Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fragmentation = Oblivion

The intrepid and amazing Father Z. has a report on his blog about an interview wit Cardinal Arinze about the new typical edition of the Roman Missal. In the interview the cardinal makes this comment (Fr. Z's translation):
Effectively, it was preferred that these two Eucharistic prayers not be considered obligatory for the whole Church. Perhaps it is not then so necessary to have Eucharistic prayers just for children. This said, if there are conferences of bishops who want to maintain them, they can do so in national missals.

So this begs the point (as I commented over at Father Z's that if the Bishops' conferences can include prayers on their own, why even bother with a "Typical Edition of the Roman Missal"??? It would be a LOT more efficient to simply let the Bishops' conferences each make up their own missals!! That would eliminate any problems with translation, since these would, naturally, be in the vernacular from the get-go. And it would also eliminate all the ongoing angst over "inculturation". The inculturation would be built right in to the "Local Missal"!!!! If west African worship tradition includes drums and dancing, then so be it! Or Mauri warriors in New Zealand, if they so desire. And of course in northern Europe, they wouldn't need a missal at all, since no one goes to church in the first place - think of all the trees that alone would save!!! Everyone is Happy!!!! We can all revel in our catholic diversity!!!!!

But.... what about differences WITHIN each Bishops' conference? Using the United States as an example, I dare say that the "local mass" in southern California needs to be different than the "local mass" here in North Carolina (proud part of The Bible Belt). Bishop Mahony may want liturgical dance at all Sunday masses, whereas Bishop Jugis (my Bishop here in the Charlotte Diocese) has forbidden it. And what is considered reverent, appropriate speech in SoCal would no doubt be drastically different from that here in The South, where people still address each other as "Sir", and "Ma'am". So in order to be properly incultured, EACH DIOCESE would really need there own re-write of the "local missal" and its rubrics.

But Wait! There's More.... As we all know, WITHIN each Diocese there is often a drastic difference in tradition and praxis. Even now, within my own diocese, the "typical practice" ranges from very "relaxed" to very much by-the-book Novus Ordo often with a little Latin mixed. So essentially each PARISH should have their own Re-Write of their dioscean missal.

Given the above scenario, it would take but a few years before a Catholic church in Los Angeles, California would be unrecognizable to a Catholic from North Carolina. And who could imagine the difference between a Congolese mass and one in New York, NY, USA!!!! God Knows things are bad enough even now, where there is at least the intention of using a universal missal. With that intention no longer present, things will fly apart pretty quickly.

Folks, this is madness. Either we are a universal church, or we are not. If we ARE, then we need to act like it, and eliminate ALL differences between the missals. There should be ONE UNIVERSAL MISSAL for the ONE UNIVERSAL CHURCH. These are trying times, and are going to get far far more trying. We need to have more in common and less diversity because we are going to need the bonding and the internal support and strength that only that universal bonding can provide.

1 comment:

Carolina Cannonball said...