Friday, July 13, 2007

Motu Proprio Gets Reaction in Milwaukee 'burbs

Sometimes, even though it's not a surprise, it IS a disappointment.

For at least one suburban parish in Milwaukee, the reaction of the clergy to the Motu Proprio is telling. A correspondent writes as follows:

Fr. XX had a string of thoughts. He seemed very conflicted. He questioned if this document would hold much weight. Then he wondered how and when priests would learn to say this [Joannine Use] mass.

Then he again [questioned] the "weight" and seriousness of the document. 'Is this being said infallibly'.....or is it worth as much as if it were written on toilet paper?

Then he [wondered] how is he supposed to reconcile what the Holy Father is saying and what people might want, the holiness, the history, the tradition, [vs.] what [some activist parish] folks are saying and asking for [which is] the "vibrant and caring community" [and] the participation and inclusion of the members in the liturgy.

First of all, the Motu Proprio is not "infallible." The document does not deal with doctrine, nor dogma--so it's astounding that any priest would use that term to describe it. However, there IS such a thing as "obedience," (believe it or not) and there can be no doubt that "obedience" is what the Pope expects.

Secondly, (and more important), this priest doesn't yet seem to have the understanding that the "activists" mentioned are going in the wrong direction. (They seek 'greeters,' and 'praise band' music, inter alia, mimicking a large non-denominational community down the street from the parish.) While he seems to understand that the Joannine Use delivers "holiness, history, [and] tradition," he does not understand that the Joannine Use Mass also provides for "participation and inclusion" in the Mass. He should read the 1958 Instruction on liturgy from the Congregation for Divine Worship to get up to speed. (Neither form of celebration will make the "community" more or less "caring and vibrant.")

In other words, he has an opportunity here. Let's hope that he takes it.

Finally, Father's concern about "how to learn" is understandable. However, that's the responsibility of the Archbishop of Milwaukee, who will (no doubt) provide whatever is necessary for his priests to serve all the members of their flocks.

1 comment:

diana said...

I wonder if Abp Dolan will provide any leadership in this issue...my thoughts: he knows the tired-out Praise band priests will utterly refuse to comply with any directive.
Will he properly educate the next generation of priests? That's anyone's guess!