Monday, March 29, 2010

Lots of Questions; No More Answers from the Office of Worship

Katie posed a question today, asking whether Catherine Combier-Donovan, Director of the Office of Worship, is ever going to respond to the questions about the Liturgy we asked months ago. At that time Ms Combier-Donovan seemed very open to corresponding with us through this blog. However, we have heard nothing more from her.

First of all, let me say that I realize that there are time constraints involved. There is a lot going on concerning the New Roman Missal translations and conferences to set up involving it or to attend. But beyond those issues, it would have been nice to hear from her simply to let us know that at the present time, she has no time to engage us at a blog level.

If anyone has any further information, please comment...


Mark said...

Standing Maryanna:

My impression is that bloggers of our kind are viewed as too few in number, too strong in opinion, and possibly too "emotional" to bother with. Besides, many of our questions are border line rhetorical, and may be too uncomfortable to engage with. Not everyone is accustomed to, shall we say, robust discussions.

Also, there is a strong probability that the average Catholic today is not all that interested in the liturgy. I'm not sure what kind of answers we would get if we asked a statistical sample of church goers "why do you go to Church?".

What we may have here then, is a ruling elite, a liturgically disengaged majority, and an "emotionally unbalanced" minority "clinging to the comforts of the past". Not exactly a recipe for discussion. But, I may be wrong. What do you think?

Stu said...

I believe it was wishful thinking from the start to think that such discussion would take place in any serious capacity. Even her sole response was taken right off of the diocesan web site.

As one that would be labeled as "traditional," such is fairly typical in my experience.

Katie Beaumont said...

Have we really reduced ourselves to the level of a bunch of liturgical hacks repeating rhetorical comments that support our stances? Has our office of worship become the office-of-"NO!"? Do any of us really have to be so stubbornly complacent with our liturgical preferences that we are incapable of intelligent discourse? For the Love of God, that would be pure insanity if that were true. I hope diocesan officials are not that dismissive of thinking-Catholics who care.

Mark said...


I agree with your sentiments very much. When a discussion is desired, and silence is the reply, then what we are left with is cold comfort.

Christ did once ask, rhetorically:

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?"

standing maryanna said...

I can't do this myself because I don't wish for my identity to become known, but you could email the worship office to request Ms C-D to visit the blog and check out our questions and comments once more.

Or, simply to make your displeasure known. After all, Mark is right:

"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?"

Phaedrus said...

I corresponded with Ms.Combier-Donovan a while back about a liturgical situation, and my experience was similar to what happened here. She was initially very responsive, and then just seemed to lose interest. After several unanswered e-mails, I finally gave up.
I doubt very much if we will ever hear from her again. It takes effort to compose replies to questions like ours, and she probably feels that there is little to be gained by her participation in the dialogue. It's a pity, because communication to the folks in the pews does not seem to be a priority for this bishop.

Anonymous said...

I guess it's easier to give somebody a stone than bread. Bread requires too much effort and the sheep aren't worth it.

Phaedrus said...

Unlike Anonymous, I don't think there is any reason to put such a cynical twist on the reluctance of Ms. C-D to address our questions. However, it is disappointing.

standing maryanna said...

The new Catholic Virginian that I received today has Part 1 of a series on the New Roman Missal translation. Written by Ms C-D...

Robert Dibdale said...

Despite the clear directive from our own diocesan Office of Divine Worship that bare cross be used for the veneration on Good Friday instead of the traditional crucifix our Holy
Father continues his habit of disregarding Richmond liturgical norms by using a crucifix on Good Friday just as he's done since his elevation to Peter's throne.
My favorite image is from the 2010 link below of the pope (scroll down) kissing the feet of the corpus on the crucifix used in St. Peter's on Good Friday.
I wonder if the Holy See will ever accept Richmond diocesan liturgical practice? Or...should the question be reversed? Perhaps we in Richmond should get on board with Roman liturgical practice.



Anonymous said...

Catherine Combier-Donovan, Coordinator of the Office of Worship, has resigned from her role effective August 13, 2010.