Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A now notorious video

This blog usually resists items on the liturgical outrage of the week, as well it should. But Amy Welborn has a very good post that looks at the response to a now notorious YouTube video of a Halloween Mass in Orange County, California, a video that might seem impossibly depressing until you consider 1) far worse has gone on these last decades, and 2) this is getting exposure and prompting a rethinking among those who have been uncritical toward the de-solemnization of liturgy over the years. It can be seen as the reductio ad absurdum of the movement for pop everything in liturgy. It is indefensible. It is a reality but also a relic of a very regrettable time in the history of American Catholicism.

Look. Motu Propio or not, Extreme Synodal Exhortation or not, things are shifting, tides are turning in Catholic liturgy. And as they shift towards a greater rootedness in tradition, whatever form that takes, protests will rise from the land, cautions from bishops and professional liturgists, individually and in packs, skittishness and warnings. There will be lots of different themes, none of them really new, but I'm guessing we'll hear a bit about unity (as we have already from the French bishops) and probably some throat-clearing words about respecting the diocesan norms and the authority of the bishop, and so on. Masses like this - and the myriad of other bits of serious nonsense that goes on the US and Europe in the context of the Mass, are, the bishops might want to ponder, seriously undermining of their authority, but not in the way they expect.

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