"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Friday, March 10, 2006

The kneeling "schism" updated

My post last Tuesday, March 7, announced a schism in the U.S. Church—over kneeling right after the Agnus Dei. My use of the terms 'excommunication' and 'schism' was tongue-in-cheek, of course; but only barely so. The offending parishoners were invited by the pastor, with the bishop's backing, to leave both the parish and the diocese. That is doing informally what would be adequately described by the above terms if it were done formally. But of course there are developments in what's coming to be known as "the Huntington Beach affair."

Some people, such as the esteemed Pontificator (see Tuesday's combox), have expressed incredulity that an alleged violation of a liturgical norm about posture would actually be what such a sad confrontation is about. Of course it's about a lot more than kneeling. But posture is as good an occasion as any for bringing the real issues to a head—and the Pontificator's extended quotation from then-Cardinal Ratzinger is a good start on explaining why. As further evidence, see the e-mail received by my fellow blogger Gerald Augustinus at The Cafeteria is Closed.

One of my own commenters here, Dilys, nailed it over at Pontifications:

When pondering lawuits against anodyne graduation invocations, I have long thought the hysterical hostility to any (Christian, at least) religion in the public sphere is a visceral hatred for the inner state of reverence (as opposed to the inner anthropologist who relishes “ethnic” religions). Now I have a name for it: “The Men Without Knees.”

The spirit that animates "men without knees" is the same spirit animating Father Tran, the pastor, and Bishop Brown, the ordinary. Let us hope and pray, for the good of all involved, that they have not actually become such men.
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