One can only hope it is true..

and not another attmept by the press to stir the pot.




11 Responses to “One can only hope it is true..”

  1. Todd Says:

    Peace, Fr Todd.

    I vote for stirring.

    I also predict a document as strong as the leaks sound will get a very damp reception in mainstream Catholic circles. If MaChurch conservatives want to push the point, they will find another deep crack in the Body. And over what? The inability of the curia or the bishops to create a positive example for good liturgy.

    Instead, we have definitions about what does not constitute liturgy. Jeez. Is this easy or what? Liturgy isn’t about peanut butter, balloons, or goofy self-centeredness. Can they come up with a positive example? Look at so-and-so parish for good music. Look at Fathers so-and-so for good homilies. Check out St N. for good architecture. Nope. I’ll wait to reserve judgment until after I read the actual document, but I sense I’ll want to shout, “No thanks, guys. Solid food please.”

  2. Denise Says:

    Oh, dear.
    As much as I frown upon handclapping or dancing here in the USA, I have been told, and have read, that both are sometimes done in the African and other mission churches (where it has somewhat a different tone and meaning than it does here). I can’t pretend to have any idea of what would be prudent in that case. I do not know that it is the best idea to ban it. (Mind you, I am not talking about goofy “liturgical dance” as sometimes practiced here).
    My second ohdear, as regards girl altar servers, is that although I think a preferential option ought to be given to boys, I don’t think it is always bad to have girls or women serve. I serve at the Saturday vigil Mass myself, which is mostly attended by the older parishioners, and which the youngsters and families do not attend or want to serve at. In our parish children always serve at the 9 am mass, mostly boys–a few girls. the 11:15 Mass is a very mixed group, boys, men, girls and women. 7pm is young men and women from campus ministry, as it is “their” Mass (they are given key roles as lectors, planning the music, serving).
    I know that some think (I am guessing that you do, father) that “girlie” altar servers are detrimental to vocations. But I remain unconvinced. Nor do I want to encourage them to the detriment of boys. But I don’t think a divisive Vatican decree will solve the matter or promote a real solution or unity. I think it will just fan the flames of division. I hope that if it does come to pass, that I am wrong about that. I think causes for dearth of vocations are deeper than that. (Lack of boys is more a symptom than a cause, I think)
    I also agree with Todd that what we need is positive modeling. Instead there has been a lot of being left to “twist in the wind”.
    pax et bonum

  3. Chris Oles Says:

    I think that there will be at best indifference and at worst anger when this is announced. This will be the result of the unfortunate ignorance that many Catholics have about their Faith. Take women’s ordination for instance…Most (if not all) dissenters on the male, celibate priesthood have no idea why the Church has such a teaching – if you ask them, they may drone on about some mideval practice involving land ownership. Of course you may get someone who thinks the Vatican is populated by old, ill-tempered, woman-hating clerics.

    While I personally agree with the Church here (something about a priest on the altar surrounded by 4 pre-adolescent girls just never seemed right to me)I wonder if you could perhaps provide some theological reason for this move. I hear that it is to help encourage vocations. Is there more to it than that?

  4. Todd Says:

    Peace, Gunther.

    I do think there is more Spirit-driven wisdom in the Church than just what inhabits ivory towers. My wife has always pointed out my arrogance — a very fallible trait I share with my brother Catholics in the curia. I’ve heard the document in question was quickly bounced back to committee.

    I think good liturgy needs a lot of people working together. I’ll retire the perjoratives gladly for a little joint elbow grease.

  5. Gunther P. T. Meier Says:

    Fr. Todd, I have read with interest the postings by “Todd,” who describes himself as working in rural ministry. I fear that his summary dismissal of “MaChurch conservatives” only widens the rift that he himself regrets. Although I have no idea what this document will say, if I find it hard to accept I don’t plan to chime in with Todd, “No thanks, guys. Solid food please.” I will pray and study to do my best to understand what it says. It is precisely that kind of arrogance–the penchant always to know better than the Teaching Authority–that has been the downfall of a host of Bishops, Clergy, Religious and Laity.
    Please, Todd: work with the Hierarchy, not against it.

  6. Todd Says:

    Peace, all.

    I’ve said many times that rubrics are essential to good liturgy. But this document in question is not about rubrics. Rubrics were revised and updated with the third edition of Roman Missal III.

    Cardinals are only human. I say they don’t get it. People critical of liturgy provide the proof. My critique of the CDWS has little to do with ecclesiology. I criticize that group because I think it has missed the boat on improving liturgy. The curia is an element of human governance and consultation in the church. It is not necessarily congruent with the office of bishop. The diocesan bishop has a canonical duty as chief liturgist in a diocese. Arinze’s job could be filled (theoretically) by any competent person, even a lay man or woman. The CDWS is a liturgy office. Perhaps more powerful than the one in your diocese or mine, but a liturgy office nonetheless. The degree of respect it deserves is proportional to the competence of its membership.

    Ed, thank you and bless you for your post, the most sensible on this thread, by far. I have worked hard and ably (I believe) as a parish liturgist for many years. I have many fine and devoted colleagues who have served the Church in the same way. I intend to continue the real work of liturgical reform in my parish and current diocese. I will deal with the distraction of present upheaval, then happily get on with the real work of liturgy when the dust settles. I appreciate your prayers. I will certainly keep you in mine, my friend.

    (PS: Don’t worry, it would have been a gentle shaking. Not unlike when I tease and chum with my brother.)

  7. Don Kettle Says:

    Todd, you can even now “retire the perjoratives,” which tend to be nothing but an attempt to manipulate others to think and do as we want.
    Todd, first “put on Christ!” The rest will follow . . .

  8. Todd Says:

    Peace, all.

    I admit I have little faith in Catholic Church leadership these days.

    Vatican II taught that there is more to good liturgy than treating rubrics as cookbook directions.

    In some circles (see? no perjoratives!) people criticize others as a dutiful work of mercy (edifying the ignorant).

    My point is simply this: Even a good document from the curia is not likely to greatly improve the state of liturgy. Why? One reason is that liturgy is not high enough on the to-do list for too many priests and parishes. People who don’t care about liturgy probably won’t even bother to consult such a document. They have other fish to fry (schools and other ministries, the 1pm football game, etc.).

    Another reason is that liturgy, when it is carefully attended to, is an art form. It is a multimedia expression of the praise of God. As an artist (musician, by the way), I cannot improve my art significantly by reading books (on organ technique for example). Perhaps I can gain a few practical insights. Ultimately, I need to practice. I need to research good music. In the liturgical setting, I should pray. Prepare better. Work with others, training and encouraging them, especially the young. All of these needful qualities must come into play when attempting good liturgy. You can’t get this from a document.

    Liturgy is also prayer. Lay people and clergy, to have good liturgy, must cultivate an attitude and approach that is prayerful. San Juan de la Cruz or Hildegard, or whoever your favorite mystic is, did not become a holy guide by reading directions. Good liturgy happens when people take a spiritual, not a scientific approach to worship.

    I have many, many suggestions for the curia to make this document a better one, if their purpose is to have good liturgy in more places. But they didn’t consult me. Nobody here did either, but here goes:

    – Form homily planning groups with parishioners. Rotate members frequently and gain the insights of their lives to apply Scripture (or Church teaching, if that’s your bag). Good pastors already take into account the joys and sorrows of their people and it comes through naturally in their preaching. But parishioners, if they know their input is valuable and part of the spiritual effort to better preaching, will respond beautifully when someone tells them their insights are vital.

    – Priests could probably also form evaluation groups with other clergy (or their bishop) on a regional basis. Bishops should sponsor frequent preaching institutes in their dioceses. Annual would not be a bad idea.

    – Every parish should have liturgy or devotions that promote spiritual, deep prayer. Liturgy of the Hours, Eucharistic worship, Taize prayer, Centering prayer, whatever turns you on. Parishes that begin this will eventually see the fruits extend into mainstream parish worship.

    – Every parish should endeavor to find a competent director of music ministry. Whether that person is a volunteer for the one Sunday Mass or responsible for the whole gamut of a megaparish, such people should be supported with training, budget, and commitment to excellence.

    – If a diocese has more than a few parishes without competent musical leadership, the bishop should institute a formation program in liturgy, music, and spirituality and find competent teachers. Probably a good idea for every diocese, now that I think about it.

    When I see leaks like these stories about the Big Bad Liturgy Crackdown Document, I want to fly to Rome, grab the nearest cardinal by the shoulders and give him a good shake. These people don’t get it. Good liturgy takes hard work, prayer, and mindful intent to improve. Sight unseen, I just know this document will inspire laziness (“Just follow the directions and ban dancing bears — I mean girls.”), tattletales (“Bishop, my priest sinned by doing …”), utilitarianism instead of spirituality, and strengthen the real defects in post-Vatican II liturgy.

    How could they produce a good document? Go to parishes in which people generally acknowledge the liturgy is good. Take notes. They probably produced a poor document. Why? They stayed home and read the mail instead.

  9. Father Todd Reitmeyer Says:

    Following the rubrics and good liturgy do not contradict each other. Both/And not either/or.

    Also I would disagree with homily planning groups. That might get confusing as to roles. A clever priest might offer a bible study on the upcoming readings so that people will get more out of it when they hear it at mass. Then if he listens, he can get ideas to use in the homily.

    To say the cardinals don’t get it is a false eccelsiology. The Bishops are exactly the ones who get it from the Holy Spirit and then pass it on to us. They are the guarantors of truth collectively in union with the pope. Any other ecclesiology is not catholic.

    They certainly can consult but they decide.

  10. Tim Says:

    Peace, Todd.
    I don’t know if you are arrogant or not; however, a more humble thing would be to cite your own arrogance but not to accuse your “brother Catholics in the curia” of the same fault.
    You could leave it at an admission that your wife is correct rather than to continue by “linking” yourself to someone else, in this case the Bishops.
    Peace, all.

  11. Ed Tyler Says:

    Peace to you, Todd.
    I must confess that your “curia vs. us” mentality is both distracting and destructive. That is no way to build-up the Church, which I presume is what you intend to do by working in a parish setting.
    Go ahead and submit your ideas to Francis Cardinal Arinze, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Here is his address:
    Piazza Pio XII, 10
    00120 Vatican City
    Don’t wait to be consulted, Todd. Submit your ideas today.
    I also suggest that you send letters outlining your ideas to your Bishop in Iowa and to Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, Preseident of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. His address is:
    Bishop of Belleville
    222 S. Third St.
    Belleville, IL 62220-1985
    Todd, from your last couple postings, I really had gleaned hope that you were going to cease being so negative towards the Hierarchy. I thought that you had turned the corner.
    Now you want to travel to Rome and do violence to a Cardinal.
    Todd, how could you?
    I do hope that in this space you will share your letters to Cardinal Arinze, your Bishop and Bishop Gregory.
    Trust me, Todd: prayerfully do what you can, remain patient and don’t degenrate into complaining. This is very unhelpful for the Church.
    As Saint Padre Pio said: “Pray, hope and don’t worry.”
    Pray for me, Todd, as I will for you.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: