From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Mama Stacy from Mombasa writes: “Fr Beste I have a daughter who is a member of PMC and liturgical dance. She told me they were told by Sister in charge of PMC that the two should not be mixed. Either you are a member of PMC or liturgical dancer. She also told them that she does not encourage liturgical dance. My daughter is totally confused. If you can share this bit with us in your news dispatch I am sure it can help many who cannot make the different.”

Thank you for this important concern mama Stacy. In my opinion the reason why the pontifical Missionary childhood (PMC) is combined with liturgical dance, popularly known as flower girls is because they are the same children participating in the two.

PMC as we know it today was founded in 1843 by Charles de Forbin-Janson, Bishop of Nancy, France. It was known as the Association of the Holy Childhood (Association de la Sainte Enfance). Popes and other ecclesiastical dignitaries approved the association and recommended it to the Catholic faithful.

Bishop Charles was deeply affected by the distress of Chinese children abandoned in the streets. He was moved to found a society for children helping children. This can well explain why PMC is combined together with Children Helping Children (CHC).

He was convinced that though weak and needing care, children rich in faith and love are capable of playing their own part in the Church’s mission – and even of stirring adults to show the same generous spirit.

Both are not contradicting each other. Since PMC is a worldwide association for children aged Since PMC is of children between 0- 14years, the age where majority are liturgical dancers, popularly known as flower girls is why it is difficult to separate the two.

I don’t know why the Sister is not happy with liturgical dance. May be because of its sexual revolution background that is why she is not happy with it. According to its background, liturgical dance in Christian worship became more prevalent in the United States of America during the sexual revolution of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The practice developed as a part of liberal Christianity. As a term, it is often controversial: while some groups disapprove of dancing in liturgy due to the lack of piety, while others perceive it as a form of physical “Christian body worship”.

The Sister is not alone. Even Cardinal Francis Arinze, when he was prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, publicly criticized introducing dance into the Liturgy, as it risks reducing this sacred rite to a spectacle.

In an address in 2003, for example, the cardinal responded to a question on “liturgical dance”: “There has never been a document from our Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments saying that dance is approved in the Mass”; and he noted that “the tradition of the Latin Church has not known the dance. It is something that people are introducing in the last ten years — or twenty years”. Click here to see Cardinal Responds to Questions on Liturgy.

The modern consensus is that the sexual revolution in 1960s America was typified by a dramatic shift in traditional values related to sex, and sexuality. Sex became more socially acceptable outside the strict boundaries of heterosexual marriage. The pill provided many women a more affordable way to avoid pregnancy.

At the core of the sexual revolution was the concept — radical at the time — that women, just like men, enjoyed sex and had sexual needs. Feminists asserted that single women had the same sexual desires and should have the same sexual freedoms as everyone else in society. For feminists, the sexual revolution was about female sexual empowerment.

For social conservatives, the sexual revolution was an invitation for promiscuity and an attack on the very foundation of American society — the family. Feminists and social conservatives quickly clashed over morality of the “sexual revolution,” and the pill was drawn into the debate.

Through the years, the Holy See has responded to these questions in various ways. A particularly relevant passage from The Spirit of the Liturgy, by Pope Benedict XVI (Cdl Ratzinger), addresses both the source and the concerns connected with such expressions: Dancing is not a form of expression for the Christian liturgy.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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