Liturgical Referees.

The Curt Jester reports:

Francis Cardinal Arinze the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has introduced a new program that will surely have an effect. The recently created position of Liturgical Referee has been instituted to help to bring uniformity to the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Fortunately, the Curt Jester has provided a convenient reference chart for interpreting the referees in action (more at the link):

I'm betting that most non-Catholics won't quite get the humor of the link, but for someone like me who is a conservative Catholic, it is *really* funny.

I'll offer some commentary for the baffled. SKip it if you already know the background...

The site is quite cleverly poking fun at the myriad of weirdness that has infiltrated many Catholic parishes' services since 1970 when the Latin Mass was rather abruptly surpressed. The Vatican II council intended to make the Mass "more accessible" to the faithful by offering it in the vernacular languages (English, French, Spanish... whatever), but a lot (a great lot) of liberal priests (either with the outward support of their bishops or just the assistance of their blind eyes) used this as an excuse to try all kinds of wacky experimentation with the liturgy -- "liturgical dance" is one of these being lampooned here. The 'rules' on how to say the "new" (now 37 year old!) Mass are well-documented; it's just that many parishes choose to ignore them.

Cardinal Arinze heads the "department" within the Vatican that establishes protocol on conducting the Mass. He is from Nigeria & widely considered to be a conservative, who doesn't tolerate much nonsence or kooky theology. He was also a close advisor to the late John Paul II, and was considered a front-runner for the papacy himself. If he had been elected, he would have been the first black pope, which would have kept Jay Leno busy for a couple weeks. He's a good man -- let's hope the African countries put out more like him :-)

Straight talk from Sid.
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