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July 18, 2004

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Comments

beng

GREAT NEWS. THIS SHOULD BE SPREAD ALL OVER THE CHURCH!!

beng

About No:4
As we have always taught, please make sure the music does not in any way detract from the action at the altar, ambo, or chair.

What does this mean actually? They need to define "detract"


and btw the Lifeteen guy's comment: "As a member of the LifeTeen ministry team at our parish, I can definitely say that this will be a difficult transition--especially for our teens"


What in the world is the difficult transition? IMO this change is not enough. CDW (Congregation of Divine Worship) should not even allow those life teen to play music from Pop-Christian genre (michael W. Smith etc etc) which are appalling. The way I see it the major change from usual Life Teen are only for teens NOT to stand around the altar. If this guy find this also appalling practice a "difficult transition" then let him be anathema!! GEEZ!!


And abolishing "the Mass never ends" is NOT much of a "difficult transition"

What is this LifeTeen guy thinking?

Larry

Despite Fushek's plea for obedience, it must be noted that in his own parish bulletin, he has announced that these changes won't go into effect "until fall". So obedience apparently only goes so far.

Jimmy Akin

Larry: Could you provide a link to something indicating this or otherwise indicate how you know this? Don't want us to be misreporting such things.

Larry

Info emailed.

Joe

I remember Life Teen from my Teen years(Im 26) it was terrible. The more I learn about the Faith the less I see the need for corny crap like Life Teen. The Liturgy should not be dumbed down for teenagers. Teenagers should be challenged to mature and start worshiping the way God and His Church demand. As a teen I saw Life Teen as a cheap rip of of protestant Young Life and I found it insulting to my intelligence. The Church didn't need Life Teen for almost 2 thousand years no reason for it now.

jamie

I watched some video materials of LifeTeen last month. Actually, I found them quite good, with regard to promoting the teachings of the Church in a teen-friendly way. Surprised at the orthodoxy, especially on subjects such as sexuality. It was my first experience with the group, and I did notice (even on their videos) some liturgical funny business. I'm glad to see they're stepping it up.

But let's not write LifeTeen off. They're reaching out to school-age teenagers, at least, which is a demographic few other people are bothering to reach. And don't take for granted their willingness to conform with liturgical norms - would that every Catholic parish were so willing.

Drake Tungsten

Re: the questions of Msgr. Fushek's obedience, it is important to remember that, as a part of this story, he fills two roles: that as founder of LifeTeen and as a pastor of a parish in the Diocese of Phoenix. It appears that the letter referenced above came from him in his capacity as LifeTeen founder. In it, he encourages obedience to Church norms for other priests that have responsibilities over their parish's LifeTeen programs. Secondly, as a parish pastor, he is making changes to the way that the Mass is celebrated at his parish in obedience to his bishop, and the larger Church. His bishop has given all parishes until October to get in line. Msgr. Fushek has stated his intention to comply within his bishop's time frame.

I'm no fan of Msgr. Fushek - I've seen plenty of bad liturgical habits here in the East Valley that seem to have their genesis at Saint Timothy's that distract me to no end, but let's be fair. Publicly, he seems to be doing what his bishop has asked of him.

Roz

Re: not making changes until fall.

My parish's (excellent and effective) Life Team program has suspended most activities and Masses until September. Perhaps this is the case in Msgr. Fushek's situation.

Roz

Whoops, sorry for typo. That would be Life TEEN.

Sheesh.

Jayson Franklin

Yeah, normal mass obvioulsy isn't "cool" enough. We have to jazz it up with music and corny hand motions.

Adam

These are good changes, I think. Thanks for the endorsement of Youth Ministry, Jimmy. It was warm as well as objective and logical. "hard mind, soft heart"

Mike

My Church has been blessed to have the LIFE TEEN program for ten years now. And over the past ten years we have endured many changes to the program. I feel some of these comments are a complete disgrace. IN fairness to those of us who work with the program, we try very hard to lead these teens closer to christ in whatever ways possible. While my parish hasnt invited the teens to the altar since 1998, and also discontinued the line, "The Mass Never ends, it must be lived." the task of bring teens to the mass has been an uphill battle since. Making the mass more "proper" has lost teens coming to the mass. Is preventing the teens coming to the altar worth losing there participation in the Church???!

In my opinion it is truly a tragedy that people have become soo overly concerned with the appearence of whether having teens on the altar is liturgically correct that they have lost focus of the Mass, and that is Jesus. I have never heard one of you mention Jesus, but I have certainly heard plenty of "The music is wrong, its too upbeat and Pop like," or "Inviting teens to the altar is liturgically incorrect". But in LIFE TEENs defense, they always mention what is truly important in the Mass, JESUS. Wasnt it our lord that said let the children come to me, and wasnt it him that celebrated the Eucharist around the table and not in a sanctuary with the congregation in pews.

Think what you want about LIFE TEEN, but it has given me my faith, and strengthend it immensely. LIFE TEEN may have done things perceived as incorrect, but at least they have never lost sight of what is important in the mass, and that is Christ. For when you get bogged down in all the minute rules of liturgy you become the Pharisees"--as my school minister taught me.

I will pray that this Church will come to the knowledge of LIFE, so as not to risk them losing what isnt just the future of there Church, but is the Church now---which is something that they are never told, except through the beautiful gift of LIFE TEEN.

I will pray for all of you.

Peace
Mike S
Core Member and former Teen truly blessed to love LIFE TEEN.

Mike

My Church has been blessed to have the LIFE TEEN program for ten years now. And over the past ten years we have endured many changes to the program. I feel some of these comments are a complete disgrace. IN fairness to those of us who work with the program, we try very hard to lead these teens closer to christ in whatever ways possible. While my parish hasnt invited the teens to the altar since 1998, and also discontinued the line, "The Mass Never ends, it must be lived." the task of bring teens to the mass has been an uphill battle since. Making the mass more "proper" has lost teens coming to the mass. Is preventing the teens coming to the altar worth losing there participation in the Church???!

In my opinion it is truly a tragedy that people have become soo overly concerned with the appearence of whether having teens on the altar is liturgically correct that they have lost focus of the Mass, and that is Jesus. I have never heard one of you mention Jesus, but I have certainly heard plenty of "The music is wrong, its too upbeat and Pop like," or "Inviting teens to the altar is liturgically incorrect". But in LIFE TEENs defense, they always mention what is truly important in the Mass, JESUS. Wasnt it our lord that said let the children come to me, and wasnt it him that celebrated the Eucharist around the table and not in a sanctuary with the congregation in pews.

Think what you want about LIFE TEEN, but it has given me my faith, and strengthend it immensely. LIFE TEEN may have done things perceived as incorrect, but at least they have never lost sight of what is important in the mass, and that is Christ. For when you get bogged down in all the minute rules of liturgy you become the Pharisees"--as my school minister taught me.

I will pray that this Church will come to the knowledge of LIFE, so as not to risk them losing what isnt just the future of there Church, but is the Church now---which is something that they are never told, except through the beautiful gift of LIFE TEEN.

I will pray for all of you.

Peace
Mike S
Core Member and former Teen truly blessed to love LIFE TEEN.

KDI

The Life Teen Mass does not respect our liturgical patrimony in a dignifed, orthodox manner. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is just that, a holy sacrifice. It is the re-presentation of Calvary in an unbloody manner. But at the Life Teen Mass, it is the teens who are the primary focus. For example, teens are encouraged to bring their "talents" to the Mass. Right away this puts a thought in their mind that the Teen Mass is about them and what they do at Mass and not about what Christ does at Mass. They may speak about Jesus being present at Mass but I always get the impression that they are speaking more from an emotional experience because Life Teen Masses appeal directly to emotion. The actions at Life Teen Masses reflect this fact so I wouldn't say that simply because priests or teens may stress Christ's presence at the Teen Mass that they are being liturgically Christ-centered because the actions at the Life Teen Mass usually do not reflect this but reflect a horizontal, non-vertical aspect of the Mass. Horizontalism has always been the root problem of the Life Teen Mass.

"Active participation" at Mass is no excuse to promote abuses. Active participation is a much misunderstood term that people have used in a secular sense and have added an entirely different meaning to it than what the Second Vatican Council intended, which intended to promote the active participation that Pope St. Pius X had spoken of. Active participation is what Pope St. Pius X viewed as simply participating in the Chant of the Mass so an interior spiritual renewal would take place. (BTW, the Second Vatican Council declared that Gregorian Chant should be given pride of place in the liturgy, so keep that in mind the next time you go to a Life Teen Mass.) St. Pius X never envisioned the laity physically dancing at Mass, jumping up and down at Mass or clapping to music, or performing skits during Mass.

Life Teen misinterprets what active participation means and pretends that the teens can do whatever they want because it is their Mass and anyone over 19 "just don't get it." Judging by their reaction to pending changes to the Life Teen Mass, isn't it obvious that they have been brainwashed to think that the Mass is about them? That anyone older than 19 should stay away from their version of the Mass?

The Life Teen Mass is a hyped-up-rock-concert- like-Mass with the Eucharist thrown in. It is more in line with the services of Charismatic Pentecostals than with, say, the Traditional Latin Mass of the Latin Rite. Teens at this Mass have no clue when it comes to organic development because they think the Mass is a constant changing process which should always comply with the changing times. But the Mass is otherworldly. It transcends time and place because Christ transcends time and place. This is why the Traditional Latin Mass was so important because it reflected that fact.

Also, Msgr. Fushek's involvement with Life Teen has always troubled me. The Wanderer published some disturbing stories concerning the sexual abuses of some Life Teen volunteers and the fact that Msgr. Fushek settled an out-of-court sexual harassment case in which his diocese had to pay the plaintiff, a man, about $50,000. Although Msgr. Fushek maintained his innocence afterward saying he just wanted to get the case over with and move on, this should cause people in Life Teen to still look at him with caution especially during these times when the scandalous actions of a few priests have been greatly magnified by the media. What if the media got a hold of Msgr. Fushek's tainted past?

But to get back to our real argument on the Life Teen Mass, it should be noted again, as it was earlier by another commenter, that these abuses were already condemned by the former GIRM so I wouldn't paint Life Teen's recent response to the new GIRM as heroic because their sudden fidelity to the GIRM came about only after the Bishop of Phoenix met with Cardinal Arinze who then ordered Life Teen to comply with the GIRM. My opinion is that some members of Life Teen will comply, others will not. For example, few parishes listen to the Holy See whenever the Holy See issues liturgical norms. This has been going on for 40 years. But some of this is the fault of officals within the Holy See because they have failed to stress consistency and uniformity. The Holy See has caved in on some liturgical abuses it had once condemned. Case in point, altar girls! Male-only altar servers was always a service encouraged and protected by the Church because this was a service linked to the priesthood and one in which potential candidates to the priesthood have and may come from.) That was a stupid cave in in light of the Holy Father's ban on women priests! But, sadly, some are aware of this inconsistency and use it to their advantage whenever they incorporate abuses in the Mass.

To sum up this post, as one noted priest once told me, "we are suppose to raise teenagers to the level of the Mass, not bring the Mass down to the level of teenagers."

KDI

Also, if you want to know facts about the Mass and its true origins then I suggest you read the late Msgr. Klaus Gamber's "Reform of the Roman Liturgy: Its Problems and Background" and the late Fr. Adrian Fortescue's excellent work on the the Mass. Your views concerning the sanctuary and the altar of the first Mass and how liturgy developed etc, etc, would be corrected if you read the two authors mentioned above.

Also, it is wrong to promote abuses today by referring to how the early Church may or may not have worshipped because their form of the Mass back then was quite limited due to widespread persecution. So to say something like "we should do away with Communion rails or implement this change or that change because that is how the early Christians worshipped" is a grave error. This is called "archeologism" and was condemned by Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei who stressed the fact that organic development should be respected.

Richard

The traditional style of worship is what led me to the true church of God to begin with, the Holy Roman Catholic Church. I cringe at LIFE TEEN masses, I'm sorry. It reeks of Protestant influence, and it takes secular music covered with veils of "Jesus movement". The Gospel and its message need not be dumbed down, but grow in faith by the Word and the Sacraments, not by "let's all feel good" worship. If I wanted that, I could've stayed Protestant. VIVAT JESUS!

As one of the more orthodox youth grops I've heard about, I'm continously surprised at what is said about Lifeteen. You can bet that if they had known that those practices were liturgical abuses they would never have used them, but they were instead sanctioned by bishops (who were apparently overstepping there authority). The Eucharist, not the teens, is decidedly at the center of Lifeteen, along with strong devotion to our Blessed Mother. Please, in a spirit of charity, do not allow you music preference or whatever to lead you to such harsh judgements.

Paula

As a church musician, I have to opine that the reaction by some to different styles of music is a little overboard. On the catholic.com forum there are some who seem to feel the guitar is a tool of satan himself. ( I happen to play guitar)

I get the feeling there are people who think the organ floated down from Heaven on the wings of angels and was placed in their church.

That said, I do think that some of the popular music strays from sound Catholic teaching. I don't think there is anything wrong with the 'style' of music as long as the content is good. I have played for some Life Teen masses, and the music was sometimes NOT appropriate. Our group did participate in some of the abuses talked about, but I think they have been corrected. There were no bad intentions on the part of leaders. Teaching authority means we have to be taught every once in a while after all. As long as it is accepted humbly and we resist thinking ourselves infallible.

It isn't only Life Teen. Sometimes our youth programs try so hard to 'draw' them in, we are,I think leading them astray with the notion that worship is all about being entertained. The youth rally for my diocese turned into a rock concert. There were kids running all over the place, jumping up and down on the pews, and generally being completely disrespectful-and this was during Mass! Yes, everyone was caught up in emotion and excitement. But it was completely distracting and de-tracted from any reverence or piety.

Kids aren't that stupid either. They can see through bull pretty quick. I found it insulting to their itelligence-as did my 15 yr.old-that the adult leaders tried so hard to act "cool". I'm sorry, but the dorky guy trying to hold the microphone like Vanilla Ice, and pacing back and forth like a rap star was ridiculous. At least he didn't grab his crotch, although I think he thought about it.

The protestant churches are luring our kids with this kind of praise and worship-and it's working well. But, I don't want to get rid of the altar and replace it with a stage. It won't last, it's not real and it's not worship. It only fosters the adult who says, "I'm not getting anything out of Mass, the Evangelical Free United Church Apostolic has such moving services, and a large screen TV!"

I agree that lively worship is attractive. I think good music-of many styles-can and should draw us into participation in the Eucharist. But music ministers, and youth leaders need to be aware of whether they are enhancing prayer and worship or performing.

We need to keep in mind that music and a sermon is about all you get at most protestant "services". We get the Real Presence. And I don't see anything wrong with a more youthful style of liturgy as long as it follows the GIRM and doesn't place too much emphasis on the emotional and "let's all feel good" as stated earlier in a comment.

We should be charitable, but abuses need to be addressed before they are allowed to get to the point where kids are running up and down the aisles and jumping on pews. I will think twice before encouraging my kids to go again.

John Book

I agree pretty much with all that Paula has said. Things with Lifeteen have gotten overboard. The fact of the matter is that those masses, whether the planners intended them to be or not, to be more centered on oneself and emotion rather than on Christ.

Music styles can be debated. (Personally I don't care much at all for guitar.) All that does matter is that it is respective of the mass and that it's content is centered towards Christ and not our emotions.

I was a teen not so long ago and my parish had a wonderful and successful youth group that had nothing to do with LIFE TEEN whatsoever...and we were just fine without it. Mass was mass and there weren't any problems for us teens because we knew how to accept Church teaching...something Msgr. Fushek seems to have trouble doing.

I don't try to discredit the youth directors trying to draw in teens but those masses (especially the ones before these changes...I've seen it in person) are a deplorable excuse for dumbing down the message of Christ to nothing more than emotional high that isn't true to Christ or the Catholic Church.

What Life Teen does is make the mass a stage for us to be "seen" at...whether or not it's intended, it affirms vanity in our most holy of acts...celebrating Christ's love through mass.

That being said, I am glad to see changes to the Life Teen masses. It's been long overdue. I hope the focus has been adjusted to be fully on Christ and not on the mass partcipant.

Pete

PHOENIX - The former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix (Monsignor Dale Fushek) was arrested Monday on charges he fondled boys and young men and asked them prying questions about their sex lives that he pretended were part of confession.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051121/ap_on_re_us/priest_arrested

This creep wanted to "bring "LifeTeen Masses" into conformity with the Church's liturgical law."?
Too bad he is so terrible at following liturgical law himself.

Tom

Hi ya'll. I just returned from my second Priests & Musicians conference in Mesa two weeks ago. OK, so our parish priest doesn't really get into any Life Teen stuff. He's just happy with how we respectfully minister to the parish and community teens. OK, so our parish "Life Teen" program is basically just the music. But we've been taught how to weave it throughout a beautiful liturgy - and I've seen good, healthy, spiritual growth in our congregation at our noon mass over the past four years (it's real - it's not a "feeling").

Say what you will, Life Teen is made up of people - just like every church, business and orhter organization you can think of. Priests, ministers, liturgists, the layity, school kids, adults, seniors - you name it. Everyone of us is on the road to heaven - doing our best to reach out and lead others to Christ along the way.

I'm a member of NPM and Life Teen - for some reason, the teachings, core values (at the center is the Eucharist) and message I hear from Life Teen leadership resounds more in me - I feel my spirit moved (it's not a "feeling"). O.K. - so it's not for you - blah, blah, blah. O.K. - some leadership has sinned and failed us - blah, blah, blah.

My advice to you is - if you don't like it - build a case of your own and quit chipping away at the good work other imperfect people are trying to accomplish in the name of Jesus.

Amen!

Janet Sitek

Jimmy,

Several years ago, as cantor in our church, my husband and I were told the song ''Mary Did You Know'' could no longer be sung, as it was not liturgically correct. What in this song is liturgically incorrect? Konwing that Mary is Mother of God, as well as daughter, I am having difficulty understanding the reasoning behind this. Thank you in advance for your response.
Jan

David B.

Hey Janet,

Jimmy hasn't been posting much lately, so you will have to e-mail him to get an answer to your question. Furthermore, Tim J. blogged on this subject some time back (it might have been Dec. 2006). You can use the google search bar(upper right-hand corner of this site) to find the post. It could clear things up a bit.

Steve

So Rome nitpicks on minor matters but still allows ELECTRIC GUITAR, TAMBOURINES, BONGOS, DRUM, CYMBALS at these same Masses?

They strain at gnats as they swallow camels!

Rome blatantly ignoring these sacrileges is patently offensive to all Catholics of the Roman Rite.

SDG

So Rome nitpicks on minor matters but still allows ELECTRIC GUITAR, TAMBOURINES, BONGOS, DRUM, CYMBALS at these same Masses?

They strain at gnats as they swallow camels!

Rome blatantly ignoring these sacrileges is patently offensive to all Catholics of the Roman Rite.

No. Actual liturgical violations are more serious than nontraditional instruments. "Sacrilege" is too serious a word to get thrown around in this manner.

Steve

"Nontraditional instruments"? Rock music is played at Calvary, and you're worried about a "period of silence" to begin the liturgical celebration"?

What about during THE ENTIRE MASS when you hear nothing but offensive and sacrilegious noise? If you would shake a tambourine at Calvary, you're sick, and so are these bozos, but the travesty is played out in countless parishes with full approval of Rome.

Pius X condemned this sort of music at the Holy Sacrifice and stated chant was to be preferred and organ PERMITTED, wheras all secular instruments were FORBIDDEN.

Even the Post-VCII documents on the liturgy use jazz as an example of music not appropriate at Mass. If jazz is not appropriate, how much more so than rock n' roll. The youth are "jammin out" at Calvary? Sickening. but be sure to tidy up some other rubrics while the most glaring abuse is maintained.

Steve

"Nontraditional instruments"? Rock music is played at Calvary, and you're worried about a "period of silence" to begin the liturgical celebration"?

What about during THE ENTIRE MASS when you hear nothing but offensive and sacrilegious noise? If you would shake a tambourine at Calvary, you're sick, and so are these bozos, but the travesty is played out in countless parishes with full approval of Rome.

Pius X condemned this sort of music at the Holy Sacrifice and stated chant was to be preferred and organ PERMITTED, wheras all secular instruments were FORBIDDEN.

Even the Post-VCII documents on the liturgy use jazz as an example of music not appropriate at Mass. If jazz is not appropriate, how much more so than rock n' roll. The youth are "jammin out" at Calvary? Sickening. but be sure to tidy up some other rubrics while the most glaring abuse is maintained.

Steve

"Nontraditional instruments"? Rock music is played at Calvary, and you're worried about a "period of silence" to begin the liturgical celebration"?

What about during THE ENTIRE MASS when you hear nothing but offensive and sacrilegious noise? If you would shake a tambourine at Calvary, you're sick, and so are these bozos, but the travesty is played out in countless parishes with full approval of Rome.

Pius X condemned this sort of music at the Holy Sacrifice and stated chant was to be preferred and organ PERMITTED, wheras all secular instruments were FORBIDDEN.

Even the Post-VCII documents on the liturgy use jazz as an example of music not appropriate at Mass. If jazz is not appropriate, how much more so than rock n' roll. The youth are "jammin out" at Calvary? Sickening. but be sure to tidy up some other rubrics while the most glaring abuse is maintained.

bill912

"Pius X condemned this sort of music at the Holy Sacrifice..."

There was no such thing as Rock & Roll when Pius X walked the earth.

"...whereas all secular instruments were FORBIDDEN."

Evidence?

SDG was right, of course, as usual.

The Masked Chicken

Dear Bill912,

You wrote, in response to Steve's strongly worded comments:

[Steve]"Pius X condemned this sort of music at the Holy Sacrifice..."

[Bill912]There was no such thing as Rock & Roll when Pius X walked the earth.

[Steve]"...whereas all secular instruments were FORBIDDEN."
[Bill912]Evidence?

SDG was right, of course, as usual.

SDG's remark was that the use of the word, sacrilege, was too strong a word to be used in the context of what instruments were used at Mass. It depends on the sense in which the word is used. In a strict sense, this is correct, as, to quote the Catholic Encyclopedia online:

Sacrilege is in general the violation or injurious treatment of a sacred object.

Music and musical instruments are not, generally, considered sacred objects (unless one happens to find David's harp).

In a more general sense, however, the Catholic Encyclopedia continues:

In a less proper sense any transgression against the virtue of religion would be a sacrilege.

This is where the problem comes in, because there are two aspects to the virtue of religion, an interior aspect and an external aspect. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia:

The chief acts of this virtue are adoration, prayer, sacrifice, oblation, vows...

These may have both public and private aspects as well as interior and exterior. Now, music goes to the environment for external acts of adoration, prayer, and sacrifice (as in the Mass), so one may, in a general sense, violate the virtue of religion and hence, commit sacrilege by any music that violates the virtue of religion.

Since sacrilege must be against something that has a publicly stated sacredness about it (Catholic Encyclopedia), the use of profane (popular) musical instruments can only be sacrilegious if there has been a public declaration regarding it by one in authority.

It would suffice to prove his point if a Pope had explicitly stated that profane musical instruments violate the environment of worship and hence, the virtue of religion.

You asked for evidence. There are many opinions about what constitutes proper musical instruments for use at Mass and many opinions about what constitutes proper music. The Church, however, has been fairly consistent in what constitutes proper instruments.

In, Tra le Sollecitudini: Instruction on Sacred Music, Pope Pius X, encyclical promulgated on November 22, 1903, the following section discussed musical instruments:

VI. Organ and instruments

15. Although the music proper to the Church is purely vocal music, music with the accompaniment of the organ is also permitted. In some special cases, within due limits and with proper safeguards, other instruments may be allowed, but never without the special permission of the Ordinary, according to prescriptions of the Caeremoniale Episcoporum.

16. As the singing should always have the principal place, the organ or other instruments should merely sustain and never oppress it.

17. It is not permitted to have the chant preceded by long preludes or to interrupt it with intermezzo pieces.

18. The sound of the organ as an accompaniment to the chant in preludes, interludes, and the like must be not only governed by the special nature of the instrument, but must participate in all the qualities proper to sacred music as above enumerated.

19. The employment of the piano is forbidden in church, as is also that of noisy or frivolous instruments such as drums, cymbals, bells and the like.

20. It is strictly forbidden to have bands play in church, and only in special cases with the consent of the Ordinary will it be permissible to admit wind instruments, limited in number, judiciously used, and proportioned to the size of the place provided the composition and accompaniment be written in grave and suitable style, and conform in all respects to that proper to the organ.

Least you think that this was changed at Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, says:

120. In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church's ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man's mind to God and to higher things.

But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship, with the knowledge and consent of the competent territorial authority, as laid down in Art. 22, 52, 37, and 40. This may be done, however, only on condition that the instruments are suitable, or can be made suitable, for sacred use, accord with the dignity of the temple, and truly contribute to the edification of the faithful.

What is suitable in sacred use for music and instruments? Tra le Sollecitudini, goes on to say (Article I: General principles):

2. Sacred music should consequently possess, in the highest degree, the qualities proper to the liturgy, and in particular sanctity and goodness of form, which will spontaneously produce the final quality of universality.

It must be holy, and must, therefore, exclude all profanity not only in itself, but in the manner in which it is presented by those who execute it.

It must be true art, for otherwise it will be impossible for it to exercise on the minds of those who listen to it that efficacy which the Church aims at obtaining in admitting into her liturgy the art of musical sounds.

But it must, at the same time, be universal in the sense that while every nation is permitted to admit into its ecclesiastical compositions those special forms which may be said to constitute its native music, still these forms must be subordinated in such a manner to the general characteristics of sacred music that nobody of any nation may receive an impression other than good on hearing them.

In addition, in, Article II. The Different Kinds of Sacred Music, Tra le Sollecitudini, goes on to say:

Still, since modern music has risen mainly to serve profane uses, greater care must be taken with regard to it, in order that the musical compositions of modern style which are admitted in the Church may contain nothing profane, be free from reminiscences of motifs adopted in the theaters, and be not fashioned even in their external forms after the manner of profane pieces.

So, let me recap. While there was no such thing as Rock and Roll during Pope St. Pius X's pontificate, there were the equivalent: theater music, cabaret-like music (although these were more like saloon music in the American West), etc., and the general principles established for these would apply to any sort of modern profane music. It is condemned by the Moto Propio.

Some of the folk music written in the United States during the 1960's and 1970's did not fall under this restriction, because these types of compositions constituted the indigenous music for portions of the United States during the period and as the United States was still a missionary country at the time, folk music could be used (although it still must be fitting for worship).

Now, the United States is not a missionary country and this sort of folk music does not give rise to proper music for Mass as it has become much more largely disseminated in a profane context.

As far as instruments are concerned, Steve is wrong. Pope St. Pius X did not say that all secular instruments were forbidden. They were allowed, with special permission, by the Ordinary, "In some special cases, within due limits and with proper safeguards." Clearly, the instruments used in a LifeTeen Mass do not meet these qualifications, as they are clearly referential to profane music.

Thus, some musical instruments can be used, but they must be able to take the place of the organ in accompaniment. Clearly, as Steve puts it: "ELECTRIC GUITAR, TAMBOURINES, BONGOS, DRUM, CYMBALS," do not. In fact, "drums, cymbals, bells and the like," were specifically mentioned by Pope St. Pius X as instruments which were not to be admitted to Mass.

As this pronouncement does not fall under dogma or doctrine, but discipline, such restrictions could be lifted by later Popes for prudent reasons. I have not seen such restrictions lifted. Sacrosantum Concilium reaffirms that other instruments may be used,"only on condition that the instruments are suitable, or can be made suitable, for sacred use, accord with the dignity of the temple, and truly contribute to the edification of the faithful." Which, with the opinion of Pope St. Pius X taken into account, does not seem to lift the restriction on these types of instruments at Mass.

In summary, Steve is more right than wrong (although he did overstate the issue) and many people are woefully misinformed about what is permissible in liturgical musical practices. I do have a doctorate in music, with advanced work in performance and musicology, by the way, so I am stating a near-expert opinion, here.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

The Masked Chicken

Sorry to make another comment, but the recent document on liturgical music, Sing to the Lord, by the U.S. bishops, while an improvement, is still somewhat vague about what instruments can be used during Mass and cannot take the place of the Magisterium's statement of general principles.

The Chicken

bill912

"SDG's remark was that the use of the word, sacrelege, was too strong a word to be used in the context of what instruments were used at mass."

Yes, I know; that's what I was complimenting him on.

SDG

Masked Chicken,

Many thanks for your lengthy and helpful excursus. I substantially agree, and FWIW have convergent sympathies with the basic objection of Steve's original post, although I reiterate that such glaring liturgical violations as teens entering the sanctuary for the Eucharistic prayer and ending the Mass with "The Mass Never Ends, It Must Be Lived" constitutes a clearer problem than the use of electric guitars and tambourines. Certainly I as a worshiper can far more easily prescind from cultural-aesthetic issues such as the helpfulness of given musical styles than the theological-liturgical affront of the laity gathering around the altar in the sanctuary.

It should also be noted that, contrary to Steve's assumption that the Vatican has simply "ignored" the issue of music, the subject does get addressed in Msgr. Fushek's letter: "As we have always taught, please make sure the music does not in any way detract from the action at the altar, ambo, or chair." This doesn't address specific instruments or styles, and so isn't very helpful, but it does indicate that the topic was addressed. We don't know what specifically was said.

I'm not sure what you mean by saying that the USCCB document Sing to the Lord "cannot take the place of the Magisterium's statement of general principles." When and where Sing to the Lord sets forth teaching, it is itself an exercise of the ordinary Magisterium, as are Tra le Sollecitudini's statements of "general principles." Conversely, when and where Tra le Sollecitudini sets forth disciplinary precepts with regard to particular instruments that go beyond timeless and necessary truths ("general principles"), it is not an exercise of teaching authority. I doubt if the Magisterium as such can speak to particular instruments, as such questions would seem to fall outside the deposit of faith and would fall in the area of discipline.

I have no idea what weight Tra le Sollecitudini's pronouncements on particular instruments would have today. I would certainly be interested to know what a canonist would say.

FWIW, I think you and I, and probably Steve as well, would likely have largely convergent opinions about what sort of music is and isn't appropriate for worship, whatever the weight of Tra le Sollecitudini.

The Masked Chicken

Thanks, SDG, for making the distinction between general principles in music suitable for Mass, which would be a part of the teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium and which instruments can be used at Mass, which is a matter of culture, in part (what is profane in one culture might not be in another) and would be more of a discipline, although how the instruments were used during Mass would be governed by the general principles (thus, Hootenanny Masses, with banjos, were a definite no) .

I thought, however, that statements by the bishop's conference of a particular country was not, in themselves, part of the Ordinary Magisterium. I thought it had to be all bishops or the pope, alone, speaking on a topic.

What is the place of Tra le Sollecitudini in the history of liturgical music? Pretty important. The general musical principles enunciated in Tra le Sollecitudini where
reiterated
by Pope John Paul II on the centenary of its promulgation. Tra le Sollecitudini is a famous and important document on music for Mass.

I can't put many links to pages containing the historical documents on music in the liturgy without typepad going bizzerk.

The only reason I took up the challenge of providing some evidence to support Steve's contentions was because it seemed as if he were in the process of being written off as a complaining Traditionalist. he may very well have been, I do not know, but some of his points at least had some merit.

The Chicken

SDG

Chicken, I just have to know: How does one acquire doctoral-level expertise in both musicology and quantum physics? (And is there a connection? The music of the spheres, perhaps?)

Ancillary question, pursuant to physics rather than music: Have you read any faith-based discussions of physics or physics-based apologetics? Is any of it any good? E.g., what do you think of Stephen Barr?

I thought, however, that statements by the bishop's conference of a particular country was not, in themselves, part of the Ordinary Magisterium. I thought it had to be all bishops or the pope, alone, speaking on a topic.

To be best of my understanding, Individuals bishops exercise the ordinary magisterium in their day-to-day teaching. Teachings of national conferences have no more authority than that of the individual bishops who affirm them, but also no less.

What is the place of Tra le Sollecitudini in the history of liturgical music? Pretty important.

Oh, I'm sure. But what weight its particular disciplinary pronouncements would have today is another question.

The only reason I took up the challenge of providing some evidence to support Steve's contentions was because it seemed as if he were in the process of being written off as a complaining Traditionalist. he may very well have been, I do not know, but some of his points at least had some merit.

I absolutely agree that even cranky Traditionalist complaints can have some merit, and I also agree that Steve's do. I was simply objecting to the cranky Traditionalism, not the meritorious part.

Tim J.

"To be best of my understanding, Individuals bishops exercise the ordinary magisterium in their day-to-day teaching."

I don't know about that. It seems to me like Magisterial authority is a collegial function. Individual Bishops might or might not exercise that authority, depending on whether their teaching is in unity with that of the Roman Pontiff and the other Bishops (as well as the ordinary Magisterium of the Church).

I have a hard time seeing how the USCCB (and other such national bodies) carries any special authority. The member bishops have the same authority, whether the USCCB exists or not. The USCCB documents may have more or less influence, but no real ecclesial authority.

In other words, if my bishop teaches in a way contrary to the teaching of the Pope and the councils, that is a problem. If he teaches in a way contrary to some USCCB document, that is not necessarily significant at all.

SDG

Tim J,

We seem to be having a communication problem. To begin with the easiest bit:

I have a hard time seeing how the USCCB (and other such national bodies) carries any special authority. The member bishops have the same authority, whether the USCCB exists or not. The USCCB documents may have more or less influence, but no real ecclesial authority.

In other words, if my bishop teaches in a way contrary to the teaching of the Pope and the councils, that is a problem. If he teaches in a way contrary to some USCCB document, that is not necessarily significant at all.

Yes. AFAICT, that's pretty much what I said: "Teachings of national conferences have no more authority than that of the individual bishops who affirm them, but also no less." I specifically reject the idea that you question here, that the documents of national conferences have any more magisterial weight for having been voted on by a bunch of bishops than the individual propositions as maintained by individual bishops. So I'm not quite sure where you feel you're disagreeing with me, here.

I don't know about that. It seems to me like Magisterial authority is a collegial function. Individual Bishops might or might not exercise that authority, depending on whether their teaching is in unity with that of the Roman Pontiff and the other Bishops (as well as the ordinary Magisterium of the Church).

I'm not sure that this, either, is contrary to to what I said in the sentence you cited ("To be best of my understanding, Individuals bishops exercise the ordinary magisterium in their day-to-day teaching").

It looks as if your sentence is meant to set forth conditions under which individual bishops exercise the ordinary magisterium. But this doesn't deny that they do in fact exercise the ordinary magisterium, which is all I said.

Having said that, I think the criterion you describe -- teaching in concert with the apostolic college and the Bishop of Rome -- goes to the level of authority, up to and including infallibility, of an exercise of the ordinary magisterium. Not every exercise of the ordinary magisterium is definitive or infallible, but fallible exercises of teaching authority remain, I believe, exercises of teaching authority.

Every bishop is a teacher of the faith within his particular Church, and, together with the apostolic college, helps to teach the Church as a whole. Within his particular Church, every bishop who sets out to teach the faith thereby exercises the teaching authority of the Church. He may do it well or poorly, but as long as he seeks to teach the faith, it seems to me, he is exercising his teaching authority. How authoritatively he does so depends on how his teaching stands in relation to the teaching of the apostolic college and the Holy Father, but in any case it is a magisterial exercise.

For example, an individual bishop teaching in the twelfth century that the Blessed Virgin was immaculately conceived would not necessarily be teaching what was universally held by all bishops at that time. It would thus not constitute an infallible exercise of the ordinary magisterium. But it would be an exercise of teaching authority nonetheless.

I'm not sure what you mean by "as well as the ordinary Magisterium of the Church." If a bishop teaches in concert with "the Roman Pontiff and the other Bishops," isn't that already what we mean by "the ordinary magisterium of the Church" (unless they're in ecumenical council)? What then is left to be added by the phrase "as well as the ordinary Magisterium of the Church"?

CT

I have a hard time seeing how the USCCB (and other such national bodies) carries any special authority. The member bishops have the same authority, whether the USCCB exists or not. The USCCB documents may have more or less influence, but no real ecclesial authority.

At the risk of having my opinion being prejudiced and dismissed by my outsider status, let me remark that the Code of Canon Law does give certain national bodies certain participations in authoritative decisions which are not possessed by the bishops individually even when in universal agreement amongst themselves in a nation. AFAIK none of this involves the teaching of doctrine proper but only certain legal authority which may be related to doctrine only indirectly, if at all. The reason why the national body has this special legal participation in authority as far as I can tell is only justified in the ecclessiology of the Diocese of Rome* by virtue of it being granted this authority by Rome or by something of which Rome is an integral part.

*Interestingly enough some dioceses sometimes refer to the "ecclesiology" of their own diocese, giving the impression that such may differ from diocese to diocese. I've seen this in a document emanating from a diocese (unavailable online). It can also be seen in writing that does not emanate from a diocese:

http://www.pford.stjohnsem.edu/ford/courses/ecclesiology/index.htm

PS I do recall something which may perhaps disagree partly with what some have written on the matter of documents which are not universally approved by the ordinaries of dioceses but which bear a certain form of magisterial authority nevertheless due to its confirmation in certain form by Rome. It is unclear to me -- assuming that this recollection is even correct -- whether the authority it possesses in such a case is wholly from Rome; from Rome + the individual bishops who approved; or from Rome + the national body, despite the dissenting individual bishops; or the union or fusion of the two preceding sets/sums.

BTW, SDG in another comment thread seemed to me (if this is incorrect, just correct me please; there's no need to assume I am maliciously mischaracterizing you, not that you necessarily have a habit of doing so) to be committed to aesthetic anti-realism or at least the notion that aesthetic properties do not inhere within the objects that may be said to bear them (to the extent that they bear any at all). This is a very common position in academia and in the culture at large. It is encapsulated in the saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." However, historically speaking it is not the position of Catholic philosophers. FWIW, Catholic Answers has had a few times IIRC -- perhaps more -- a guest, a priest, who on at least one of these occasions proclaimed that beauty was indeed objective; and this man, to his credit, acknowledges the objective character of beauty in all things -- not merely in things such as moral virtues but also in physical things -- the "aesthetic" things that SDG seems to wholly subjectivize. Unfortunately I do not remember the name of this man. In any event, as I said the historic Catholic philosophical position is a realist and objectivist position on beauty, including such "trivial" things as "good looks" or a musical composition or painting etc. -- in fact I cannot think of any Catholic philosopher in the "canon" of Catholic philosophy who departed from that position ... which isn't to say that there isn't an exception. In more recent times, a great defender of aesthetic realism and aesthetic objectivism is Nicholas Wolterstorff, who like Keith de Rose and Alvin Plantinga were all educated in their undergraduate studies at Calvin College (which is quite suprising to me that such talent, albeit theistic and Christian, could arise from that school given its parochial nature). A very accessible book of his that draws upon both philosophy proper and also empirical findings in other fields is Art in Action

http://www.amazon.com/asin/dp/0802818161/

Here is an excerpt from the review

Wolterstorff's "Art in Action" is commendable in so far as it offers careful analysis of and convincing argumentation against predominate contemporary Western views on the arts. This offering is additionally refreshing because Wolterstorff avoids the reactionary views of books with similar topics.

This book advances an argument rooted in Christian narrative but driven largely by a philosophical engine that privileges rigorous analytic logic and careful scientific scrutiny. I see this as both the book's great strength and weakness.

Wolterstorff spends an overwhelming majority of the book developing exacting analysis on what he rightly considers the narrowness of contemporary Western notions regarding the arts, with frequent discussions of analytic/scientific evidence regarding the arts and the nature of perception. Unfortunately, this privileging of analytic/scientific discourses significantly undermines the development of a prophetic, coherent narrative that distills a broader, more compelling Christian view of the arts in our lives (...) Nevertheless, they will also find a cogent analysis and critique of contemporary Western notions of the arts

I would add to the review that as a non-Christian I believe it is productive to be read by anyone.

One concept that NW analyzes in his book can be very much applied to the subject of this post and the following comments. Unfortunately as I doubt any here would be familiar with his work, I cannot engage with you on that concept. Suffice it to say that on NW's view it is not contrary to any meta-aesthetic principle to claim that certain forms of music are not "fitting" with respect to the Mass or not as "fitting" as other forms of music. I invite a read.

Tim J.

SDG -

Please chalk it up to me being in a tad over my head. I have no background in theology, and I doubt we really have any disagreement at all. Much more likely a case of me being unfamiliar with the full range of meaning of the terms involved.

The Masked Chicken

SDG,

There was no disagreement between you and Tim J. He was making a comment about a remark you made in an earlier post (the first response to my post) thyat go clarified in a later post.

You wrote:

Chicken, I just have to know: How does one acquire doctoral-level expertise in both musicology and quantum physics? (And is there a connection? The music of the spheres, perhaps?)

I pretty much have no social life :( I spent a long time in different graduate schools in the sciences and the arts (including taking graduate courses in chemistry at a college in one stste and music at another college in another state at the same time - I do not reccommend this!) . It is amazing how the arts (music, in particular, since that is what I have had most contact with) and science cultures differ.

I think there is a real connection between music and quantum physics. They are both based on wave principles, after all.

The Chicken

The Masked Chicken

I was starting a class in a few minutes, so I could only give a short answer, above. I'm back.

I guess having a varied background comes with the territory, since I do interdisciplinary research. I regularly work with scientists, musicians, psychologists, socialogists, linguists, philosphers, etc. I have to know at least something about all of those fields, although I leave the expert stuff to the experts.

I suppose anyone could do this if they are willing to not have a life. Thomas Merton once wrote that the life of an ordinary academic (notice, I did not say, The Elite") is pretty close to that of a monk's or nun's. You have to work for seven years before you get tenure in a publish or perish environment (your noviciate), where trying to get $100,000 grants is considered normal. Having relationships is very hard, especially in the sciences, so one usually associates with those other people, "in the building."

There are differeces between the arts and sciences. While in graduate school in music, I watched tv for many hours a day (I say, to my shame). In graduate school in the physical sciences and mathematics (since I am, primarily, a theorist), I watched about one hour per week. Most graduate students in the sciences are under constant pressure from their advisor to publish. The best reason for putting up with this is because of love of what you are doing. It is typical for academics (in the sciences and the arts) to get married very old - as old as forty or more, simply because of the work required in the job (this is a generalization and other factors can be involved). Once you get tenure, things ease up, a bit, but then there are other things that crop up, after that (committee work, etc.).

I just happen to love science and music. I also happen to be an idiot, since I should have concentrated on other things when I was younger, but life is life.

I know my own limitations. I have a good knowledge of aesthetic theory, but I'm a mediocre composer, at best and a lousy visual artist. I have practically no understanding of economics, since it all seems so arbitrary, except for the really obvious stuff.

Since I am the Masked Chicken, I will say no more. I love what I do; I wish I could have done some other things. I am glad that God is merciful, since I have made plenty of mistakes.

We now leave this episode of Narcissism Theater and return you to the program currently in progress.

The Chicken

SDG

Hey Chicken,

Any thoughts on my ancillary question? ("Have you read any faith-based discussions of physics or physics-based apologetics? Is any of it any good? E.g., what do you think of Stephen Barr?" If you'd pefer, you can feel free to write to me privately via my Decent Films contact form. You don't even have to provide an email address.)

CT - Wow, I don't know if I can possibly unwind all those qualifications, but a few thoughts, ever so briefly:

1. Our perceptions of beauty reflect insights into reality. Beauty as such is not simply an epiphenomenon of subjectivity.

2. De gustibus non est disputandum. Matters of taste are subjective.

3. Meaning in art depends on shared intersubjective contexts. The artist and the audience must to one extent or another speak the same language. The greater the extent, the more meaning can be communicated.

4. To distinguish questions of beauty in art from matters of taste and questions of meaning can be, at minimum, exceedingly difficult.

Is there anything else you want to talk about? (Tim J - you've given a lot of thought to this; anything to add?)

The Masked Chicken

Dear SDG,

(I have posted a reply to your query at DecentFilms, as I did not think the subject fit the topic of this post.

The Chicken

Thomas E. Vaughan

SDG and Chicken, I am interested in reading your discussion of physics, but there seems to be no convenient public forum for it at the moment.

I happen to have a Ph.D. in physics, and I must say that Stephen Barr seems to have good and right things to say wherever I have read him. Of course, no one has time to analyze every possible approach to every problem, and I sometimes find that a bit frustrating, even in Barr.

Although it is not a work of Catholic apologetics, and although the author is not a physicist, there are some interesting philosophical ideas relating to physics and modern science in the book, Galileo's Mistake, by Wade Rowland. The study of Galileo provides a good intersection of physics, theology, and the philosophy of science.

The Masked Chicken

Dear Thomas,

Unfortunately, I did not save my post to SDG. A short synopsis: Barr is good. His philosophical understanding might have to be broadened, but I am going by his online articles and comments about his book on Amazon.com. I have not read his book.

There are a few other physicists, like Paul Davies (a Templeton Prize winner) and the older school, like the late Fred Hoyle (the man who originated the term, Big Bang), who came to become at least a deist in his later years, who have made important contribution in apologetics using physics (mostly with regards to Intelligent Design).

Unfortunately, there are only a few people writing about apologetic concerns from the standpoint of the hard sciences that I know of. One of the best is Fr. Stanley Jaki.

Part of this may be because either one has to go into pretty deep waters or run the risk of being unconvincing or trite. Many people have seen science fiction and think they understand science, but as study after study has shown, especially in the U.S., most people are woefully ignorant of even basic science. To present them with, say, the Principle of Complimentarity in quantum mechanics as an argument for the existence of non-material objects (which I have heard that some people have tried to do), might sound good, but the philosophical underpinnings can be very formidable and subtle. Then, one gets into Bell's theorem and Bohm's hypothesis and pretty soon the soft underbelly of the philosophy of quantum mechanics gets exposed and the audience, who was initially impressed, get either frustrated trying to understand the concepts or walks away in disgust.

Jaki, for instance, has written a very interesting paper on how Godel's theorem might affect the limits of theory in physics, but how does one explain Godel's Inconpleteness Theorem in a book on apologetics, except in a very superficial way? If one tries to use watered down arguments to a philosophically sophisticated atheist, he will walk away. Barr does a good job of reaching intelligent non-science believers, partially, because he is a good writer and, partially, I suspect that he stays away from these subtleties, although, as I say, I have not done extensive reading of what he has written.

Biology and biochemistry are much easier for a non-scientific audience to deal with because there are fewer abstract concepts and the material is more familiar (pretty pictures!). This is where most of the apologetics work is being done in the sciences, at the present time. Unfortunately, the current arguments concern Intelligent Design (which draws on cosmology and the like, so physicists should be involved, more). Personally, I hope that the study of man will eventually reveal just how unique man is, even in a materialist sense - this would be a great starting point for apologetics, but this is a ways off (genetics and proteomics, for all of their advances, are still in their infancies).

If one wanted to write a really good book on apologetics using the physical sciences, the best person to read, first, is undoubtedly Pierre Duhem. Duhem wrote a much under-appreciated ten-volume work on the influence of Medieval natural philosophy on Renaissance physics. It is ground-breaking and is only now coming to be studied. In fact, the first five volumes went straight into publication, but it was so revolutionary that when a new director of the publishing house took over, he held up publication of the last five volumes for forty years (there were other, political reasons, as well), until the outcry became too great.

The Duhem-Quine Theorem in how induction works almost single-handedly destroyed the influence of logical positivism in science in the 1950's. Since you know the science, if you, let's say, wanted to write a scholarly book connecting apologetics and the hard sciences, you might start by concentrating both on getting both the philosophy of science and the modern philosophy under your belt. That would include reading Hume's critique of miracles, Kant's critique of morals and metaphysics, Tarski's work on meta-statements, Wittgenstein and Heidegger on semantic implications in logic, Quine on the analytic-synthetic controversy, Kripke, Lewis, and Stalnaker on modal logic and possible worlds. Using hard science to do apologetics involves dealing with the underpinnings of science as much as the science, itself. That may be why there are so few really deep books on the subject (Jaki has a Ph.D in theology and a Ph.D on physics, so he may be one of the few people who can do this).

I do highly interdisciplinary research and I would love to take a stab at writing an article on the subject of how one might use the physical sciences as an apologetics tool, since some of my research in logic (which is connected to my work on neural processing) is peripherally related to the Duhem-Quine theory, but such an article is not on my current list of research projects. I suspect that other people would do a better job, in any case. A colleague of mine who has a Ph.D in physics (particle physics) and I had some interesting discussions a while ago on these subjects, but he left to take another job.

Still, this is an interesting area to discuss. Biologists have had center stage in the science vs. faith discussion for a long time. I think the hard sciences can add much to the discussion, but most physicists and chemists I know take a "shut up and calculate," mentality because of politics within the fields.

If you want to discuss these matters further, maybe SDG or Tim J. or Jimmy will make a post that will allow for such a discussion. I would love to do research to see what I can find (I'm sure I've missed articles and people) and post and discuss what I and others (you, perhaps?) find, there.

Sheesh. This "synopsis" is longer than my post to SDG.

The Chicken

Thomas E. Vaughan

Thanks, Chicken, especially for the annotated bibliography.

I am not in a position where I can contribute substantively to the field, but I am interested in the philosophy of science, fundamental physics, and Catholic apologetics. Anyway, most of my time and energy is spent trying to earn an income in industry for my family.

For a relatively short exposition of the incompleteness theorem, you might check out Roger Penrose. He does a brief treatment in Shadows of the Mind and a more complete treatment in The Emperor's New Mind. Nevertheless, those books are not *about* Goedel's theorem. What I find compelling about Penrose is that although he is searching for a way to resolve the problems with a purely materialistic conception of human thought, he honestly recognizes that, contrary to the claims made by others in the field, there are grave problems with the materialistic view of the mind. In particular, Penrose provides interesting arguments for the claim that human thought is non-algorithmic (just as, for example, there exists many a number for which no algorithm can compute that number, but the human mind can nevertheless prove theorems about non-algorithmic numbers).

Recently I have read The Quantum Enigma by Wolfgang Smith. Smith presents an interesting philosophical approach by distinguishing among (a) the corporeal object that one can perceive directly with the senses, (b) the subcorporeal object that is the mind's mathematical model for the corporeal object, and (c) the transcorporeal object, which can be modeled mathematically but has no corresponding corporeal object. All of this is presented in the context of his hylomorphic theory. Like Aristotle, who argued that the form exists in the thing of which it is the formal cause, Smith argues that the subcorporeal object occupies the same space as the corporeal object. Of course, the subcorporeal object is also in the mind, just as the form of an object is in the mind of the one who apprehends the object with the first act of the mind.

At the moment I am in The Modeling of Nature by William A. Wallace.

Perhaps at least until I read Duhem, I am likely to remain in the opinion that the physical sciences themselves do not provide good raw material for apologetics. Rather, the philosophy of science and, in particular, the philosophy of physics would seem to have fruitful points of contact with Catholic theology and philosophy.

I am particularly interested in theories for understanding the Fall. Jimmy Akin has elsewhere on his blog written about some of the different approaches, but I find them all lacking in one way or another. It seems to me as though the Fall must be something like what one would imagine as the partial collapse of the wavefunction of the universe, though that is no doubt a horribly wrong way of stating the idea. That is, it would seem that the Fall, if it is most closely associated with a particular time in history, must have had an effect on the past (before that time) as well as the future (after that time). Anyway, that's how it seems to me for reasons that are beyond the scope of this message, which is already far beyond the scope of this thread.

If by chance you have the opportunity and inclination to send me a message, then please do so. I have filled out the e-mail address field as I post this message, and so you might be able to get it by clicking on my name.

Thomas E. Vaughan

My name takes you to my StumbleUpon site, whose address I have previously entered into the URL field when posting a message here. I don't know if you must have a StumbleUpon account to send me a message through StumbleUpon.

You could just use tevaughan@gmail.com. I'm not too afraid of spam. Google's spam filter seems to do a reasonable job for me.

The Masked Chicken

Dear Thomas,

In the rather too long, "P. Z. Myers must be fired" post, a number of topics in the physical sciences were put forth by posters attempting to argue for the existence of God. I finally asked them to cease and desist when it became apparent that few people really knew anything about the material in detail.

I am familiar with Penrose's works, but I have not read the Emporer's New Mind except, if I recall, speed reading it in a bookstore, so I did not remember the section on Godel's IT. Douglas Hoffsteader has a section on it in his book, Godel, Escher, and Bach.

The Quantum Enigma might be worth a read. The notion of sub-corporeal sounds related to von Neumann's ideas in The Computer and the Brain.

You wrote:

That is, it would seem that the Fall, if it is most closely associated with a particular time in history, must have had an effect on the past (before that time) as well as the future (after that time). Anyway, that's how it seems to me for reasons that are beyond the scope of this message, which is already far beyond the scope of this thread.

The idea that the Fall was at least partially trans-temporal is obviously correct, since Christ came to redeem all of history. Since he is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, his actions must touch all parts of history. The question is why he would have an affect before the fall, however, since mankind was not in need of redemption at that point. This gets into interesting territory, which I will have to beg off on because it would take too long to post about.

What was the Fall? How did it affect physical reality? The CCC has this to say:

400 The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination.282 Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man.283 Because of man, creation is now subject "to its bondage to decay".284 Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will "return to the ground",285 for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.286

Perhaps, entropy did not exist before the fall, since decay came as a result of it.

In any case, I hope the subject of science and faith (or how science and faith can be used as two complimentary languages to describe parts of reality) comes up in a post some time in the future so that other readers can join in and discuss it. I am not sure how to send you e-mail without revealing my identity. Any thoughts?

Perhaps I should start my own blog. I could call it: NO HARM, NO FOWL :)

Since this has nothing to do with the LifeTeen Mass, this will be my last post on this subject, here.

The Chicken

Sleeping Beastly

Chicken wrote:
Perhaps I should start my own blog. I could call it: NO HARM, NO FOWL :)

Beastly seconds the motion.

Thomas E. Vaughan

The Chicken wrote:
>
> I am not sure how to send you e-mail without revealing my identity.
> Any thoughts?

Anyone wishing to send me anonymous e-mail could do so by making an
account at StumbleUpon (http://www.stumbleupon.com).

It is free.

After logging in, visit http://inertial-mass.stumbleupon.com, which is
my page, and there is a link to send me a message.

I also like the idea of "No Harm, No Foul". :^)

SDG

I also like the idea of "No Harm, No Foul". :^)

Fowl. Fowl.

Thomas E. Vaughan

Doh!

I definitely committed a fowl with that my last post. :^)

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