The New Minorities

Can I suggest as well that there is now a new minority in the world and even in the Church?  I am thinking of those who, relying on God’s grace and mercy, strive for virtue and fidelity: Couples who — given the fact that, at least in North America, only half of our people even enter the sacrament of matrimony– approach the Church for the sacrament;  Couples who, inspired by the Church’s teaching that marriage is forever, have persevered through trials; couples who welcome God’s gifts of many babies; a young man and woman who have chosen not to live together until marriage; a gay man or woman who wants to be chaste; a couple who has decided that the wife would sacrifice a promising professional career to stay at home and raise their children — these wonderful people today often feel themselves a minority, certainly in culture, but even, at times in the Church!  I believe there are many more of them than we think, but, given today’s pressure, they often feel excluded.

-Timothy Cardinal Dolan

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16 Replies to “The New Minorities”

  1. That made my day! Thanks from the bottom of my heart, Your Eminence, for remembering us little Catholic rabbits and our broods of bunnies whom we are doing our best to get to Heaven

  2. I might add that it's time for Catholic rabbits to stand up and be counted! Huzzah! Je suis un lapin!


  3. This forum is called the Chant Cafe and I come here for info/discourse/enlightenment about liturgical music, specifically chant and polyphony. I don't come here for moral or theological holding forth. I might be alone in this, but I feel this post is inappropriate in this space.

  4. 'Catholic musicians gathered to blog about liturgy and life'. Hmm. Two sentences into the post, anyone not interested in Miss Pluth's opinions on her subject will have been able to move on to another page, another site….

  5. Thank you for your input, Matthew.
    Thank you for your comment, Matthew.

    While I agree that this post is on the outer edge of our subject matter, within the current context of the synod, ecclesiology will undoubtedly affect the use of chant and polyphony. I believe we have seen this trickle-down effect lo, these several decades.

    Or do you see no connection between morality/ theology and sacred art? And if there is a connection, isn't ecclesial leadership important?

  6. I don't disagree about the trickle down effect – to a certain extent. And yes, it would have been easy to ignore a comment I didn't think relevant. But any direct connection of the 'theology of the body' to liturgical music is tenous at best. More to the point – I have enjoyed the that this space has not been a moral/theological mine field as it certainly would be if this post were to become the norm. There are other forums better suited to that. It is possible for (lacking better nomenclature) conservatives and liberals to come together about sacred music without the deep divide and intense vehemence that always seems inevitable when addressing sexual morality.

  7. I'm not wedded, so to speak, to the "theology of the body," which is a particular catechetical program designed to teach sexual morality. It is a wonderful program, but it's not my emphasis here. I'm referring to a much older claim: morality and music have been linked together as least as far back as Plato, and came to us through St. Augustine as well.

    This doesn't mean we can't discuss sacred music without discussing morality, and we do, most of the time. But I have brought it up often enough before in these pages. One of the many benefits of teaching chant to children, for example, is that singing chant helps them to internalize a touchstone of artistic beauty. I have claimed here any number of times that this would be beneficial to preteens, giving them inner strength and a sense of the good that will help them through adolescence.

    I do believe that sacred music is good only insofar as it is right for praise, and good for persons. In other words, the song is for the singer, not the singer for the song.

    This doesn't mean that we have to be confrontational, and I hope that you agree I haven't been here.

  8. What is being discussed at the Synod could, in the end, very much affect liturgical praxis in the future. If it happens that the solution to the Communion for the remarried/divorced is handed over to the episcopal conference who will adopt their own guidelines,then who knows what will happen next? Will episcopal conferences eventually design their own liturgies as they get farther and farther away from Rome?

  9. A citation for the above-mentioned possibility of "pastoral" solutions being relegated to individual bishops' conferences is from Francis X. Rocca who tweeted "German Abbot Jeremias Schröder says questions of Communion for remarried & ministry to gay people could be delegated to bishops’ conferences."

    He also quoted Thérèse Nyirabukeye, a Synod auditor from Rwanda warning that "a risk of sectarian division within church if doctrinal matters are devolved to bishops’ conferences." I don't think it takes too much to imagine all the consequences for sacred music. If episcopal conferences can presume the authority to grant Communion for the divorced and remarried and create ministries for homosexuals, then tweaking the liturgy to conform to their newly invented sacramental theology is an easy next step, and how is that going to be regulated? I'm afraid we could be looking at an open-ended, "anything goes" scenario.

  10. Matthew, I have had concerns about the viability and vitality of the Café of late. As a contributor however, I don't feel that checking the "click volume" on BlogSpot provides an accurate measure of the health of the blog. And I've read lately that "commentary" on websites is becoming passé.
    So, what I ask you is- what have you personally done to provide positive feedback to those who take the time to contribute here, no matter the content? I'm sure that you have offered other commentary over time, but in sufficient portion that offsets your repudiation of Kathy's article? And in that the masthead does allow for "liturgy and life," your position seems analogous to "back seat driving." I could be wrong.

  11. Deleting those who materially disagree with you gives the appearance that you are insecure in your point of view.

  12. What are you referring to? Your previous comment is still posted and visible on the thread where you wrote it.

  13. Then I apologize and retract my response. I searched for it pretty extensively before I wrote the above. I'll take another look.

  14. I see comments I've made on other posts, but not the comment I made on this thread, but I guess I'll chalk that up to technical glitches if you are assuring me it was not deleted.

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