WSJ: liturgical diversity

From the WSJ with my emphases and comments:


The Pope Lets a Thousand Liturgies Bloom [This is an echo of a famous phrase that helped to spark the so-called "Hundred Flowers Campaign" in Communist China.  "Let a hundred flowers blossom, let a hundred schools of thought contend".  The idea was that this would make socialism stronger.  However, it also led to horrors as officials used the opportunity to flush out dissidents.]


Vatican City

The Vatican’s announcement this week that it will allow former Anglicans who join the Catholic Church to retain a collective [I pay attention to vocabulary when reading.  Funny he should use "collective" after that title.] identity, using many of their traditional prayers and hymns in their own specially designed dioceses, is an event with profound implications for both Anglican and Catholic life.

The decision, made to accommodate Anglicans upset with their church’s growing acceptance [Aren’t they just so diverse and tolerant?] of homosexuality and of women clergy, is likely to transform ecumenical relations between the churches. It will also heighten the internal Catholic debate over the requirement of priestly celibacy (which is to be routinely waived for married Anglican clergy who convert under the new rules, extending an exception made on a limited basis till now).  [I don’t know, but I get the sense that the press will try to whip that part into a froth of spittle and tears, but in reality it will remain a less important point in the more serious discussions that follow.  Not sure.  Just my sense of things right now.]

Perhaps the most striking effect of the Vatican’s move is the likelihood that, within the next few years, [some] Catholic [former Anglican] priests around the world will be celebrating Mass in a form that draws largely from the Book of Common Prayer. This resonant text, in its many versions, has informed Anglican worship since shortly after King Henry VIII led the Church of England away from Rome nearly five centuries ago.

Startling as that may sound, the Vatican’s adoption of a liturgy with Protestant origins is merely the latest—and hardly the most exotic—addition to the Catholic church’s liturgical smorgasbord. [Not exactly a respectful way to put it.] The range of worship forms has grown ever wider in recent years as the global church has become ever more diverse.  [So, the Catholic Church is diverse!]

Millions of Charismatic Catholics today, most commonly in Latin America but also in Africa and the Philippines, regularly attend spectacular Masses featuring Pentecostal-style faith healing, speaking in tongues and preaching that echoes the upwardly mobile aspirations of the Prosperity Gospel. [They do.  But should they?] Catholic Masses in sub-Saharan Africa typically feature exuberant dancing, not only by designated performers but by the congregation at large, and music derived from popular local traditions.

In the U.S., too, Catholic worship shows local influences, with many parishes resembling evangelical megachurches, not only in their theater-like architecture and wide range of community services but in the prominent role of lay people as administrators and eucharistic ministers. [Incorrect use of the term… but keep going.]

Pope Benedict XVI, even before he decided to extend the availability of Catholic "Anglican Use" liturgy, had made another, equally dramatic contribution to the church’s liturgical diversity. More than two years ago, the pope lifted virtually all restrictions on celebration of the so-called Traditional Latin Mass, also known as the Tridentine Mass, which had fallen out of use amid the modernizing reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), when Catholics around the world began worshipping in their local languages.  [Keep pushing through …  keep going…]

All these variations represent efforts by the world’s largest church to maintain unity among its 1.1 billion members, while extending their ranks. Charismatic Catholicism has proved an effective competitor to Protestant Pentecostalism in the developing world. The revival of the Tridentine Mass was an explicit overture to the schismatic ultratraditionalist [yawn] followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, just as Catholic Anglican Use liturgy has been designed to draw back a less recently departed group.

It may seem ironic that Pope Benedict should be presiding over such diversification of worship. After all, as head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office for more than two decades prior to his 2005 election as pope, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger built a reputation as the church’s most vigilant guardian of orthodoxy, receiving [from idiots who didn’t know him] the nickname "God’s Rottweiler."

Benedict is hardly permissive when it comes to liturgy. [There are limits, you know.  At a certain point worship ceases to be Catholic… or even rational.] The Neocatechumenal Way, a growing international movement that the pope has long praised for its vigorous work in evangelization, was forced to modify some of its most distinctive practices—such as taking Communion in the form of a large loaf of bread shared around a table—before receiving final Vatican approval last year. The pope has also warned against liturgical dance that turns the Mass into a form of entertainment [because it ceases to be Catholic worship] and has made clear his preference for tradition when it comes to music (Gregorian Chant) and the distribution of Communion (on the tongue while kneeling, rather than the more recent practice of receiving the host in the hand while standing). [Keep in mind that those kneeling and Communion on the tongue are really still the norm, to which exceptions have been tolerated.]

Yet according to the theologian Tracey Rowland, [author of an exceptional book on Ratzinger’s theology.  I recommend the book!] one of the pope’s most informed and accessible scholarly interpreters, Benedict is a genuine "liturgical pluralist," ready to countenance any rite that "can be traced back as an organic development of apostolic provenance." The key concept, Ms. Rowland says, "is organic development. What he’s really against is your parish liturgy committee getting together and saying, ‘let’s do something different.’ "

Though even most Catholics are not aware of it, many sanctioned modes of worship have co-existed within the church over its 2,000-year history. The Ambrosian Rite, celebrated only in certain parts of northern Italy, with its own special prayers, vestments and type of chant, is one of the most ancient, dating back at least to the fourth century. Not to speak of the many Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with Rome, which share a rich liturgical heritage with Eastern Orthodoxy. The Charismatic movement, of course, with its speaking in tongues and emphasis on "gifts of the Spirit," harks all the way back to the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of Paul.

An emphasis on uniformity of worship is a relatively recent development in Catholicism, Ms. Rowland notes. The 16th-century Council of Trent, which imposed a number of reforms on the whole church to fend off the rising challenge of Protestantism, prescribed the form of the Latin Mass that Catholics used almost exclusively for more than four centuries thereafter. By sanctioning the current trend toward liturgical diversity, Benedict is leading his church forward in the spirit of its oldest traditions.
—Mr. Rocca is the Vatican correspondent for Religion News Service.


A rather messy article.  Starts in one way but ends in another with a tenuous connection.

And what was going on with that Hundred Flowers thing?  Just being clever?

Did the Hundred Flowers thing work here?  Is it applicable?

The other day I rather provocatively labeled used "Anschluss" in conjunction with the Anglican provisions.  Is this the same thing?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Paul Knight says:

    I reeally would be interested to know the liturgical implications. Is it true that some Anglo-Catholics use what is essentially an English translation of the 1955 Roman Missal and Breviary? Shouldn’t they be urged to use that? Many of the examples the author brings up, such as charismatic and African liturgies, makes me think that diversity as understood in the article isn’t really a good thing.

  2. patrick_f says:

    The “Charismatic movement”. I could debate that one. Yes there were people who spoke in tongues in Acts of the Apostles. But you aren’t going to get gifts of the spirit just because you say so.

    Also I would challenge the “organic” development of the movement. Your charismatic approach to worship draws from the Azuzza street revival. If its so ancient, why no charismatic saints?

    Now at the same time, I can see the usefulness of it, I again, question the continuity.

  3. stephenocist says:

    Liturgical texts will be key for many of the Anglicans looking toward Rome and plurality within those texts will probably be necessary if the ordinariates are to draw a large number of folks across the Tiber. Anglo-Catholics range from those who worship in the style of the Reform of the Reform to those who love the classical Prayer Book texts to those who use the Tridentine Mass texts in traditional English. How much the Book of Divine Worship or its successor is expanded to accommodate all of these “Anglo-Catholicisms” will, to some extent, determine who comes.

    For those following this story in general, I have up a who’s who of the Anglicans taking part in this weekend’s Forward in Faith Gathering in London. The outcome of this meeting is going to be very important in shaping the tenor and size of the positive response to the Pope of Christian Unity’s magnanimous offer:

  4. mpm says:

    I think the “thousand liturgies” thing is an editorial add-on, it’s not really a theme, as I read it.

    “What he’s really against is your parish liturgy committee getting together and saying, ‘let’s do something different.’”

    Hah, me too! Should be grounds for getting tossed off the committee.

  5. Paul Knight says:


    Which begs the question, why the need for a liturgical committee, especially if a priest is expected to follow liturgical norms?

  6. TomB says:

    I was at a family member’s funeral (or whatever they are calling it now) last weekend, an Episcopal liturgy. It was nearly indistinguishable from the Novus Ordo, except that “pro multis” was translated as “for many”.

  7. Joseph says:

    At what time does their Anglican liturgy become valid? Are not there severe deficiencies contained within that Common Book of Prayer?
    does anyone know an answer to those questions?

  8. j says:

    As long as we are taking the high ground in the spin wars, we should remember to call this what it is;
    Pope Benedict “welcoming” “diverse” people “fleeing intolerance” by a radical institutional Church.

  9. mike cliffson says:

    Oh golly: I should have waited?
    So many good things God has given me, so many of them directly through his church, none but that made the most sense in the light of holy mother church(warts and all)’s discernment.
    I was a child, so, becuase of my parents, we all came home together, coming home to a home we’d not known in this life.
    But a year ago I wrote about 30 sides to explain anglicans etc to a friend in N.Africa when that group of ’em ‘d said they agreed to the compendium and accepted Peter’s authority, could they come with their own baggage? (Must set up own blog .)
    50s Midlands uk : growing town.Even just for Roman rite in latin things varied: In latin standard Parishes, ie mostly Irish extraction, oodles congregation saying rosaries through mass, slightly uppmarket used missals. Lousy singing, worse hyms, plain chant a joy but rather limited to the choir. Italians building own church. You couldn’t tell latin pronounced their way from itallain, they openly and continuously ate sweets in church, especially the children, chattered incessantly, a lot of the chaps stayed at the door in smart suits conversing solemly and subduedly, took out ‘lil’ hankerchiefs and knelt silently at consecration, and the Poles, who had their own ways too.
    Then the ukranian uniates, a lifetime of incomprehensible ritual withe congreagtion singing more than half the time, heartily and fully manfully, from memory,communion under both kinds at once with priestmade leavened bread ( made the more memorable by the priest being a VERY BAD baker) packed into three hours or so of old slavonic, and a priest who most mysteriously could have been married but wasn’t. I NEVER got the hang of what made the dominican rite different. In Spain have met maronite uniates and the last flutter of the old mozarabic rite ( Catholicsa surviving aunder islam 712-1492, down to a chapel in Toledo and half a parish somewhere – ok, yes, in latin, and the plain chant is a horse out of the same stable, plus a nutter priest legitimatly getting passed over to another uniate right, St james I think, antiochan or lebaenese or whatever, plus of course the fact that , by papal bull, dancing in church has survived all these centuries in Seville. AVOID mass with bagpipes. Ilove the mass,mor than I love bagpipes, which I love too. But it has tradition behind it.
    So variety is new?

  10. pseudomodo says:


    VIVA Pope Benedict the Unifier!

  11. mpm says:

    Paul Knight,

    Eco! We are of like mind.

  12. mpm says:

    mike cliffson,

    I liked the Finnegan’s Wake quality of your post. Do set up your own blog, and use this style!

  13. Deacon Nathan Allen says:

    I forget who it was (I think, though, that it was Chesterton) who said that the Book of Common Prayer was the last work of Catholic England because it drew from Catholic sources and the people involved in its formation were all educated and formed as Catholics. It does indeed borrow very heavily from the Sarum rite, and Cranmer’s hieratic English is really beautiful. Stripped of its heresy, therefore, it is really quite something (the original BCP, not the 1979 one). I’d much rather have an elegant liturgy in hieratic English than the proliferation of Eucharistic Prayers (II, III, and especially IV, plus all the Reconciliation Prayers &c) in the gawd-awful ICEL translation! Plus, maybe the new Ordinariates would have their own EF, viz. the Sarum Use. That would be welcome indeed.

  14. This is an answer to Joseph, but might prove interesting to other readers.

    Joseph asked “At what time does their Anglican liturgy become valid? Are not there severe deficiencies contained within that Common Book of Prayer? does anyone know an answer to those questions?”

    I respond as a convert who studied at Nashotah House, the most traditional, and until recently, quite Anglo-Catholic seminary of the Episcopal church.

    “The Book of Divine Worship” is essentially the Book of Common Prayer — with some key changes. Most of these changes involve the re-doing of the Eucharistic Prayers in order to 1) emphasize the Real Presence (something some Anglicans accept, but not all) and 2) emphasize the reality of the Eucharistic Sacrifice (something most Anglicans have traditionally rejected). Once the deficiencies in the Eucharistic Prayers were addressed, the liturgy became valid.

    Traditionally, Anglican Eucharistic theology has been all over the map, and a cursory glance at the Eucharistic Prayers through the various rites of the various Books of Common Prayer in the United States (1789, 1896, 1928, and 1979) have been all over the map.

    You might be interested in the translation of the Gregorian Canon in the Anglican Missal (a favorite of Anglo-Catholics for a century). It has not been “Protestantized”; it is the ancient Canon in gorgeous English.

  15. stephenocist says:

    “At what time does their Anglican liturgy become valid? Are not there severe deficiencies contained within that Common Book of Prayer? does anyone know an answer to those questions?”


    As a former Anglo-Catholic, I can assure you that Anglo-Catholics fight one another over that very issue.

    There are those who use the Tridentine Mass in good English with some Latin thrown in because they believe its the only valid text. There are those who love the old Anglican Prayer Books, which other Anglo-Catholics find to be too Protestant in their theology. Finally, thereare those who use the newer, modern language Prayer Books, which the former two groups criticize.

    Those who work on the liturgical questions involved with the new apostolic constitution have a fascinating but probably thankless task ahead of them.

  16. vincentuher says:

    Some clarification on the Book of Divine Worship:

    There is only one Canon in the Book of Divine Worship and that is the Roman Canon as translated by Miles Coverdale (there is a delightful irony in that). The BDW does not contain any Anglican ‘canon missae’ but rather includes this one gorgeous translation of the Roman Canon. The BDW also makes provision for using the current four Eucharistic Prayers of the Novus Ordo Missae. But the norm in Anglican Use parishes in the States is to use the Roman Canon in the Coverdale translation with the NO versicle and response beginning “mysterium fidei”.

    Those of us who have lived with the Book of Divine Worship over the last twenty-five years look forward to the opportunity to revise it and expand it so that it expresses a greater continuity with the catholic elements of Anglican heritage and a more profound continuity with Sarum and its justifiably famous Use.

  17. “However, it also led to horrors as officials used the opportunity to flush out dissidents.”

    Are you saying the Pope may use this as an opportunity to flush out (and then flush) dissidents? That would be AWESOME!!1!

  18. Henry Edwards says:

    In the press conference, Ab. Di Noia – who evidently has been a principal water-carrier in the Vatican on the Anglican question – was asked what would be the liturgy for the new Anglican use structure. He held up a copy of the Book of Divine Worship and said it would probably form the foundation. To see what this is, you can look through

    In particular, the “Eucharistic prayer” is the Roman Canon (EP 1) in a glorious “old English translation”. From the DVD

    showing Holy Mass according to the BDW, it looks – to me as a TLM enthusiast – a great deal closer in look and feel to the Tridentine than to the Novus Ordo. You can run your mouse over the Mass photo at

    to see that the action at the altar typically looks like.

  19. Henry Edwards says:

    [Ab. Di Noia] held up a copy of the Book of Divine Worship and said it would probably form the foundation.

    That’s it on the table in front of him:

    Interestingly, he had apparently brought the BDW with him as the main visual prop for the occasion.

  20. Dr. Eric says:

    Mr. Cliffson,

    A point of etiquette, the word “uniate” carries negative connotations and is taken most Eastern Catholic circles as an insult.

  21. Athelstan says:

    1. I second David’s comment about the Anglican missal – if by that he is referring to the so-called “Knott missal,” which is indeed, essentially, the traditional mass translated into hieratic (Elizabethan) English.

    The trouble is – there are several missals in use by Anglicans, traditionalists included, so we have to be clear which ones we are talking about. It seems likely that the new Apostolic Constitution will be a real improvement over the current Anglican Use provision on this score, as the latter is currently restricted to a modification of the 1979 Book of Common Brayer, which is something that the TAC would be less happy about having to use. It appears that those in the new P.O.’s will have their choice now, all suitably modified as necessary to conform with Catholic doctrine. But the Knott missal really requires hardly any modifocation.

    2. Francis X. Rocca is an American conservative journalist living in Italy, sometimes writes one-off pieces for conservative outlets. I have enjoyed his work in the past but this piece is, as Fr. Z notes, a real mess. I don’t think he is responsible for the bizarre headline. But factual mistakes aside – it is hardly accepted that charismatic masses have ancient, apostolic origins – he would have been better off focusing on what constitutes “legitimate Catholic diversity.” And how what the Holy Father is up to is in fact a continuation of certain very longstanding trends in the Church, but also an acceleration or modification of them.

    After all, legitimate liturgical diversification has been going on since the late Tridentine period, with the de-Latinization of many Eastern rites, the approval of the original Anglican Use provision,and John Paul II’s indults for the traditional mass. But it is also true that Benedict XVI has greatly accelerated this, while insisting more firmly that such diversity be rooted in tradition. On this score, Sandro Magister’s article this week is much more accurate and coherent, if less analytic.

  22. We already have a “thousand liturgies”…probably a lot more. I don’t get out much, but from what I hear from others and see on the internet, a lot of parishes have their own “style” of the Ordinary Form, many of which deviate from the prescribed texts and rubrics.
    Pope Benedict is trying to “rein in” the “do-it-yourself” “mix-and-match” approach to the Mass and have authentic ‘organic development’ within the given Missal of Paul VI. As for the Anglican rite; bring it on! Now THERE’S a source for some decent English and reliable translations!

  23. Athelstan says:

    Here is the Knott Missal, with the English side by side with the Latin, for those interested:

  24. AndyMo says:

    Great link, Athelstan. With the exception of “thees” and “thy”s, I can’t help but notice that the texts that are common to the new translation proposed for our current Missal are remarkably similar, even exactly the same!

  25. lmgilbert says:

    Patrick F writes:The “Charismatic movement”. I could debate that one. Yes there were people who spoke in tongues in Acts of the Apostles. But you aren’t going to get gifts of the spirit just because you say so.

    No, but if you ask with faith…
    “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” (Luke 11:23)

    Patrick: Also I would challenge the “organic” development of the movement. Your charismatic approach to worship draws from the Azuzza street revival.

    That’s right. Between the traditionalists and the charismatics a great gulf is fixed and no one can cross from one side to the other to learn anything.

    Patrick: If it’s so ancient, why no charismatic saints?

    Well, if you are speaking of the post Vatican II members of the charismatic renewal, we haven’t died yet :)

    Among pre Vatican II charismatics there are among many others, St. Dominic, St. Francis, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Louis de Montfort, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Pio, St. Gerard Majella, St. Francis Paola….

  26. In response to Athelstan,

    Yes, the Knott Missal is excellent — I have a small, personal-sized copy. But I was also referring to the Anglican Missal, aka “Big Bertha” which has three options for Eucharistic Prayers: the Gregorian Canon, the 1549 Canon and the 1928 Canon. I would, of course, eliminate the second two! I’ve got the full-sized, Altar edition of that one! I am not referring to the American Missal which, I believe, only offered the 1928 Canon as an option.

    I like the “Book of Divine Worship”, though I much prefer the “Rite One” settings, esp. in Morning and Evening Prayer, the Psalter, and the Rite of Burial.

  27. Cantuale says:

    I love my PRE-TRIDENTINE Pope!!

  28. Sid says:

    Two Books of Common Prayer were published under Edward VI under Cranmer’s direction: The 1549 and the 1551. The former, aside from Cranmer’s memoralism, is the more Catholic. The latter was the basis of the Prayerbook of Elizabeth the I, which became the the Prayerbook of Charles II (1663), used by Anglicans until the 1920s. And this latter Prayerbook is very Protestant.

  29. Tom Ryan says:

    With this week’s news, a lot of people are making the case that the Church’s future is going to come from Latin America and be Charismatic. Yawn:

  30. Mark R says:

    Hundred Flowers? Most inapporpriate!
    Mao allowed that situation to get potential deviants out into the open in order that they be all the easier to root out.
    I would not countenance H.H. Benedict XVI to be mentioned in the same way as Mao. Besides, the pope would not have to take the same tactic as Mao since most Christian and Catholic deviants of one kind or another are quite open about their deviancy.

  31. Colm says:

    “The pope has also warned against liturgical dance that turns the Mass into a form of entertainment”

    Does anyone have a source for this?

  32. John V says:

    Colm asked for a source for the statement that “The pope has also warned against liturgical dance that turns the Mass into a form of entertainment”. In The Spirit of the Liturgy he wrote:

    “Dancing is not a form of expression for the Christian liturgy. In about the third century, there was an attempt in certain Gnostic-Docetic circles to introduce it into the liturgy. For these people, the Crucifixion was only an appearance. before the Passion, Christ had abandoned the body that in any case he had never really assumed. Dancing could take the place of the liturgy of the Cross, because, after all, the Cross was only an appearance. The cultic dances of the different religions have different purposes?incantaion, imitative magic, mystical ecstasy-none of which is compatible with the essential purpose of the liturgy of the ‘reasonable sacrifice’. It is totally absurd to try to make the liturgy ‘attractive’ by introducing dancing pantomimes (wherever possible performed by professional dance troupes), which frequently (and rightly, from the professionals’ point of view) end with applause. Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. Such attractiveness fades quickly-it cannot compete in the market of leisure pursuits, incorporating as it increasingly does various forms of religious titillation. I myself have experienced the replacing of the penitential rite by a dance performance, which, needless to say, received a round of applause. Could there be anything further removed from true penitence? Liturgy can only attract people when it looks, not at itself, but at God, when it allows him to enter and act. Then something truly unique happens, beyond competition, and people have a sense that more has taken place than recreational activity. None of the Christian rites includes dancing.”

    The Spirit of the Liturgy, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, translated by John Saward, Ignatius Press 2000, pp. 198-199.

  33. Colm says:

    Thank you John!

  34. Yes, thank you John V: dancing…well, just idiotic, if not inappropriate…the formalized “dance”, if you will, is the monastic procession before the Conventual Mass, with the proper bowing and reverence that is part of the monastic liturgy. All very circumscribed and reverent…not like this crazy “ecsatic dancing” these congregrations of women religious want to become acceptable.

  35. ssoldie says:

    I thought the words ‘liturgical smorgasbord’ was quite appropriate for the New Order of Mass (fabricated liturgy and all it’s novilties). My, such diversity and unity and caring and loving( excluding the SSPX) we have now in the Church. There was once a time where a Catholic could go anywhere in the world, and the Mass was the same and would be prayed every hr around the clock,and no matter where, one would know what the Mass was and would be able to pray with the priest,all except the Epistle and Gospel as they were in the in the language in whatever country one was in. Yea, Rocca’s ‘liturgical smorgasbord’ hit the nail on the head. Interesting, interesting.

  36. Richard says:

    As always, it is important to remember that if “if it ain’t King James, it ai’t the Bible”. My bad, “if it ain’t renaissance Italy, it ain’t Catholic”. No other cultural traditions need apply. Revelation started and stopped in Italy in the 1500s. Who was that Jewish carpenter? No matter, His words don’t count.

  37. Supertradmom says:

    I think one thing the journalist is overlooking are the long years of discussion with the Anglicans concerning union. None of this is new. Pope Benedict XVI, the Pope of Unity, is merely responding to those Anglican bishops and congregations who do want to join Rome, primarily because of the question of authority, not liturgy or even the homosexual question primarily. Authority has finally been recognized as that which keeps Scripture and Tradition true, unlike the synodal interpretations of 1993, which, by the way, I listened to and watched for days on British television. Those Anglicans who opposed the priesthood being extended to women, opposed this on the grounds that the synod did not have the authority to change either Scripture or Tradition. Same later with the other issues, such as ordaining homosexuals, etc.

    The more traditional Anglicans have finally seen that a “church” without authority becomes nothing more than relativistic, individualistic interpretations of doctrine, liturgy, whatever, and therefore no “communion”, no “church”.

    I am so happy with those bishops who requested this move and with our wonderful Catholic Church, as well as our excellent Pope.

  38. Gail F says:

    “What he’s really against is your parish liturgy committee getting together and saying, ‘let’s do something different.’ ” Great quote. I think the thing many people misunderstand about the Church discouraging “liturgical dance,” for instance, while allowing “exuberant” African dance is that the Africans, presumably, love to dance and do it all the time. NOBODY naturally bursts into “liturgical dance,” it’s deliberate, invented, contrived stuff that is concocted to be artsy (at best) and entertaining (at worst). I think that our liturgy is a mess in part because we as a people don’t really sing or dance or play music ourselves much anymore, we watch professionals do it. So people are endlessly inventing stuff that doesn’t come from “natural” music, etc., but also can’t match the professional quality of what people are used to seeing and hearing.

    As far as the “thousand liturgies bloom” thing goes — that’s typical, postmodern writing. You just take a snippet of something you’ve heard before and “repurpose” it, never mind what it originally meant (in fact, the further from what it originally meant, the better, because that proves you are VERY, VERY clever). I don’t think it was a political statement at all.

  39. Richard: Could you be more specific about what you are talking about? Seriously. I don’t get it.

  40. rwprof says:

    “A point of etiquette, the word “uniate” carries negative connotations and is taken most Eastern Catholic circles as an insult.”

    On the OrthodoxChristianity.Net forums its use is strictly verboten.

    And what is wrong with “for many”? From the Anaphora of St John Chrysostom:

    “Thine Own of Thine Own we offer Thee,
    on behalf of all and for all.”

  41. Henry Edwards says:

    Richard: As always, it is important to remember that if “if it ain’t King James, it ai’t the Bible”.

    There are probably still people in my Bible belt part of the country who think that “Obviously God speaks English, since He wrote the King James bible in English.”

  42. mike cliffson says:

    probably old hat by now
    Sorry to offend with”uniate”.
    ’twas said in my day, havent resided in the anglosphere since 71. So what DO you say?
    I mean, my point was, that the catholic church, I mean,Holy apostolic, and Roman, in the 50s WAS varied, even liturgically.
    Even if that wasn’t the average Catholic’s experience.
    It was mine.
    What good has surely come out of novus ordo etc is not, or not necessarily, variety for its own sake : masses with priests dressed as…. or with sister X starting to..-well, say it not , poor souls, better not go into detail, God knows youtube has more than enough..

    Let alone that Anglicans havent actually got as much as they think they have: never mind, all the better for them when they come home.Aint that a nice thought?
    ( yes , ok, its a home with a vicious family quarrel going on.Same difference)
    And if Angloshere Catholics end up with better English available: well, aint that nice too?
    some on us muttering lord lord gonna end up with the endless worm crowd, ousiders treated jesus proper in the persons of them as needed drinkawater clothing prison visits, long etc, including beeingtold/shown about Jesus/god’s love, gonna get the red carpet.
    But on general principles , if the whole shooting match o’humanity were all baptized and in one visible fold, kinda better chance of maximum salvation per thousand population, innit?
    I seem to remember something about this in catechetics on believing in the catholic church in the creed.
    Isnt all this a win-win, or am I missing something?

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