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“Liturgical entertainment” by the Papal visit?

Fr Ray Blake’s St. Mary Magdalen blog has a rather astonishing entry about a mail received from the diocesan “visit coordinator”. Apparently, in Hyde Park “liturgical entertainment” will be provided for the several hours between the opening of the park and the Pope’s arrival.

The word itself makes one cringe (as Fr Blake dutifully did). If it’s “liturgical” it’s not supposed to be “entertainment” at all and vice versa. We’ll have to see whether some nostalgic fan of guitar masses has decided to organise something according to the “hermeneutic of discontinuity” or whether it was just a case of a horribly worded email. Still, anyone with some respect for the liturgy would never come to the idea of using an expression like “liturgical entertainment”. This sounds rather like an oxymoron, as in “funny funeral” or “merry murder”. But I googled a bit and the expression really seems to exist! V II is a gift that keeps on giving….

As Fr Blake points out, that such ideas come out during the visit of the most liturgical of recent Popes would, if confirmed, rather look like a slap in the Holy Father’s face. I hope not and frankly do not want to think that Pope Benedict’s enemies would be so stupid, besides being so brazen; but should this really be true than it would be the duty of the Holy Father to save his own face and the reputation of Catholicism in this country buy taking harsh measures and cutting off the one or other guitar-strumming head.

Nothing tragic for now, anyway as the most probable option is that what is meant is superficial ’68 bollocks on which the adjective “liturgical” has been added because it sounded cool. Vatican II doesn’t want to die peacefully.


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