Sunday, April 12, 2009

The New Fascists

If I had retained any doubts about addressing this post to the problem of the current state of music in the Roman Catholic Church, after having to endure the two-hour debacle of last night's Easter Vigil service, they were instantly and completely taken away by a very short clip on the six o'clock news.
For reasons I've detailed earlier, I've not always been delighted with the boys and girls at CanWestGlobal, but I found them spot on last night. First, they exhibited the insane performance of some "singing Christians" in Jerusalem for Easter, and then they mercifully, and showing exemplary critical intelligence, cut the nonsense off before it had time to make all viewers of any taste whatsoever absolutely sick. Seeing the Jerusalem Occasionals wing of the Mordor Children's Ensemble clinched for me the question of taking my attack's initial onslaught to the gates of Rome herself.
The Pope must act. Nothing in the history of Christendom has ever been clearer. Bernard, as we know, preached a crusade against Islam. And Pius V, of sainted memory, holed up for an entire day to pray the rosary for the victory of the Christians over the Moslems in the sea battle of Lepanto. But after hearing the wretched pagan squalls of both the Nelson cathedral and the Jerusalem whatever I sit here pondering the sons of the Prophet as much less dangerous to Christian peace of mind than that horde of squalor that has been writing hymns ever since Vatican Two and the moronic assumption that participation at the Mass meant that we should make complete asses of ourself rather than pray for our sins and otherwise learn to understand that God was a Divinity, not the girl next door.
We were not at the vigil last year, there having been some outrageous resource to inclusive language at the Good Friday service. The vigil is a long one, and when done right, the most instructive feast of the year. But of course the mystics already know all that it has to teach, and have known it for some time, so they don't really need to be there, especially when the vigil is being ruined by rampant sensuality and they can fulfill their weekly obligations at a much shorter Sunday mass. So, in a way, I wasn't really prepared for what happened this year, except in the ways of the spirit, which quickly made me begin to ponder the mental stability of the people who put the thing on and the pastors who allow it to happen. I am not alone in this question. For some time there has been much rumbling among the parishioners, although none of this has yet to reach the groundswell status. Perhaps a little street talk might tip the balance.
With Benedict, we have a Pope who grew up with Hitler. He was also probably informed about the mass nonsense in Italy and Russia. Hitler especially was a fool on the subject of music, condemning jazz, which does a fair bit to retain the tradition of mathematics, and adoring sentimental light operas, just like the seeming majority of those now providing liturgical music.
Most of the time in our cathedral you'd think we were a waltz pavilion, and I keep getting the feeling that everyone involved is just waiting for the call from Broadway, asking them to be involved in yet another "Godspell".
Yes, I am aware that Francis Xavier was all for all manner of ditties alluding to the Gospel message to be sung in the streets and slums of India. But he would never have allowed these at Mass. Worship is worship, and pre-catechetical verse is something else.
There is real trouble in this. I hear the heavens rumbling.
As Marianne's poem illustrates, twenty years ago, us with a car, and the great Dutchman at Saint Rita's, Castlegar, there was an escape from confrontation with clerical and episcopal dereliction of duty and other forms of sabotage. Now there is no car, just a lot of very angry infantry just itching for battle.


cabbage ears said...

...especially liked (God)"is not like the girl next door." So apt and...right on. Do not like jazz much, will not ever, find most of jazz like the dentist's drill. Mathematical probably.... but there are other intense and favourable ways to the truth. I savour and value your patience and willingness to go the long run. Peace. Irene

eastsilica said...

Thanks for the kind words about my poem and the poetic response. The only jazz I love these days is Jacques Loussier who starts with Bach and the rest and takes off from there.