Other than sex, nothing is more heatedly debated by Catholics than the liturgy, writes Jesuit Fr. Thomas Reese in his latest column.
In the 1960s and '70s, Pope Paul VI implemented revolutionary liturgical reforms laid out by the Second Vatican Council, but after his death in 1978, the Vatican put a stop to the changes.
"It is now time for a second phase," Reese writes.
"The purpose of a transparent and collegial process is to develop good liturgy that is supported by a consensus within the community," Reese continues, before offering up his own ideas on how to improve liturgy as an attempt to get a conversation going with liturgical scholars and others.
- In a previous column, Reese recommends that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in Rome update the process by which it considers liturgical questions.
When Flora Tang was 14, she was pulled out of class by the principal at her evangelical Christian school. Her offense? Wearing a qipao, a traditional Chinese dress, to class.
"My principal told me that because my dress had a slit ... that it might cause temptation to my male classmates, and my teachers," Tang said. "As a 14-year-old, I should have thought, 'Why would my teachers be looking at me sexually?' But instead, I was asked to go change into a T-shirt and some pants."
This humiliating incident was echoed years later in the words of a white man suspected of shooting and killing eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent, in three Atlanta massage parlors on March 16.
The shooter was acting on a combination of anti-Asian racism, misogyny and Christian theology around sexual purity, said Tang, a doctoral student in theology and peace studies at Notre Dame, in an April 8 panel hosted by Notre Dame's Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies.
In a time of escalating racist violence against Asian American people, U.S. Catholics need to look inward at the structural racism and sexism entrenched in the church and in the United States, she said, starting with the church's history of violently colonizing non-European peoples in the name of evangelization.
- NCR columnist Phyllis Zagano says that we know the church can change because it has, even if the "no-change" folks have a lot of clerical support.
- At Global Sisters Report,
read about how Catholic sisters are one of the few constants in a
tempestuous American landscape often shaped by hostility and division.
- Fr. John Beal, professor of canon law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., said in a recent talk that past abuse scandals in the U.S. showed "how lack of transparency in church governance allowed these lapses in accountability to go unrecognized and unaddressed for decades."