Tuesday, April 5, 2011

He's got chutzpah !

This particular blog entry has been a long time coming. I kept telling myself that I would compose it when I had time, but never found the time to do so. I am a procrastinator by choice and profession XD. Nevertheless, it is a real pity that I had not gotten to this entry sooner.

In my now defunct association with Tradville (I'm not even sure I would technically be classified as a Traditionalist, per se.), I saw a GREAT deal of affectation present amongst many of my fellow co-religionists. Not the healthy form of affectation that each of us clings to to maintain our sanity in this world. But rather the kind that feeds into a vicious cycle of mental masturbation of rose tinted remembrances of repast, some of which weren't there to begin with and others which are just corrosive and damaging to a person's faith. By the latter I am referring to the various hangups that many utilize Traditionalism as a smoke screen for. But alas, I cannot say that this is true of ALL Roman Ritual Traditionalists (Thank GOD for that !) as many are indeed sincere individuals solely seeking to live out their faith in a Traditional manner and pray The Church (at least as regards to The ROMAN Rite. I am a VEHEMENT defender of Byzantine and Eastern Christian Rituals and Liturgy. I am NO fan of Latinizations/Romanizations, but am open to cross pollination between Ritual Churches.)will likewise follow suit (As do I !).

The above being said, I would like to take this opportunity to extend an introduction to my readers, to the blog of a dear friend of mine. I believe their blog encompasses some of the undercurrents present in Traditionalist Roman Ritual Catholicism that are usually suffocated or diverge from the brand of Traditionalism being sold (AKA: Back in my day...).

My friend (whom I will refer to by his name "A Sinner") took upon the endeavour of creating a blog that would expose those elements present within Traditionalist circles that do more damage to the cause than aid in its advancement. Lets be honest, there are indeed MANY things that have absolutely NOTHING to do with Liturgy, doctrine or dogma that SOME Traditionalists insist upon entertaining for selfish reasons. Reasons which many times have to do with "preserving" The TRM (Traditional Roman Mass (I find TLM vague given the fact that there are OTHER Latin Rituals within The Western Church that aren't being advocated for in Traditionalist circles.)) for themselves and other like minded individuals. In other words, some have taken the "cause" of Traditionalism, turned it on its head and transformed it into a pseudo gnostic cult that is the sole proprietorship of the initiated (AKA a niche group). As I mentioned previously, this is NOT true of ALL Traditionalists, but it indeed DOES exist and usually amongst those who are the most vocal (That said, the same can be said of those who are EXTREMELY Liberal in their approach to Liturgy, doctrine and dogma. However, for all intents and purposes, the liberal ISN'T fooling anyone with any facades or smokescreens.).

But I digress and return to the initial point of this entry. Namely "A Sinner's" blog (Who are we kidding, we're ALL sinners.) explores the ins and outs of not only his personal experiences within Traditionalist Catholic circles, but that of many of his readers. As such, it attempts rather well to give a voice to anyone and everyone who identifies (or would be labeled as) a Traditionalist, but have become disenchanted with many of its manifestations in their personal experience. It is no surprise why the blog itself is titled Renegade Trads .

HOWEVER, before anyone feels the need to accuse me of "scandalizing" them, please realize that my recommendation of the blog leaves you free to disagree, agree and everything else in between that may be gleaned from the blog. My own blog DEFINITELY speaks to a level of affectation on my part and as such, that would apply to EVERY layman out there. Recommendations do not imply complete endorsements of ALL content relayed therein, but rather that the content is valuable in that it creates a DIALOGUE between fellow like minded individuals united towards a cause. Perhaps ins some things we're wrong, and in others we're right, but through dialoguing in said manner, we are able to initiate a catalyst for change and edification.

Of particular interest to me, are those entries on "A Sinner"'s blog, related to The Catholicism of The People. Not only in the testimonials submitted by his readers, but those entries that deal with those scantly mentioned issues. Issues pertaining to the socio-cultural/political narratives that many dare not address, because doing so would make one a "liberal". But I ask, what pray tell does being concerned with the ill that effects us all (SIN !), have to do with being a supposed "liberal" ? Is it perhaps that we have become so accustomed to our sole lived eclessiology that we respond as Cain (Am I my brother's keeeper ?), have we truly come that far ? I'll leave that for my readers to ponder.

Likewise, many of the entries related to the sociological and anthropological developments of Liturgy (and the cultures built around them) across Rituals have proven most beneficial to me as both and anthropologist and a Catholic. It allows me to better appreciate and approach my faith as a man of both faith and reason. For this I am sincerely grateful as well as "A Sinner"'s patience with my own spiritual struggles.

So I welcome you all to take a chance, whether you agree or disagree with every claim made therein, but at least make the attempt to engage the blog for what it is. Namely a fellow sinner's attempt to sort through life as a Traditional Catholic one blog entry at a time.

Colloquium 'Music of the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos,' April 14, 2011 and my musings on inculturation of the Liturgy

As many of you may recall, the focus of most if not ALL of my earlier entries dealt with the subject of First Nation (American Indian, Meso American etc.) Catholicism (Some of you may even remember my Ning network with that VERY title.). As such, my interests in the field have not wavered, but have only momentarily been placed on hold as I sort through my own liturgical stability (More on that to come in a future blog entry. Yeah, I REALLY need to start updating these entries. :P).

As many of you may recall from my previous entry on The Mission there is a general lack of knowledge or plainly apathy towards the subject of Native American Christianity. This however has not ALWAYS been the case as the historical and anthropological record inform us. Regrettably for better or for worse, the work of the various Missionaries amongst The Indigenous of The Americas was either suppressed or contained to remote regions and groups. However, not all is lost (THANK GOD !), for a new generation of Catholics seeking to know precisely where we've been as a Church have reignited the zeal of those many times under appreciated Missionaries. Each seeking to redeem those elements of pagan cultures and baptize them for The Church. This has met with a GREAT deal of hostility both historically and in the modern era. For many, The Faith MUST remain true to its Greco Roman roots. However, a peripheral view of what compromises much of hellenistic thought, reveals that foreign influences were ALWAYS the norm as cultures cross pollinated between themselves. Why then favour some and disavow others ?

A very dear friend of mine (Which reminds me, I REALLY need to post an entry here about his blog :P), blogged this particular entry which I believe succinctly expresses my own views on the matter: Traditionalism NOT merely an Alternate Globalism . For many the mere proposal of an alternate approach of evangelization to the various groups of the world in a way that is BOTH organically Traditional AND culturally relevant is seen as "anathema". But I then ask, pray tell, what precisely is so abominable of presenting The Gospel in a contextualized manner WITHOUT compromising the message ? I find it MORE offensive that people are either a) expected to be culturally castrated and adopt a foreign mode of thought or b)have parodied representations of their culture as defined by an outsider in the context of Liturgy. I'm offended by BOTH forms and believe that a middle way is both necessary and prudent. As such, I've ranted for far too long and as such present a venue for your pleasure on the very theme discussed herein. I am pasting some excerpts from an e-mail forwarded to me by a friend of mine (I hope the author of the original e-mail does not mind.):

"Please consider attending a fascinating colloquium here at Loyola University Chicago on April 14 entitled 'Music of the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos'. This great day will involve a lecture, a film, a panel, and a musical performance focused on Dr. Gustavo Leone's remarkable work recovering long-lost musical scores from the 18th century Jesuit missions in Bolivia. The music from the mission that will be performed at Madonna will be heard for the first time in 200 years!

... People interested in music, history (esp. the history of the Society of Jesus), theology, and Latin American Studies should find the colloquium very rich.

Also, listen to WFMT at 2:00pm on Sunday April 10 for a one hour interview and performance by Dr. Gustavo Leone on "Music of the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos".

Please see the attached flyer for the April 14 event. Print and display, if you can. The event is free of charge and feel free to come to any or all of the programs."

Here is a link to the PDF flier for the event: Colloquium 'Music of the Jesuit Missions of the Chiquitos