. He said that the right prayer said to the wrong god may be more acceptable to God than the wrong prayer said to the right God....

I am so glad that I am not God. Aren't you?

7/7/05 07:31  
Blogger Tony said...

Do you believe that Native American rituals have any place in a Catholic Church? And if so, why.

7/7/05 10:43  
Blogger Gene O'Grady said...


Ever been to New Mexico?

I remember one church in (I believe) Laguna where the people have been through rather a lot more in keeping their community alive in their 350 years as Catholics than most of us can imagine. And if they incorporate "native American" elements in their liturgies, church, sacred art -- what else would you expect?

My secular or anti-religious classicist friends have a great time pointing out the pagan background to much of what has become "Roman" Catholicism. I'm not impressed, any more than I am by policing the Navajo for liturgical correctness.

Apologies if I missed the tone or intent of your post; I'm replying to what I believe you were saying. If I'm wrong....

7/7/05 19:10  

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