Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Hey, look who didn't get the memo!


At the center of the controversy is the church's concept of Christ, said Jesuit Father Lawrence J. Madden, director of the Georgetown Center for Liturgy at Georgetown University in Washington. It's a question raised in the bestselling book "The Da Vinci Code."

Because the earliest Christians viewed Jesus as God and man, Madden said, they generally stood during worship services to show reverence and equality. About the 7th century, however, Catholic theologians put more emphasis on Christ's divinity and introduced kneeling as the only appropriate posture at points in the Mass when God was believed to be present.

Things started to change in the 1960s, Madden said, when Vatican II began moving the church back to its earliest roots. What has ensued, he said, is the predictable struggle of an institution revising centuries of religious practices.

The argument over kneeling, Madden said, is "a signal of the division in the church between two camps: those who have caught the spirit of Vatican II, and those who are a bit suspicious. Because it's so visible, what happens at the Sunday worship event is a lightning rod for lots of issues."

-- David Haldane, Los Angeles Times (May 28, 2006)

At the name of Jesus every knee should bend...

-- Saint Paul, Letter to the Philippians (2:10)


Dad29 said...

...kneeling was introduced following the practice of showing fealty to kings...with the idea that if a MORTAL king deserves knelt-fealty, so much more an IMMORTAL King.

We do not kneel before the President.

The quoted Jebbie has a rather dim historical understanding, to say the least.

David L Alexander said...

You know the good Father has missed the boat somewhere, when he's not afraid to defend his position by using the term "spirit of Vatican II."