Cleansing Fire

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More Liturgical Dance in the Catholic Courier

June 21st, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

I am baffled at the Diocese of Rochester and the Catholic Courier’s strange obsession with the inappropriate, and heavily discouraged, “liturgical dance.” The Catholic Church has made it abundantly clear that liturgical dance does not belong in our liturgies, but our Rochester leadership continues to disgrace the Mass by sending children out there for their own entertainment.

Don’t like the truth? Too bad. Liturgical dance is entertainment. It is not prayer, nor is it worship.

Here is the article.

Some highlights from the article, emphasis and commentary added:

“Mariam Rivera, the group’s director, handed out white flags that would be part of the performance for the newly created group.” [Note: performance!]

“Most of the movements were tied to the words in the songs as arms raised and the flags waved in praise.” [“Flags waved in praise”? They are trying their hardest to make this sound the least bit liturgical. It’s not. The whole thing is no different than any other dance number like one would see at a child’s dance recital]

“It helps our children to stay interested in the Lord.” [If you’re a kid thinking about your big liturgical dance number, you’re probably not paying much attention to the Mass. Let’s pretend for a moment that it does indeed help kids stay interested.  Is it worth desacralizing the Mass and driving away members of the congregation? The “keeps kids interested” argument could then be applied to puppet Masses, clown Masses, and an assortment of other liturgical abuses]

“”It’s a cross-cultural experience,” he said. Carmen Torres, who has led a dance group at Rochester’s Immaculate Conception Church for the past 12 years, said that many Hispanics are not familiar with liturgical dance. “As a culture that really respects the holy ground of a church, dancing is more something that happens outside church,” Torres said. “It’s not looked upon as something that can be focused or looked at as something positive for prayer.”” [So this throws out any argument that could be made that liturgical dance is appropriate to the Hispanic culture]

“When she conducts workshops for churches as she did for Our Lady of the Americas, Torres tells parents to think of a priest’s movements during Mass as dance. A priest bows and raises up his arms — movements that are common for liturgical dancers, she noted.” [So now it’s imitating the actions of the priest? That’s definitely not permitted]

Shame on all those who turn the Holy Mass into a show! Post your angry comments… but you know I’m right. The Church also agrees. See Cardinal Arinze speak about liturgical dance.

Passages from “The Religious Dance”, published by the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments:

The dance has never been made an integral part of the official worhship of the Latin Church.”

Conciliar decisions have often condemned the religious dance because it conduces little to worship and because it could degenerate into disorders.”

“Here dancing is tied with love, with diversion, with profaneness, with unbridling of the senses: such dancing, in general, is not pure.

For that reason it cannot be introduced into liturgical celebrations of any kind whatever: that would be to inject into the liturgy one of the most desacralized and desacralizing elements; and so it would be equivalent to creating an atmosphere of profaneness which would easily recall to those present and to the participants in the celebration worldly places and situations.”

The traditional reserve of the seriousness of religious worship, and of the Latin worship in particular, must never be forgotten.”

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11 Responses to “More Liturgical Dance in the Catholic Courier”

  1. avatar Jeff says:

    No wonder there is a sex abuse crisis in the church. Parading kids in tight-dressed leotards around the priests is sure not helping matters.

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    Jeff, I have to take exception to that. It’s almost like blaming the victim. There is an old saying about rape: “The skirt was too short.” The sexual abuse of a minor or of an adult is an act of aggression and power. The sexual act is almost secondary to the act of power over another. A pedophile/ephebophile will abuse a minor no matter how they’re dressed. It their age, vulnerability, and the very fact that they can be physically, psychologically, and emotionally overpowered by an adult that is the attraction.

    Priests are not brutes, neither are men. Simply because a priest or man may see another person dressed in tight fitting clothes does not mean they will become immediate abusers. That sickness, and it is a sickness, is long present before any victim is brought before them.

    Women in scanty clothes do not cause rape, do not seek to be raped, and should never be blamed for rape. Children, no matter how they are dressed, will not cause rape/sexual abuse. And simply because a priest sees a child in a tight fitting leotard does not mean he will be tempted any more than you will.

  3. avatar Jeff says:

    Not tranferring blame, but pointing out the fact that you are unnecessarily arousing old men during Mass.

  4. avatar Bernie says:

    Now, I’m sure that Buffalo road could easily take any directive from the Congregation for Divine Worship, cut , rearrange and paste, adding a few escape clauses from some Vatican letter to some lay movement 40 years ago and come up with a justification for liturgical dance because the Church wants us to give pride of place to …liturgical dance. That’s what the DOR did concerning clearly written Vatican and Congregational statements on lay preaching in the Mass. These folks are masters of the slight of hand. The rest of the world may have the Vatican but we have Buffalo road. We’re special.

  5. avatar Bill B. says:

    “…arousing old men during Mass.” I don’t thinkd that is the case. Most of what has transpired over the years is preying on boys. My only thought on the topic is if it is “against” the rules, where is the authority to say “stop.” I’m sure some cleric of high import could come down and say that. If there is an official “OK” from somwhere that we don’t know of, than, simply don’t go to anythin where Liturgical Dance is added. Don’t rely simply on a printed rule, get an authority to vouch for it and go from there.

  6. avatar jetscubs86 says:

    Unfortunately there is NO authority in the Catholic church. We pretend there is but there’s not. We can do whatever we want. Whatever makes us feel good. There’s so much insubordination in our church, it’s not even funny (and I’m not laughing), although this diocese IS a complete JOKE.

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    “Not tranferring blame, but pointing out the fact that you are unnecessarily arousing old men during Mass.”

    This is a very naive statement. I don’t even know where to begin.

    Do you assume all priests are pedophiles/ephebophiles? It sounds like you do. Secondly, are men brutes? They can’t control themselves? Does your belief that little girls in tight leotards “unnecessarily arousing old men” (assuming these old men have a sexual attraction to prepubescent children) also apply to young priests being unnecessarily aroused when seeing some young and attractive woman? Or man, for the homosexual oriented young priest?

    Celibacy is a chosen discipline. Chastity is something to which we are called. We are to control ourselves. Your statements seem to imply that men can’t control themselves.

    Further, and most importantly, you have totally missed my previous statement. The abuse of these children was more an act of aggression and power than a sexually fulfilling relationship for the rapist. Rape is an act of violence, aggression and power. Of course, the widely held myth is that it is only sexual. The sexual act is the “weapon” if you will. When this act is perpetrated upon the child, it is used to confuse the child who is not yet ready for such an act either physically, emotionally, psychologically or elsewise. The child is left with no one to protect them, usually ashamed and very confused. The long reaching affects are toxic.

    Please do not make flippant statements like the above two statements. In your first, you blame the abuse of the children on their attire, on them! In the second, you imply that all priests are brutish victimizers of children who cannot control themselves, have no understanding of the discipline of celibacy and that all children are somehow in danger if they are near any priest.

  8. avatar Dr. K says:

    Anon and Jeff-

    Please, let’s not take this post down that road. Both of your points are noted, and both appear to have some merit. Let’s end this discussion.

  9. avatar TL says:

    This has frustrated me for years. When I told my son’s 6th grade (DOR) teacher he was not allowed to participate in a school mass liturgical dance (which was a 6th grade requirement at the time) she looked at me like I had two heads! I think DOR continues to approve of liturgical dance — and I am speaking about Catholic schools here — for the very reason that it promotes in our children that sense of self-centeredness that all the infamous liturgical abusers are known for. They are teaching the children to be more like them. TL

  10. avatar Richard says:

    The only bodily movement that is appropriate for the liturgical dance is a bowel movement.

  11. avatar jetscubs86 says:

    Is “Liturgical dance” even in the Catholic dictionary, or the Catholic encyclopedia? Who came up with this foolishness? I’ve seen it before and it looks absolutely stupid. “LIturgical dancing” is a great way to get parishoners’ minds off of Jesus.


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