What People Are Commenting
Rainbow Police, Babel Tower & Missalettes
Rainbow Police Cars
how the NYPD is officially supporting the LGBT agenda.
Ours are bad times, when the police department shifts to the worst wing of the left.
European Parliament Building
I have read your article '
The Babel Tower Governing Europe
' of November 2009.
I see that the article refers to one of its illustrations as an official postcard of the European Union (EU), but it is no longer available on the EU official website. I have seen the same illustration described elsewhere as a poster, though I suppose it could have existed in both forms.
My reason for writing is that I am looking for incontrovertible proof that this illustration came originally from an official EU source. For example, do you know if it is recorded in Wikimedia Commons with a reliable citation? Alternatively, do you have an electronic image of the relevant EU webpage that you could send to me?
D.B., Portugal .
Unfortunately we do not have the E.U. webpage about which you inquired. Perhaps you may find it on the
Google Wayback Machine
, which keeps records of almost everything that is posted on the Internet.
At the time the article was posted, that postcard was very common, sold as a souvenir to those who visited the E.U. headquarters in Strasbourg. However, we do not have one of them in our files.
The article you mentioned was translated by us from
Crux et Gladius
using the same photos they had. You may direct your questions to its staff. Hopefully, you will be more successful.
TIA correspondence desk
Watch 'Please, Don't Call Protestants Christians'
Someone has copied your article and is reading it on line.
The Church & the Emancipation Proclamation
We learn this from Adam S. Miller's The North, the South, and Slavery, the second of his four book series on the Civil War, written from a traditional Catholic perspective. One might ask: How could there be anything hypocritical about setting slaves free?
The truth, however, about that famous Proclamation, is a different matter, one that those of us indoctrinated in the politically correct view of the Civil War will find difficult to accept. The fact is that, legally, not one single slave was set free by that document.
[the Vatican's newspaper] condemned it as a desperate and hypocritical measure which freed no slaves but encouraged rebellion in the South. The Jesuit Journal,
La Civilta Cattolica
, portrayed the war as a hopeless and unjust war to punish the South." (p. 95.)
A Dinosaur Religious Market Imposing New Music
You have a letter
discussing old church hymnals
and their banishment from a parish where the pastor insists on music books from the Oregon Catholic Press. Unfortunately, every Novus Ordo parish I have attended over the last several decades uses those missals also.
I always wondered about the art used in them... Never ever see anything of the old traditional & very beautiful Catholic art.
I researched them many years ago and learned from Michael Colace of "Rape of the Soul" website there's a reason for my concern. I just wondered if TIA would ever consider exposing them for their seriously perverted agenda and the ignorance or complicitness of the USCCB for ever doing business with the likes of them.
It is our immutable policy not to encourage anyone to attend a
Mass, because we are convinced it has a flavor of heresy by accepting all the suggestions introduced into it by the Protestant theologians invited by Paul VI to assist in its composition.
However, to answer your question and show how this new liturgy is not a popular phenomenon but has been imposed to the faithful through a powerful marketing system, we bring to your attention the following. The Oregon Catholic Press has made its name and fortune by adapting to the post-Vatican II Church with the publishing of millions of 'missalettes' used in most
churches and progressivist music hymnals in many different languages.
You can read about some of its history in an article by Jeffrey Tucker published in the May 19, 2009, in
. We do not support his conclusion, which is to try to find more conservative music for your Novus Ordo service, but found his research helpful.
With the hope that soon you will leave the Novus Ordo and return to true traditional Masses, we offer you below a long excerpt from Mr. Tucker’s article.
TIA correspondence desk
The Hidden Hand behind Bad Catholic Music
It usually starts with the missalettes — those lightweight booklets scattered around the pews of your parish church. They contain all the readings of the Sunday Masses, plus some hymns and responses in the back. There’s nothing between the covers that would offend an orthodox sense of the faith and most of the songs are traditional by today’s standards.
So, what’s the problem?
Well, if your missalettes are like those issued in more than half of American parishes, they’re copyrighted by the Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) — the leading Catholic purveyor of bad music in the United States. Four times a year, it prints and distributes 4.3 million copies of the seemingly unobjectionable booklets (which OCP doesn’t call missalettes).
But that’s just the beginning of its massive product line, where each item is integrated perfectly with the others to make liturgical planning quick and easy. To instruct and guide parish musicians and liturgy teams, the OCP prints hymnals, choral scores, children’s songbooks, Mass settings, liturgy magazines (with detailed instructions that are slavishly followed by parishes around the country), and CDs for planning liturgies and previewing the newest music.
This collection of products, however, does not include a hymnal — or anything else — designed to appeal to traditional sensibilities (its
is deceptively misnamed). The OCP’s experts never tire of promoting the new, rewriting the old, and inviting you to join them in their quest to “sing a new church into being” (as one of their hit songs urges). The one kind of “new” that the OCP systematically avoids is the new vogue of traditional music that has proved so appealing to young Catholics.
The bread and butter of the OCP are the 10,000 music copyrights it owns. It employs a staff of 150, runs year-round liturgy workshops all over the United States, sponsors affiliates in England and Australia and keeps song-writers all over the English-speaking world on its payroll. In fact, it’s the preferred institutional home of those now-aging “St. Louis Jesuits” who swept out the old in 1969 and, by the mid-1970s, had parishes across the country clapping and strumming and tapping to the beat.
The OCP also sails under the flags of companies it has acquired, established or represented along the way: New Dawn Music, Pastoral Press, North American Liturgy Resources, Trinitas, TEAM Publications, White Dove Productions and Cooperative Ministries. Every time it purchases — or assumes the distribution of — another publisher, its assets and influence grow.
Power without authority
But while the OCP dictates the liturgies of most U.S. parishes, it has no ecclesiastical authority. It’s a large nonprofit corporation — a publishing wing of the Diocese of Portland — and nothing else. It has
been empowered by the U.S. Bishops, much less Rome, to oversee music or liturgy in American parishes.
The OCP’s power over Catholic liturgy is derived entirely from its copyrights, phenomenal sales and marketing genius. Nonetheless, it wields the decisive power in determining the musical culture of most public Masses in the United States.
And once a parish dips into the product line of the OCP, it is very difficult to avoid full immersion. So complete and integrated is their program that it actually reconstructs the sense that the liturgy team has about what Catholicism is supposed to feel and sound like.
But, few of those subject to the power of the OCP understand that it’s the reason why Catholic liturgy so often seems like something else entirely. For example, pastors who try to control the problem by getting a grip on their liturgies quite often sense that they’re dealing with an amorphous power without a name or face. That’s because very few bother to examine the lay-directed materials that are shaping the liturgies. Too many priests are willing to leave music to the musicians, fearing that they lack the competence to intervene.
Meanwhile, the nature of the OCP is completely unknown to most laypeople. Many Catholics shudder, for example, when they hear the words Glory & Praise, the prototypical assortment of musical candy that was already stale about 15 years ago but which mysteriously continues to be repackaged and re-chewed in parish after parish. “Here I am, Lord,” “Be Not Afraid,” “City of God,” “One Bread, One Body,” “Celtic Alleluia,” and (wait for it) “On Eagle’s Wings” — these all come courtesy of the OCP.
But at the publisher itself, this moldy repertoire is not an embarrassment. On the contrary, the publisher brags that
Glory & Praise
, whose copyright it acquired in 1994, continues to be the best-selling Catholic hymnal of all time. And what about those prayers of the faithful that seem far more politically than doctrinally correct? They’re probably from the OCP, too. A new edition of its
Prayer of the Faithful
is printed every year. (In what is surely great news for the unrepentant, the OCP brags that the volume helpfully includes “creative alternatives to the Penitential Rite.”)
Hijacking of Catholic Truth
It wasn’t always like this. Before 1980, the OCP was called the Oregon Catholic Truth Society. It was founded in 1922 in response to a compulsory school-education law that forced Catholics to attend public schools. Archbishop Alexander Christie got together with his priests to found the society. Its aim: to fight bigotry and stand up for truth and Catholic rights.
In 1934, the Oregon Catholic Truth Society released a missal called My Sunday Missal. It was good-looking, inexpensive and easy to use. It became the most popular missal ever (you can still run across it in used bookstores).
But, the rest of the story is as familiar as it is troubling. Sometime in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Oregon Catholic Truth Society began to lose its moorings. Catholic truth had to make room for the Age of Aquarius. Thus, in the course of a single decade, a once-reliable representative of Catholic teaching became reliably unreliable. Money given to the organization to promote truth was now being used to advance a revolutionary approach to Catholic life, one that repudiated traditional forms of the faith. The only thing that did not change was the breadth of its influence: Under the new dispensation, it was still a powerhouse of Catholic publishing.
If you’ve been keeping up with the OCP’s latest offerings, you know that the songs from the mid-1970s don’t begin to plumb the depths. The newest OCP hymnals are jam-packed with music from the 1980s and 1990s, with styles meant to reflect the popular music trends of the time. (Actually, they’re about five years behind the times.)
They sail under different names (
Music Issue, Journey Songs, Heritage Hymnal, Glory & Praise
), but the content is similar in all of them: an eclectic, hit-and-miss bag with an emphasis on new popular styles massaged for liturgical use. (Worst choice:
Spirit & Song
, which “encourages the youth and young adults of today to praise God in their own style.”)
Some of the newer songs sound like variations on the musical themes you hear at the beginning of TV sitcoms. Some sound like Broadway-style love songs. Others have a vague Hawaiian, calypso or blues feel. You never know what’s going to pop up next.
Not all of it is terrible. In fact, there are some real toe-tappers among the songs. The question to ask, however, is whether it’s right for
. The answer from the Church has been the same from the second century to the present day: The Mass requires special music, which is different from secular music and popular religious music. It must have its own unique voice — one that works, like the liturgy itself, to bring together time and eternity. It’s a style perfectly embodied in chant, polyphony and traditional hymnody.
The OCP revels in its ability to conflate these categories; indeed, that’s the sum total of its purpose and effect. And judging from its newest new line of songs and CDs — “we just couldn’t wait until our next General Catalog to tell you about it” — your parish can look forward to a variety of ska and reggae songs adapted for congregational purposes.
How it hooks you
But, let’s go back to that innocent, floppy missalette. The OCP claims it has many advantages. Missalettes “make it easy for you to introduce the latest music to your parish and changes in Church rituals are easy to implement.” Thus, the missalette is “always up-to-date.”
It’s also quite a bargain. If you buy more than 50 subscriptions to the quarterly missalette, you receive other goodies bundled inside. You’ll get a
(the main OCP hymnal) to supplement the thin selection in the missalette. In addition, you’ll receive a keyboard accompaniment book, a guitar book, the
Choral Praise Comprehensive
, a handy service binder, two annual copies of
Respond & Acclaim
for the psalm and the gospel acclamation, biannual copies of
Prayer of the Faithful
, two subscriptions to
(which tells liturgy teams what to sing and say, when and how) and one master index. And the more you buy, the more you get.
Why would you want all this stuff? Well, if you’re in parish music, you’ll quickly discover that the missalette has too few hymns to cover the whole season. The
seems like an economical purchase. But, there’s something odd about the OCP’s most popular music book: There’s no scriptural index. How do you know what hymns fit with what gospel reading?
No problem. Just buy a copy of
, which spells it all out for you. If you want a broader selection of possible hymns, you can also order the OCP’s
software or its monthly
, which is visually more complicated than the
(but still contains no scriptural index).
If you follow the free liturgical planner closely, you’ll notice you can purchase a variety of choral arrangements and special new music (copyright OCP) that match perfectly with the response, the hymnal, and the missalette (copyright OCP), which is itself integrated with the prayers of the faithful (copyright OCP) and the gospel (not yet OCP copyright). And so it goes, until you follow the complete OCP plan for each Mass, from the first “Good morning, Father!” to the last “Go in peace to love and serve others!” By making each element dependent on the next, the OCP has ensured a steady — if trapped — clientele.
But, why should the liturgy team go along with this program? The average parish musical team is made up of non-professionals. Its poorly paid members are untrained in music history; they have no particular craving for chant or polyphony, which often seems quite remote to them. Most musicians in average Catholic parishes would have no idea how to plug into the rite an extended musical setting from, say, the high Renaissance, even if they had the desire to do so.
The OCP understands this point better than most publishers. In an interview, Michael Prendergast, editor of
, pointed again and again to the limited resources of typical parishes. The OCP sees serving such needs as a core part of its publishing strategy; its materials keep reminding us that we don’t need to know Church music to get involved.
Lack of familiarity with the Church’s musical tradition would not be a grave problem if there were a staple of standard hymns and Mass settings to fall back on. But, it has been at least 30 years since such a setting was available in most parishes. The average parish musician wants to use his talents to serve the parish in whatever way possible, but he’s at a complete loss as to how to do it without outside guidance. The OCP fills that vacuum.
Under its tutelage, you can aspire to be a real liturgical expert, which means you have attended a few workshops run by OCP-connected guitarists and songwriters (who explain that your job as a musician is to whip people into a musical frenzy: loud microphones, drum tracks, over-the-top enthusiasm when announcing the latest hymn). These “experts” love the OCP’s material because it allows them to keep up the pretense that they have some special knowledge about what hymns should be used for what occasions and how the Mass ought to proceed.
Real Catholic musicians who have worked with the OCP material tell horror stories of incredible liturgical malpractice. The music arrangements are often muddled and busy, making it all but impossible for regular parishioners to sing. This is especially true of arrangements for traditional songs, where popular chords give old hymns a gauzy cast that reminds you of the 1970s group
The liturgical planning guides are a ghastly embarrassment. Nine years ago, for example, the liturgical planner recommended “Seek Ye First” for the first Sunday in Lent (“Al-le-lu-, Al-le-lu-yah”). In numerous slots during the liturgy, OCP offers no alternative to debuting its new tunes. When traditional hymns are offered, they’re often drawn from the Protestant tradition, or else the words are changed in odd ways (see, for example, its strange version of “Ubi Caritas”). The liturgical instructions are equally pathetic. On July 8, 2002, the liturgical columnist passed on this profound summary of the gospel of the day: “Live and let live.”
Posted June 28, 2016
The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting - do not necessarily express those of TIA
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