I'm sure many have heard about the music lists for the Pope's forthcoming Masses in NYC and in DC. Ah yes, Massive Cremation is programmed for the DC Mass. A lot of people, bloggers and commenters alike, have put up a stink over it, and rightfully so. I truthfully think the Pope deserves a lot better than Mass of Creation. I don't necessarily mean look for those big choral or orchestral Masses from the 1500-1800's. But at least give him something decent.
That said, Marty Haugen himself left a comment at the Catholic Sensitivity blog. Of course, there is that chance it could be a troll posing to be Mr. Haugen. For the time being I'll give the benefit of the doubt that it was the real Marty.
For twenty plus years I have been told, mainly anonymously through the internet, how I have been personally responsible for destroying Roman Catholic worship. I have never responded; however, I wish to offer a few comments now.
First of all, although I am not Roman Catholic, I have a deep love and respect for and faith in the worship tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. My own hesitancy about joining the Church is not about its eucharistic theology, but rather around the unwillingness of the Church to commission, ordain and welcome all humans as Jesus did–male and female, married and unmarried, saints and sinners. I believe that the Church, God’s people and all of creation have suffered from this omission.
I do not think of my own music as central or important to Roman Catholic worship, present or future. I began writing as a parish musician; I still keep the vision that to be “catholic” is to learn and love and embrace the best of the past tradition and to welcome the “best” of what is new, as Gods [sic] speaks through all cultures and expressions (see “Lumen Gentia” [sic]). I leave it to communities and to the Holy Spirit that will (more than us, thank God) guide the future choices that will last.
I had nothing to do with the choice of “Mass of Creation” for a Papal Mass. Having said that, I believe that attacks upon Tom Stehle in his efforts to engage a congregation with what he hoped would be familiar and meaningful to them (using parts of the liturgy with currently approved texts) were unfair, un-Christian and beneath those of us who truly care about how God speaks through our Sacraments.
OK - I believe that Mr. Haugen did have nothing to do with Mr. Stehle's choice of Mass setting. Whatever BS story he or the DC organizers used to get Rome to approve it is beyond me. Was it even approved by Rome in the first place?
The problem is - Marty, your tunes are not that singable. Further, you claim you don't think your music is important to Roman Catholic worship. Yet, one of the largest Catholic publishers, GIA, has picked up all but a small handful of your abundance of published music. Worse, the other major publisers, WLP, OCP, and LitPress, have also picked you up big time. Most of the NPM cronies I've had the displeasure of running into on these boards go ga-ga over you and shun the music that the Roman Catholic church itself has called for to gain pride of place, and that's Gregorian chant. Pope Benedict XVI has decried, both as Cardinal Ratzinger and as Pope Benedict XVI, pop styles of music at Mass. But yet, guess what pops up...
No, it may not be your SINGULAR fault. However, I find fault in all that have promoted this sort of stuff - not just yours, but many like it.
As for your reasons for not joining the Catholic Church, I will commend you for not claiming you're Catholic. I'm still curious of how supposedly-Catholic publishers got to pick up music from someone whose beliefs oppose the Church's.
I say this with all due respect.