The Insufferable Smugness of the NCR Progressive

The Insufferable Smugness of the NCR Progressive October 12, 2012

Reader Michelle Arnold notes:

Vatican: “Stop messing around with the Lamb of God by adding unauthorized changes.”

NCR: “Vatican and U.S. bishops mandate changes to Lamb of God.”

What we got here is failure to communicate.

For the NCR Progressive, wherever he is, is the exact center of all that is normal, good, and right–always. He is a bigger geocentrist than Bob Sungenis. Everything is relative to him and he is relative to nothing. He gets in a car, drives a thousand miles from Rome, and then remarks on how far Rome has moved from him. The sheer smug serene ninniness of it takes the breath away. Whenever the Progressive delivers himself with bemused amazement that anybody could possibly think differently from him, or announces that the rejection of some recent fad is a “change” and not a restoration, or otherwise fatuously assumes himself to be the Measure of All Things, I always think of Buzz Lightyear’s immovable asininity:

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Bullying the Scrupulous

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  • Brian

    “While several liturgists and liturgical composers contacted by NCR for comment about the change said they were unsurprised that the Vatican has apparently decided the longer versions were no longer necessary, they also expressed some frustration that the change reflected one more sign that the bishops were exerting control over the Mass.”

    1) Aren’t the bishops responsible for assuring that the liturgy is celebrated properly?

    2) Why do we have “liturgists” and why do they even matter?

    • Brian

      That should be ensuring. My brain just woke up.

    • ivan_the_mad

      “2) Why do we have “liturgists” and why do they even matter?” It’s like a lot of things. Bad liturgists are bad (yay tautology). Good liturgists can be a tremendous aid to priests, especially when they’re the only priest in residence and they have 908342830 appointments with people at hospital etc.

      • Julie

        Thank you! I’m a Music Director/Liturgist, and we’re not all punks 🙂

        • True. But its the nature of the beast. A good liturgist recedes from the picture, is invisible. Leaving the bad ones to represent the whole in the eyes of the average fellow.

  • Marion (Mael Muire)

    A favorite new word of mine:

    sol•ip•sism (sǒ’- lĭp-sĭ-zƏm) n. Philosophy
    The theory or view that the self is the only reality.
    [Latin sōlus, alone; + -ism.] solip•sist n., solip•sistic adj.

    • Thomas

      +Juan de la Cruz+

      A word that defines all of modern philosophy.
      It’s no accident that our society and culture look as they do.
      There are philosophers currently working on correcting the errors of modernism and have been philosophers so doing over the past century but culture always lags behind. Indeed most of our society still lives for the most part with a 19th century world view at the latest. Most of the ideas with the most currency in our culture are those developed in the 18th century. The fecundity of wealth and the birth of liberalism as an ideology being two examples. (C.f. Jacques Maritain, Rev. Benedict Ashley, John Deely)

      A first step in fixing our current problems would be for people to realize the importance of educating themselves and I don’t mean by that merely attending a university, one must make it incumbent to always be seeking more Truth.


      • Thomas

        P.s. N.b. ‘The Age Enlightenment’ is a truly ironic term in light of many, if not all of it’s fruits.

        • Thomas

          I always seem to put that apostrophe in its.
          Not good for my argument in favor of education.


          • ivan_the_mad

            Its something that happens to the best of us.

            • Tominellay

              It’s its own worst enemy.

    • Marty Helgesen

      I think it was Ronald Knox or Arnold Lunn who reported seeing a letter to the editor of some paper saying that the writer had adopted the philosophy of solipsism, found it very satisfactory, and didn’t understand why more people didn’t adopt it.

      As someone once sang, “Give me that old Solipsism, give me that old Solipsism, give me that old Solipsism, it’s good enough for me. It was good enough for me-ee, it was good enough for me-ee, it was good enough for me-ee, and it’s good enough for me.”

      • Thomas

        Leibniz had no problem with it.

        He states it explicitly thus, ‘The monads have no windows through which something can enter or leave.’ in his La Monadologie, 1714.

        C’est la vie.

  • Blog Goliard

    They were not bound by past tradition, when they attempted to recreate the Mass in the image and likeness of themselves; but we must consider ourselves bound by what they did, whether authorized or not.

    The legacy of the ’60s and ’70s has played itself out in a remarkably similar fashion in the law. Completely lawless and ridiculous rulings (Roe chief among them) are now Precedent, and so we must respect and follow them (hence, for instance, Casey), even though they paid so little heed to precedent themselves.

    Unless you’re willing to pretend that everything that happened in the last fifty years was a mistake and should be whisked away with a wave of the hand (and that way lies the SSPX-SO), this presents a genuine dilemma. How do you repair the damage done by a heterodox-flavored hermeneutic of rupture, without resorting to an orthodox-flavored hermeneutic of rupture?

  • Mark S. (not for Shea)

    “Why do we have “liturgists” and why do they even matter?”

    According to Peter Kreeft: “Because in this country the Church has not suffered great persecution, instead God sent us liturgists.” 😉

    • “Well, you can negotiate with terrorists…”

      (Sorry, Julie, could not resist.)

  • Ted Seeber

    More Woodstockhome Syndrome, from the same folks who taught me that standing Alone on the Word of God (the B-i-b-l-e) was high Catholic theology when I was 6. Wasn’t true then and isn’t true now.

    • As a small child in a Baptist VBS, that song always made think “Of course I’d stand alone. A bible isn’t big enough for two people. And why are we standing on it anyway?”

      • Margaret

        Thank you for a much-needed laugh, Hezekiah!

  • The comment over at NCR are sickening, but there is someone called Simon D. who’s explaining it to their deaf ears with what seems like infinite patience. God bless you Simon D. if you’re looking over here too.

  • kath

    This piling on on the NCReporter and on liturgists, as well as Mark’s point in posting this, is unseemly and ridiculous. I’m not a big fan of either the Reporter (or of liturgists) myself, but I read both articles (Jimmy’s blog post and the NCReporter article), as well as the primary sources that both used (the USCCB directive), and the bottom line is this:
    1. Both Jimmy and the NCReporter reported this accurately;
    2. There was a change. What was previously allowed (the tropes) through the “permissions” is no longer allowed.
    3. The liturgists previously were doing nothing wrong by using the tropes because they were “permissioned”.
    4. Some liturgists are upset that the permissions have been revoked.

    That’s it. This example is simply not an example of liturgists’ abuses. There are plenty of good examples to choose from; this just ain’t one of them. But for some in the comboxes (and in this case, it appears, for Mark), the target (liturgists) is just too easy and people just jumped on the opportunity to attack without actually thinking.

    • ivan_the_mad
    • Andy, Bad Person

      There was a change. What was previously allowed (the tropes) through the “permissions” is no longer allowed.

      But it was never really allowed. It was only allowed through the document “Sing to the Lord,” which carries no legislative weight since it was not approved by Rome. It was not even sent to Rome for approval because several areas, including the tropes, were downright wrong.

      The tropes have never been allowed in any other context. They are actually specifically disallowed by Redemptionis Sacramentum. The only actual change is that they were (illegally) allowed by a non-legislative document.

      • Marthe Lépine

        Maybe I would say “mistakenly” allowed…

  • nick

    The Insufferable Arrogance Of NCRegister Conservatives

    • Mark Shea

      Ah the tu quoque! Thank you Pee Wee Herman: “I know you are but what am I?”

      • nick

        Uhhhh no. It was simply a comment on your headline which seemed to arrogantly and uncharitably paint a part of the Body of Christ with a broad brush.

  • Forrest Cavalier

    Is it wrong of me to sing Lamb of God while our choir sings Bread of Life in that middle part? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done exactly this without thinking. Now I can pleasantly and conveniently forget that Bread of Life ever appeared there, and sing Lamb of God by ‘mistake’ every time!

  • Loretta

    …qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.

    What a radical notion. The bishops are extending their authority over the Mass. Damn well about time! Let me know when they get to Saint John the Heretical Parish in south King County so I can go there with a clear conscience on snow days. In the meantime, as my daughter put it, it’s a difficult choice, how to starve to death: drought or poison.

  • LaVallette

    Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi!!! So with whom is the authority? The Magisterium or Mart Haugen?