What is going on here?
  • mikevp
    Posts: 16
    This forum has completely gone off the rails. Some of the recent postings are completely devoid of any reference to music.

    Instead of this being a welcome place for any individual who seeks to promote, enhance, or further the work of the Church through Her sacred music, it has become a place where people feel free to compare homosexuality to bestiality or pedophilia, refer to people from mexico as "good mexicans or bad mexicans", make disparaging remarks about the role of women in church and just in general, and the list goes on and on.

    While I think expression/debate around Catholic teachings are probable given the nature of our work, I'd like to see this forum return to a civilized discussion about Sacred Music (or at least adjacent to Sacred Music), and have these other discussions take place somewhere else on the internet.
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 488
    Par for the course these days; look at what’s become of EWTN and its subsidiaries, and the insanity fomented by 1Peter5 and ChurchMilitant. What was unacceptable speech in polite company just ten years ago is now everywhere, because the Judases who hold the money in the church are displeased that +Francis calls them to repentance, and so they have used the right-wing “Catholic” media to peddle controversy, falsehoods, and hatred.

    I salute Chonak for keeping the ship sailing, but long gone are the days when I used to recommend this site to ordinary people who were genuinely interested in learning about the chant; for the reasons you describe, I know they would be scandalized and go right back to thinking Latin is for antivaxxers and sedevacantists.
    Thanked by 3Nisi Elmar MNadalin
  • Mike,

    The post which was irrelevant to music, by your standard, is the text of Pope Francis' talk. The Holy Father, God bless his little cotton socks, isn't irrelevant to Catholics, even if he's not directly addressing music. When he speaks, people post it here.

    I'll address your other comments in a PM.


    So, in the interests of steering this conversation as you would ostensibly like it to go,.....

    Does anyone know of a database which separates sacred music from merely religious music, so that those who can't otherwise tell the difference can have a place to get that question answered?
  • An accounting of some of the people who used (as in years ago) to participate and no longer do should tell us something of the value of this forum.. Not to name names, but a more scholarly bent seems to have become somewhat rarer than before.

    Certainly, we don't wish to abolish some serious humour now and then, nor do we wish to outlaw occasional 'wandering' from the original topic or question, which wandering is often as enlightening as the OP's topic The forum is in need of evaluation by its membership, tone, and subject matter - and should take seriously the criticism offered us. We should be a beacon for all the best and learned that is in in our patrmony, and be a magnet for all who wish to know more of our two thousand year's of liturgical and sacred music lore.

  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,134
    The problem is that Francis (Bergoglio, not Koerber) has upended everything. And since it seems that it has come to the point where even accepting the Ratzinger-Wojtila new Catechism, let alone solemnly defined doctrine, or, heaven forbid!, the Sacred Scriptures, makes one a "right-winger" we have a serious problem in the Church.

    Lex orandi, lex credendi; necnon lex credendi statuat legem orandi. The mode of worship and the Faith are implicitly and indivisibly linked, to alter the one alters the other, either by accident or by design. This is, I think, why the Modernists within the Church reject the Tradition, by which I do not only mean the Vetus Ordo Missae, but also such things as Gregorian Chant, Polyphony, all-male altar service (NB: we now have in the Latin Rite women officially installed in the former Minor Orders of Acolyte and Lector--offices which are still Minor Orders, and therefore reserved to men, in the Easter Rites), even things like chalices and ciboria made of precious metals, vestments, ad orientem, etc., etc.: Indeed, some of these have come under attack from bishops around the world, including in the United States, in the wake of Traditionis Custodes: That one clause that there mustn't be any 'blending' of the Rites has unleashed a veritable crusade against the remnants of the Tradition within the Novus Ordo, including those things that are permitted, even required, by the rubrics, or matters which are purely aesthetic (e.g., my pastor sometimes uses Roman rather than Gothic chasubles, particularly in the summer, because they are cooler).

    What I am trying to get at, albeit badly, is that matters of doctrine touch matters of liturgics and liturgical music, because doctrine (lex credendi) and liturgy (lex orandi) are linked. It therefore shouldn't be out of the scope of a Catholic forum, even of an organization for the promotion of the Sacred Liturgy such as this, to touch upon matters relating to doctrine. In my opinion, to try to promote orthopraxis in Liturgy and Sacred Music while attempting to divorce it from orthodoxy in teaching, turns the Liturgy into theatre and religious entertainment, and what we do as liturgical musicians into a concert rather than a liturgical ministry. I very much enjoy watching Choral Evensong from Trinity College Cambridge every Sunday, but I view it more as a concert than anything else: And, I can tell that the majority of the choir and 'congregation' view it that way as well, since almost none of them observe the liturgical postures or gestures like kneeling or signs of the cross (the clergy make them), and when they do the Requiem for All Souls' very few take communion. Is this the direction in which we want to go as liturgical musicians, or as Universal Church? A pseudo-liturgical religious concert, devoid of doctrine and overflowing with sociology? If it is, then I might as well just become an Anglican, since they do it better than the so-called Catholics, anyway.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 856
    Par for the course these days; look at what’s become of EWTN and its subsidiaries, and the insanity fomented by 1Peter5 and ChurchMilitant. What was unacceptable speech in polite company just ten years ago is now everywhere, because the Judases who hold the money in the church are displeased that +Francis calls them to repentance, and so they have used the right-wing “Catholic” media to peddle controversy, falsehoods, and hatred.

    I salute Chonak for keeping the ship sailing, but long gone are the days when I used to recommend this site to ordinary people who were genuinely interested in learning about the chant; for the reasons you describe, I know they would be scandalized and go right back to thinking Latin is for antivaxxers and sedevacantists.


    Isn't it amazing the people who complain loudly about how others treat people don't seem to hold themselves to the same standard?
    Thanked by 3CCooze tomjaw RedPop4
  • An accounting of some of the people who used (as in years ago) to participate and no longer do should tell us something of the value of this forum.. Not to name names, but a more scholarly bent seems to have become somewhat rarer than before.

    Certainly, we don't wish to abolish some serious humour now and then, nor do we wish to outlaw occasional 'wandering' from the original topic or question, which wandering is often as enlightening as the OP's topic The forum is in need of evaluation by its membership, tone, and subject matter - and should take seriously the criticism offered us. We should be a beacon for all the best and learned that is in in our patrmony, and be a magnet for all who wish to know more of our two thousand year's of liturgical and sacred music lore.


    This seems to me a scathing rebuke, coming especially as it does from one of the class acts of the Forum.

    I sadly tend to think, although perhaps not for the same reasons as Salieri puts it above, that the more extreme fissures of this community are symptomatic of those of the Church as a whole, which have worsened immeasurably over the past decade.

    It is simply harder now than it was ten years ago for Catholics to come together and talk moderately about matters of significance, whether sacred or secular.

    Persönlich, fühle ich dass Gott mich immer mehr ins Mittel führt. Ich habe keine große Heiligkeit oder geistliche Geschenke, um mich zu versichern, dass ich die Stimme Gottes richtig höre, aber es sieht mir alles so aus, dass die Kirche als Liebensgemeinde irgendwie zusammengehaltet werden muß, und dass Gott uns demütigt werden laßt, umdass in uns seine Brüderliebe wachsen kann.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    Ich auch, obwohl ich zweifelsohne traditioneller stehe.
    Via mediæ tend to be good, on the whole.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,079
    In my opinion, to try to promote orthopraxis in Liturgy and Sacred Music while attempting to divorce it from orthodoxy in teaching, turns the Liturgy into theatre and religious entertainment, and what we do as liturgical musicians into a concert rather than a liturgical ministry.
    this nails it. If you don't have orthodoxy, you don't have sacred music. You have a fake (theatre).

    Reminds me of a passage from Isaiah 29:

    And the Lord said: Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips glorify me, but their heart is far from me, and they have feared me with the commandment and doctrines of men: [14] Therefore behold I will proceed to cause an admiration in this people, by a great and wonderful miracle: for wisdom shall perish from their wise men, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. [15] Woe to you that are deep of heart, to hide your counsel from the Lord: and their works are in the dark, and they say: Who seeth us, and who knoweth us?

    [16] This thought of yours is perverse: as if the clay should think against the potter, and the work should say to the maker thereof: Thou madest me not: or the thing framed should say to him that fashioned it: Thou understandest not. [17]
  • mikevp
    Posts: 16
    Thank you @Salieri - I think you summarize your points well (and quite respectfully I'll add). In retrospect, I'd agree that, yes, discussions around any sort of Church teachings/goings on are fair game for the forum.

    I suppose what I'm most struggling with are not the discussion topics that are posted, but the range of responses to them that can be particularly degrading towards Francis+, or other members of/groups within the Church. I agree with @NihilNominis that the middle seems to be disappearing.

    I don't think I'd be remiss to say that almost everyone on this forum acknowledges that Francis' views don't exactly line up with our ideals of liturgy- but that should open a space for a lifegiving discussion about what his perspective offers ours, not an opportunity to continually bash the pope.

    @Gamba - I agree that I would no longer recommend this forum to colleagues looking for information (which was certainly not the case in the past!), and that it's a shame. Though I would tend to agree with @TCJ about not lumping people into groups.
    Thanked by 3chonak Salieri Elmar
  • francis
    Posts: 10,079
    Forum or webpage, dictionary or document, debate or discourse...

    If you want to find the scholarly information (one eyball), it is here for the taking... I would not discourage others from visiting here as that will weaken that part of this forum's purpose. No one has to click the 'click-bait' discussions (second eyeball)... but when you do, you not only get dry scholarly information, you get to touch the hearts and minds of living breathing members of the Body of Christ that wrestle with their vocation day in and day out, and that can be just as valuable as the other.

    One can also get a good 'pulse' on the spiritual temperature of our community, society and the world at large. If you liken the two aspects as 'eyeballs' (see above), well, it takes two eyeballs to get a 3D perspective on reality. Keep both eyes open!
  • I have to admit, I've largely backed away from the forum, only occasionally lurking. I love chant and polyphony, and I've been to four colloquia, but there's been a lot of toxic stuff on here the last couple years.

    There are a fair number of folks who aren't theologically or politically "conservative" (and as a reminder, it's very possible to be an orthodox Catholic without being "conservative") but would be amenable to chant, polyphony, etc. I'm working on that now with my new choir (with pastoral support -- huzzah!). They were fed a diet of bland, boring choir pieces over the years, to the extent that little real choral music was in the files. They're a capable group, and it's been eye-opening for them to figure out what they're capable of.

    I don't know their political or theological leanings (nor do they know mine), but you know what? That's not my job. My job is to present the best music I can, and present it in a positive case. It is bearing fruit, as it did at my prior parish. Staying above the fray and not attaching myself to a particular ideology other than that of sacred music has been crucial. The effects will be seen in the devotion and participation of the choir and the congregation.

    I know this place helps some folks blow off steam, but it's still public-facing, and like Gamba, there's no way I'd send my choir here to learn more about traditional music. We don't have to paper over the legitimate issues in Holy Mother Church, but we don't have control over those. We do have control over what we do and how we do it. It's healthier for me spiritually and professionally to focus on that, instead.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    (with pastoral support -- huzzah!)

    Woohoo! (that is a big deal)
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,669
    " . . . the middle seems to be disappearing."

    I am skeptical about that. Don't confuse the Internet with reality, or the perhaps bar bell curve distribution of the former with the more bell curve distribution of the latter. Perhaps the vast group of ppl across the middle don't have the time and/or have the prudence not to bother arguing with ideologues further out on the curve, where one can find the wisdom in C S Lewis' observation that errors (and, I would add, partial/incomplete truths) are permitted to be sent out in pairs, that one may flee from one to cling to the other to which one is more inclined.
  • (with pastoral support -- huzzah!)


    Woohoo! (that is a big deal)


    You're telling me. My prior pastor would listen to one naysayer and presume it was representative of the parish. (It wasn't.) I finally got myself out of there during the Great Resignation, and it's been so great for my mental health.

    My current pastor has a spine. And he's much the same way as me in approach -- nudging us toward a more reverent liturgy (there was some loosey-goosey stuff before he got here -- hello, everyone washing each other's feet on Holy Thursday!) and establishing an adoration chapel, but doing so in such a way that he's getting a lot of buy-in.

    IMO, there are two types of priests, those who "get it," and those who don't. He gets it. Thank God.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,119
    Liam - not quite, Lewis did not say permitted, he warned :-
    He (Satan) always sends errors into the world in pairs – pairs of opposites. And he always encourages us to spend a lot of time thinking which is the worst. You see why, of course? He relies on your extra dislike of the one error to draw you gradually into the opposite one (Mere Christianity)
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,669
    Yes. What I meant is that the Evil One's doing that is permitted by God's will.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,894
    The OP (who, I note, hasn't been particularly active here, to make it a better place) brings up a number of things here that he finds offensive. Most of these can be summarized as "commenting on other peoples' sins". I think that, as Catholics, we have little or no business commenting on other people's sins, because we have enough of our own, and because if we are to Reprove the Sinner™, commenting on general classes of sinner in a public forum is not an effective way to do it.

    But alas, we also belong to a church which seems determined to change its mind on what constitutes a sin. And as Catholics, we know that sin can't change, so we find that upsetting, and will discuss it, often in colorful language.

    And what goes on in the Church affects us as musicians. How much longer I have a job depends on how my bishop chooses to implement Traditiones custodes. Even those of us involved in the Reform of the Reform find ourselves affected by TC and its fallout. So just not talking about the Church is not going to work.

    And truth to tell, those who are conservative in liturgy and music are generally (ie., not always) conservative about doctrine and politics. It's good to remember that Not All Forumites Are Like That, and to try to avoid off-topic rants about such things. But the NPM is probably not talking about the Three Days of Darkness and The True Third Secret of Fatima (neither are we, but you get my drift.) What we are is what we are. We can resolve to be better certainly. That usually lasts about a week.

    If individual members are committing sin in their posts, I invite those offended by it to take it up with them; that's one reason we have private messages. To say, "You mass of unspecified people should stop doing bad things" is big-brush work.
  • Carol
    Posts: 773
    I am happy to be able to read what is on the forum. There are some conversations that I have taken a look at once, realized they were not for me, and so I don't go back to them. I have learned so much here that I don't mind when I come to a discussion that I cannot contribute to or relate to. It is good to do some soul searching to be sure we are charitable.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 944
    This forum has completely gone off the rails.

    Because of two or three recent posts?

    I would still recommend people I know to come here for answers about liturgical music. The posts with "toxic" comments are a very small fraction of what's here. Looking at my front page, I see half a dozen job announcements, questions about chant, a new composition, a query about what to do with a choir member who sings off pitch, and ONE post about the Holy Father. Ditto for the next page.

    I would hope that people looking for good information here can find it while ignoring what they find less helpful. I wouldn't mind if the problem posts were nipped at the bud, but I don't see them making the entire Forum toxic, not by a long shot. The comments here make it sound like the problem posts are taking over the content here, which really is not the case at all.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,669
    Negativity can make a deeper impression than positivity. (One might think of it as adjacent to Kahneman & Tversky's Prospect Theory about fear of loss being asymmetrically greater than the prospect of gain.) One might observe our entire consumerized infotainment world is founded on that reality. The question is how much we allow ourselves to remain immiserated in it or actively work to detach from it; the temptation is to rationalize a worthy purpose/justification to blind ourselves to the reality of choosing to remain immiserated in it.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 611
    Many posts start out and stay on topic for the first handful of replies but invariably they get derailed, usually with a plethora of opinions that's reminiscent of "beating a dead horse with a stick". At that point I loose interest as do I think many others.

    Chonak has done a good job of keeping thing cleaned up but it wouldn't hurt if some of you
    unspecified people
    would stop and think before you post.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    Many posts start out and stay on topic for the first handful of replies but invariably they get derailed, usually with a plethora of opinions that's reminiscent of "beating a dead horse with a stick".


    That's what he wants you to think. That horse is not dead but faking it.

    Those stray or related topics are often much more interesting than the original posts. Sometimes, more informative, too.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,079
    pirate mentality (one eye open)
  • Spot on, Charles.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Elmar
  • jcr
    Posts: 116
    This raises a point that should be taken seriously. It does seem to me that the times we live in are unique in our lifetimes (I am 79). I do not remember the degree of irrationality and undifferentiated thinking that I have heard from elected officials nor do I remember hearing about "settled science" from PhD. holders who cannot make up their minds about exactly what is settled about it. I thought that science was a method for addressing a particular type of problem. While all of this "stuff" flies about our heads our incomes are being consumed by the typical propensity of our government to do the worst possible thing at the worst possible moment. The world is on fire as are some of our cities, and we are all just a bit antsy about how this is going to shake out. Our hope is in the Lord, of course. The leadership and its alternatives offer little, our church is mired in controversy over Papal policy, etc. It is highly unlikely that we will calm down very much for a while. Please pray for me as I will for all of you that we will fight the good fight and run the course as we should. God Bless you all.
  • RedPop4
    Posts: 46
    The question is how much we allow ourselves to remain immiserated in it or actively work to detach from it; the temptation is to rationalize a worthy purpose/justification to blind ourselves to the reality of choosing to remain immiserated in it.


    "Immiserated"
    THAT is EXCELLENT. What a great word!!

    I have been a member, moderator, administrator of a cigar-related forum for 21 years, now. It's had it's ups and downs. We are told, again and again, that forums are a dying thing. The early days were always better. Even the younger folk than us lament that "the Boomers" or the "old people" (there is no more vitriolic insult on the internet than "old") have taken over Facebook.
    "Verily, there is nothing new under the sun." It is sad, and maybe a bit disappointing to see posts like the OP, but it's nothing new and it won't be the last of it's kind, either.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    Just think: if we hadn't been liturgically immiserated after the council, we wouldn't even be having this discussion!
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,134
    [I]f we hadn't been liturgically immiserated after the council[...]

    I was thinking about the 20th century liturgical reforms a few days ago, and why this happened in the 20th century, and not earlier. My conclusion: the Light Bulb and the Microphone are the cause of the liturgical destruction, and hence, loss of faith, in the 20th century. By artificial illumination, we desire to see everything, including that which cannot be seen; and by artificial amplification, we desire to hear everything, including that which cannot be heard; and, relying solely on our natural senses and reason, since we can neither see nor hear It, we presume that It is not real; and we leave the Church and the spiritual life, and become worldly, worshiping the prince of this world.

  • the Light Bulb and the Microphone are the cause of the liturgical destruction, and hence, loss of faith, in the 20th century.


    I am 100% on board with eliminating both from all churches.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    Bring back clam shells and raised pulpits!
    Thanked by 1RedPop4
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,669
    The electric light bulb and microphone are, btw, 19th century inventions. And gas illumination preceded electric illumination.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,134
    They were invented in the mid-1870s: and resisted by some. My parish didn't get a microphone until the 1940s (I know, because I can still remember the Old Timers talking about it in the 2000s).

    Some priests had experimented liturgically in the '30s & '40s, and the reform officially happened in the '60s: not even 100 years after their invention.
    Thanked by 1RedPop4
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,852
    My conclusion: the Light Bulb and the Microphone are the cause of the liturgical destruction, and hence, loss of faith, in the 20th century.


    And Pope Gregory XVI smiles down from heaven.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,669
    At the risk of a tangent, here's Alistair Cooke on October 25, 1953 (hint: and before Rock & Roll) with a demonstration of mid-20th century music recording technology, if anyone is interested a contemporary archive of the development of how microphones eventually were used....

    Oh, his guests are Les Paul and Mary Ford....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjKX0P4t_ac

    Thanked by 3CharlesW RedPop4 Carol
  • Carol
    Posts: 773
    Thank you for this, Liam! Can't wait to share with all my brothers! My favorite part is when Les Paul is playing the solo and they show the tape reels going round and round. LOL!
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    I am sometimes tempted to start a special apostolate to destroy all the electrical equipment in the churches. Especially the doctor's office lighting and rock concert sound systems. It's especially horrid in historic churches designed to function without those things. But I am now Old.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,743
    Old is good!
  • francis
    Posts: 10,079
    @CatherineS

    YOU are the candle... "let your light so shine" that it proves that TRUE electricty comes from God and shines through the souls of His people...

    https://youtu.be/5jBkoEM0SSE

    it's mystic! ...it's shocking!
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 690
    @francis - I feel a youth movement!
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,990
    I've seen a recent video of Mass in Chicago that is reminiscent of this scene. The only difference is the music is much worse.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw francis