Have you ever read a Church document or heard of a disciplinary action which resorts to mockery?
No, you haven't. The LCWR Barbara Marx Hubbard show never loses its punch-line though does it? It always gets a laugh. Religious stuff can be funny - I can laugh at the weird things liberals do - as well as the saffron scarves waved in homage to BMH during her entrance rite at the St. Louis Conference. I get a laugh out of cappa magnas too. Religious 'stuff' detached from its context does evoke a chuckle from time to time. I'm no better than anyone else. Of course, cappa magnas are part of ecclesial garb and I should have more respect. Orange scarves waved about in a make-shift, New Age, para-liturgical, entrance-rite celebration should be a cause for concern however. Both examples signal something. One signals something valid - the other signals something false, something disordered: even a threat to the faith.
We can mock the space-age gnosticism displayed at the LCWR conference - while we complain about all of the errors which continue to float about in our parish churches and peace and justice ministries, where this type of innovative liturgy continues to be performed. As I keep repeating - these women still work in the parishes, they still maintain a remnant of their once vibrant communities - they continue to educate and 'indoctrinate' younger women. And yet we laugh. Are they really so ineffective?
Anyway - That's an introduction to a piece I want to highlight from Ratzinger's Spirit of the Liturgy. The following section made me take a second look at what those women religious are really up to. One blogger wrote an article 'blaming' their evolutionary theology on ageing and a fear of death. That's close - but I believe it's a deeper phenomenon than ageing hippies simply getting older and avoiding death...
"The philosophies of cult go off in different directions...
In early Christianity the clash with Gnosticism was the decisive struggle for its own identity. The fascination of such views is very great; they seem so easily identifiable with the Christian message. For example, original sin, so hard otherwise to understand, is identified with the fall into finitude, which is why it clings to everything stuck in the vortex of finitude. Again, the idea of redemption as deliverance from the burden of finitude is readily comprehensible, and so on.
In our own times too, in a variety of forms, the fascination of Gnosticism is at work. The religions of the Far East have the same basic pattern. That is why the various kinds of teaching on redemption that they offer seem highly plausible. Exercises for relaxing the body and emptying the mind are seen as the path to redemption. They aim at liberation from finitude, indeed, they momentarily anticipate that liberation ..." - Spirit of the LiturgyI may be wrong in understanding this passage, but it occurred to me that this is what the New Age Catholics are incorporating into their liturgical models - because that is what their assembly enacts - their vision of liturgical reform. Again, we see it incorporated in liturgically liberal and innovative parishes, and more sensationally at gatherings such as the annual Los Angeles Religious Education Conference. My point? It's not funny, it's institutionalized liturgical abuse. It's New Age, it's Gnosticism, it's Theosophy.
Just my opinion of course. LYAO!