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Another argument for reform in the Roman Curia

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Aug 01, 2014

Next time someone asks you why we need reform of the Roman Curia, you might point out that it took the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) nine years to decide that the Sign of Peace should be exchanged with dignity. How difficult is it to imagine an organization efficient enough to reach that conclusion in, say, nine days? Or nine minutes?

Notice, too, that the CDW said abusive practices should be eliminated. It might take another nine years before they are eliminated in the typical parish. And that assumes that local parish communities will be persuaded by the arguments advanced in the CDW statement. Which seems unlikely, since those arguments essentially repeat the points made by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

So what is it, exactly, that the CDW accomplished on this issue, during these nine years?

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Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: aclune9083 - Aug. 05, 2014 11:18 PM ET USA

    It's been 10 years in our parish since the pastor told the people that passing the peace just prior to Communion was an inappropriate distraction from the central reality of the Eucharist. Even today, however, a few die-hards insist on making some kind of peace gesture to those around them or across the church. My point: people don't like change and don't like to be told what to do; and they don't like to change back. The change should never have been made in the first place.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Aug. 05, 2014 8:33 PM ET USA

    Since Benedict XVI noted the abuse in 2005, it sounds like the problem is with the bishops in the field not the Vatican bureaucracy. The note from the CDW was afterall a reminder addressed to the Bishops.

  • Posted by: kathimcnamee11450 - Aug. 05, 2014 6:34 PM ET USA

    While we're at it, let's stop holding hands and raising hands like the protestants do at a tent revival. I'd like to see everyone covering all the thigh, shoulders, and chest flesh.. How about more decorum and reverence at the greatest form of worship on this earth

  • Posted by: koinonia - Aug. 05, 2014 8:09 AM ET USA

    One of the great challenges for effecting reform is that it is not so much the specifics of the abuses as the attitude and philosophical foundation for their introduction. A cavalier attitude about the liturgy replaced vigilance. In some ways the abuses have become more valued than the supernatural effects of the liturgy, and this really is a pretty natural outcome. It's challenging to withdraw the "all about me" and request uniformity from those who do not understand the mind of the Church.

  • Posted by: John J Plick - Aug. 03, 2014 5:24 PM ET USA

    It is apparent to me that "institutional religion" is merely a springboard to heroic personal sanctity. But why wait until death?

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