Thursday, March 15, 2007

And you wonder what happened to the liturgy...

...and equally to catechesis. I'd say this story un-nerved me, but I had that reaction many of us are getting used to - equal parts horror and "why should I be surprised"? CathCon points us to a story from California Catholic Daily that goes into some of Fr. Richard Rohr's actions at the California Religious Education Congress this year. Just a tidbit:

Rohr changed some of the prayers of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Opening the preface, he prayed, “Father and Mother God....” Before the consecration of the host, he said, “before he was given up to death, a death he said ‘Yes’ to....” And before the consecration of the wine, Rohr prayed, “when supper was ended, he gave you thanks and praise, gave the cup to his beloved....” Following the consecration, Rohr said the Christ's bloood “will be poured out for you, and for all, so you will know your sins are forgiven.” In praying for the departed, he referred to them as “especially your own beloved who are already with the Lord.”

Rohr prefaced the Our Father, by saying, “and now, knowing we are more one than we are many, though we come from different places and races, we all share the same Father-Mother God. We call upon our God, together, in the words that Jesus gave us: Our Father, Who art in Heaven...”

Now...I'll be honest. Pope John Paul II did make mention that God has certain "feminine" characteristics, notably among them wisdom, as wisdom was considered a feminine trait in the ancient world. But this Father-Mother thing? Puh-lease. Jesus taught us to call God our Father repeatedly and to willy-nilly insert and assert a duality of Father-Mother at best serves only to confuse those who don't understand the subtlety of the fact that God in fact is neither male nor female but precedes and supersedes both. The fact this man's teachings have not been suppressed and in fact are found in popular RCIA material is absolutely astounding.

Should I even go into the impropriety of changing the prayers of the Mass? No, I didn't think I had to. But how the Mass started should give you an idea right away that something was wrong: "Rohr, making no sign of the cross as he began the liturgy..." If your theology, particularly your eucharistic theology, is not surrounded by and surrounding the sign of the cross, you're a short step from missing the boat entirely. Pray for this man, and for those who had to put up with this, and for those who didn't even know anything was wrong.

And, no, I'm not even going to go into the whole bongo drums thing. Not. Not. Not. *twitch*