Friday, March 21, 2008

Catholicism Today: Good Friday Gripe

Latin Mass is under fire in Oakland


But the revitalized tradition is drawing controversy. Some question whether the traditional rite is too outdated for a church grappling with the needs of a diverse membership and facing unprecedented challenges, such as an increasingly interreligious world.
So wait, because a lot of people are adopting less religion and more "spirituality" we're supposed to dump the religious part of our religion? Says who?

Right, other religions:

Those challenges are underscored this week, which is Holy Week. Today's Good Friday service has been criticized by many Jewish groups, for example, because the Latin liturgy includes a prayer for God to "enlighten" Jews so they will "acknowledge Jesus Christ, the savior of all men."

The Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism released a resolution saying it was "disturbed and dismayed" by the prayer and that it undermined decades of productive Jewish-Catholic relations.
In this country - in this state - is there some big Jewish-Catholic war about which I'm unaware? There are tons of religions out there trying to draft new members. A prayer seems like a pretty uninvasive means of trying to win over more people. But that's not the point.

You know, whenever I read this stories, I think back to my college Philosophy class. During the class, one of the more conservative, notorious students (tough title to win on our campus) pointed out that beliefs aren't worth much if you don't think they are, well, correct. They aren't worth that much if you won't fight for them. And they aren't worth much if you don't think others should believe them too. Yes, there are limits, parameters, and levels to beliefs. But tolerance doesn't mean agreement. Can't one religion tolerate and coexist with another, without necessarily thinking they've got it right?

And in a few years or twenty, what I just wrote will be taken out of context and used against me. That will rock.

Anyway, I dig tradition and Catholicism.

Happy Holy Week. Go to mass.

1 comment:

Sisyphus said...

As a non-Catholic who attended Catholic Mass this Easter, I was thinking about the Gregorian chants and use of occasional Latin as well.

I don't speak Latin, and only understand as much as a typical lawyer, i.e. legal Latin uses, and not religious ones. But I definitely thought the Gregorian chants were the most beautiful and powerful part of the Mass. You can certainly understand how so many people in past generations revered them and believed they had magical power. No non-denominational Christian rock is going to be more impressive.

Although I'm not sure I'd personally want to regularly attend an all Latin mass, that's the language of the Church, and I definitely would be more interested in attending Mass if there was more Latin.