Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What Do You Mean No Mythology?

Unlike most Catholic bloggers, I'm a Vatican II kind of guy.  Vernacular?  I'm all over that.  Full and active participation?  Absolutely.  Revised Liturgy of the Hours?  Pretty please.  Liturgical dancing?  Um...let me get back to you on that one.

But it finally happened:  I found that sentence in the Vatican II documents that gives me Neo-Traddy fits. There I was reading Sacrosanctum Concilium when I came upon numbers 92c and 93, which are in the section on the revision of the Divine Office.  They read, in part:

...the accounts of the martyrdoms or lives of the saints are to be made historically accurate.

...Whatever smacks of mythology...is to be removed or changed.

Nooooo!!!

See, we all have our goofy hangups. Mine happen to be goofier than most, which is probably why all the saints I most love and admire seem to have had their feast days suppressed.

Speaking of which, I recommend the recent article at Ask Sister Mary Martha on the story of "Saint Guinefort."  Saint Guinefort happens to be a dog.  Notice what the people did when their shrine to Saint Guinefort was burned; you just can't keep a good bit of folklore down.

I'm of two minds on Saint Guinefort.  On the one hand, I think pious folktales are a natural development of robust religion, so though I much appreciate and respect such things as Vatican II's desire for historical accuracy (because who doesn't want solid facts, really?), I figure there has to be some good wholesome place for all those accreted hagiographic legends, too.  But on the gripping hand, I also figure it's probably best for the bishop to step in and tell everybody they really shouldn't be venerating a dog.
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