September 10, 2013
Letter to the Editor
Our Sunday Visitor (OSV)
200 Noll Plaza
Huntington, IN 46750
Alas, Greg Erlandson's column (9/1/13) establishes a false equivalence regarding
attitudes to the Roman Liturgy by hip “liberal boutique” parishes and more “conservative
boutique” parishes. The Church's norms for Catholic worship certainly are intended
to foster community and not segregated enclaves among Catholics but they never
envisioned the Holy Mass as “entertainment” or accompanied by uncorrected abuses
that are the object of endless complaints.
Vatican II never sought a parish liturgical ethos purged of reverence, solemnity,
dignity, mystery, sacred art and sacred music. The liberal boutique” parishes revelling
in the pop-culture rhythms of the decadent Folk Mass of the Sixties has only revealed
to the world the profane secularization that is an obstacle to any New Evangelization.
Do we really desire a “diversity” in “liturgical style” that makes a mockery of the
authentic spirit of the Roman liturgy as expressed in its official texts?
I am not aware that the “boutique parishes” occupied by allegedly non-caring traditional
Catholics have been hell-bent on fostering irreverent, casual, and banal liturgy that
has already alienated two generations of Catholics. The “conservative boutiques” have not
been intent on casting into oblivion the classic works for understanding Catholic liturgy:
- Cardinal Ratzinger's “The Spirit of the Liturgy”;
- M. Zundel's “Splendor of the Liturgy”;
- and Dietrich von Hildebrand's “Liturgy and Personality”
What is “unfeeling” and “uncaring” are the bishops, priests, and theologians who do not
express “community” with the souls in the pews who suffer agitation while attempting
to worship in a Catholic church.
Finally, for those who care for progress in ecumenism, it would be helpful to take
seriously the severe criticisms by Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholics of what
passes for liturgy in our modernized liberal “boutiques”.
— James Likoudis,
P.O. Box 852,
Montour Falls, NY 14865