Co-Workers of the Truth 8/5

<!–kw=music liturgy rock pop–><img align=”left” src=”” alt=”Benedict XVI” title=”Benedict XVI” />In not a few religious sects, music is associated with frenzy, with ecstasy.  The subjugation of human nature, which is the goal of that hunger for infinity that is proper to all mankind is to be achieved by a holy intoxication, by the frenzy of the rhythm and the instruments.  Such music breaks the bonds of individuality and personality; it frees the individual from the burden of consciousness.  Music becomes ecstasy, liberation form the <em>I</em>, oneness with the universe.

We experience the profane recurrence of this kind of music in rock ‘n’ roll and pop music, whose festivals are an anticult with similar aims – a craving for destruction, a banishment of the inhibitions of everyday life, and an illusion of redemption through liberation from the <em>I</em> and in the wild intoxification of noise and excess.

There is a question here of redemptive practices that are formally related to narcotics and totally contrary to the Christian dogma of redemption.  It is to be expected, therefore, that there should appear in these groups today more and more Satanic cults and Satanic music, whose dangerous power for the intentional derangement and disintegration of the person is not yet regarded with sufficient seriousness.

This is not the kind of conflict between Dionysian and Apollonian music that Plato described, for Apollo is not Christ.  But the question that Plato raised concerns us in a very significant manner.  In a way that we could have not anticipated a generation ago, music has become for us today a critical vehicle for a counter-religion and hence for the discernment of the spirits.  Because rock music seeks redemption through liberation from personality and its responsibilities, it incorporates every precisely the anarchistic ideas of freedom that today are more undisguisedly dominant in the West than in the East.

For that very reason it is fundamentally opposed to the Christian concept of redemption and freedom, is its real antithesis.  It is not because of aesthetic reasons, not because of conservative stubborness, not because of historical inflexibility, but because of its very nature that music of this kind must be excluded from Church.

From: L’Osservatore Romano 16, no.6 (1986), pp.10ff

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