Monday, September 04, 2006

Catholic Liturgical Liberals Are So Predictable

There is a liturgist that blogs and comments at St. Blog's who is fairly well-known for dragging up "the Scandal" whenever something is posted about liturgical reform.

This tired old technique of distracting attention away from the topic of addressing liturgical deficiencies is, apparently, the favored tactic of liberals who are quickly transforming into reactionaries as implementation of Liturgiam Authenticam picks up steam.

Case in point: Last month I blogged about Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair's monthly column in the Catholic Chronicle in which he addressed the changes recently adopted for the English translation of the Roman liturgy. This month's Catholic Chronicle contains 3 letters responding negatively to the Bishop's column. Here is a sampling from all 3 letters (see if you can discern a theme):

Letter #1:
Bishop Leonard P. Blair's thorough explanation of the reasons for the changes in the Roman Missal left this person-in-the-pew still wondering.

Considering the recent difficulties and challenges the church has had to deal with, the ongoing priest shortage and serious world-wide problems facing mankind, why is the hierarchy spending so much precious time and effort fixing something that isn't broken?
(emphasis added)

[ED.: Here, the author spills the beans about what's REALLY bothering her.] I sincerely hope these revisions are not attempts to transport the church back to pre-Vatican II days.

Joan Bradner
Toledo Corpus Christi University Parish

Letter #2:
... With all the problems facing the world and the church, which should be helping find solutions to those problems, is this really where our bishops should be putting their energies? Aren't they a little more concerned about the faithful who are no longer filling our pews because of the problems within the Church itself in addition to the war, world hunger and poverty, to name a few of tremendous consequence? (emphasis added)

...I try not to be angry because I am generally not an angry person, but I do feel the hierarchy, to quote a familiar cliche, are arranging the deck chairs while the Titanic sinks. At the very least, this saddens me.

Carol Kraus
Toledo St. Joan of Arc

Letter #3:
... Changing liturgical colors, pronouns, modifiers and endings barely begin to address the overriding moral issues of our times. Indeed, they serve as a grand distraction. (emphasis added)

Sheila Otto
Toledo Corpus Christi University Parish

Notice a trend?

The implication being that the Church can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Or rather, that the Church can't tackle the important issue of providing its members with authentic worship according to the Latin Rite while at the same time addressing these liberal parishioners' pet peace and justice issues.

But we've heard all this before. Even Jesus Himself was faced with a similar challenge from Judas Iscariot, who claimed that the expensive ritual oil used to annoint the feet of Our Lord was wasted because such oil could have been sold and the money used to help the poor. Judas, however, clearly was less concerned about helping the poor than he was about lining his own coffers as the "treasurer" of the disciples.

Similarly, these claims from liberal Catholics that the Church's time is best spent solving the world's problems than with addressing liturgical deficiencies are less about helping those in need than they are about the liturgical liberals' "need" to keep the "Spirit of Vatican II" alive.


At 9/04/2006 7:48 PM, Anonymous Publius said...

Great post, Jay!

Incidentally, if there are so many much more important issues out there, why do these liturgical liberals (both clerical and lay) spend their precious time fighting the liturgical reforms tooth and nail? Don't they think their time could be better used addressing the issues they raise?

At 9/04/2006 7:58 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

Excellent point, Publius!

At 9/04/2006 8:26 PM, Blogger Ginny said...

So True, Jay It is so disturbing that it seems they have even turned their backs on their own, Traditionalists, especially those who have to travel far or those who can't even get a Mass said in the Latin Rite in their own Diocese. There are some wonderful Traditional families. I think Denial is a very good choice of words for the liberals who want to cover everything up. If they stopped covering things up and faced the issues then a fair chance in reforming issues could be a possibility

At 9/04/2006 8:35 PM, Blogger Rich Leonardi said...


Two of the letter-writers are from the University of Toledo's Corpus Christi parish, whose main church -- er, worship space -- is featured on the cover of Dick Vosko's new book.

Suffice it to say that this parish, like Xavier University's Bellarmine Chapel in Cincinnati, is a redoubt for progressive bitter-enders.

They know as well as anyone that their days are numbered.

At 9/04/2006 8:56 PM, Blogger Jay Anderson said...

I noticed that, too, Rich. Several months back, I blogged about Toledo Corpus Christi here.

Also, Publius, if you don't mind my slightly plagiarizing from your comment, I included it in a letter to the editor that I sent to the Catholic Chronicle in response to these letters.

At 9/04/2006 9:18 PM, Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

I recall a story about a young priest asking Archbishop Fulton Sheen about the Church's wealth when it should be devoting its treasure to relieving poverty.

Sheen's reply was to ask, "How much did you take?"

Come to find out, the fellow was raiding collection.

At 9/04/2006 9:25 PM, Anonymous Publius said...

Also, Publius, if you don't mind my slightly plagiarizing from your comment, I included it in a letter to the editor that I sent to the Catholic Chronicle in response to these letters.

I don't mind at all.

At 9/05/2006 8:33 AM, Blogger PB said...

It is nice to see there were no comments from St. Mary's in Norwalk! Also nice to see none from St. Rose in Perrysburg which is soon to become my new parish. What puzzles me why the Catholic Chronicle felt the need to publish these not to the point letters?


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