Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Archbishop Chaput Interview Question about the Sacred Liturgy and Moral and Life Issues

It's always edifying to hear from a bishop who sees clearly the importance of the sacred liturgy in the life of the Church and its connection to how the faithful believe and live their lives. interviewed Denver's Archbishop Chaput and one of the questions he was asked had to do with the lex orandi; lex credendi; lex vivendi (the law of prayer is the law of belief is the law of living) connection:

LSN: That brings us to a third related issue, I believe, and that is, you are on the bishops committee on the liturgy. How can the way that the liturgy is formulated and presented to the people elevate the sense of the sacredness of every human life and receptiveness to the Church's moral teachings and natural law. There are a lot of small things in the liturgy that may affect how Catholics have a sense of the awesomeness and wonder of God and liturgy is related to what has been happening since the 1960s. Coincident with the decline in the observance in proper liturgy and the abuse of liturgical norms has been this rise in moral relativism and rejection of the Church's teachings by people who still frequently go to Church as many of these [pro-abortion] politicians and leaders do. Is there a relationship that you can see?

CHAPUT: Well, a couple of things. First of all, I think the liturgy as we have it gives us many opportunities to think about the moral issues and life issues. One of the things that was very interesting in the United States in October, was in the week right before our national election, our federal election, we had this passage in scripture " render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and render unto God what is God's". But I find myself having the opportunity naturally because of the series that the Church presents to us in the three year cycle, to preach on the life issues frequently, so I'm grateful for that. But I think you're right. I think that sometimes priests have felt the freedom to change the liturgy kind of corresponds to their freedom to disagree with the Church's teachings on faith and morals. It's kind of like the individual priest might determine the hierarchy of what's important in the Church and what's true and what is not, and that's not at all what the Catholic Church believes. We need to be faithful to the Church's teachings and I think a sign of being faithful to the Church's teachings is being faithful to the liturgy as it's given to us by the Church.

LSN: I guess it's giving an example of, "we're doing our things here and you do things your way", rather than the loving way the Church has provided for us.

CHAPUT: Yes, that's right.

If the sacred liturgy says "we are here to worship God and follow how He leads us through His Church" then it will follow that the faithful will say "we are here to worship God and follow how He leads us through His Church."

The full text of this interview on LSN: A Conversation with Denver Archbishop Chaput

Related NLM article: The Sacred Liturgy: The Neglected Foundation to Building the Culture of Life

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