A politically correct Salve
  • It's ALL about promoting something good. Musica Sacra makes what was good historically public and promotes the work of talented musicians (Rice, Allen, Koerber, and so on...) and writers (Kathy, Adam...) of today.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,638

    I can't find the post any longer... Did it get removed altogether? Shux... I was hoping for a debut on PT!
  • I went to read and possibly comment at PT... but the post has been taken down. Maybe its too late, the text has been published.
    Or maybe a terrible band of musicians and poets who love the Church hacked the system...

    At any rate, because I am far more musician than poet, I really enjoy the schooling on textual elements that make a great hymn.

    Goofiness and awkardness aside, can anyone comment on what to me, in my corner of the US, are the two most glaring reasons not to use this text, namely:
    1) Hail, Holy Queen is on the Top 10 list of Catholic identity hymns. Why mess with it?
    2) Isn't a great goal of hymns that people will sing them? People already sing this hymn, and it is HUGELY beloved and 'owned'. Sooooo, Why mess with it?

    I realize that some people desire to change the identity of the average Catholic. But I predict this will flop.

    Why? There'd be a revolt in the parishes around here if people were asked to sing this, not because they would automatically reject the 'pushing the envelope' imagery, etc. But because they are rather attached to this particular hymn. The like their 'cherubim and seraphim'. They love their Holy Queen more than they honor their singer of justice. Don't mess with the faithful.
  • Quick! Somebody copy the Googlecached version while it lasts and "leak" it to WikiSpooks!
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,901
    Haas explained that the text, while it had been accepted for publication, had not yet been subject to the editorial process, let alone published.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 754
    What a shame it's been taken down. I wonder whether it was at the request of the author, or an editorial judgement? Maureen's instructive critique was of particular and general value, and I was doubly pleased to see it published at Pray, Tell. If the problem was with particular comments, they could have been taken down or not published without ditching the whole thing. That is, after all, the standard approach there.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,496
    Oh, they removed the post? Huh. That's not very transparent.

    "We demand full disclosure. We will wikileaksspooks the Vatican. We have spies in the process who will full-disclose the process as a public service." Some of those cries for informational justice ring just a little hollow, don't they?
  • awruff
    Posts: 94
    Dear sacred music friends,

    In this holy season of peace and love, I thought it best to remove the entire post. There was a delicate understanding between two people - unrelated, actually, to the discussion about the hymn text - and I didn't want to contribute to deepening it. This matter is confidential and I would prefer that people not speculate about it.

    I think most people know this already, but I want to restate that Pray Tell, unlike the Holy See or the USCCB or ICEL, is a private enterprise. This fundamentally changes what sort of disclsoure is called for. Those of us in communion with the Holy See and the USCCB are affected by their decisions about worship and have a stake in how they make their decisions. I wouldn't think of demanding to know from, say, Commonweal or First Things what goes on at their editorial board meetings and why they didn't publish something. I don't have to read them if I don't want to. We're glad that so many people do like reading PT, as our readership continues to grow quite rapiadly.

    Please note, Pray Tell does not leak documents to WikiSpooks. When someone else has done so, we report on it, which is something different.

    I really don't expect everyone to agree with our editorial policy, and some might become bitter at times about our decisions. Alas, I fear that that's just the way it is.


    Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,178
    I posted a few times at PT, but as much as i respect Fr. Ruff and his scholarship, I find the whole atmosphere at PT frustrating. The removal of that subject just acknowledges the sad commentary I have on the atmosphere there. While I may disagree with those here or anywhere else, PT no longer offers any balance there.
    I find it a place for folks who seem angry at anything that smacks of conservative or even moderate thinking. It seems reductionist to put it in those terms, but I reason that the thinking there for the most part fits the stereotypes of right vs. left. With this post here, I give up on reading PT and just read here and other places more interesting. I find this place more instructive and a place to learn and to be supported.

    I return to my work on Tournemire anyway. Three dozen articles in French should keep me busy through the holidays.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,496
    Pray Tell's editorial policy is a bunch of liberal liturgists decide what they want to be on their blog and what they don't. Which is fine, but it's hardly moral high ground.
  • awruff
    Posts: 94
    Kathy - the personal matter doesn't concern you.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 754
    ... and some might become bitter at times about our decisions ...

    Here we go again! Not bitter, just disappointed that the blog never lived up to its self-vaunted liberal credentials, in so many ways (ad-hominem imputation of base motive amongst them).

    Incidentally: the Editor's use of the singular when explaining his working practices and the plural when justifying his judgements is fascinating. Would that be akin to the Royal 'We'?
  • I would prefer that people not speculate about it.

    I would prefer that the editor (editors?) at PT clearly state that conservative viewpoints, no matter how politely stated, are not welcome, and will be removed without justification.
    @Kevin: your experience seems to be the norm...
  • "No, it's not all good."
    It is in the sense that different camps promote their agendas and rally their troops. But the battle doesn't happen on the Internet; it happens in the parishes. Has anything we've ever said here changed the mind of a PT regular? Has anyone's mind been changed by a PT regular?

    It seems to me that we're doing catechesis. If we think that our desired direction is mandated by the Church (and if SC as a V2 document doesn't come from the Magisterium, what does?), then we need to teach that in love, in the same way we would present any other element of the Church's teaching. Yes, burning heretics at the stake is fun, but it doesn't further the spread of the Gospel. I say this hypocritically, as a lover of snark, because I need to hear it most of all.

    I think that, if we can't make a positive and dispassionate case at PT, we shouldn't be over there. We need to make those arguments face to face at home, in fora where evidence of disagreement doesn't disappear.
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 468
    While I certainly have a lot of disagreements with the folks over at Pray Tell, both substantively on liturgical issues and on the way the site is edited/presented, I haven't found it to be the case that "that conservative viewpoints, no matter how politely stated, are not welcome, and will be removed without justification."

    Mocked? Ignored? Responded to and criticized in a heavy-handed and one-sided way compared to liberal comments? Yes, these I've seen. But I don't think I've had any comments deleted despite commenting that things alleged in postings were "false", saying that a Cody Unterseher was "grasping at straws" (less impolite than it sounds, since he had used the phrase in his post), and suggesting that "Schillebeeckx [was] at least (and perhaps only for a time) a material heretic".

    As far as changing minds goes, remember that those who comment on a blog are usually a small sub set of those who read one.
  • Maureen
    Posts: 673
    Eep! Things seem to have gotten a bit out of hand while my back was turned!

    1. It's not all that unusual for someone to take down a text that was being workshopped, once comments have been received. Some writers let it all hang out, but a lot of them are very careful about getting rid of all drafts present online. If I critique somebody, I'm well aware that I may never see my posting again, so don't worry about that. :)

    2. If the writer gets some good out of a critique by me, I'm very glad. If he doesn't find it helpful, that's his right. I was happy to see that Mr. Haas took my bluntness in good part, as a professional and an artist should. (Especially since he's making the big bucks and I ain't.) :)

    3. The guy who runs the blog makes the rules. I'm an iron-handed tyrant on my own blog, so I have no objections to other people making their blogs their castle. If I don't like somebody's particular brand of rulership, I don't bother to go there. If Fr. Ruff wants to disappear a post for his own reasons, let him go to it. Keeping the peace is a good enough reason, certainly.

    4. I wasn't critiquing the political stance of the song. I know a great many gifted songwriters, and most of them have political and religious beliefs which are seventy thousand miles separate from my own. Grammar, scansion, strong imagery and sound, and all the other elements of lyric writing -- whatever you want to say, you've got to use the same elements of art. If I wanted to critique somebody's politics, that'd be a whole different thread than a writing workshop.

    5. I did critique things that I thought "sounded bad" in terms of across-the-board, undisputedly Catholic theology, because it was a hymn. I'm sure the author didn't mean them to sound that way. I simply alerted him to them, just as I would have if he'd unintentionally used an expression that could be taken with a sexual meaning or understood in terms of an unfortunate homonym. Clarity is important. It's probably more important in a hymn than in a song, because hymns are about worship and truth (so you can't just spray pretty words for generalized atmosphere, as you can in a love song or a piece of lyric poetry).

    6. I also didn't critique the impulse to write a "new version of the Salve" or to re-use a popular hymn tune. Those aren't intrinsically bad ideas. Catholic hymnology is full of frankly parasitic songs. Heck, there are at least two major "Pange Lingua" songs, and a zillion minor ones! Hymns and hymn tunes create offshoots, extra verses, rewrites, and parodies. That's just a fact of human nature and poetic license.

    7. Unless it's a bad idea on the order of "Let's write a pneuma theology hymn to the Holy Spirit composed entirely of fart and burp references!", I'm not going to critique somebody's entire hymn idea, especially on grounds of whether or not it appeals to me. I'm not Mother Church or God. What I critiqued was what he did with his idea.

    8. Hymnwriting and general songwriting are not the same thing, that's quite true. There are people who can write hymns by the hour who stink at songs; and I personally find hymnwriting much more daunting than songwriting. But at the level of mechanics and critique, they're pretty much the same. If I ran a hymn publisher, though, I'd want an editorial team of extremely picky theologians tearing songs apart to find problems before I printed anything. I can't really critique at that level, alas.

    9. Possibly I shouldn't have made any side comments here, but I didn't say anything here that I'd be ashamed to say to somebody's face. Different things come up in different discussions, even when the discussions are related. I'm also glad to find that they really were talking about computer scanning and not scansion!
  • Maureen, you are the cat's meow! Have we personally met at colloquium?

    "fart and burp references."
    The horror, the horror.

    Calling Dr. Mahrt! Calling Dr. Mahrt!
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 754
    That would be Carmina Burana?
  • The guy who runs the blog makes the rules.

    I'm not sure anyone is suggesting that Fr. Ruff cannot censor views he does not agree with. I haven't read anyone who's making that claim. It's his blog, after all. He can do as he sees fit. I do think, however, that anybody who publicly says the things Fr. Ruff has is going to necessarily take some heat. I felt my jaw drop when he said the reason conservative views are not welcome is that he hasn't been able to find any conservatives smart enough to make their point in an intelligent way. Paul Inwood was also excoriated recently on Fr. Z's blog for incorrect data he put forth about EF Mass attendance. So, it seems like anything said publicly is fair game...
  • Maureen
    Posts: 673
    I was thinking of the folk music fake-documentary real-improv-comedy movie, A Mighty Wind. They made up a fake Sixties folk anthem that's somewhat along those lines, with the obligatory vague language about a spirit of freedom sweeping the land (not the Holy Spirit). But after a while, the double meaning of "A Mighty Wind" dawns upon you. :)