Tuesday, June 19, 2007

US News and World Report Muses About Liturgical Fights

on the horizon....ironically seen as a battle between old (liberals) versus young (conservatives).

From US News and World Report:

Given the fierce fight that preceded Vatican II—the liturgical and doctrinal reforms of the mid-1960s that sought to make the church more accessible—a similar war would seem needed to overturn them. But a movement is building at seminaries nationwide to do just that: In addition to restoring the Latin mass, young priests are calling for greater devotion to the Virgin Mary, more frequent praying of the rosary, and priests turning away from the congregation as they once did. Perhaps most controversially, they also advocate a dimished role for women, who since Vatican II have been allowed to participate in the mass as lay altar servers and readers.

Such changes would seem to aggravate the church's growing attendance problems(in 2003, 40 percent of Roman Catholics said they had attended church in the past week, down from 74 percent in 1958) as well as enhance its air of exclusivity—the notion of Catholicism as the only true faith. Yet proponents of the movement argue that just the opposite holds: More people will attend mass if the traditions are richer and the doctrine stricter. The Latin mass, they say, would restore a sense of community they believe was diluted when the church allowed local culture to override tradition. In Chicago alone, mass is now said in some 50 languages.