At Catholic World Report, Fr. Peter Stravinskas reacts to ongoing scandal. He has some suggestions about how to address the identity problem we have in the Church – that’s what it is, isn’t it! – along the lines of Catholic Education, Clerical Leadership, and Faith and Conviction.
His section on Liturgy was of greatest interest to me, because I contend that everything… everything… all our problems and all our achievements… flow from and are brought back to how we collectively worship God in our sacred liturgical worship. What does Fr. S prescribe?
Eliminate altar girls, Communion-in-the-hand and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] All of these practices entered the mainstream in direct violation of liturgical law, were winked at by bishops, and then codified as normative, thus rewarding disobedience. In keeping with the recommendations of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict and Cardinal Robert Sarah, re-introduce celebrations of Holy Mass ad orientem, which would have a major effect on the atmosphere of worship and the mentality of the priest. Needless to say, a healthy dose of Latin and Gregorian chant is likewise in order. [We need the TLM far and wide and often.]
The vast majority of priests under the age of forty would move in this direction tomorrow. [Yes! They would. But there is a big “however”…] However, they are inhibited from doing so by pastors still living in the 1960s and by chancery bureaucrats who are similarly enmired. Fidelity to the rubrics, truly sacred liturgical music, and a deep sense of the sacred are essential if we are to bring back those who have been scandalized by abuses over the long haul, abuses which have been deeply ingrained, institutionalized and normalized. That’s the “zero tolerance” that is needed. Not a few good bishops are supportive of these liturgical changes but are cowed by their own bureaucracy and/or by their fellow bishops.
We need positively to support our bishops and our priests who are putting themselves in the cross-hairs by trying to revitalize our sacred liturgical worship. We must must must encourage and support them.
There are small things you can do to help your priests and bishops move in the right direction. For example, THANK THEM for what they do. Assure them of your prayers. TELL THEM what your legitimate aspirations are. Get organized to provide material support and dedicated time. Send them Spiritual Bouquets! The TMSM I am involved with recently organized a Spiritual Bouquet for the Extraordinary Ordinary. We took out a color ad in the newspaper for the occasion of his 15th Anniversary as bishop here.
We need to get onside and stay onside.liturgical