It seemed for a week or so that someone writing for the Pray Tell blog was actually giving the Reform of the Reform the benefit of a fair hearing, and a charitable reading. James Frazier, while not Catholic himself, seemed to be thoughtfully considering the contributions of three recent non-mainstream Catholic hymnals.
The epilogue explains that this pretense of a fair hearing was actually a sham.
Frazier makes two resoundingly stupid claims:
- Liturgy’s validity (yes, he actually uses this technical word) can only be measured “by the extent to which the congregation succeeds at evangelism, outreach and justice.”
- In practice, communities that “lean towards the EF” are turned inward and are not evangelistic. They do not work for justice.
Now, everyone who has been paying attention to liturgical mullarkey (an Irish term) for any length of time has heard this kind of characterization before. And it must be asked: huh? What is the #1 civil rights violation of our time? Abortion. And which congregations are most likely to be working to end it? Those that “lean towards the EF.”
Of course, if we’re talking about the likelihood of more traditionalist parishes marching to the beat of the progressivist causes du jour–bottled water, gender blur, nuns on a bus–then no, traditionalist parishes are not likely to be taken in by things like that. Good music is not about hype. Good theology is not about hype. And true faith sees through nonsense.