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Saturday, 30 August 2014

"What is the fundamental problem today with the Church’s liturgy?"

Catholic News Agency has a piece by Mons. M. Francis Mannion giving his answer to the question, and it is "clericalism."

Okay, yeah, that can be a problem.
Essentially, there are today two kinds of liturgical clericalism: the “old-fashioned” (a carry-over from pre-Vatican II) and the “new fashioned” (since Vatican II). 

And I like that he identifies it as coming  from different points along the spectrum of... of what? right and left? conservative and liberal? traditional and progressive?

[In the ] old-fashioned kind... the sign of the peace is dropped out; the chalice is withheld from the people....
The second kind of liturgical clericalism ...serves – like the older kind – to focus unduly on the priestly role and to disenfranchise the people, who have a right to the liturgy of the church in its integrity.
The tendency among priests of this school toward excessive personalization, unpredictable intervention, and textual and ritual experimentation has the effect of compromising the objectivity of the liturgy and turning worship into an exercise of personal priestly expression. 
It seems to me very be wrong to imply some parity between a celebrant's exercising valid options, (what he describes in the "old-fashioned",) and his making it up as he goes along, (the "new fashioned.")

little consideration seems to be given to the fact that the people do not understand Latin.
Sorry, but I am not sure I believe him this is an actual problem anywhere, the "not considering." The problem is THAT the people don't understand Latin -- having considered that fact, that priest is finally doing something to remedy it.
 This trend goes with a resurgence of an exaggerated theology of priesthood.
I wish he had gone into this more, not sure what he means.
What is this exaggerated theology of the priestly ministry?
It seems to me the scarcity of those willing to give their lives in the presbyteral ministry indicates rather that the ministry has not been held in high enough esteem by too many people, a diminished and weakened theology of the priesthood, if you will.

But where he and I really part ways is, frankly, in the very word "clericalism."
Because clerics aren't the problem, at least, not clerics qua clerics.
Authoritarianism has very little to do with priestly orders.

And yes, he has, I am certain, a broader perspective on this than I, and surely a different experience of it, though one that I might say is skewed by his own clericalism, and even more by his clerical state.

Because I think most lay people in the Catholic Church in America today would tell him that the find themselves more bullied and bossed by other lay people, (who bully priests less often, or at least less openly.)

That whole class of demi-clerics, out there.
They are far more likely, IME, to play fast and loose with the rubrics, to add fabricated rites, and to brook no dissension from the peons.

And is it a treason to my sex for me to admit that most of them are women?
There's a reason that the little despots running around in sacristies, and pontificating in RelEd offices, and facilitating yet another program are, regardless of their sex, referred to as Church Ladies.

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