More akin to evangelical Protestants’ understanding of worship, the gesture of peace in its current place maims the Catholic teaching of the sacrificial purpose of the Mass. Evangelical Protestants and so-called charismatic Catholics similarly view worship as celebratory fun full of pomp, whistles, vocal affirmation, clapping, and music that mirrors that which is played at dance parties. The Catholic Mass, however, is not a celebration, nor it is a weekend party filled with bread, wine, and good company. Catholics gather to venerate the Eucharistic sacrifice upon the altar.
As the catholic, universal Church it is necessary to avoid the quiet, but very real, incessant growing rift that increasingly sees more traditionalist Catholics embracing theforma extraordinaria Missae, thus leaving many Novus Ordo Masses filled almost exclusively with the less liturgically pious. Just as is necessary in politics, the Church needs unification of all community members in order to keep a healthy balance. To utilize analogous contemporary political terminology, we need those on the right, the left, and those in the middle under the same roof, for the effect is compromise, as friction and diversity of opinion undeniably helps to move everyone to the center, thus reducing factitious extremist tides.
I think this last paragraph is especially important. It’s why I am involved in the Fire and Fusion/ United in Christ movement that seeks unity through pressing in to the Holy Spirit and is operating now among charismatic Catholics and Protestants.
Many charismatic Catholics are simply ignorant of the importance of the liturgy or of what constitutes a liturgical abuse. And many traditionally minded Catholics have prejudices against charismatics “as happy clappy” Christians that are unfair stereotypes.
My work as a journalist for Catholic papers keeps me circulating around many different communities in the Catholic Church, and that helps me see the good in them. May we all resolve to rise above factionalism, to seek out communities that have differing ways of approaching God and let the Holy Spirit bring us into true unity in Christ.