Saturday, July 15, 2006

Giving new meaning to outsourcing

First it was computer programming, then tech support, and now--Masses for the dead. That's right, next time you fill out the Mass card and send your $10 or $15 bucks to the parish, they're likely to send your intention to India, according to the Ottawa Citizen, although The New York Times evidently reported the same thing a year ago. One Mass is as good as another, no? And besides, farming them out let's the Indian clergy make 10 times more celebrating the liturgy than they would if an Indian Catholic made the same request.

What is this, the Middle Ages? Since when did Mass once again become a "thing" offered to God on behalf of a dead person, rather than a celebration of a particular community who lifts its needs and those of the world to God? This has been going on, of course, for years, even centuries, but I hardly think it's consistent with a renewed understanding and practice of the liturgy.

I'm sure many will point out that this is just another expression of the glorious universality of Catholicism, but in reality it is yet another step backward, another objectification of the Eucharist into some strange currency God accepts in return for springing a soul from purgatory. And it's silly at best, sacrilegious as worst.

Why is this liturgical outsourcing necessary? Evidently there aren't enough priests in North America to keep up with all the Mass requests, and once again, instead of reforming a system that no longer meets the needs of the people of God, we come up with a theologically bizarre way of maintaining the status quo.

Many today talk of a loss of the "sense of the sacred" in the liturgy, yet those same people seem completely willing to reduce the eucharist to a mere "unbloody sacrifice," an imitation of ancient animal sacrifice minus the slaughter to appease an offended god. And that is surely an offense against the eucharist.


Post a Comment

<< Home