Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Liturgical Theater



Who thinks this stuff up?
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In dramatic scenes, the archbishops of Dublin and Boston washed and dried the feet of eight victims of clerical abuse on Sunday in a Dublin cathedral.  The archbishops invited five women and three men who were abused to come forward and have their feet washed. Several of them cried as Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston kneeled and washed and dried their feet. - Story here.
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Couldn't this have waited until Holy Thursday? 

17 comments:

  1. Not comfortable with this kind of ad hoc liturgy at all, but maybe it's just me.

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  2. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin carries a heavy cross created by the crimes of some of his fellow brothers, religious sisters, and government authorities ... and even some of the laity that turned a blind eye.

    Clearly this meant something to those present and wounded. Truly, what can man do to repay the damage these scandals have inflicted; harm that will be felt for generations?

    Last night the teens and I watched Hitchcock's The Birds. This film terrified me as a 11-year old. A lot of running out of the room with my sisters as scenes became too intense for us. Flash forward, my teens sat on the floor laughing at certain scenes in all of their primitive theatrics. They were not scared. We talked about this observation this a.m. driving to school, for I think it highlights how innocent or perhaps how sensitive a generation was to horror and evil acts, vs today's heighten level of tolerance of such things.

    In someway, if these Archbishops truly can experience the grief and suffering of those they are Shepherding and to be able to empathize with these victims by such an act of washing their feet, I see it as blessing for all. A small step that needs to be built upon.

    Last week this sad story was published about a life tragically lost due to sexual abuse. A tale of how many adults who knew about or inflicted harm went on to live their lives, as one young girl's life spiral out of control and is now dead:

    http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/opinion/25890396-47/sexual-abuse-victims-victim-relationships.csp

    They all need our prayers.

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  3. My apologies for being so cynical - I read other reports that the event was very moving and significant for all of those in attendance.

    I think it is one of those things one had to be there to appreciate.

    I'm never fond of liturgical novelties however.

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  4. It was "thought up" at least in part by victims of abuse, on their own request. It wasn't messing about with the liturgy, it was a ceremony for a particular occasion.

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  5. This wasn't a rite of Holy Thursday.. it was a special liturgy composed for a special circumstance.

    Humility says that this was a good thing.

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  6. +JMJ+

    There are actually reasonable things to be said against this, but of course one would point them out at the risk of seeming callous toward people who have suffered very greatly.

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  7. Thanks Humility.

    Is it customary to wash people's feet in Ireland? Cultural differences I suppose.

    Like I said, I understood it was a very moving and significant event for those in attendance.

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  8. She isn't reading, Terry, as she's very busy, but I'll pass it on. :)

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  9. Down in the dumps, eh?

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  10. Liturgical novelties. lol. Euteneauer, O'Malley, Martin, Philadelphia. At the end of our blog day, I feel life I have been watching TMZ's coverage the sexuak scandals of the bad boys in Congress. It starts going in one ear and out the other. You know what, Terry, I am starting to feel like I am on a bad acid trip. Do you know when it's going to wear off so I can come down?

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  11. That's just it - with acid at least you were pretty sure you'd come back down.

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  12. LOL LOL LOL!!!! It is some kind of a bad, though, whew!

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  13. Terry - the photo at the top of this site is for you.

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  14. From the vantage point of Bishop's diocese, so long as the people who think it's nice acknowledge that there is no system for reporting the corruption and having it acted upon by the Vatican, the washing of the feet is a lovely gesture.

    For those of us who want substantive responses, it's an empty gesture.

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  15. Thanks Larry. LOL!

    Carol summarizes the matter very well - thanks Carol.

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  16. michael r.7:36 AM

    Hopefully it’s not just theater.

    What would “substantive responses” be, after lawsuits, awards of cash, conviction and incarceration in some cases? Recall that Cardinal O'Malley's predecessor, Cardinal Law, who presided over the most egregious situation in the US, got promoted to St. Mary Majors in Rome. Would we want to see him returned to the US to face charges?

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