EF or OF, doesn't matter: Sick of Church "politics"
  • I could use a prayer tonight. Just really tired this year, of dealing with church politics: how employment is dealt with, secrets about how parishioner's money is used within your own parish, sick of music being undervalued, no matter if it's OF or EF, even though church music directors do most of the work not just planning the music, but the whole darn liturgical details! Sick of it being undervalued in the sense that they don't "see" the work it takes to create quality music, such as full gregorian chant propers, and Renaissance polyphony along with alot of other 4-part harmony music. Oh, and not to mention if you start a children's choir program! They are all too short-sighted to see the full value in that, and the long hours of work it entails, that should be compensated for. Learned some shocking things about where some of the parish money goes, and that it very likely affects our parish (and likely many other EF parishes like ours) from adequately hiring staff for the critical positions in the liturgical life, and paying them justly. Just tired. Tired of how much I give and give of myself and talents and feel like pretty much all pastors don't see it, or don't care, and don't make an effort to understand the level of skill what you do requires. And that if you stopped, even in EF circles, we could likely end up back to the same situation as before Vatican II: with poor singing, and lots of low masses, b/c of the failure to adequately pay proper trained musicians to provide the best level of music for the glory of God possible. It's not the exact word I'm looking for, but feeling "jaded" is probably one of the best descriptors for now.
  • It's pretty remarkable the physical and mental strain put on choir directors these days.

    It's kind of shocking that more priests don't realize how much work goes into musical programs.

    I also notice a lot of "professional Catholics" and bloggers who write endless articles about 'how to fix the liturgy' . . . yet won't lift a finger to do anything about it real life. Depressing.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,453
    Agree with all the above. I will be retiring before too long, and will go back to being a happy Byzantine. However, a good friend and life-long Catholic, is in the process of converting to Orthodoxy. He says the same things some of you are saying. He is tired of the politics, dishonesty, ego-driven priests, and secret agendas in the RC church. For someone like him to leave, things must be even worse than I realized.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Carol
    Posts: 544
    So sad that we feel unappreciated and as if we are swimming against the tide! I pray that Stella will get encouragement/affirmation before long so she can enter the remaining weeks of Advent and celebrate Christmas Mass with a joyful heart.
    Remember in the parable, the laborers who were hired last received the same $ as those who worked all day. Don't look around at what the others are getting, just do what you agreed to do for the pay you agreed upon.

    I will now prepare to duck and cover for the onslaught from the underpaid! (Purple here)
  • I also notice a lot of "professional Catholics" and bloggers who write endless articles about 'how to fix the liturgy' . . . yet won't lift a finger to do anything about it real life. Depressing.

    Bingo. You hit the nail on the head. I hear so many folks saying "bring back Gregorian chant". You'd think the Vatican had a squadron of paratrooper-Gregorian-choristers plying the skies in a fleet of C130s ready to paradrop trained choristers on parishes, Graduale Romanum in hand, ready to sing at the next Mass.

    Yet I have yet to see any of those bloggers bleating for chant actually, you know, attempt to form a schola or join one, should they be able to find one, that already exists.

    Meanwhile our schola struggles to recruit. We're beginning to look like the local Benedictines, average age creeping up year after year.

  • dad29
    Posts: 1,880
    Learned some shocking things about where some of the parish money goes

    A friend was extremely disturbed to learn how much money was taken--without so much as a 'by your leave'--and sent overseas. It wasn't the destination so much as the arrogance and the sums involved.
  • JoeM
    Posts: 28
    Dear Friend,

    It is a spear thrust deep into my heart every day! The apathy of Catholics, even traditional Catholics in regard to sacred music. Music is not essential to the Liturgy but it is a most important accidental. It clothes the sacred mysteries in reverence. (at least it should) Just as clothing is not essential to being a human, society cannot function in a rational manner unless attention is paid to properly clothing ourselves everyday to interact with each other.

    These Liturgies were the structure upon which all of Christendom was built and our music helped to keep the structure of civilized society healthy and in tact. The daily singing of the Mass and hours acted as a internal structure that pressed outward against the irrational forces and kept them at bay. It is plain to see that for the most part we have no appetite to expend the due efforts and time the time to give sacred music it proper place.

    The mind set when it comes to music in general is we can take it or leave it. The way I see it, however, it is only in the Catholic Church that Music becomes a sacred duty and not a mere recreation. If anyone understands the importance of music on the soul, it is our enemies. An entire multi million dollar industry has been manufactured intent on MOLESTING the ears, eyes and souls of our youth. If we do not get them then the world will swallow them up. “Nature abhors a vacuum.”

    May I encourage you not to give up on it, you may effect one soul who may turn things around. It is hard, and darn near impossible at times. The Church and the world need you and your love for music. Also may I ask all who read this forum to pray for each other.

    God bless you for your efforts and sufferings!!!
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,574
    An entire multi million dollar industry has been manufactured intent on MOLESTING the ears, eyes and souls of our youth.

    Can I add "in the Church" ?
  • Every time I feel sufficiently discouraged to agree with our OP, I check the emotion at the door.

    Objectively speaking, there are some selfish people in positions of authority within the Church, and within the diocese, and within the parish and within the schola. ….sicut erat in principio......

    How many of those selfish people look around and see only their own efforts, and not the efforts of others?..

    On the other hand, how much of the frustration stems from the desire to do better for God than our (otherwise) well-intentioned efforts seem to do?
  • JesJes
    Posts: 525
    @Stella911 saying a few hail holy queens for you.
  • JoeM
    Posts: 28

    Can I add "in the Church" ?

    This is the sad and awful truth.
  • I will pray for you, and for us all.
    Thanked by 2JoeM CHGiffen
  • To take a phrase from the depraved - It Gets Better.
    I promise, Stella. It does.
  • Band together and seek out others like minded, to form a autonomous church, parish or autonomous oblate monastery dedicated to great traditional sacred music and arts. IT WILL NOT BE EASY! However, you will have peace of mind and soul. Then as an independent church or whatever, invite a priest(s) to come in on a limited basis; letting him/them know full well that YOU as a parish of musicians an artists can dismiss him if needed. Sorry for putting it so crudely and bluntly, but that's exactly what I did.

    Also, another option is to form an Ordinate church. You are not bound to clergy or a bishop in a geographical or diocesan locale. Let bad clerics know in exact terms that they are not needed and or wanted and you will gladly be offering options to other like minded and financially supportive people.

    Considering all the corruption I have witnessed over the past 40+ years, I have ZERO sympathy for most clergy!
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Ken,

    Do you mean autocephalic or autonomous ?
  • Well, technically we are autocephalic but at this early stage in out formation we are autonomous too. We are a tiny infant community of only 6 oblates and 2 monks. We are not under a bishop as yet. We use both the Latin Sarum Rite and the 1928 Anglican Altar Missal too. We are considering asking to be accepted into the Western Rite of the ROC.
  • Ken,

    A wandering priest is called a vagus, if I remember, but a priest without a bishop somewhere is a rarity and a highly undesirable situation. Consider this question, "On whose authority do you use the Latin Sarum Rite and the Anglican Altar Missal?"
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Ken -

    Your solution sounds nice. However, in principle, it seems to me to be a sort of Roman Catholic-Anglican version of the 'congregational' churches of Protestantdom. Would you, Ken, tell us more (actually all) about your autonomous-autocephalic congregation? I wish you well - very well. But I can't conceive of a totally untethered congregation surviving without a Catholic episcopos. Only from the Roman Catholic Church can you have benefit of valid sacraments. Too, I hope that you don't enter the ROC. As I'm sure CharlesW could tell us, the Orthodox have their own problems. I have known people who joined this or that Orthodox church only to come face to face with the problems they were running from. Whatever you do, run to something you genuinely love, not from something you detest. I think that the Ordinariate is just the thing for you. Have you spoken with Bishop Lopes? But of course, in the Ordinariate you would be bound by the Ordinariate Use - no more Sarum rite or Anglican Missal. (And another thing - where are you located?)

  • I would not call us a congregation but rather a semi-cloistered community. We are based in Fresno, CA. We do not have a church building yet but a home / house chapel. I would say we are a house community striving to live and worship together through sacred traditional arts and music. Our "bishop" is Jesus Christ.

    We are not presently in communion with any denomination. Although that could change! The priest we have with us is retired and is our Abbot. We are highly selective and cautious of clergy. Upon our deaths, our entire means and wealth will go to this community for a proper chapel and monastic dwelling and to take care of each other. We are very well informed of what is taking place in Roman Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox circles (even in Evangelical and Protestant), and are not hopeful in any of them hence our extreme caution. There are a small few number of clergy we do have trust and hope in (like Cardinal Burke), but otherwise we are not hopeful in most denominations. We are a tiny community whose members are traditionalist Catholic, Anglican and Russian Orthodox.

    We have a communion mass in each tradition with visiting priests offering respectfully. The bottom line is that we come together as Christians FIRST, worshiping through sacred music and supporting each other individually in our Eucharistic needs. Think of us as a choir of different religious back grounds, living together in community, that go to each member's church and supports that member by offering sacred traditional music while that individual receives communion. I forgot to mention that we also use the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom for our two Orthodox members and of course we use the Liturgy of the Hours for us all.

    We focus on what unites us rather than differences that have historically divided. In a funny way, like Father Flannigan's Boystown where each boy worships in their individual way but are supported by all. Of course I am sure few will understand or agree with us. But this is our way and efforts to unite and worship through sacred traditional arts and music; to help to keep alive each others historical sacred culture which we see as under attack and dying. We come together to support each other with our lives, fortune, honor to live together as Jesus commanded us to do in love.

    PS - We see, share and believe that a great blindness and apostasy has been under way and a transformations of Christianity by all sorts of demonically evil influences are occurring.
  • Ken,

    How many legs and arms has this corpus?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,453
    I am not so concerned with what you are as where you are going. At the moment you seem to have a form of a "house church." I am assuming that at some point you will affiliate with one of the existing churches. You are just not there yet.

    Cardinal Burke is a fine man - I have even said that he would make a fine pope. Your mistrust of some clergy is wisdom at work. I don't trust some of them either.

    As Jackson noted, all the churches have problems and the advice to run to something rather than away from something is wise advice. For the moment, I will say prayers for you as you discern and find your way for I believe your intentions to be good.
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • Chris - can't seem to stop laughing. Do you mean members? As I wrote earlier, we have 2 monks and 6 obates. I am a brother monk and Fr. Jonathan Coel is a priest=monk and our Abbot. My health is not great and neither is Fr. Coel who is older than myself (I am 61). House church - yes, sorta, but more a monastic community living together. We keep a very low profile, try to feed, cloth and support others in whatever way we can. We work at making things like carvings on wood and stone, calligraphy, composing, gardening, improving our vocal skills, writing, study, teaching and research. All this is in addition to our main side jobs. Oh, I forgot to say, we all have one commonality, as church musicians in some form, horrific past dealings with other horrible clergy. So, I empathize with Stella!

    I thank all those for prayers and advice as we continue our discernment.