Of Star Wars and Immanentism and Birdcages and Elite Snobbery. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

In my talks I sometimes address the steady slide of many Catholics into Immanentism Lite.  They don’t exactly deny that God is transcendent, it’s just that they never give transcendence the slightest thought.  They have never had too, have they?  Did catechism even touch on the idea?  Their liturgical worship has for decades been a self-enclosed circle of self-affirmation and good feelings.  When pushed they admit that God is probably transcendent, but… shrug.  For many today God is sort of like the The Force, ala Star Wars.

Speaking of Star Wars, I saw a story in German in a news source in Munich about a First Holy Communion Mass with a Star Wars theme, complete with blessing with a green toy light saber.  Cool, no?

No, I am not making this up.

Just look at how much fun everyone is having!

Risus abundant in ore stultorum.

Oooops!  I just committed an elitist crime.  I used Latin, didn’t I!  My bad.  I must not care about El Pueblo.

Remember what Karl Cardinal Lehmann said the other day about Latin and the older form of Holy Mass?

Yes, indeed.  Speaking at a Eucharistic Congress (exactly the right time to run down the traditional lung by which the Latin Church breathes liturgically), Lehmann said:

“Ich habe den Eindruck, die ganze Begeisterung auch für das Latein hat viel mit Prestige zu tun und falschen Vorspiegelungen einer vermeintlichen Kulturelite… I have the impression that the whole enthusiasm for Latin has a lot to do with prestige and the pretenses of a supposed cultural elite.”

This from a man who was in a birdcage for Karnival!

I’m sorry again, but… look, I could be wrong here, but does that strike you as somewhat lacking in … decorum?

Sorry for more Latin, and I apologize for apologizing again … but… pace Card. Lehman, how many more reasons do we need for a full-bore, unapologetic, widespread application of the provisions of Summorum Pontificum?

 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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54 Responses to Of Star Wars and Immanentism and Birdcages and Elite Snobbery. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

  1. Mariana2 says:

    “Jedi-Ritter am Altar: Gemeindereferent Nicolas Gkotses geht bei Kommunion im Pfarrverband Vier Brunnen „Star Wars“-Wege – und begeistert in der Kirche die Kinder und deren Eltern.”

    i.e. (id est!)

    “Jedi Knight at the Altar…does a Star Wars and thrills the childeren and their parents.”

    And further down the priest says this was only this year’s offering, next year something else might be more much more interesting to the children.

    Pardon me, but ACK!

  2. Robbie says:

    It makes you wonder how some were able to become Cardinals when you see stuff like this.

  3. Anchorite says:

    Card. Lehmann and the Jedi priests are telling me that they are pretty awesome and not-boring-at-all when it comes to anything, but Holy Mass – it’s the Mass they shouldn’t be allowed to celebrate, EVER! Keep these clowns away from Holy Mass! Now, by keeping these self-taught actors from churches we would really bring down the quality of German theater, yet increase the reverence of the Holy Sacrifice. A big consideration is that how many priests, bishops, cardinals CAN actually celebrate OF (let alone EF) properly? You had heard the horrific pronunciation problems most cardinals had reciting the oaths in Sistine Chapel (with few exceptions). Even Bergoglio had hard time making it through the Latin-sprinkled OF.
    Oh well …

  4. HighMass says:

    What a Sacrilege!!!!!!!!!! Wow to the Order of P. X though, they are no in communion with the holy see…..liberalism! Bugnini’s work??? What a shame! [Bugnini and his ilk did not write things like this into the Novus Ordo. This is an abuse.]

  5. MAJ Tony says:

    The only words I have to describe this impiousness are not properly posted on such an otherwise pious and religious blog. Let’s just say they’re somewhat explicit and rather politically incorrect. Appropriately, in my research, I discovered that the latin translation of the leading adjective is very fitting, as it involves infidelity.

  6. MAJ Tony says:

    Oh, and one MORE good reason to push for pre-eminence of ad orientem.

  7. Tom in NY says:

    Φως tibi maneat. Sed imperium recutiet?

    Salutationes omnibus.

  8. Theodore says:

    “Who is more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follow him?” ~ Obi Wan

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  9. VexillaRegis says:

    Wellll, Kardinal Lehmann clearly has gone cuckoo.

  10. John Fannon says:

    Is the bloke in the cage wearing the Papal tartan?

  11. VexillaRegis says:

    A friend of mine recently attended a wedding in the Lutheran state church of a Scandinavian country. At the final blessing the celebrant (woman priest) said to the newly weds: “May the force be with you.”!!!!
    My friend was scandalised and so were quite a lot of the other guests. “Sacrilegeous, appalling and tacky” were their reactions. NB, none of those people are believers, and yet they were offended.

  12. Imrahil says:

    Puella Rigensis ridebat
    quam tigris in tergo vehebat.
    Externa profecta
    interna revecta;
    sed risus cum tigre manebat.

    Elitist, right? (Thanks, Wikipedia) Or that nice drinking song from the Middle Ages (and now without looking-up):
    Meum est propositum in taberna mori
    ubi vina proxima morientis ori.
    Tum cantabunt laetius angelorum chori:
    Deus sit propitius huic potatori.

    Elitist, right?

    or that one:
    Lauda Sion Salvatorem,
    lauda ducem et pastorem
    in hymnis et canticis.
    Quantum potes, tantum auge
    quia maior omni laude
    nec laudare sufficis.

    Elitist, right?

    And then read Cardinal Lehmann’s academic father’s Basic Course of Faith: An Introduction into the concept of Christianity. (It has to be said in fairness that the part of the title before the colon was not of Fr Rahner’s making.) Just saying.

  13. tjg says:

    Please tell me the bird cage is a photoshop….

  14. anilwang says:

    Lehmann said: “I have the impression that the whole enthusiasm for Latin has a lot to do with prestige and the pretenses of a supposed cultural elite.”

    Careful Cardinal Lehmann, you don’t want to be judgmental or be a cultural imperialist and impose your mass on them. And you certainly don’t want to be a cultural elite in assuming that the same mass that 1900 centuries of Catholics celebrated in isn’t good enough for you. Talk about snobbery.

  15. jflare says:

    “First Holy Communion Mass with a Star Wars theme, complete with blessing with a green toy light saber.”

    Oh brother! How ridiculous can you GET??

    “I have the impression that the whole enthusiasm for Latin has a lot to do with prestige and the pretenses of a supposed cultural elite.”

    This strikes me as the kind of thing I hear being uttered against English here in the ‘States. We’re “elitist” because we actually wish to speak our own mother tongue from childhood. Not Spanish, French, German, Taiwanese, Inuit, or another language that someone thinks we ought to know. Jeez!!

    No, Your Eminence, if I have an interest in Latin, it’s mostly because the Church still uses it officially, the traditional Mass still comes in it, and if I want to learn science, law, or medicine, I might be able to best understand many of the original authors of those subjects if I learn the tongue they used when they wrote down their ideas.
    Elitist? Hardly! We may need Latin eventually merely to ensure our own survival!

  16. Singing Mum says:

    Clearly Fr. Z, you have no love for the volks. The man in the birdcage does! He is going out of his way to look like the cheerful, kindly Frau who won the folksong competition award in the Sound of Music movie.

  17. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    Elitist.

    At the White House where the President of the United States and his family live, everything is done with utmost spiffiness, from the decor, to the housekeeping, to the gardening, to the maintenance, the cooking, the serving of meals, . . . everything meticulously done, with expert care and dedication.

    The U. S. Secret Service sees to the security of the President and his family and of any dignitaries visiting, but those snappy looking U.S. Marine Honor Guard soldiers are stationed around the facility, standing at attention, their shoes and buttons brilliantly polished, hats and jackets beautifully brushed. No doubt, they are ready to assist if an armed invasion came up Constitution Avenue toward the White House, but since the likelihood of that eventuality is minute, their presence must be viewed as primarily ceremonial.

    I don’t know about “elite,” but I do know our President receives the utmost, meticulous care from a myriad of professionals, technicians, service providers and craftsmen, each and every one of has been hand-picked to “do for” the White House because he or she is known to be the very outstanding even among the top, at what they do.

    I also know that even if you had plans to attend the wedding of a dear friend or even a close relative, if you receive an invitation to attend a White House function such as a dinner party, it is considered extremely bad form to decline. Even to attend a wedding you had promised to attend months ago. A White House function supercedes all other social engagements.

    All this for the President.

    Is Jesus our King, or is He not? Is He King of Kings and Lord of Lords, or not?

    Anything less than the utmost best that our community, working its collective little hearts out day and night to acheive, is, if offered to Him, a disgrace.

    If that’s “elitist”, then so be it. What.

    Ever.

  18. poohbear says:

    Those jedi priests should be forbidden from ever saying Mass again, and all those in attendance should be required to take catechism classes. This is why the world is falling apart, because the Church has been infiltrated by buffoons (sorry, I do respects priests, but not actions like this).

  19. Maltese says:

    By trying to be so relevant and cool, they become irrelevant and uncool…

  20. The Astronomer says:

    …….other than abject sadness and disgust, I’m at a loss for words.

    Lucifer is laughing with delight…

  21. Maltese says:

    Really, Priests, pray the TLM as a sacrifice, not a show–you’ll sleep better at night, and might spend less time in purgatory to boot!

  22. thefeds says:

    Fr. Z,
    Maybe instead of a German language version of Sumorum Pontificum, the good cardinal was given a copy in the language of the Canary Islanders?
    Rob

  23. contrarian says:

    There was a time when seeing a priest with a light saber would have enraged me. Nowadays, my thought is more or less, “Yeah, that seems about right.”

  24. Basher says:

    I’m not sure there’s anything “lite” about it.

    Immanentism and its best buddy Crypto-Arianism are, to my mind, symptoms of the modern failure of language in the Church. When we threw open the windows to engage the world, we really needed to get together on our terminology first, but we didn’t. Now we are out, seeing God in the poor…but problematically we see God in the poor in the exact same way that we used to see God in heaven. We see Christ in the community, but unfortunately we are far too simplistic about it and see Christ in the community in the same mode that we see him in Galilee and in the Eucharist. Sometimes I think maybe we Catholics are responsible for a lot of what’s wrong in religion today. Our center didn’t hold, and so of course Oprah is a pantheist. How could she not be in a world where Holy Mother Church is sometimes more focused on Jesus in you and me than in the tabernacle.

    We have a real, serious, worrisome problem with that “is” is.

    That’s why it’s helpful to all kneel down in shocked silence at “Hoc est”.

  25. Supertradmum says:

    Sorry, I was raised to be a Catholic elitist. We called it to those to whom much is given much is expected

  26. anna 6 says:

    Perhaps he would prefer French…Le Cage aux Folles?

    (Are you sure he isn’t Lou Grant?)

  27. HyacinthClare says:

    Thanks, “thefeds”. I laughed instead of crying. Were bird cages like this one used to imprison people and starve them to death, or have I seen too many movies?

  28. TNCath says:

    This is obscene. Truly. This is why we need diocesan jails with three floors apiece for (1) moral, (2) canonical, and (3) liturgical offenders. Seriously, there is something psychologically wrong with this man.

  29. John of Chicago says:

    Utterly inane way to celebrate kids’ 1st Communion. I also recall a “few” years back seeing bridal gowns that had a definite Star Wars style to them but haven’t yet seen a light saber bouquet. As for the “Cardinal in a cage” idea, I like it. A lot. There are, at the very least, 3 active members of the US episcopacy who should be locked in a cage for their unconscionable failures to protect children but, instead, they remain ordinaries or else have been promoted to Rome. This makes me think episcopal cages are under appreciated and grossly under utilized.

  30. Tim Ferguson says:

    The chapel was filled with a pious throng,
    It shone with a thousand lights;
    And there was a cleric who passed along,
    Leading the sacred rites
    A nun to her abbess then softly sighed,
    “What graces can he command!”
    “But he’s chosen the fool’s role,” the abbess cried,
    “That’s crazy Cardinal Lehmann”

    “He’s bishoping from a gilded cage,
    A ludicrous sight to see,
    You make think him in touch with common folk,
    He’s not, though he seems to be.
    ‘Tis sad when you think of this wasted time
    It makes me feel so outraged
    Solemnity sold, for a cage of gold,
    A cuckoo in a gilded cage.”

    Sometime in the future this all will pass,
    And we’ll look back with smiles and sobs,
    How sad generations debased the Mass,
    Of the hubris of some nutjobs,
    We’ll see marble monuments on the graves,
    Of prelates who liked to preen,
    And pray that Christ’s mercy will overcome,
    The insanity that we’ve seen.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  31. StJude says:

    That’s embarrassing.

  32. Andkaras says:

    ” Zwei ganz fliesch pastecien ,besonders sause,lettish ,kase ,pikle ,zwieble, auf ein sesam sat brodchen,Auf der katolisches Kirche,wir tun es alles fur dich!…aber nicht der Latin!

  33. Andkaras says:

    sorryabout my german spelling :)

  34. Gail F says:

    “…the steady slide of many Catholics into Immanentism Lite. They don’t exactly deny that God is transcendent, it’s just that they never give transcendence the slightest thought. ”

    Isn’t that the truth!

    And Theodore should get the gold star of the day.

  35. VexillaRegis says:

    Our young pastor wears his biretta and cassock and is traditional. He celebrates the Mass in the OF 97% of the time and likes it. Once in a while het gets to say the TLM :-)
    Anyway. During the summertime we often have visitors from Germany. They are shocked. “I almost ran out of the church, he looked like the nasty priest we had when I was a child. ” ” This isn’t modern!” “You must feel opressed, being a woman in this parish.” (Duh? I’m the organist and sing the responsorium from the ambo in the sanctuary every sunday.)

    Then usually follows a lecture of how good things are i Germany with much more responsibility for the lay people, i e mostly more or less bossy women (probably of the same genetic pool as the LCWR.) When i ask if the were any young man from their parish ordained in recent years, they get defensive…

    One lady asked me why we still kneel. Sigh.

  36. VexillaRegis says:

    Oops, “any young men” and I’m sorry for the interpunctuation, in a hurry.

  37. Clinton R. says:

    Are there any actual Catholics left in Germany outside of the SSPX? Probably not, since this farce would drive anyone from the Church. Is anyone going to do anything to stop this sacrilege? Hopefully for the sake of those responsible for this garbage, they do penance, for God will not be mocked. Reason# 3598 for Summorum Pontificum.

  38. VexillaRegis says:

    ClintonR: Perhaps our German poster friend Imrahil could tell us more about the situation in Germany? We also should ask Bl. Clemens August von Galen (Archbishop of Münster and later cardinal) to pray for his country. He was a great German patriot AND anti-nazist.

  39. De Tribulis says:

    “I have the impression that the whole enthusiasm for Latin has a lot to do with prestige and the pretenses of a supposed cultural elite.”

    He can’t be serious. At the one TLM community I’m somewhat familiar with here in the German-speaking world, the regulars most certainly don’t come anywhere close to having cultural elitist pretensions. The vast majority of them seems to have no Latin at all and very few are educated beyond high school. As far as I can tell they go to the old Mass because they prefer a Mass that’s reverent and recognisably Catholic, certainly not because of any “enthusiasm for Latin”. His Eminence should take a closer look at TLM communities before sounding off about his “impressions” of why people gravitate there!

  40. JonPatrick says:

    It’s hard to know whether this criticism of Latin has to do with the use of Latin in the Church in general, including the rare-as-hens-teeth OF in Latin, or specifically in the TLM. I suspect the latter.

    It seems to be typical among people that criticize the TLM to focus on the details (Latin, Ad Orientem, the silent canon, etc.) and to miss the big picture. The TLM is not primarily about Latin although I think that the use of a sacred language (as many other faith traditions use) is an important element. It is about the focus on the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, something that has been de-emphasized in the OF. It gets back to the issue of Immamentism again.

  41. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    JonPatrick may be right that the burden of the remark is aimed at the TLM, but the simple sense as clearly falls upon the Latin NO/OF (which was promulagated as the ‘ordinary’ standard!). I have known continental Euopean lovers of the Latin NO who were very standoffish about the TLM before Summorum Pontificium, who now embrace both in practice. (I do not know what the full background of the earlier ‘standoffishness’ was, however.)

    I am (alas) not a ‘near-native German speaker’, but “falschen Vorspiegelungen einer vermeintlichen Kulturelite” strikes me as a lot fiercer, ‘nastier’, and haughtier, than “the pretenses of a supposed cultural elite.”

  42. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Sorry! ‘Pontificum’ (not elite enough in my training,…)

  43. Konstantin says:

    @ Clinton

    yes, there are still Catholics left, but we suffer enormously. But I guess that’s a universal thing right now. Let’s pray for each other.

  44. Imrahil says:

    Dear @VexillaRegis, thanks for the flowers.

    Dear @ClintonR (and @VexillaRegis), well well well… to write something about the state of the Catholic Church in Germany would, I guess, require a couple of lines. One of the problems to begin with is that the “real Catholic” is, as yet, rather undefined. What is a real Catholic? Nevertheless, when you say “how many real Catholics are there”, you’re claiming an answer to a very justified question. And then of course, what is “outside the SSPX”. I am myself an SSPX mass attendant when I get the chance (after having checked up in manuals what a “tolerated suspension” is and that it goes with vast allowances).

    The rather first answer, though, might be to say “SSPX, Opus Dei, SJM, and Forum of German Catholics”. You can look the latter up in Wikipedia (“Forum Deutscher Katholiken”), though not, I regret, the English one.

    I think it is safe to say, though, that the appreciation of all this modern nonsense is basically in regions surrounding zero, and that includes the sort of Catholic who goes to Holy Mass (and contracepts, but not aborts) at will and thinks that the celibate should be cancelled tomorrow and about women priests, well isn’t it a pity that the Church is so discriminating against women (interestingly, he does not, however, demand women priests for tomorrow. Maybe that’s the convincing force a dogma, as opposed to anything else, does have).

    Only we don’t cry “sacrilege”. We murmur “well what in all the world are they up to again, sigh, sigh”.

    Maybe it should be noted that while the priest did play the role seen for him, here, the whole thing seems to have been the doing of a Gemeindereferent. A Gemeindereferent is a paid pastoral worker of 3 years apprenticeship (a Pastoralreferent would be the same with an MA in theology), without celibate, in overwhelming numbers female (here male, though). The Church in Germany, it must always be remembered, has money because it has a tax (8% of the income tax whose highest rate, beginning with around 50000€, is 45%). I do not debate whether these offices are good or bad (though it won’t come as a surprise that there are many “real Catholics”, whatever that may be exactly, who resent them), and that there would be real work to do for them, but it is not surprising anyway that they tend to show themselves existing by doing something, visible, etc.

    For a total situation, it must, though, be remembered that in the deeply Catholic regions, Catholicism is “Volkskirche” (the people’s Church). While this does not mean they are instantly worthy of Communion, or are not perhaps even heretics (but not with the clearness of thought which, alone, can possibly make you an open heretic), there are millions of paying Church-members, and I do not count it for nothing that they still adhere to the Church (because “it is a force for the good after all”) despite all their grumblings and misgivings, which after all costs a Church tax.

    This is why some days ago I wrote (to the general topic of a Catholic state) about Crucifixes in classrooms, about mayors marching behind the Holy of Holies in a Corpus Christi procession, I could have added: parish priests giving their Our Father, Hail Mary, and Requiem aeternam to an official memorial service for soldiers, etc. etc., I talked about things that are (though the Crucifix in state schools is having a bad time) the actual case in Bavaria. Christmas, St. Stephen, New Year, Epiphany, Easter Monday, St. Mary Patroness of Bavaria (also known as St. Joseph or Labor Day, 1st May – the motive is, here, not the religious one of course), Ascension, The Day of The Compulsory Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit previously known as Pentecost Monday, Corpus Christi, Assumption, All Saints are still holidays (and, what is more, not even under attack). To give one other instance of elitism: Extra Bavariam non est vita, et si est vita non est ita.

    Imho a rather problematic thing is the disdain the concept of a Volkskirche bears among those fittingly dubbed “Catholicals”. They prefer what they call “Entscheidungskirche” (Church of decision). Why do I think this is problematic? First of all, because, however noble they may aim, I’m just a natural man (though I hope to have grace, also). It does not suffice me, being honest, to escape by a dire straight from an altogether rotten world and populace. I love my country, and its people most of all. I want them (and, without being ashamed of it, me) enjoy the blessings of Our Lord as well, including the temporal ones, which history has shown, and the Magisterium teaches (“even in the order of temporal things, the fountain of blessings so numerous and great that they could not have been greater or more numerous had the original purpose of her institution been the pursuit of happiness during the life which is spent on earth.”, Longinqua 4). Second, because a “decision for the Lord” is not the point of the Faith. The point is a decision of the Lord for me. This is why there is child baptism; and a faithful man, not correctly in his reasons but nevertheless quite legitimately and without sin, may often follow the Lord overcoming sort of a grudge in his heart, because “where else shall we go? thou hast words of eternal life”.

    Which is one of the reasons why I’m, with all due respect, suspicious of “real Catholic” thing – because it so often has the “Church of decision” ring to it. When once you’re baptized into the Catholic Church, you remain a Catholic… except if you are an open apostate or change in the same way to a Christian confession (and such people usually declare the same thing to state authorities in Germany to avoid the tax, so they are no longer listed as Catholics), if you are a public heretic, or if you are excommunicate as vitandus (which now does not happen).

    Nevertheless, under those that remain Catholics, there are a couple of not-public-enough heretics, of those who do not want to concentrate their intellect enough as to make dogmatic statements (least of all of approval of everything the Church teaches), of people burdened with a disorderly state (who are, in any meaning, real Catholics) and people who disclaim that their disorderly state is disorderly, and so on and so on. And the rest, of course, still commits their occasional sins, sometimes mortal ones, but I guess it is this way in any country.

  45. Imrahil says:

    An addition to my third paragraph: it was rather unfair to exclude all the religious orders only writing “SJM”. Most religious orders and spiritual movements are in any sense “safe”, and so are the younger generations of secular priesthood. Though to take part in actions as presented here, you need not be an unreal Catholic; it suffices to be a real Catholic without assertiveness.

  46. Aegidius says:

    While the Star Wars pic reminds me of an earlier post by Fr. Z. (What is the answer to “The force be with you?” ….”And also with youuuu …”),
    it is the Lehmann pic that really made me laugh (Schadenfreude again?), thinking of the 16th century heretic sect of Anabaptists (“Wiedertäufer”) in the German city of Münster – and their ending in three cages hanging from the church tower of St. Lamberti:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Münster_Rebellion

  47. VexillaRegis says:

    Lieber Imrahil! Vielen Dank, sehr interessant. I think most Germans who visit in my Scandinavian country come from the northern parts of Germany. There is a huge difference in religiousity and mentality between the southern part (mostly Bavaria…) and the rest of the country. I often see the prussian personality traits in our catholic visitors too ;-) Mixed together with this new “freedom ideas” (from the 60’s and on), the result is rigid persons claiming to be free and modern.
    Aber Bayern ist Spitze!

  48. RMT says:

    Does that priest realize that Jediism is considered a religion to some?

    http://altreligion.about.com/od/alternativereligionsaz/a/jedi_religion.htm

  49. Bill69 says:

    Look, it’s Vladimir Putin next to the lady snapping pics!

  50. VexillaRegis says:

    Bill69: No no, Putin’s a blonde. That guy looks like Putin’s friend, Silvio Berlusconi.

  51. Clinton R. says:

    Konstantin, yes we who love Christ and the beautiful traditions of His Holy Church have and will continue to suffer greatly. Yes, let us pray for each other. May St. Boniface pray for the Church in Germany. +JMJ+

  52. frRobertM says:

    P: Sit vis vobiscum
    C: Et cum vis tuo.
    P: Sursum ensis luminaris
    C: Habemus ad Yoda
    P: Gratias agamus Vis, vis nostro
    C: Dignum et iustum est.

  53. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    To offer a lesser critique, what etiolated imaginations they have! A Hobbiton or Gondor theme would, from such an ‘imagiantive’ perspective, be equally inappropriate, because the periods involved are all pre-Incarnational; any liturgies of those imagined worlds would be at best some form of praeparatio. The Star Wars ‘vis-ology’ seems analogous to Stoic theology, though less ‘numinous’, and so with less clear “a likeness permitted by God to that truth on which all depends” (to quote, and apply, Lewis).

  54. Imrahil says:

    As a matter of fact, and I might indeed well say an “oh dear” myself, but I think mentioning Star Wars, even perhaps aided by auxiliary material such as a light saber, is within a preacher’s due freedoms as far as a homily is concerned. There are some sorts of good things in Star Wars, after all.

    Though I’d hold Krabat, or The Robber Hotzenplotz, or Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver, or Janosch’s dream lesson (written by a Catholic-born Church critic who calls himself a “pious heretic” and who, nevertheless, it seems cannot help being Catholic to the core whenever he says nothing directly about the Church), The Hobbit, or The Lord of the Rings, containing far more important and less self-evident teachings of praeparatio.

    It is out of the question for the blessing.

    Two points aside, by the way, has got curious little notice. The parish-assistant said, “a sword in Church — you must be careful about that of course”. Oh dear. And we wonder why our comrades sent to Afghanistan get so much PTSD. I attribute a good deal of it to failure in catechizing about the true content of the 5th commandment. We must teach them (in so far as they don’t know yet) “murder is a sin”; which is something very different from “killing is taboo”.

    And then he said: “I know the children from religion class in school, and there was only one topic after lessons: Star Wars.” Ahem. I think he is talking about a school in the Munich of 2013, with children at First Communion age. We could give him the benefit of doubt, but then his school would be exceptional indeed. Star Wars is not in any particular sort of fashion today. I’d even think The Hobbit is more of it, given that the movie was recent; but as far as average children of the age of 8 are concerned: No. They do not talk about Star Wars. They talk about Spongebob Squarepants.

    In light of the saying: When the Church tries to be modern, she’s always five years behind the times.