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This room is for discussion related to learning about the faith (Catechetics), defense of the Faith (Apologetics), the Liturgy and canon law, motivated by a desire to grow closer to Christ or to bring someone else closer.

Saint Augustine of Hippo is considered on of the greatest Christian thinkers of all time and the Doctor of the Church.
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May 25th 2013 new
(quote) Chelsea-743484 said: Firstly, I believe it is a false conclusion to argue a difference in culture. The fellow we are discussing is a Catholic priest. His culture is therefore Roman Catholicism of either the Latin/Western or Eastern Rite. Discerning from that standpoint, his actions are unprecedented and novel. We can't all go about with divisive conditions and prerequisites for understanding the actions of one another by saying, "Well, he's an Indian-Catholic," or "he's a Baltic-Catholic," or "he's a French-Catholic;" it's not a national thing; we're all supposed to be plainly Catholic. We don't have the luxury of deciding anew for ourselves what God demands for public worship, especially if that has been established already by His authority (as we see in Divine Liturgy and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass).

I disagree with your determination that Catholic worship is "so bland." Merely because the worship that Holy Mother Church has canonized to be offered to God is refined, solemn and sacred doesn't make it bland or lesser in any respect to the fervor offered by idol-worshippers. The solemnity and refined-ness of the Holy Sacrifice offered to God the Father in atonement for our sins should not be made coarse, vulgar and profane to suit the un-Churched, but used as a means of raising the minds of such people to the loftier things of God.

Finally, I would offer as a suggestion that you take a peek at #75 in Bl. Pope John Paul II's Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor. A good action requires more than a good intention.
Hi Chelsea

thank you for the VERITATIS SPLENDOR
I have read it and tried to understand it.
I quote from it,
"The Second Vatican Council invited scholars to take "special care for the renewal of moral theology", in such a way that "its scientific presentation, increasingly based on the teaching of Scripture, will cast light on the exalted vocation of the faithful in Christ and on their obligation to bear fruit in charity for the life of the world".45 The Council also encouraged theologians, "while respecting the methods and requirements of theological science, to look for a more appropriate way of communicating doctrine to the people of their time; since there is a difference between the deposit or the truths of faith and the manner in which they are expressed, keeping the same meaning and the same judgment".46 This led to a further invitation, one extended to all the faithful, but addressed to theologians in particular: "The faithful should live in the closest contact with others of their time, and should work for a perfect understanding of their modes of thought and feelings as expressed in their culture".47

I found another link here where Cardinal Arinze talks of the appropriateness and inappropriateness of dance depending on where one is - ie the culture one is in.

I have been to mass in India when we have had dances during the Offertory and after the elevation and it was respectful and made me stand in awe and made me aware of the presence of God in my midst and it led me to a deeper worship. And I have been to a mass with my African friends and here too witnessed dance which led me to worship.

Many of the psalms also talk of dancing to our God. And when I was talking of bland, I meant lukewarm. I am awed by the reverence of the mass especially the elevation when the bread and wine is consecrated and becomes the body and blood - Christ is present in our midst - yet I do not feel this reverence in the church I attend. I do not expect dancing - I am in a Western country and for that matter in India too, in many churches I do not find this reverence.

I agree with you, he is a Catholic priest in a eastern country, where dance is a form of worship. The bishop is OK with this Jesuit and his dancing. I cannot judge him, we need to understand and witness his dancing.

God Bless
May 25th 2013 new
Wow Father's got some moves there though.

...not a fan of the eye make up though hmmm hehehe

What's so great about Catholicism though is it is truly universal. Is he violating any teachings by expressing his faith through dance within the context of his culture? I'm not an expert so I really don't know. I see a man who is an artist but who also loves God.

JP2 has letter for artists.

May 25th 2013 new
hahaha, I wonder what kind of "vocations" this guy attracts.
May 25th 2013 new
I know Catholic priests and nuns who play stringed instruments in local symphony orchestras. It does not interfere with their vocations. They live in the western world, so western dress is what you see when you go to watch them perform with their musician colleagues. Unless they are a cloistered order, they are allowed to live within the community and participate in its life in a way that does not interfere with their vocations. You will see nuns and priests at hockey, baseball and football games too. There is no scandal in that.

The video does not show a Catholic Mass. He appears to be dancing in an auditorium/stage type setting. The fact that he is a priest and dances in non-controversial settings outside of Mass should not alarm anyone.

However, I am not sure about the makeup and the fact that he is shirtless (modesty is not just a western concern, it is cross-cultural and I have seen east Indian dancers and performers where the males wear shirts). Youtube takes it beyond India and perhaps a more conscientious effort to appear in a way that may not offend those less familiar with shirtless dancing would make it less likely for people to be so critical. So perhaps someone should tell him to make a shirt part of the costume.
Jun 15th 2013 new
And so he should. This is only a hobby. In his day job, he protects us from evil, as you should be able to see. (Well, perhaps you can't. After all, it is surprising how many people can't recognise Clark Kent without his 'eye make-up'.)
Jun 15th 2013 new
(quote) Angela-374523 said: I know Catholic priests and nuns who play stringed instruments in local symphony orchestras. It does not interfere with their vocations.... ...However, I am not sure about the makeup and the fact that he is shirtless (modesty is not just a western concern, it is cross-cultural and I have seen east Indian dancers and performers where the males wear shirts).   ....

A closer analogy than wearing tails and ballgowns in a symphony orchestra (and you approach that with your comment about his being shirtless) is whether it would be seemly for a Catholic priest to be a ballet dancer or, for that matter, a crime fighting (non-lethal) superhero.

And the answer is no because ... because ... that's the kind of massive red cape you'd expect Lucifer to be wearing?
Jun 16th 2013 new
Well, actually there are no tails and ballgowns either. In every symphony orchestra performance that I have attended, including those where some of the musicians were nuns and priests, the orchestra members wear very conservative (almost dour) attire: all black with white contrasts (black suit with white shirt; long black skirt with black sweater). Ballgowns are nowhere in sight, nor are tails.

While the makeup and attire of the dancer priest seem somewhat inappropriate to me, I am not of that culture. I do not understand the costume and what it means or signifies. That does not make it "wrong" or "scandalous".

Sadly, the Church has had very real scandals that involved immoral and illegal behavior and cover-ups of those behaviors. Somehow, a priest who dances cultural dances solo seems neither immoral nor illegal to me. There are real crimes and real immoral behaviors that actually deserve our indignation.

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