Beware the phrase "Caught up in the Spirit of Vatican II"


Yet another article about the St. Mary's by the Sea debacle, where a pastor has been removing folks who kneel during communion from the Pastoral Council, leading the altar boys, etc.

Here's the "Catholic Academia SpinTM" on the issue. I've highlighted the dubious statements in italics and my comments in brackets.

At the center of the controversy is the church's concept of Christ, said Jesuit Father [You sure should we should trust this guy?] Lawrence J. Madden, director of the Georgetown Center for Liturgy at Georgetown University in Washington.

Because the earliest Christians viewed Christ as God and man, Madden said, they generally stood during worship services to show reverence and equality. [Maybe. Maybe not. Would love to see the real evidence for this.]

About the seventh century, however, Catholic theologians put more emphasis on Christ's divinity and introduced kneeling as the only appropriate posture at points in the Mass when God was believed to be present.

Things started to change in the 1960s, Madden said, when Vatican II began moving the church back to its earliest roots. [Is there a line anywhere in the Vatican II docs that says anything about "moving the church back to its earliest roots? That's such a dubious, dishonest assertion.] What has ensued, he said, is the predictable struggle of an institution revising centuries of religious practices.

The argument over kneeling, Madden said, is "a signal of the division in the church between two camps: those who have caught the spirit of Vatican II, and those who are a bit suspicious. Because it's so visible, what happens at the Sunday worship event is a lightning rod for lots of issues."

Now: why would the same folks who are crying that changes to the English text of the Mass used for 40 years are a serious problem, but changing the posture of the faithful that has been the norm for over 1,000 years is right, just and better reflects our relationship with God. And get on board or you're not welcome in our parish. Nothing to see here as long as you follow the rules about standing.

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Catholic theologians "introduced" kneeling?

"For this reason I kneel before the Father,
from whom his whole family in heaven
and on earth derives its name."
(Ephesians 3:14-15)

"It is written:
'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
'every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will confess to God.'"
(Romans 14:11)

"Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."
(Philippians 2:9-11)

It's just another part of the "authority vs power" struggle.

You're point at the end is well taken. "We must not change things the people are used to. Unless we don't like them."

It's not about standing or kneeling. (The Orthodox stand. And their reverence can't be questioned.) It's just more liturgical elitist arrogance.

What runs through my head when I read stories like this is "and every knee shall bend". I wish there were clear evidence about how the early Christians worshipped regarding their posture but a part of that would have to take into account the secret Masses, fear of persecution and space constraints.

I have witnessed the hubris surrounding this situation first hand. The blatant lack of charity directed toward a pious individual kneeling in awe of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is evident in the very people (often a Fr. Bring-it-in-for-the-real-thing and Sister Wear-the-pants) who have nothing but compassion for sexual adventurers and Bacchanalian types. They're horrified that the heirarchy is being challenged by the knee-bender, but the rules may by conveniently ignored (wink-wink, nudge-nudge) if someone wants to misuse the gift of sexuality.


So much for "All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place."

In Jesu et Maria,

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This page contains a single entry by John Schultz published on June 12, 2006 8:11 AM.

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