Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Mass at D.C Nationals Stadium

By now, the Mass is 4 hours past, and I can't recall any event, save possibly for the release of Summorum Pontificum, that has generated so much comment on the litrgi-blogs. The consensus seems to be that the music was appalling (and that is a serious understatement in my opinion). Besides just being in poor taste, the greater problem is that it contradicts everything that Benedict has written about and proclaimed in terms of liturgical music. As such, this music's appearance at a Papal Mass becomes a sort of political statement about obedience and respect for the Holy Father. Of that, we should be ashamed.

Word is that the USCCB Weblog for the Papal Visit is a sham... the moderators are deleting all negative comments, the result being that there are no comments at this time. That sorta says something, doesn't it? Why would they be unwilling to post the negative comments? I can understand that some of them were no doubt unprintable on a Church-related website, but many were posting the comments they posted on other blogs such as WDTPRS and NLM, and many of the comments were eloquently worded and very respectful, although most certainly critical. It is my hope that this wave of criticism will eventually get back to the Holy See, and more specifically to Msgr. Marini whose office oversees these events.

Frankly, I think we will hear something about this Mass from the Holy Father, either directly or indirectly, in the months to come. I don't think it's possible that he doesn't have a negative opinion about the day's events, and he has a history of making his feelings known in the form of positive action rather than criticism.

One aspect of this that has not been widely looked into is the similarity between the issue of music at mass, and the issue of the Latin Mass. Both are the cause of considerable divisions in the church, and serve to emphasize rather than reduce the divisions between the orthodox and progressives in the church. Benedict chose to resolve the conflict created by the Latin Mass situation by doing what was right...and appealing to our history and tradition to demonstrate why it was the right course of action. I believe it is a strong possibility that he will take a similar course of action regarding liturgical music. Especially after today....

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