Great interview with Cardinal Burke

At NewEmangelization (h/t LifeSiteNews.com)

Cardinal Burke:  The Church becomes very feminized. Women are wonderful, of course. They respond very naturally to the invitation to be active in the Church. Apart from the priest, the sanctuary has become full of women. The activities in the parish and even the liturgy have been influenced by women and have become so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved.

Men are often reluctant to become active in the Church. The feminized environment and the lack of the Church’s effort to engage men has led many men to simply opt out.

As an example, it became politically incorrect to talk about the Knights of the Altar, an idea that is highly appealing to young men. The Knights of the Altar emphasize the idea that young men offer their chivalrous service at the altar to defend Christ in the sacred realities of the Church. This idea is not welcome in many places today.

Aspects of the Church’s life that emphasized the man‑like character of devotion and sacrifice have been deemphasized. Devotions that required time and effort were simply abandoned. Everything became so easy and when things are easy, men don’t think it is worth the effort.

There has been, and continues to be, serious liturgical abuses that turn men off.

In many places the Mass became very priest‑centered, it was like the “priest show”. This type of abuse leads to a loss of the sense of the sacred, taking the essential mystery out of the Mass. The reality of Christ Himself coming down on the altar to make present His sacrifice on Cavalry gets lost. Men are drawn to the mystery of Christ’s sacrifice but tune out when the Mass becomes a “priest show” or trite.

The rampant liturgical experimentation after Vatican II, much of which was not sanctioned by Vatican II, stripped the Rite of the Mass of much of its careful articulation of the Sacred Mysteries that had been developed over centuries. The Mass seemed to become something very familiar, performed by men; the profound supernatural sense of the Sacred Mystery became obscured.

The loss of the sacred led to a loss of participation of women and men. But I think that men were really turned off by the loss of the sacred. It seems clear that many men are not being drawn into a deeper liturgical spirituality; today, many men are not being drawn to service at the altar.

Young men and men respond to rigor and precision and excellence. When I was trained to be a server, the training lasted for several weeks and you had to memorize the prayers at the foot of the altar. It was a rigorous and a carefully executed service. All of a sudden, in the wake of Vatican II, the celebration of the liturgy became very sloppy in many places. It became less attractive to young men, for it was slipshod.

– See more at: http://www.newemangelization.com/uncategorized/cardinal-raymond-leo-burke-on-the-catholic-man-crisis-and-what-to-do-about-it/#sthash.VTT5ff4e.dpuf

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Great interview with Cardinal Burke

  1. EPMS says:

    I think generalisations like “women…respond very naturally to the invitation to be active in the Church” and “men were really turned off by the loss of the sacred” are meaningless, really, in the absence of any sort of evidence and in any event this makes a number of inconsistent arguments: are men turned off because the liturgy is feminized, because it has become a “priest show”, or because it is sloppy? Are women more okay with sloppy? This is at least has the virtue of being a novel point of view. Some men are apparently drawn to the Church by the opportunity to wear fancy hats, capes, and gloves. The question of missing vocations is a very important one and merits more than random surmise.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: I think generalisations like “women…respond very naturally to the invitation to be active in the Church” and “men were really turned off by the loss of the sacred” are meaningless, really, in the absence of any sort of evidence and in any event this makes a number of inconsistent arguments: are men turned off because the liturgy is feminized, because it has become a “priest show”, or because it is sloppy? Are women more okay with sloppy?

      I rather think that the answers to these questions are far more complex than might first meet the eye, in that they are entangled with other social dynamics of the past several decades.

      >> Sloppy liturgy arises due to a combination of inadequate formation of those who exercise liturgical ministry and lack of proper preparation. In many cases, this reflects poor liturgical formation of clergy in our seminaries and consequent inadequate formation of lay ministers in our parishes.

      >> Many adults are put off by preaching and liturgy that’s targeted at children, even in regular parish masses. The celebration of mass, and especially the homilies, must engage adults.

      >> There has also been an underlying dynamic of the feminist agenda, in which various groups and organizations of women have sought admission to what they regard as traditionally male bastions of society, and this includes the ministry of the church. A significant number of women step forward to volunteer for positions of lay ministry out of this motivation — which obviously is the wrong reason to participate in the ministry of the church. Here, we need to beware of a reaction that systemically excludes all women from ministry because of the wrong motivations of some, but pastors of souls need to exercise discernment to ensure that those who serve have the right motivation for doing so. Significantly, those who exercise ministry with the wrong motivation often do so in a very shoddy manner because they lack the spiritual grounding to do so properly.

      >> And here, the question of who should exercise liturgical ministry comes into play. Children serving on the altar may look cute, but the reality is that all liturgical ministry is rightfully the province only of those who are confirmed. Children typically also lack the knowledge of the liturgy to adapt on the spot to unexpected circumstances that may arise during a liturgical celebration. If something is out of place or forgotten, the altar servers are typically the ones who can correct it discretely — but only if they have enough knowledge of the liturgy to recognize the problem and to figure out when and how to fix it without drawing attention.

      As to the “priest show” issue, the mass was much more of a “priest show” before the reforms instituted by the Second Vatican Council, when there were a lot fewer laity assisting in liturgical ministry.

      You wrote: Some men are apparently drawn to the Church by the opportunity to wear fancy hats, capes, and gloves.

      Touché!

      You wrote: The question of missing vocations is a very important one and merits more than random surmise.

      Yes, and here the biggest problem is a lack of standards that is not exactly novel. Our spiritual formation programs need to lead those being formed to a spiritual commitment that is real and life-changing. The watered down catechesis in far too many parishes, in which everybody in the RCIA is baptized, every student in the confirmation class is automatically confirmed, and every couple in the marriage preparation program subsequently goes to the altar, is precisely what has led to the present situation in which we need to evangelize our own members. Those who have a fundamental commitment of faith are much more likely to consider a ministerial vocation than those who do not.

      Incidentally, evangelical Protestant denominations and organizations such as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association have long excelled in leading people to this sort of commitment of faith, and their methods are fully compatible with the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In recent years, Catholic organizations such as the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) that employ similar pastoral methods have had similar success in this regard. The challenge is to translate their well proven pastoral methods into mainstream Catholic parish ministry.

      Norm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s