Seattle Catholic today picked up a story from the Kansas City Kansan, the Wyandotte County local paper, "Prisoners Rap for Redemption." At first I didn't even read it (having already had my fill of chaos and disappointment for the day by noon, when Seattle Catholic is usually updated). But when I did click the link, I discovered this wasn't some bad joke from a diocese notorious for such things, like Cleveland or LA or Johnstown-Altoona--this is in Kansas City, Kansas.
Apparently (as you can read for yourself if you click the link above), prisoners aren't just rapping on their own about things spiritual (which would, in itself, give offense to God by repeating his name in such a base and vulgar medium). They're actually going to mutilate existing sacred music. They're going to rap Kyries and Agnus Deis.
What's more, they're not going to do this in a prison room, or a secular auditorium, or even some far-out protestant or new-fangled Catholic church. They're going to do this at Blessed Sacrament at 4pm this Sunday, January 8, 2006.
Yes, that's Blessed Sacrament, at 20th and Parallel Parkway, where the Latin Mass Community of St. Rose Philipine Duschene meets. (Here I should point out to the out-of-towners that the Latin Mass Community is a tenant of the regular parish there, even though their numbers are greater, and therefore they have no control over what the regular parish does--and sometimes inadequate control of what the LMC itself can do. No doubt, the LMC community is livid about this.
As noted above, using a corrupt and debased form of "music," that arose out of urban gang culture, and is still associated with it, to praise the Almighty is an offense to Him. Debasing sacred songs--parts of the Holy Mass, and the musical structure that has its roots in pre-Christian worship of our Lord by the Jews and that has shaped and guided Holy Mother Church--and all western music--through two millenia is an offence to him. And of secondary importance, but noteworthy nonetheless, doing all this in a church that is used primarily (in terms of numbers worshippers, if not ownership) by Catholics committed to traditional worship--doing all this in their very refuge from the foolishness and corruption of modern liturgy--is a grave insult to those Catholics.
Who let this happen? Obviously, the pastor of Blessed Sacrament, whomever he is, did. (We can't blame the Latin Mass Community or its FSSP chaplain, and they don't have a voice). Does the Archbishop? If so, that doesn't speak well for the future of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
More importantly, what can we do? It's already Friday night, so there's little chance we can get the Archbishop to stop it, even if he doesn't have anything to do with it. However, those of you who live on the Kansas side really ought to let him hear about it on Monday, and on please pray for the people of the LMC and their chaplain, as this will be a temptation to wrath and a trial for them as they find out about it (as it obviously is for me).