Screens in church

A Catholic church put in video screens to modernize the sanctuary. And everything was wonderful (it probably wasn’t, but let’s pretend) until the US Catholic Bishops told the church that they could not project the Gospel reading on the screens, the mean old men. Because, they said,

“…the readings are not supposed to be read. They’re supposed to be proclaimed… In a letter to the church, the United States Conference of Bishops says projecting the scriptures would be a distraction.” — Catholic parish not allowed to project Scripture readings on screens

Screens are a distraction, and I hate them. But what is most interesting here is the idea of the Gospel being proclaimed and not simply read. That does seem like something Christians are obliged to do, inside the church as well as outside.

The article suggests the Conference of Bishops invoked their copyright on the Bible translation used. If so, that’s worrying. It’s unwise for Christians to use the State to compel other Christians, or to feed any kind of State claim to supremacy or ultimate legitimacy. The result in this case is good, but then that’s how it happens. We give the State power to do something good, and a few years later the State uses that power to oppress. But of course, the American Catholic Bishops of all people know that well. Right?

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9 Replies to “Screens in church”

  1. I always thought churches should have some kind of power to enforce their rules on their members without having to get the government involved. I don’t have any idea how you could actually do that.

    1. I have no idea either. When bishops were great feudal lords, they acted a lot like other feudal lords. And abusive cult leaders are common today. Power corrupts. It seems like the Supreme Court might be a model, where people do what they say because of tradition, and out of respect for the moral authority of the court. I can’t see that level of respect developing for any group of bishops, Catholic or protestant, any time soon.

  2. The article suggests the Conference of Bishops invoked their copyright on the Bible translation used. If so, that’s worrying. It’s unwise for Christians to use the State to compel other Christians, or to feed any kind of State claim to supremacy or ultimate legitimacy.

    If they do not defend a copywrite, they can easily lose it.

    It is also worrying when folks try to bypass the existing laws just because the lawbreaker is in the same religious group; by breaking civil laws, the offenders are the ones that involved the civil gov’t.

    1. Certainly clergy who abuse children should be arrested, not moved. If something like that is suspected I’d tell the police, not the bishop.

      In this case I was thinking more in terms of “Can we put in a screen and show PowerPoint with the sermon?” or “Can I have an interactive response system, so everyone in the audience, I mean congregation, can text me their questions?” and hoping the bishop would say “No! or you’ll go to Hell and drag others with you” and that people would listen to the bishop.

      Of course if it were the Catholic Bishops urging everyone to install screens, I’d ignore them. But I attend a Methodist church.

      I think you’re correct about the need to defend copyright if they want to retain it.

      1. Certainly clergy who abuse children should be arrested, not moved. If something like that is suspected I’d tell the police, not the bishop.

        Classy, dude. Did you put on your good Christian pants to write that one?

        IF there is enough evidence for it to go to court, of course it should be treated as the crime it is. When there’s nothing but accusations, or just insufficient evidence? And the experts that are consulted say that therapy and being removed from the situation is the right route for reformation? Different matter.
        Or should we, as I have seen “suggested” elsewhere, send innocent people to jail on accusations later shown to be physically impossible?

        Or, perhaps, you could just respond to the point that was made without trying to use abused children to score rhetorical points. As you admit at the end, they had no choice but to defend their copywrite.

        ************************

        Parishes don’t generally go Mother, May I for the things they want do– generally, a parish does whatever, and is supposed to be follow the (published) rules, and it goes on until someone complains up the chain of command and they’re told to stop. What happens next depends on how much of a pissing match folks feel up for.

        1. Sorry to give offense. Maybe I misunderstood your earlier comment about bypassing laws just because the lawbreaker is in the same religious group.

          If I suspect a child is being abused, at church, or at work, or anywhere else, I’m telling the police. And I do maintain that clergy who abuse children should be arrested, not moved.

          And read what I wrote: clergy who abuse children, not clergy accused of abusing children.

          Of course if it’s angering or upsetting, or provokes you to insult, you need not read what I wrote, or write.

        2. Sorry to give offense. Maybe I misunderstood your earlier comment about bypassing laws just because the lawbreaker is in the same religious group.

          You suggested bypassing laws because both involved are Christian. I pointed out that is bad. You dragged the whole bloody mess of molestation accusations into it.

          It’s all well and good to say that it’s limited to those who actually did wrong– lovely theory. How do you apply it?

          Of course if it’s angering or upsetting, or provokes you to insult, you need not read what I wrote, or write.

          As you alluded to earlier, Christians are supposed to try to deal with things at as low a level as possible. You are generally not cheap enough to buy into such things, so directly pointing out, in strong terms, that what you had done was not cool had a good chance of working.

          Basically, you slandered every single priest accused by alluding to the pop culture interpretation. In most cases, decent investigation was never done, as folks settled out of court in an attempt to avoid scandal.

  3. “…directly pointing out, in strong terms, that what you had done was not cool had a good chance of working.”

    It didn’t. By attacking me, it made me want to defend the positions you think I hold, and it made me reluctant to accept anything written along with it. So it’s not an effective approach, and it’s not an approach that’s welcome here.

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