Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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Hi Prax

may I provide some clarification regarding liturgical consultants, the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and ‘Built of Living Stones’?

A ‘liturgical consultant’ (LC) in the instance you have referred to is, as far as I’m aware, an American phenomenon. An LC was actually first referred to in the predecessor to ‘Built of Living Stones’ (BOLS), ‘Environment and Art in Catholic Worship’ (EACW). EACW mentioned an LC but did not explain what one was or did.

The Catholic Theological Union in Chicago (CTU) was formed as an amalgamation of theological teaching schools of various separate Catholic Church orders – a pooling of resources. Thus CTU is a Catholic teaching entity. It runs a course to train LCs at the request of the Archdiocese of Chicago which attempted to fill the void regarding what an LC did. The course was originally conceived to supply LCs for the archdiocese but it quickly attracted a much wider attendance. The students are balanced between ordained ministry, artists, architects.

As I said above BOLS succeeded EACW. Over the years EACW aroused much antipathy as it was considered fairly radical. I understand that it was often presented during church building renovation projects as ‘authorative’ when in fact it had the same status as the Place of Worship (POW). Also similarly to POW it was issued by the American bishop’s equivalent of our Irish Episcopal Commission on the Liturgy and not he American bishops’ conference (though validly so as the American episcopal liturgy commission were empowered to do so by the conference). As a result of rising resistance to EACW, not least of which by the some of the bishops themselves, and the fact that EACW was not voted upon by the conference, it was decided by the conference to have a new document drawn up (BOLS) and voted upon. It is ironic (for you Prax) that you consider it suspect as the main reason it came into existence was as a result of conservative lobby pressure. Many LCs consider it to be retrograde step.

(yes as you might have guessed I am a LC and i attended the CTU course).

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