1355 L Thu 14 Mar 2002
The captain of the North Melbourne Football Club, Wayne Carey,
resigned yesterday with the following statement:
The matters leading to the statement I'm about to make are
of a personal nature and I will not discuss them.
For the wellbeing of all concerned I have taken the decision
to cease my playing career with the Kangaroos.
I regret the circumstances of my actions, which has led to
the decision and the pain it has caused my wife and family.
I apologise to all my team-mates and the Kangaroos supporters,
however, I believe this is the only proper and responsible course
Virtue is important for players in the Australian Football
League. Their on field performance receives enormous attention
and to a lesser extent so does their off field behaviour. If
there is a problem among the players people recognise the importance
of addressing it for the good of the club. People realise that
the consequences of failing to do so will be immediate and severe.
I have been reading the Introduction to Saying Amen: A
Mystagogy of Sacrament by Kathleen Hughes (LTP, 1999):
... Ah, but we had hoped ...
Those words of the disciples on the road to Emmaus may capture
for many a deep sadness at the present climate surrounding the
celebration of the liturgy. Especially for those who have invested
their time and talent in one or other aspect of the reform --
bishops and worship office personnel, pastors and administrators,
musicians and artists, writers and teachers -- there is deeply
disheartening suspicion that something is very wrong. There are
nagging, generally unspoken questions, too: In the process of
the reform have we lost touch with the heart of the liturgy?
Has the reform lost its soul? ... (page xii)
Steps must be taken, leaders feel, to halt the steady stream
of defections of the disillusioned and to attempt to stabilize
the community's life and worship. But leadership cannot provide
an appropriate remedy until their has been a correct diagnosis
of the disease, and diagnoses abound. Some believe that the whole
liturgical reform was misguided and and that it is time for a
reform of the reform. Some think language is the issue, especially
as linguistic changes are attributed to feminist pressures for
inclusion. Some believe priesthood has been demythologized and
demoted and that introducing so many new ministries has obscured
the sacerdotal role. ... (page xiv)
My diagnosis is that there has been an undervaluing of what
she calls the "Juridical Method". Among the various
methods to liturgical studies she discusses it in Chapter 1:
The juridical or rubrical approach to worship was employed
in a modified way in introducing the new liturgy. This method
had predominated in the teaching of liturgy and sacraments before
Vatican II. It was a way of talking about liturgy that concentrated
almost exclusively on how a particular ceremony ought to be conducted
according to the rubrics of the rite, canonical prescriptions
and other legislation available to the student of liturgy, most
often the presbyter. A juridical approach is characterised by
proper execution. Unaccompanied by other methods, a juridical
approach simply exposes what should be done and how it should
be accomplished, not where it came from or why we are doing it.
Perhaps some of us experienced this kind of approach if over-zealous
teachers prepared us to serve the community in one of the liturgical
ministries simply by quoting the documents as the final authority,
stating the letter of the law while ignoring its spirit, or conveying
a type of pragmatic approach to liturgy without any attention
to the deeper meaning of the rites or the appropriate spirituality
one must nurture in assuming a ministry in the name of the community.
In football it is obvious that proper execution is vitally
important. Somehow for ceremonies in the Catholic Church people
think they can ignore instructions, such as in the Ceremonial
of Bishops, n. 68a:
a bow of the head is made at the name of Jesus, the Blessed
Virgin Mary, and the saint in whose honor the Mass or the liturgy
of the hours is being celebrated;
If this is not followed then there can hardly be any education
in liturgy. The liturgical books get hidden away and anyone who
discusses them gets ostracized. Such an approach is not sustainable.
1114 L Fri
15 Mar 2002
I found a bit more about the standards that apply in a football
club. The coach of Richmond, Danny Frawley, talks about the vice-captain
... Frawley recounts a discussion with the playing group in
which a proposal was put forward to water down the tough player
code that had resulted in a couple of highly publicised suspensions
being imposed during the 2000 season.
While he believe the punishments were fair and appropriate,
the coach wanted to be sure of the players' opinion, after some
outside the Club argued that the tough decisions impacted unfairly
on the rest of the team.
"I put it back on the players and asked them to decide
and, within 20 seconds, they came back with their decision to
keep it. I think one player asked what would happen in a final
if a player was suspended and it was Darren who stood up and
said if a player was going to go out and muck up before a final,
they didn't deserve to be playing. After that, it sort of ended
the discussion, because everyone agreed." ...
This was from an article "For Darren its a case of unfinished
business" by Michael Gleeson, in the Official Richmond Football
Club Season Preview 2002, pages 12-13.
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 14 March 2002.