Friday, December 21, 2007

St. Mary's (Yet Again) Ignores Rome
Caution: Disobedience is habit-forming

I recently had a friend of mine mention that one of the Catholic schools locally offers so-called "Liturgical Dance" as an extracurricular activity. "No!" said I. Not at St. Mary's!!

After about 5 whole minutes of checking out this alleged Catholic school's website, I came up with the following;

Mrs. Xxxxx served 2 years on the St. Mary School Advisory Board and is currently serving on the St. Mary School Development Committee. She shares her love for dance by teaching liturgical dance to students in grades 3-8 afterschool.OK, I'm sure the teacher cited is a lovely lady. I'm going to give her benefit of the doubt and assume that she's under the impression that "Liturgical Dance" is just hunky-dory. However, with that said, I'm fairly sure that the principal is aware of what the teaching of The Church is on the subject. Or at least she should be.

Now that brings me to the shepherd of this flock, Father Bob. I've posted about some of the things the good father preaches there at St. Mary's. I'd like to think that he knows exactly what the teaching of The Church is concerning liturgical dance.

Anyhow, I've posted a few of the pertinent passages from an authoritative point of reference from The Vatican; (Emphasis mine)

Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship
The following essay appeared in "Notitiae" 11 (1975) 202-205, and is labeled as a "qualified and authoritative sketch." It is the mind of the Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship (presently called Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments) that this article is to be considered "an authoritative point of reference for every discussion on the matter." Therefore, it is commended for study by diocesan liturgical commissions and offices of worship. (This English translation first appeared in The Canon Law Digest, Vol. VIII, pp. 78-82).

Dancing and Worship

The dance has never been made an integral part of the official worship of the Latin Church.

If local churches have accepted the dance, sometimes even in the church building, that was on the occasion of feasts in order to manifest sentiments of joy and devotion. But that always took place outside of liturgical services.

Conciliar decisions have often condemned the religious dance because it conduces little to worship and because it could degenerate into disorders.

However, the same criterion and judgment [that apply to the Eastern Rites] cannot be applied in the western culture.

Here dancing is tied with love, with diversion, with profaneness, with unbridling of the senses: such dancing, in general, is not pure.

For that reason it cannot be introduced into liturgical celebrations of any kind whatever: that would be to inject into the liturgy one of the most desacralized and desacralizing elements; and so it would be equivalent to creating an atmosphere of profaneness which would easily recall to those present and to the participants in the celebration worldly places and situations.

Neither can acceptance be had of the proposal to introduce into the liturgy the so-called artistic ballet because there would be presentation here also of a spectacle at which one would assist, while in the liturgy one of the norms from which one cannot prescind is that of participation.

If the proposal of the religious dance in the West is really to be made welcome, care will have to be taken that in its regard a place be found outside of the liturgy, in assembly areas which are not strictly liturgical. Moreover, the priests must always be excluded from the dance.
I'm sure you've noticed that I've made an effort to emphasis the words "liturgy" and "liturgical". Why not? Isn't what's being taught at St. Mary's Liturgical Dance? Not Interpretive Dance, nor Artistic Dance, but Liturgical Dance.

It's a reasonable assumption that what these children are being taught is to one day be incorporated into (hold on to your hat)... the liturgy!!?? If the pastor and principal authorize interpretive and/or artistic dance into the curriculum, fine. But they haven't. They've authorized something that The Church has stated cannot be authorized.

And in all honesty, I'm not sure if this particular parish actually has dancing girls traipsing about during Mass itself, but that's irrelevant. They're being trained to. That's the important part.

But in all fairness, this particular document dates back to 1975. Hmmm... I wonder if Francis Cardinal Arinze, head honcho for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has said anything just a wee bit more up-to-date?

Amazingly enough... he has! Take a gander at just some of his comments on this topic from 2003;

Has liturgical dance been approved for Masses by your office?

There has never been a document from our Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments saying that dance is approved in the Mass.

The question of dance is difficult and delicate. However, it is good to know that the tradition of the Latin Church has not known the dance. It is something that people are introducing in the last ten years -- or twenty years. It was not always so. Now it is spreading like wildfire, one can say, in all the continents -- some more than others. In my own continent, Africa, it is spreading. In Asia, it is spreading.

Now, some priests and lay people think that Mass is never complete without dance. The difficulty is this: we come to Mass primarily to adore God -- what we call the vertical dimension. We do not come to Mass to entertain one another. That's not the purpose of Mass. The parish hall is for that.

So all those that want to entertain us -- after Mass, let us go to the parish hall and then you can dance. And then we clap. But when we come to Mass we don't come to clap. We don't come to watch people, to admire people. We want to adore God, to thank Him, to ask Him pardon for our sins, and to ask Him for what we need.

Most dances that are staged during Mass should have been done in the parish hall. And some of them are not even suitable for the parish hall.

I saw in one place -- I will not tell you where -- where they staged a dance during Mass, and that dance was offensive. It broke the rules of moral theology and modesty. Those who arranged it -- they should have had their heads washed with a bucket of holy water! [laughter]
Seriously... is it really asking all that much for Catholic schools actually adhere to what The Catholic Church teaches? Is it?

Am I the only one here who is under the distinct impression that some folks could really give a damn less what The Church teaches?


Blogger Alli said...


It's like these people have never even TOUCHED an official Church document...
My parish is having parish council elections (so far so good) ... but one of the candidates is not Catholic. There's just something fishy about that...

9:08 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

And people wonder why none of my 6 kids will go to Catholic school. The teachers (laity and religious) are some of the biggest purveyors of heresies today. Sit in on a CCD or religion class and you'll cringe at the vapid theology they peddle.

11:05 AM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...

I believe that a taser would be conductive to liturgical dance. the twitching and jerking then would serve some purpose...

11:49 AM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Does your bishop know about that? Maybe someone should ask the him or even the judicial vicar about the propriety / legality of that.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Alli said...

Altar Boy,
I've been thinking about doing that, but I don't know where to start...

3:43 PM  
Blogger Unitas said...

Aww Cavey, you left out my favorite part:

"Why make the people of God suffer so much? Haven't we enough problems already? Only Sunday, one hour, they come to adore God. And you bring a dance! Are you so poor you have nothing else to bring us? Shame on you! That's how I feel about it."

Suffer so much indeed! Lord have mercy on my eyeballs.

7:13 PM  
Blogger mig said...

My head hurts. It's like where to go, where to stay? Why must we suffer infidels at everyturn. Why must the church constantly have such heretics within.

There are protestant churches that would suit these people just fine, so why do they stay in a stogy religion that can't embrace modernism?

Are they thinking that only Catholics can go to heaven? Is this what they think? So they have to subvert the church to some unidentifiable thing that they can be comfortable with yet still call it Catholic so they can get to heaven?

It makes me crazy. If ya wanna be a Wiccan; if you wanna be Giai watch Captain Planet and the Planeteers, be a Planeteer for Gods sake don't pretend to be Catholic!

9:16 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Do you have info on the 'net concerning this? Such as a church bulletin announcing that this non-Catholic is in the running?

8:18 AM  
Blogger Hail3N1 said...

Some PROTESTant churches aren't as bad as some of these "catholic pretenders". Anyone read about all those people who witnessed that big UFO a couple days ago? I think something on that order has zapped these peoples' minds, and they've all become aliens...Certainly to the true Catholic faith. Unless it's all those "wiccan nuns" casting spells on all of them.

8:00 PM  

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