Tuesday, July 18, 2006

General Exhortation

UPDATE: I did not mean for my intro to sound like I am saying that my friend is going against Church teaching. That was not my intention. After re-reading it I understand that it could be interpreted that way. My original meaning for the second part of the letter was to defend Catholic Blogs and explain what they are doing. I repeat: In no way am I implying that my friend goes against Church teaching!

Here is a response to an email that a friend sent me after reading my blog. I am posting it because it would generally be my response to all who wish to go against the teachings of the Church.

You say that back in the Middle Ages there wasn't " a clear, defined difference between "sacred" and "secular" music like there is today."

But there IS today, and that is why we need to use the music that was created for the Liturgy IN the Liturgy. Like I have said in my posts, I like Third Day and some of the other songs that are contemporary, but they have no place in the Liturgy. I have said nothing that Cardinal Arinze, (who is the Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship) and Pope Benedict haven't said.

American Folk music is not liturgical music. Drums, electric guitars and other such instruments do not belong in the Liturgy. Cardinal Arinze has stated this as well, and he even mentioned the use of certain instruments that are okay according to certain customs and cultures. The fact is that America has a tradition of using organs and other appropriate instruments for Liturgy. I bet you that the cultures who are using different instruments in other countries are still using sacred hymns though. They are not using contemporary music and especially not H&H!

You keep mentioning that we are a World Wide Church and I agree. That means we have to abide by the Magisterium and it's teachings and specifications for Liturgy. There has been such a misinterpretation of Vatican II that people think they can do whatever they want with the Liturgy. This is not so! The Magisterium has said that they are going to start cracking down on Liturgical abuses and the music of the Liturgy is one of the things they are looking at.

You mention that several blogs that you have seen are wrought in criticism of fellow Catholics. The ones I read are not so much criticizing, but exhorting fellow Catholics to follow the Church's teachings. You can't pick and choose what you are going to follow. If you are a Catholic you must abide by all the Church's teachings or you are not a Catholic. And why would those people even want to call themselves Catholics if their beliefs do not coincide with the Catholic Church's beliefs?

Now, I'm not saying those people should leave the Church. By no means! I am saying that they need to think seriously about the Church and about the authority that Christ has given the Church. They need to realize that the Church didn't make this stuff up. It is continuing in the teachings of Christ. That is what the Church is for. To make sure that the faithful continue to follow Christ's teachings and guard them against false teaching. The people need to also realize that if they reject the Church, they reject Christ! This is a heavy thing! That is why many blogs are calling for our fellow Catholic (and all Christian) brothers and sisters to repent and follow the Lord. I have not seen any hatred in the blogs I have seen other than hatred of false teaching. I don't know what blogs you have looked it.

You asked:
"Why isn't anyone blogging about the poor and homeless intheir hometown? Why isn't anyone blogging about a war that the Churchfinds to be unjust? Why isn't anyone blogging about unfair wages?Why isn't anyone blogging about economic justice? Why isn't anyoneblogging about the death penalty? Why isn't anyone blogging aboutracism? Why have so many of us Catholics forgotten one of the mainpoints of the Gospel? That of service to others?"

I would answer that they have and are! Maybe you haven't looked at the right blogs (and again, I say this without knowing which blogs you have looked at). The things you named are all social justice issues and I agree that they are very important, but they are not the only thing that the Church is about and/or concerned with. In fact, we have seen what happens when social issues are all that people focus on: Liberation Theology, radical-feminism, and at the extreme end an outright rejection of what the Gospel says (I speak here about the movement against the family and the sanctity of life).

Concerning your thoughts:
"It amazes me that you hold Franciscan University in such high esteemwhen it is the "hot spot" for contemporary and charismatic worship.From what I've read and heard, the University supports what I wouldconsider to be much like "protestant worship.""

I admit that the Liturgy on at Franciscan is not how it should be, but I would not call it "protestant worship."

and in response to your concern here:"Finally, and most importantly, I tell you this as a friend and future colleague in ministry. You cannot be judgemental of Church officials or of accepted groups in the Church, and promote a political party ona public forum if you want to work for the Church. You simply cannotmake statements saying that a Cardinal should not be a Cardinal orattack different groups, or be judgemental of most Catholics outthere. "

I as a Catholic Christian will always speak the Truth and proclaim the Gospel. If a Cardinal (such as Cardinal Mahoney or other Cardinals) or priests or laity, teach false teachings it is our Christian duty to speak out against such things! We need to not be afraid to proclaim Christ from every corner and every media we can! Anything less would be disobeying our Christian duty.

I'd also like to point out that I have never promoted a political party on my blog. I however, will not hesitate to criticize politicians who go against Catholic Christian teaching and call themselves Catholic (such as Kerry) nor will I hesitate to praise politicians who support Catholic teachings (such as Bush if he signs the veto tomorrow on the stem cell bill).

You constantly tell me that there are different theologies and that there are many different views in the Church. I agree that there are many different theologies, but that doesn't make them all correct. That's the thing! If a theology doesn't agree with Christ's teachings, Apostolic teachings, and the Church's teachings then the theology is wrong. It is that simple. That is how you judge what is right or wrong in the Church. Pluriform truth is wrong and the Church will never allow it. Two opposite things cannot both be true. It is one of the first laws of metaphysics, the law of non-contradiction.

I appreciate your concern, I really do, but I will always stand by the Church's teachings because they are the teachings of Christ.

Many Blessings,

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