This morning The Petition -you know which one – hit the 20,000 mark. Just letting ya know. I don’t have a position on the matter – would you believe me if I said I’ve never thought about it? Or that I don’t have an opinion on most liturgical questions?





8 responses to “20,000”

  1. Jack Rakosky Avatar
    Jack Rakosky

    My signature was 20001. I am a retired social scientist who spent about 20 years doing applied social science research and empowering mentally ill consumers in the public mental health system My data was collected from mentally ill people, usually by their clinicians; I spent a lot time having consumers and clinicians interpret it. Half the important things in a typical analysis were not on anyone’s radar scene before! Most busy professionals go about with blinders. Based on a much smaller amount of interviewing done in parishes, religious professionals also need to get out from behind their busy lives and professional blinders.
    What do consumers want out of the mental health system? One responded that he did not want the most expensive system, or even the one with the best professional practices, but wanted one that he had helped to shape so that it would be there when he needed it. Professionals spend too much time arguing about best practices, they should listen to consumers!

  2. Jeffrey Herbert Avatar


    I never thought of the Catholic Faithful as “consumers” of God’s Word. Perhaps in the future we should consider polling children about what they wish to learn at school.

    1. Anthony Ruff, OSB Avatar
      Anthony Ruff, OSB

      Jeffrey – I hear your point, and I agree that we aren’t consumers of God’s Word, we are to submit to it. However, I wouldn’t want the analogy to be (and I don’t know if you’re saying this or not): school children are to teachers as the Catholic faithful are to the hierarchy. We have to think seriously about what the relationship should be between adult believers and adult authorities who have a responsibility to lead, coordinate, correct, and also listen and learn.

      1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
        Karl Liam Saur

        The idea of treating the liturgy as a consumer product is, however ridiculous in theory, of course how many Americans (even liturgical ministers) tend in practice to treat it – we’ve cultivated a sense that consumer input is valued in the tailoring of the product, we tend to do post-mortems in this vein, we tend to offer (and extol the offering of) liturgies in a variety of flavors, et cet.

        The more we constantly tinker with the doing (rather than the being) of liturgy, the more intensely this dynamic tends to prevail.

      2. Lynne Gonzales Avatar
        Lynne Gonzales

        In order to submit to the Word of God, we have to first understand it…simple, clear, to the point. Ungrammatical sentences [sic], run on sentences, flowery adjectives…all these serve to distract.

  3. Jack Rakosky Avatar
    Jack Rakosky

    Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good. So actually the consumer metaphor used in the social sciences is just as biblical as the teacher-learner metaphor.

    Much progress has been made in mental health by focusing upon consumer outcomes rather than provider processes.

    I recognize my language and conceptual framework may be unfamliar. But the announcement of the blog said “Many and varied interests meet in the liturgy. … There are the literary, musical, artistic, even ethnological and archeological aspects, all of which are worth fostering…” This blog arose from our sense that the conversation needs to broadened, deepened, redirected.

    My sense of the responses is that you like to talk among yourselves more than seriously engage with others

    1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
      Karl Liam Saur

      That sense is typical upon encountering a new blog with people you don’t know.

  4. Jack Rakosky Avatar
    Jack Rakosky

    A survey of 129 parishes and 46241 respondents by the Diocese of Cleveland found that “spiritually moving Masses” was ranked #1 in importance but ranked #21 among 39 items in being well done. “The parish as a supportive, caring community” was ranked #2 in importance but #18 in being well done. My interpretation: people come to church to experience what Christianity is about, the love of God and love of neighbor. What was done well? Buildings!!! Other research suggests that most congregations see their main purpose as cultural transmission through worship and religious education. Adults may agree with that for their children, but they are seeking something different than adult education for themselves. The study also found “Parish leadership that listens to the concerns of parishioners” was ranked as #7 in importance but # 29 in being well done – the largest discrepancy in the study. Most professionals need to do a lot more listening to the people they serve.

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