This just caught my eye over at Rorate Cæli (thanks to a tweet by Luke Coppen of The Catholic Herald). It seems a brand new response to a submitted dubium has emerged from the Congregation of Divine Worship and he Discipline of the Sacraments regarding that most favorite liturgical whipping boy/spectre, liturgical dance. From the brief text of the response (and the blog post has a clear scan of what would appear to be the actual letter, in English), the Congregation keeps things very simple:
“The liturgical law of the Roman Rite does not foresee the use of dance or drama within the Sacred Liturgy, unless particular legislation has been enacted by the Bishops’ Conference and confirmed by the Holy See. Any other practice is to be considered an abuse.”
No surprise there, to this writer at least. Everyone who has ever read the liturgical instructions knows that, and always has.
But even though the response is very straightforward, there is also that nisi clause standing right in the middle of it, like a wicker man just catching fire: “unless particular legislation has been enacted…” I read that as a clear answer in the negative by the gatekeepers, while in the same breath they add, “but look, we’ve left the door wide open for any legitimate exceptions.”
The folks at Rorate Cæli, of course, desperately hope this is not the case. The post concludes with an invitation for a combox feeding-frenzy from their readership:
A firm and clear denunciation of the practice of liturgical dance, even in a non-Western country?Or an opening for the bishops’ conferences to seek approval for this practice?
As much as I am sure the stalwart poster believes and/or wishes the answer to his question to be the former option, I cannot see how it can be read as precluding the latter.