CNS Video: Cardinal Ranjith from Sacra Liturgia Conference in Rome

CNS put out a new video interview with Cardinal Ranjith, discussing the sacred liturgy, the relations of the eastern rites, mysticism, the EF, and the Novus Ordo.

It’s a good listen. Check it out!

Liturgical lessons from the East-CNS

Great video. Cardinal Ranjith speaks volumes of truth.

Short but to the point; very good. Thank you for the link.

I don’t agree with him.

Here in the West (United States), many of us have received an extremely negative impression of Eastern mysticism from many different celebrities, and we would be suspicious and even afraid of Eastern mysticism in our Masses.

Eastern mysticism has been embraced by many celebrities who take up of those aspects of the Eastern spiritual practices that they find personally appealing, especially the more pagan and “occult” (I’m using the word in the popular sense to mean practices forbidden in the Bible, e.g., seances, speaking with the spirits, using a “spirit guide,” etc.) practices. Then they tout their deep “spirituality” and evangelize others to their New Age spiritual practices while at the same time, they flout sinful lifestyles and lend their support to evil causes like gay marriage and abortion.

I frankly would have a very difficult time with any “Eastern influence” in the Mass, sadly, because of the extremely negative influence of these celebrities. I am old enough to remember when the Beatles, especially George Harrison and John Lennon, brought all kinds of “Eastern influences” into their music and into their lives, and many young people were led away from Christianity by this, and they’re still away!

Many of the weird “cults” in Hollywood have their roots in Eastern mysticism. Shirley MacLaine has done a lot of damage over the decades with all her “spiritual practices.”

And many celebs have written books about everything from diets to love, and based their “wisdom” on Eastern mysticism.

We in the West have a very different mindset than the people in the East, and it is difficult for us to comprehend the spirituality of the East, or use the practices correctly. I think this is part of the appeal to celebrities and to non-celebrities in the U.S.–some people just want to be “different” and “more spiritual.”

I know that some younger people have managed to acquire this “Eastern mindset” and claim to feel comfortable with mystical practices. But I’m 56 and I was born and raised in the U.S. and just because many younger people are “global,” I’m not. I still think very much like an American, a “westerner,” and I’m frankly not comfortable with the kind of mystical “symbolism” that the Cardinal alluded to. I want honest, simple teaching and preaching–“daily life” kind of stuff, in a language that I can take hold of and understand and apply to my life where I am. And I think that many others in the U.S. want this, too, which is one reason why Evangelical Protestantism is attracting so many people. It’s straight-forward, “basic” Christianity. I think the Catholic Church would be making a huge mistake in the United States to embrace “Eastern mysticism” in the Mass. We have too much “celebrity baggage” here in the U.S. to appreciate Eastern mysticism correctly.

I lament that our culture is in such a debased state that we have to give consideration to these kinds of things. Not that you’re wrong in a subjective sense, but this is certainly a less than ideal situation we are in. Then again, Eastern Catholics don’t seem to be suffering too much from a more embellished/mystical liturgical experience in the USA.

You know he wasn’t actually saying that we “inject” eastern non-christian mysticism into the liturgy? He’s just using it as an example to make the point that the Latin Church should recover some of it’s own Western-bred, Christian mysticism, ritualism and symbolism.

This. Most of the video in fact, he speaks about the Eastern CATHOLIC Rites, and their retention of sacred language, chants, etc. He is drawing a parallel between that and the NO Mass, and claims that in practice and at times in rubrical options given, that the continuity provided by these externals in the Roman Rite (chanting, sacred language, incense, gestures) are all but removed, leading to a sort of divorce from both the historical Roman Rite, and the visible Eastern Rites today. As H.E. Cardinal Ranjith claims, “We need to fix the Novus Ordo…”

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