The Sarabite: Towards an Aesthetic Christianity

There is a continuous attraction, beginning with God, going to the world, and ending at last with God, an attraction which returns to the same place where it began as though in a kind of circle. -Marsilio Ficino

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Church turned in on itself...


Fr. Richard McBrien reflects on how a section of the Vatican bureacracy has always resisted the Vatican II liturgical reforms from California Catholic Daily.

My comment: I don't know why people who write about the Catholic Church focus so much on liturgy as a means of lay empowerment. It seems to me that if laity have a vital role to play in the Church, it is outside the walls of the church building itself. The purpose of a theology of an active laity is not so that Grandma can hand out Communion every Sunday, it is to take Christ into the world that doesn't know Him. "Empowerment of laity in the Church" seems to be a profoundly masturabatory proposition; sort of like divvying up the spoils of a city reduced to rubble, or vultures pecking at a carcass.

16 Comments:

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Levi Sorenson said...

What the hell does "lay empowerment" mean anyway?

It's like people in America that ramble on about democracy all the time...sheesh

 
At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lay empowerment means the reduction of clericalism. It means that a priest is not the one who performs the Liturgy...the people do. Without the people the priest can do nothing on his own.
The reforms of Vatican II were meant to reduce the "sacred" function of the priest to its rightful place.
Unfortunately, that did not happen.
One way to reduce the "sacred" function of the priest is to quit confusing the priest with the monk, ( celibacy).

 
At 9:39 AM, Blogger The young fogey said...

Regarding old sour grapes McBrien's claim, I hope so!

The picture says to me 'non-Anglo-Saxon mainline Protestantism'. Minimalist, more like the Methodists than the Anglicans.

And I will go unto the ironing-board of God: even unto the God of my joy and gladness...

Thomas Day explained to me why mainstream RCs like that. They can have it.

And you're right.

Clericalism is not Catholicism but a caricature of it.

Making someone live like a monk without a monk's community support system sounds like a problem but changing the celibacy rule either to the Orthodox (ordain the married) or Protestant (marry the ordained) one wouldn't fix anything.

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger A Simple Sinner said...

""Empowerment of laity in the Church"" always reminds me of an experience I had in a California parish that has generally demonstrated that the laity that rails against clericalism would really be happiest and just shut up if and when they get a piece of the action.

At this parish in San Diego I attended when it came time for communion - which I still feel the deacon and priest could have handled well enough by themselves if they were willing to take 5 extra minutes and let the choir sing all three verses of whichever G&P drivel we were being treated too... well at the time for the distribution of communion, a half dozen Eucharistic Ministers sauntered out of the Sacristy (male and female) wearing white albs with cintures and wooden pectoral crosses...

Lay empowerment of clericalization of the laity?

For my "money" I would just as soon see the clergy "earn their keep" by running the show a bit. We don't support them in seminary and then pay a wage just so they can sub-contract out the "bureaucrattin'" to some enthusiasic laity who with less knowledge and experience just does things worse.

Than again I am a cranky young codger who in years of hearing lectors read the epistle think few of them do as well or as dignified a job as a priest simply reading it himself.

Wanting the priest to do "priest things" (and not just turning him into a sacramental stud!) is my quirk. Oh well, just can't please me I guess!

 
At 10:59 PM, Blogger Levi Sorenson said...

Anonymous, how is it that the old way is only the priest doing the liturgy? Because he doesn't face the people, because with the people he faces Christ? I don't understand your reasoning.

It's rightful place? When I read Justin Martyr talking about the mass; he doesn't mention half the congregation getting up to hand out the Eucharist. Before too long, Catholics will just be passing it around like they do in those Baptist churches.

What is so wrong with the sacred?

 
At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous, how is it that the old way is only the priest doing the liturgy? Because he doesn't face the people, because with the people he faces Christ? I don't understand your reasoning."

The practice of priest performing the Liturgy alone.

That's not really a very good practice.

 
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