.....From the Roman Catholic blog that knows it's better to give than receive: Fr. Robert Barron on LA Congress "Its the Happening Place". Great stuff. Once again, a well-deserved hat-tip to... the Catholic Champion.
Here is a short play which can be done at youth group entitled, "What Do We do at Mass, and How Do We Interpret It?"
Prelude: The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress is the largest annual gathering of its kind in the world. The four-day event is held at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center and is sponsored by the Office of Religious Education, a department of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Begun in 1968 as an "institute," Congress still keeps the same focus — to teach more about the Catholic faith as well as to advance personal growth. Today the event is open to people of all vocations and different faiths.
Champion: Fr. Barron asks, After being asked "What brings you to this religious congress," he answers, "Well, what would keep you away? This is the place to be. It is maybe my 7th or 8th visit here. And its one of the greatest events in the Catholic year.....Its the happening place."
Stacy: "What would keep you away?" Wow, maybe he honestly doesn't know about the liturgical monstrosities that are carried out there. Maybe he just goes to the conference to market his materials and doesn't stick around for the Mass at the end?
Steve: What Fr Barron said about the conferance being a "happening place" sounded like 60's hippie talk!
Jae: So sorry guys but I dont agree with your sweeping condemnation of the whole program...There is absolutely nothing wrong to express in your own cultural ways toward giving honor and thansgving to God whether it might be your native language of songs, dances and music. In fact Jesus was pleased when this sinful woman put expensive fragrance on His feet and have rebuked His apostles' suggestions of better use for the poor and Temple offering. The Bible itself is replete with giving God praise and thansgiving with singing and dancing which He was very pleased. The problem is, mixing the reverence due to the solemnity of the Holy Mass with festivities in His honor... We must not interpret the past Tradition in a rigorous and legalistic way that other RadTrads have mistakenly adopted.Just some of the verses in the Bible: Psalm 149:3, "Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!" Jeremiah 31:13, "Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow."
Andrew: I don't recall the Blessed Mother or the Beloved Disciple singing, dancing, and otherwise engaging in merriment at the foot of the cross. The only ones doing anything like that on Calvary were those with the blood of our Lord on their hands; those who saw to it that He be hanging there like a criminal... Demanding that this foolishness (best I can do in charity) must come to an end is not "RadTrad" - it is Catholic.
Jae: So sorry brother but I think it's pretty misguided and unwarranted of comparing those people with the Blood of the Lord on their hands in crucifixion is not the same type of people in this program. We can honestly assumed that NOBODY in this program has the intention in his heart to profane, mock, ridicule Our Blessed Lord like a criminal hanging on the Cross. They happened to be in a festival giving praise and honoring God. Most traditional countries celebrate the Feast of Saints with big celebration and banquettes.
Andrew: The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not a banquette or party, as I am sure you will agree. In order for it to be efficacious for us it must be carried out with the solemnity that the miracle taking place.
Champion: Jae, the problem here is that the Church authority, the Archbishop, is the one that is participating in the madness at the Mass, not outside of it. He is the one obstinately participating in Liturgical abuse to its extreme. There is no way that the abuse is done accidentally. This stuff is not rocket science. It does not take a Church authority to state the obvious. Your use of Scripture here is out of context. Secondly there are many heretical speakers at the conference. This entire congress is an abomination, and until they get rid of the heretics and celebrate the Mass within the proper form allowed by the Church, it is a public scandal, end of story.
Jae: while I agree with you regarding the proper form the Mass should be said, I don't agree with your assertion that the entire congress is an abomination that is your judgment as with theirs are liable to God Almighty. Like what I said before, the 2 events in this congress namely first, the solemn celebration of the Mass and secondly the festival in honor of God (my Bible citations) are done in good faith and intention, both are pleasing to God, the problem started when the two are mixed together. Whether they were done intentionally or with invinsible ignorance I still give the benefit of the doubt to the Archbishop not outright condemn him... my Biblical quotations still stand with my point intact, that festivals of songs, dances, praises and thansgivings in honor of God is not "an anomalous behavior" but rather pleasing to Him.
Champion: Jae, the whole discussion here has been for the most part about the Mass and the speakers at the event. That about covers most of it. As far as a bunch of people jumping around at an event, that has little to do with the intention of the Congress. The intention of the Congress by its own definition is for the education of Catholics. Hence its title, Religious Education Congress. It fails in its intention. While you may think that the jumping around is pleasing to the Lord, teaching heresy and turning the Mass into a Disney parade is clearly not pleasing to Him. Priorities are important. The intention of the Congress is not met and therefore as I said, it is a complete failure. We will have to agree to disagree on this one.
Jae:...for a start I admired your apologetics prowess defending the Faith with the likes of John Bugay, Turrentinfan, etc. however, please don't caricature the position which I hold by saying, "While you may think that the jumping around is pleasing to the Lord". The point is rather simple, as we can see David, Moses, Saints Francis, Nicholas etc., the Psalter were all singing and dancing to the Lord. I don't know if you judge them otherwise.
Champion: We worship as we believe, and it aint lookin too pretty. My point again is that the Congress is not successfully achieving what it intended to achieve, that is my point. The rest of it matters little, which is why my "jumping around" depiction was used. We are not discussing Old Testament parallels here. We are discussing the Mass and the education of Catholics here.
Jae: I agree with you Matt. It is sad, truly sad on why they invited people who are known dissidents of the Church to speak in the congress. However, I'm still hopeful that the rotten few wont able to hijack the entire mission of the congress, that there are still faithful majority to plant seeds (as a priest from SJ attested that majority are still faithful to the Magisterium and Tradition). I have faith with St. Ignatius who is in Beatific Presence not to allow his society succumb to heretical sect as the same hope that Jesus' great promise to Peter and His Church that the "gates of hell shall not prevail" and guiding her INTO ALL Truth until the end of time.
Champion: Well, all we can do is pray, and bring things like this to the attention of faithful Catholics who will speak up about it. Until faithful Catholics start making it known that severe abuse and charlantry like this is not appreciated, it will keep happening. Although we need to be charitable, we also need to be straight to the point in not tolerating this kind of thing. I will never support an event like that knowing what goes on there. That being said, think of all the good they could do if they had great theologians and speakers at the event, along with a solemn high Mass with Gregorian chant giving glory to God. It could be a great event. That is what Catholics should be demanding from the Archbishop.