Letters – November 5, 2015

| November 4, 2015 | 0 Comments

Drop the word ‘required’

Page 2 of the latest Catholic Spirit has this headline: “All Saints Day a Sunday; no extra Mass required” (Oct. 22). In the spirit of Pope Francis’ wishes and to improve the Catholic Church, let’s not use “required” anymore. Publicly stating that requirement is an example of what needs to be changed in the Church in order for it to prosper again and widen the tent.

Kevin Fink
St. Dominic, Northfield

No pyramid found

Respect life, protect life, yes, but Sister Elizabeth Johnson subtly suggests pantheism and opposes God’s Word that teaches in Genesis 3:17 the earth is cursed because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience (“Catholics called to communion with animals, nature,” Oct. 8). Plants and animals are subject to mankind’s hand — not above, not equal. She calls for a “new theology” that “re-envisions humans not at the top of the pyramid of life,” claiming “Christ is the first-born of all the dead of Darwin’s tree of life.” Jesus Christ died on a tree and rose as “the firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:18) — as savior. He cannot be diminished, nor should we be. Her “theology” is prideful, rebellious and disobedient: Darwin offers no salvation plan; Christ is head of the Church; mankind follows Christ, no pyramid chart; and mankind takes priority over “the natural world.”

Phyllis Plum
St. Peter, Mendota Heights

Cantors should be Catholic

Acknowledging the very real risks of diving headlong into the “pedantic parsing” Father Doyle finds so distasteful (“Seeking Answers,” Oct. 22) I must respectfully disagree with his assertion regarding the meaning of the GIRM’s silence on certain points, specifically the meaning of “suitable lay persons.” It is wholly reasonable to assume that the GIRM is referring to fully initiated Catholics when it uses this term in No. 107. Are cantors, or liturgical musicians as a whole, merely performers, or do they in fact serve the liturgy in an integral way? I think the answer is the latter, and subsequently, it only makes sense that they would also be fully initiated Catholics, just as we demand this of lectors and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion. I readily admit that to ask this of our liturgical musicians poses real logistical (and at times, aesthetical) challenges, and runs counter to widespread practice. But it seems to me better to admit this and tackle the challenge head on, then to try to find justification in the liturgical documents when none exist.

Father John Paul Erickson
Director, Office of Worship, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis; parochial administrator, Blessed Sacrament, St. Paul

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