I stole the following comments of Marty Haugen from THE CAFETERIA IS CLOSED and that noble Blog lifted it from COMMANDER CRAIG (did it originate with CATHOLIC SENSIBILITY?):
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.
I am not a fan of Marty Haugen’s music, at least not for Mass. I suspect when a Music Directory comes out, much of his material and other GIA selections will probably fail to muster Vatican approval, no matter whether the U.S. bishops try to sneak them in or not. Listening to such music on a Contemporary Christian radio station is one thing, but I would hope we would replace “religious” song with true “liturgical” music at Mass, quoting Scripture directly and utilizing the often skipped antiphons.
It is unfair to say that Marty Haugen single-handedly destroyed Catholic music for Mass. This we did to ourselves with the wholesale betrayal of Gregorian chant and making progressive liturgists into the masters of post Vatican II liturgical celebrations. We are at fault for our passivity. Pop music hymnals and the publishers of cheap missalettes are also guilty of high crimes against the Mass. They have manipulated the liturgy by replacing official footnotes and directions with their own, with the absence of Latin, and the subtraction of ancient chants and traditional music. The music for responsorial psalms are often unsingable, even by trained musicians. Unless they are supposed to sound that awful on purpose? Even older hymns are altered for gender inclusion and to insure continued royalties. They hate the public domain material because there is no profit in it. The Mass is big business for ICEL translators, song-writers and publishers. Quote too much of the Mass, and never a song, or even a NAB Scripture reading and you are threatened with infringement and lawsuits. The Mass and Bible which should belong to all God’s people, is treated as the property of a few, and not all of them even in the Catholic Church!
I never knew that Marty Haugen was not Catholic. There were hints in the music, like the stress upon the congregation over the priest and altar, nothing about saints, and avoidance of the notion of real presence and sacrifice. However, even so-called Catholics are weak regarding such matters. Someone wrote that he is now on his second Protestant faith. No matter, he is not Catholic and that should mean a special scrutiny for those who would include his music in our celebrations. There are a number of older Protestant hymns that we have stolen as our own, including the work of men like Martin Luther and Charles Wesley. I often wonder if our ancient fathers in dungeons dark are Christians in Rome or Lutherans battling Catholics. As for the Methodist music, we should well recall that they deliberately seed their hymns with faith-content, some of which might not always jive with Catholic doctrine. Many people are unaware that there are various versions of AMAZING GRACE, one approved for Catholic use and then the original version popular among my Baptist friends. Teachings about grace and hope over “blessed assurance” frequently make non-Catholic hymns somewhat problematical. The contemporary song, MARY DID YOU KNOW?, heard everywhere at Christmas, out-rightly denies the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. As can be seen by my ramblings, the situation is a lot more serious than the works of a single composer.
My current concern is that this recent statement by Marty Haugen places him in a “direct” and “public” position of opposition to the Catholic Church on a serious matter of doctrine. This is nothing short of scandalous. If he wanted to continue to write music for Catholic liturgy, then he should have been both receptive to Catholic criticism and quiet about his own dissent from Catholic teaching. The connection between the priesthood and the Mass is intimate and crucial. If he fails to see this then he is not qualified for the work in which he has been employed. Music teaches and he has proved himself now as a false teacher.
I do not think he is a liar, but his lack of sympathy for the Catholic teaching on the priesthood makes him incompetent and ignorant about the very “worship tradition” and “eucharistic theology” toward which he says he is attracted. He really does not seem to understand what he is saying and the inherent contradiction. What he says about ministry is false. Jesus did not call any women to membership among his Apostles. The early Church would insist upon the model of Christ in ONLY ordaining MEN to the priesthood. Christ is the bridegroom and the Church is his bride. The male priest, as there are no priestesses in genuine Christianity, symbolizes the bridegroom. He is one with the person of Christ, head of the Church, at the altar. The altar is one with the nuptial banquet table of heaven. The earthly Eucharist and sacrifice is a wedding celebration. Jesus is present in the priest, in the Church as the body of Christ and in the real presence of the Blessed Sacrament. The early Church also insisted that those who received the Eucharist should share the one true faith and be in a state of grace. Haugen argues not only for women priests but that anyone, non-Catholics, those married outside the Church, those in serious sin, etc. should be welcomed to the communion line. Sorry, he really understands nothing! The reception of Holy Communion is a faith profession. The “Amen” said by the communicant signifies a belief in the presence of Jesus, his humanity and divinity, his body and blood, in the Eucharist. It is a profession of solidarity with the Pope and with all that the Catholic Church teaches must be believed as true. His so-called welcoming would place sinners into a more grievous state of sacrilege and invite the full wrath of divine justice. No doubt Haugen would say this is all nonsense; that is because he really does not share the Catholic faith. It is not a matter of conservatives versus liberals. It is a matter of orthodox versus heretical, of true against false.
Now that he has voiced his dissatisfaction with Catholicism, how can any of us in good conscience use his works? We are giving material and moral support to a man who uses his position to ridicule basic elements of Catholic teaching. One person, who will remain nameless, with whom I discussed this matter, offered the following suggestion:
I would recommend a moratorium on his work, until it is all public domain, and maybe a good 150 years after he has passed from this world. We can then implement it, corrected in lyrics of course, for classroom music among first and second graders. They are the ones who most appreciate his creativity.
This makes the situation with the MASS OF CREATION for the papal liturgy somewhat problematical. However, the Holy Father is a gentleman and he will probably reserve judgment until he gets the bishops alone. We all know what he likes and his verdict that much music is banal and trite is well publicized already. It may be the catalyst we need for a new direction in music. Watch the Pope’s face carefully at the Mass when the singing starts. It is said he looks particularly stoic when he is not pleased by something. I plan to concelebrate the Mass in Washington but will fortunately keep Mozart, Bach and a pile of chant CDs near my stereo to recuperate afterwards. I would not be surprised if such selections will be playing in the popemobile.
Marty Haugen’s Web Page
WIKIPEDIA Entry for Marty Haugen
The Curt Jester
Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas
Marty Haugen is a Congregationalist (UCC) but he writes music for Catholic liturgies and is published by GIA. Some critics object to songs like ”Gather Us In” for emphasizing the congregation over almighty God. Although the only instrument I can play is the radio (I have now perfected switching from AM to FM) I must confess that I find most contemporary Church music as lacking depth and seriousness.