James Likoudis writes an open letter to the editor of 'OUR SUNDAY VISITOR' periodical responding to one of its reader alleging litugical abuses in catholic parishes.

September 10, 2013

Letter to the Editor
Our Sunday Visitor (OSV)
200 Noll Plaza
Huntington, IN 46750

Dear Sir:

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”.

Sincerely yours,

— James Likoudis,
P.O. Box 852,
Montour Falls, NY 14865

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