13 November 2007

Music Matters

Gerald reported that the head of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, Monsignor Valentin Miserachs Grau, has suggested that a pontifical office wit authority over music should be set up to correct abuses in the field. According to Monsignor Miserachs "in none of the areas touched on by Vatican II -- and practically all are included -- have there been greater deviations than in sacred music." Miserachs goes on to call for greater sacredness in music, and the keystone to this idea is Gregorian Chant.

In other news, Father Z carried a story detailing how bishop conferences would be able to get around such an office. In brief, Bishop Trautman's liturgy committee was going to submit a proposal concerning music to the USCCB. The proposal was originally intended to establish law. For that it would need 2/3 majority vote, and then would be submitted to the Holy See for approval. But instead the document was submitted as official guidelines. This would require only a simple majority among the bishops and would never need approval from the Holy See. In practice in the past, according to Father Z and several commentators, these 'guidelines' have been treated as law.

So while I would applaud the idea of a papal office for music, local bishop's conferences would still be able to get around it without any great difficulty.

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