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Letters

Canadian Lectionary

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 Contents - Mar 2006AD2000 March 2006 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: The challenge facing Pope Benedict - Peter Westmore
Documents: Benedict's first encyclical 'Deus Caritas Est' speaks to the heart of the Faith - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Archbishop Hickey: how to address the crisis of faith - Archbishop Barry Hickey
Mass: How can differences over the Liturgy be resolved? - Fr John O'Neill
Liturgy: Eucharistic faith: why the Mass needs re-enchanting - Alvin F. Kimel Jr
Modernism: 'New Church' not true Church: what modernists believe - Pastor Remotus
Vocations: Dominican Sisters: religious vocations continue to rise in Nashville - Tracey Rowland
The distribution of Holy Communion past and present: an historical survey - Fr Sebastian Camilleri OFM
Media: Archbishop Hickey presents the Christian message on TV - Daniel Tobin
Letters: The Fortified School - Chris Hilder
Letters: The Eucharist - Jim Howe
Letters: Adore 2006 in Brisbane - Tim Wallace
Letters: New Age - Richard Congram
Letters: Intelligent Design - Peter Barnes
Letters: Canadian Lectionary - Matt Walton
Letters: St John Vianney - Maureen Wright
Letters: Guitars - John Daly
Letters: Elitism - Jeff Harvie
Letters: Relic of the '70s - Don Gaffney
Letters: Vaccines and abortion - Judy Law
Letters: Gender neutral - P.F. Gill
Books: 'The Case For Marriage' by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher - Kerrie Allen (reviewer)
Books: Edith Stein Discovered: A Personal Portrait, by Pat Lyne OCDS - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Black Robe And Tomahawk: Fr Pierre-Jean De Smet SJ (1801-1873) - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: Golden Priest, Wooden Chalice, by Fr Tim Norris - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: Stimulating reading from AD Books
Reflection: Bringing Christ's love to the bereaved: a ministry for Catholic parishes - Fr Dennis Byrnes

"In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God" (Jn 1:1). What happens when the word of God is traduced so thoroughly as to become a potent ideological tool designed to reshape the Church in the image of the creature?

The widely used 1991 Canadian Lectionary, for example, strips and defuses the word of God of its Divine power, re-wording the psalms, canticles and great lyrical passages of the Bible, deleting many of the masculine pronouns referring to God and rewriting the Gospels, Acts, and the Epistles.

Instances abound on a daily basis. In politics, law, education and employment, the changing of words, tenses or sequences is intended to alter concepts so as to advantage or disadvantage, and to chart direction.

We deceive ourselves in denying this has happened with the 1991 Canadian Lectionary, including key parts such as the Psalms, the Lord's Prayer and liturgical music.

This lectionary effectively subverts the presence and action of the word, and contributes to moulding from the very Body of Christ, a church which is scarcely Catholic.

At the heart of this deconstructed Scripture is the negation of God's integrity. Inherent is a weakening of belief in "the Word made flesh." Inevitably this must lead to a denial of Christ's Real Presence in the sacrament of his body and blood.

Some Protestant and Orthodox Churches would be aghast at what we have done with this lectionary. How can we have good preaching, reflective of Catholic dogma and tradition, if God's word has been tampered with? How can we even hope to know God fully if his word has been rewritten on our terms? Who dares disempower the word of God? Who would deprive us of our birthright?

With reference to New Zealand, who authorised this lectionary? Are we not entitled to an authentic lectionary so that we can hear the word of God in its full integrity? There is a grave responsibility to be owned and attended to here.

MATT WALTON
Dannevirke, New Zealand

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 19 No 2 (March 2006), p. 15

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