Thursday, April 3, 2008


H/T The Curt Jester

For twenty plus years I have been told, mainly anonymously through the internet, how I have been personally responsible for destroying Roman Catholic worship. I have never responded; however, I wish to offer a few comments now.

First of all, although I am not Roman Catholic, I have a deep love and respect for and faith in the worship tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. My own hesitancy about joining the Church is not about its eucharistic theology, but rather around the unwillingness of the Church to commission, ordain and welcome all humans as Jesus did–male and female, married and unmarried, saints and sinners. I believe that the Church, God’s people and all of creation have suffered from this omission.

I do not think of my own music as central or important to Roman Catholic worship, present or future. I began writing as a parish musician; I still keep the vision that to be “catholic” is to learn and love and embrace the best of the past tradition and to welcome the “best” of what is new, as Gods [sic] speaks through all cultures and expressions (see “Lumen Gentia” [sic]). I leave it to communities and to the Holy Spirit that will (more than us, thank God) guide the future choices that will last.

I had nothing to do with the choice of “Mass of Creation” for a Papal Mass. Having said that, I believe that attacks upon Tom Stehle in his efforts to engage a congregation with what he hoped would be familiar and meaningful to them (using parts of the liturgy with currently approved texts) were unfair, un-Christian and beneath those of us who truly care about how God speaks through our Sacraments.

Does it bother anyone else that he isn't Catholic? His music saturates the Sacred Liturgies! Basically whenever I hear his music, I feel like it's watered down, "huggy bear-kissy face," theology. So yeah, I gotta say I'm not a fan. I do agree with Jeff at the The Curt Jester that his music has taken Pride of Place in so many churches. The ratio at our Parish is 1 traditional hymn to 3 Haugen songs per Mass. Clearly, that's Pride of Place.

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