19 April 2010

Good Homilies and Bad Music

Yesterday at St. Victor's in West Hollywood, frequent guest priest Fr. Vincent Lopez, OP (pictured) talked about the recent media coverage of abuse of children by priests in the Catholic Church. He gave real statistics, pointing out that 4.2% of American priests over a number of decades have been the subject of credible accusations, but that the secular media makes it seem like 90%. He talked about how the protocols for dealing with cases have been tightened and and made clearer in the last several years. He ended with a fervent prayer that the percentage of all adults who abuse children, priest and lay alike, will soon be reduced to zero.

I am not sure whether the homily was an appropriate time to give this information--I would have preferred a typed letter. On the other hand, the congregation were very appreciative. One woman I spoke to after Mass said, "It's so good to hear the real statistics from a study, and what's really being done to protect children. My non-Catholic friends are very critical, and I haven't known how to respond to them. Now I feel like there's something I can say."

It's great that there is so much information online about protocols and statistics, but even in our hooked-up world, there are people who don't get their news online. The information must be made available in other media so that as many people as possible will be able to answer the secular media's falsifications. So thank you, Fr. Vincent, for speaking up. I do believe that you live up to your once-name in religion, Fidelis.

On another note, one of my friends was confirmed at Good Shepherd church in Beverly Hills last night. Congratulations, Cindy! I was unable to attend, since I had to provide music for Mass at St. Victor's, but I was able to go to the celebratory party afterwards. Amidst the congratulations were a number of complaints about the music at Good Shepherd. The general consensus was that the whole production was a bit of a circus. I don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn, but it was very gratifying to hear more than one person console Cindy about the music saying, "It's ok, you can go back to St. Victor's next week." When will the people who plan music for these events understand that badly-performed, 15-years-out-of-date pop music is not appealing to young people or most anyone else? The Church recommends the music it does because it is right, and it works. Learn this, or go the way of the dinosaurs.

04 April 2010

Terra tremuit!

The earthquake that rocked Mexicali about twenty minutes ago shook our building pretty hard for at least a couple of minutes. Even now the chain on my bedside lamp is still swinging, and I keep imagining swaying, but nothing fell off our shelves. I hope everyone in Mexico is ok, although it's such a big quake that it's unlikely everything is hunky-dory. We'll hear reports in a couple of hours, probably.

On the one hand, having an Easter earthquake is kind of nifty, given the connection to the Terra tremuit text. On the other hand, having a 6.9 earthquake is not at all cool.

A blessed Pascha to you all, and pray that those nearest the quake's epicenter will also have a blessed, peaceful, and safe Easter.