As a Dominican, I should be proud of fr DiNoia’s appointment. However, as he was appointed, Fr DiNoia made a statement that has upset me considerably. This is what was quoted:
“Looking at liturgy today, Archbishop-designate DiNoia said, “The great danger is when the focus is on the celebrating community rather than on God.” I don’t understand why he is even assuming that the celebrating community and God can be in opposition. When a community celebrates Liturgy, the effect on the community is important. If they don’t feel good at what is being celebrated, then God is not going to be properly honored.
I am part of a community listening to God’s Word and then praying about what has been said, for example on compassion. The readings and presumably the homily presumably focus on God’s compassion – forgiving my sins. I am so moved by this that in response I express willingness to show compassion to others. The Liturgy moves me and the celebrating community. This needs to be done in language and music that helps to move me. It doesn’t need to change or satisfy God!
Pope Benedict understands this. He wrote in his encyclical, “God is Love”: “If in my life I fail completely to heed others, solely out of a desire to be “devout” and to “perform my religious duties”, then my relationship with God will grow arid.” A community feeling good about the liturgy is going to give greater honor to God than one that is just concerned about satisfying God.