Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Why permit it?

Rorate Caeli published this video. It called the Axé Mass, "axé" (x pronounced as sh), according to Rorate's source, it stems from a Yoruba religious greeting used in African-Brazilian pagan religions and means "soul", "light", or "spirit", this celebration took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

One is forced to ask, first, whether this is a Christian "celebration", then is it Catholic? Then one is forced to ask, why on earth does the archbishop permit it?

The problem is that for a whole generation Catholic worship had so few controls enforced, bishops have stood back or even encouraged this kind of thing, rather than point out that this is contrary not just to the "spirit of the liturgy" but to the letter as well.

Secular or pagan elements might give a degree of pleasure to participants but hardly draw people to Christ.


Michael Petek said...

I suppose it takes a long time - centuries - for paganism to be squeezed out of a nation's culture. Brazil is a relatively young nation in Christian terms.

Lithuania, the last nation in Europe to be Christianised, still has significant traces of paganism in its folk customs.

Slovenia has a custom, thought to have its roots in Slavic paganism, called kurentovanje.

It is a ten day long rite of spring and fertility, in which groups of kurenti, characteristically dressed in sheep skin costumes and richly decorated masks, go from house to house, making noise with bells and wooden sticks to scare off evil spirits and winter.

The custom is practised chiefly around the town of Ptuj, where stands the castle from which my father escaped in 1945 after the Communists had locked him up there with a view to shooting him the next day.

Henry said...

If it were just a jolly knees-up in the parish hall, it would be fine. But then what would the priest be wearing vestments for?

I wonder what would happen if he said an EF rite Mass?

Michael, all these things have their place, but not within the liturgy and not outside of an orthodox Catholic theology.

Norah said...

Secular or pagan elements might give a degree of pleasure to participants but hardly draw people to Christ.

I quite agree father and this comment would apply to a Mass/mess over which Cardinal Schonborn presided not so long ago. One could hardly see the cardinal through the baloons and strobe lights.
As Henry said it would have been a great knees up in the parish hall.

The problem lies with Pope not stressing, when the bishops come for their Ad Limina, the importance of Doing the Black and Saying the Red. One wonders if the formation in the seminaries is all that it should be.

gemoftheocean said...

Basically, it's reverse racism. The powers that be who do know better are assuming good order in liturgy is somehow "beyond" certain ethnics groups.

Not unlike certain people who hail a certain president merely because he can read a teleprompter (when it doesn't commit suicide) and walks upright on two legs and has 1/2 black skin.

[Can you tell I find this storyhighly irritating? In other words you can't criticise certain ethnic groups for fear you'll be called a racist, or you'll hurt their widdle feelings.]

Michael Petek said...

I agree, Henry, but that's not my point. Baptism gets a person out of paganism immediately, but it can take centuries to get paganism out of the people.

Crux Fidelis said...

Inculturation, anyone?