Friday, June 21, 2013

Music to Our Ears: Archbishop Sample's Address to the Sacred Music Colloquium

Archbishop Alexander King Sample of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, delivered the plenary address at the Sacred Music Colloquium sponsored by the Church Music Association of America in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 19, 2013. The audio recording is here. The photos are from the New Liturgical Movement website, go there to see more!

The Chant Café called the address “profoundly encouraging on every level”, and I couldn’t agree more! The Chant Café’s Kathleen Pluth goes on to note:

Throughout Archbishop Sample's talk, I experienced a sense of relief. I realized that in a remarkable way, possible only in our unusual post-conciliar times, the torch has passed from groups like the CMAA. The job of carrying the banner is in some very real sense no longer ours. This responsibility is now being carried by its rightful stewards, the bishops of the Church.

Indeed, Archbishop Sample certainly shows himself to be a true shepherd in this presentation.

The official manuscript is here. It's well worth your time to read it.


  1. Sorry you had to remove the transcript, but it tells you that someone at the Archdioceses is paying attention to your Blog. I think that is positive.


  2. Well, it would be nice to think the Archdiocese of Portland actually pays attention, but I'm not sure that's it! The request came from the Colloquium people, but I'm sure it has to do with respecting the Archbishop's wish to have a polished copy of his speech available!

  3. I cannot think of any good reason why "they" would "ask" that your transcript be removed except as an exercise to show power and control (which is what this entire music "debate" is really about in my opinion). This is really sad and I am disappointed that you relented. It would be interesting to see how the AB's "polished" version tracks with what he actually delivered.

    For me, this situation is merely another example of why I no longer trust and respect the RC Church. And to think, this AB is one of the few that gives you hope for the future of the church. This whole incident saddens me greatly.

  4. Fred, for heaven's sake, I have no indication that it is the Archbishop himself who asked that the post be removed. I removed it out of respect for the person who asked me to do so, and out of charity toward that person. And if the Archbishop himself had contacted me and asked me to remove it, I would have, out of respect for him. I DO trust him, as he has given me no reason not to, and I have not heard one word out of him that runs counter to Church teaching in any way. The "authorized" version should be available soon.

    I sincerely doubt there will be much difference between that version and the one I posted. From listening to the talk, I'm pretty sure he was, for the most part, reading his notes. He obviously prepared a "script", and he followed it. Towards the end of his talk, his words were, verbatim, from his pastoral letter on music.

    Sometimes, I think you are simply looking for an excuse not to come back into the Church, and that, my friend,is simply the result of pride, the mother of all sins. No human being in the Church today is perfect, by any means - not even the most holy bishop or even pope.

    It's not that you "no longer trust and respect the RC Church" - the Church Herself IS perfect. You no longer trust the shepherds. Many of us share that lack of trust. But it must be tempered with forgiveness. Yes, I criticize the misdeeds and bad teaching and example of certain bishops, but I try not to harp on every little flaw I can find. I DO trust the Church, and that's why I point out bishops' errors - I have the firm foundation of the Church's teachings and law on which to base my case.

    Get right with God and His Holy Church, Fred; you know not the day nor the hour, and you don't want to be left out in the cold, so to speak. Stop putting yourself above the Church and exalting your own opinion and interpretation of Scripture and Tradition. Don't let satan steal your soul...worse yet, don't hand it to him on the silver platter of pride.

    And believe me, I'm kind of an expert on pride... unfortunately. But I'm working on that.

  5. What a dilemma: Hell. Apparently, I have chosen Hell over Heaven even though I did not consciously make such a choice. Oh, I was aware of the risk of leaving the Church. But I was certainly not leaving in order to get to Hell, far from it. The ironic aspect of this is that I feel more secure in the hands of God than in the Church.

    What a dilemma: Division. Things are worse than I thought. I used to believe that RCs were divided into 2 groups (Conservative and Liberal). But after visiting the websites of the New Litterdirgistical Movement and the Chant Cafe, I now realize that there are AT LEAST 4 RC threads in the USA today: National Catholic Register/EWTN, National Catholic Reporter, the Latin Mass, and the mainstream Sunday Mass laity. One could also include lapsed/recovering RCs who still classify themselves as RC despite having left. There are probably other categories.

    Which of these categories is the "real" Church? Apparently all of them because despite each category containing its own brand of human contamination/sin/weakness-whatever, all the categories share the transcendent, pure TRUE church (due to the Holy Mass-even though it is also performed in a variety of manners of degrees of holiness). I can't subscribe to that notion; the RC church (at least in the USA) is in chaos. Since the wolves are within the flock, I have departed in search of The Shepherd.

    What a dilemma: Pride. That is the stopper every time, the perfect answer to anyone who questions. Sorry, I don't subscribe to FASCISM and that is what the RC Church is about: spiritual fascism. No love involved here-merely the threat of eternal suffering. Conform or die.

    What a dilemma: Uncertainty. I am not looking to return to the RC Church; rather, my question is should I return. When I ask myself that question, I try to be objective and come from the perspective of a potential convert. But when I ask the questions, the answers are always like those of a used car salesrep: "Just Trust, Have Faith. etc." So I keep moving on, hoping to find an honest place. I've eaten the apple of knowledge so there is no longer the bliss of ignorance.

    I don't know where I'm going but it's becoming clearer that it is not possible for me to return to Catholicism because I don't think it exists any more. Oh, sure, the institution and buildings are still around but the Soul, the Spirit seem to be missing. Lots of Pharisees though. I'm tired and that light yoke seems to be harder to find than the Holy Grail.

  6. It's not that hard, Fred. Read what the Church says for and about Herself. That's a true and sure way to hear God's voice. You don't have to choose to belong to a "thread" or "group". Just go to Mass and fulfill the other precepts of the Church, and then study the Church fathers, Scripture, papal encyclicals, the Catechism, etc. There will always be division in the Church, because the Church is full of human beings who have a sinful fallen nature. The Church Herself is true. Follow what She teaches.


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