Monday, September 14, 2009

You Tell 'Em Ennio!

From The Catholic News Service

"Ennio Morricone, the Academy Award-winning composer who has written scores for more than 500 films, including The Mission and The Untouchables, has lauded Pope Benedict’s attempts to promote Gregorian chant in the sacred liturgy.

“Today the Church has made a big mistake, turning the clock back 500 years with guitars and popular songs,” says Morricone. “I don't like it at all. Gregorian chant is a vital and important tradition of the Church and to waste this by having kids mix religious words with profane, Western songs is hugely grave, hugely grave.”

Pope Benedict-- whom Morricone calls “a very high-minded Pope, a man of great culture and also great strength”-- “is doing well to correct it,” he adds. “He should correct it with much more firmness. Some churches have taken heed, but others haven’t.”

Two things...

First that it takes a FILM COMPOSER to point this out. Where is the head of the Pontifical Academy? Where are the Bishops? And I know that there have been some carefully worded statements, but where is Pope Benedict on this? Saying good things about using Gregorian Chant at Mass (which he has frequently done) is not the same as decrying and criticizing , and perhaps even forbidding the bad music that is still commonplace. Kudos to Ennio for putting into words what so many know to be true.

Secondly, I love the co-opting of the progressive's claim that the use of chant is "turning back the clock". Mr Morricone correctly points out the the infiltration of popular, secular and profane music, even so far as guitars and popular songs, was already done and gone 500 years ago. That is the real example of "turning back the clock". The difference is, one side wants to go back to something that actually works, while the other wants to go back to a short-lived and ultimately trivial experiment in melding popular and sacred music in the 1500's ...the only difference being perhaps that many of the Troubadors were supposedly incredibly skilled artists and still couldn't get the idea to work.

I think it is a very hopeful sign that this discussion has entered the realm of popular culture. This is something that people are beginning to talk about. Let the discussion continue...


Dad29 said...

I think that the Pope is trying to avoid another "Caecelian" moment--which, as you recall, did not work out so well.

Do not the writings of Pius X still remain in print? Yes, they do, and nothing has changed since then.

In addition, when he was Cd. Ratzinger, he made a lot of statements about music, all of which were dead-on (including something about 'frenzied [diabolic] music' used during Masses.

His POSITIVE teachings on the topic can be found in lectures he gave to the Int'l Church Music Ass'n (Rome, 1985 keynote.)

Chironomo said...

And I am aware of all of this too... I just find it strange that it was not news when the POPE uttered such words (or at least not mainstream news), but when Ennio Morricone says them... they make the newspaper!