Cardinal Arinze: "...People who have time to discuss liturgical dancing..."
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    Wow!
  • Admirable!!! Why (and this is not an idle or merely academic question) don't we have any prelates in this country who can (and will!) speak so fluently, authoritatively (that means 'with unassailable authority') and with such calm intelligence about what The Church does and does not conceive of as fitting music and behaviour at mass?????????
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,601
    Crappy seminaries.
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,601
    Total lack of decent liturgies for people and priests to attend to see what is possible. Entire diocese where the musical leadership has decided to sit back and do what the people want, let the people run the show, accept the fact that people do not like change and collect pay checks.

    Any attempt to go beyond the status quo is seen as suspicious and rumors taken as truth.

    I know of a diocese where a mental health professional has pronounced an opinion as to the average IQ of chancery officials. When the level of intelligence is limited, creativity is a threat.

    If the Bishop is not brilliant...anyone who is becomes a threat and priests begin leaving the diocese...in one way or another.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,778
    I have seen this a few times... it's a good reminder that some of our prelates know what a Mass is.
  • ChaedatylChaedatyl
    Posts: 45
    Thanks for sharing, it's a great clip!
  • Michael O'Connor
    Posts: 1,637
    To be a little fair to our bishops -- not on liturgical dance, but being forthright -- A cardinal does not have to ensure that weekly offerings meet financial demands. This one point drives most of what bishops and priests do, sadly. IOW he can be firm about liturgical matters, while a parish priest lies awake at night hoping people don't leave the parish.
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,601
    I seriously doubt that they worry about losing members, but instead are concerned about avoiding conflict.
  • Ralph BednarzRalph Bednarz
    Posts: 485
    Here is liturgical dancing at St.Peter's in Rome,though not at a Mass. My first reaction was scream and run away! All that talent! and all those musicians! And what an unsual result!
    The Holy Father's silent reaction, (about 2:30 minutes into this) is wonderful and as memorable as the agonoizining GASP heard at the 2008 Colloqium when Fr. Haynes mentioned that he was classmates with the St. Louis Jesuits.
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,601
    There is something...wrong....about three happy fellas dancin' for the pope...at one point I saw a Swiss Guard and thought the clowns were next.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    O_o
  • Ralph BednarzRalph Bednarz
    Posts: 485
    Swiss guards are awesome! But the three fellows in white needed chef's hats.
    Yikes! Cardinal Arinze. I let myself be dooped. We're the ones discussing liturgical dancing...... and "should be praying the Rosary."
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,778
    Gives me the creeps
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Although I agree heartily with Cardinal Arinze's statements, I am a little bothered that he grants Africa and Asia a cultural pluralism that is also obviously present in the U.S. The question of multiculturalism in liturgy is complex. For example, what if a parish has a sizable African population? Are the "American" (perhaps even African-American) parishioners supposed to be stiff while the rest move with refined movements? Does it matter if the immigrants are from Ghana, NIgeria, or Ethiopia? Giving "them" a Mass of their own, the most common solution, seems like ghettoization.

    Certainly the Cardinal couldn't get into all these subtleties in such a venue, but I think the questions are worth asking, especially when discussions of multiculturalism focus primarily on Hispanic culture.

    PS. That dancing...yikes!
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,601
    African American Catholics graviate towards the Church for reasons that show an abandonment of their ethnic cultural in favor of the faith. Some do attend Catholic churches that, like American Indian parishes, reflect their cultural heritage, others, when given a choice, may or may not. Most, it appears, do not.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,423
    First off - to the Cardinal- YES! Thank you!

    I think what he was getting at with Africa and Asia is that dancing is a natural, worshipful thing. They need no choreographer, no liturgical committee, no dance ministry - they will simply move in a graceful, fluid, dance-like way- and that is good and wonderful (or at least, okay).

    If you are in a culture where dance is a performance art, where dance must choreographed, where dance does not come naturally, where the response to dance is applause, where dance is intrinsically secular, then dance has no place in worship.

    In the U.S., obviously, there will be people and parishes that tend one way or the other. The problem is not when a black church has some natural movement during worship. The problem is when white suburbans, wishing they were anything other than white suburbans, choreographs "ethnic" dance in order to make the liturgy "more meaningful." (I was in a parish like that... it was embarrassing). As soon as "ethnic" becomes a virtue in and of itself, you end up with... (you know where I'm going)...whatever the hell this is.

    One thing I would amend, though, in the Cardinal's statement. While praying the rosary is a good and noble discipline, I suggest parishes with enough time to discuss liturgical dancing to spend that time finding some better music to sing.
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    I couldn't agree with you more, Adam. Well put! My only point is that it is easy to create essentialist portraits of broad swaths of culture without really thinking about who makes up the groups within that culture. Africa, Asia, and even the U.S. are big places...

    Noel, no offense, but I think you describe a minority of African-American Catholics. The history of African-American Catholics--lay, religious, and ordained--suggests something far different. See, for example, the Bishops' documents "What We Have Seen and Heard," "Plenty Good Room," etc., or if you're really interested, the book on the subject by Cyprian Davis. The assimilation you describe is mostly due to lack of choice. How many "black parishes" are there in most areas? There was a time when there might have been several to choose from in a given city...but guess which were the first to be closed during racial integration in the 50s, 60s, and beyond. Bishops weren't exactly closing white parishes and telling the congregations to head over to the other side of town. Aside from that, how many Catholics do you know, black or otherwise, who came to the Church for Marty Haugen's music? It's not like African Americans are finding much "culture" in the American Church. You are right that something stronger than culture draws them to the Church, but it isn't because they want to leave culture behind--which is impossible anyway.

    For an example of how "ethnic culture" and "the faith" can be one and the same, see the "Music" section of St. Augustine Catholic Church in Washington, DC. Just compare the 10AM music to the noon. If only more parishes could boast of such variety!