Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Colloquium Day 4

June 24th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

I’m breaking my pattern of posting at night for this trip because it’s a bit too tiring. This post will be devoted to the various conversations I’ve had in the past few days. Every person to whom I turn has the same greeting, “You’re from Rochester . . . I’ll pray for you.” The priests with whom I have spoken and dined all say that they have never heard of a more corrupt, more inept, more scandalous diocese than Rochester. Priests from Kalamazaoo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and beyond all agree on the following points:

  1. Gregorian Chant is the most liturgically-appropriate music there is
  2. Sacred Polyphony is a priceless treasure which must be used at Mass
  3. The Diocese of Rochester is “a wasteland”

Now, this may go without saying, but all these priests, seminarians, nuns, and lay people are bastions of joy. They aren’t dangerous reactionaries, angry traditionalists, or spiteful in their liturgical preferences. They are the embodiments of charity. But, with true charity comes clarity, and a willingness to expose wrongs where they are. And, by exposing these wrongs, they oppose them.

Window from the chapel on campus at Duquesne

Bouncing from class to class, from meal to meal, and from lecture to lecture may sound tedious. When you’re surrounded by 250 like-minded people, it is anything but. You walk past a Starbucks, and there are priests and seminarians studying the proper rubrics for certain Masses. You see young couples practicing chant together. You see nuns demonstrating to young girls how to direct chant scholas. Folks, that’s what the Church is.

In Rochester, we are indoctrinated (yes, even us) to think that we need to feel defensive about our faith. Being at the Sacred Music Colloquium, you can see that the reality of the matter is the exact opposite. We need to have an overt and non-precocious zeal for orthodoxy. Don’t be afraid to do the right thing because you’re the only one. Do it, and others will follow you.

I have never experienced this depth of Catholicism. Ever. In the Church, there is no room for debate on doctrinal matters. There is no room for kinky liturgical preferences. No – the Church gives us Truth, the Church gives us Goodness, and it is up to us to give the Church beauty, not dissonance.

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2 Responses to “Colloquium Day 4”

  1. avatar CPT Tom says:

    When I attended the Chant Intensive 2 years ago, I was struck by many of the same things. It was a great comfort to know We are not alone nor forgotten. I sincerely hope that someday those of us who sing in scholas in the diocese can come together and hold our own school of chant weekend or week to build locally.

  2. avatar Mike says:

    “You’re from Rochester . . . I’ll pray for you.”

    Maybe it’s true that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. At least now we have folks praying for us.


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