The Christian Commitment: Essays in Pastoral Theology

By Karl Rahner; Cecily Hastings | Go to book overview

7
THE MASS AND TELEVISION1

If any sense is to be talked about this question, the first thing is to establish the precise point at issue. When we ask whether it is all right for the actual celebration of a holy Mass to be made the matter of a television transmission, we mean the real celebration of the Mass as a complete event; we mean that celebration as it can be seen by someone physically taking part in it, i.e. including the consecration and communion. So let it be understood from the start that the question is not whether it is permissible to bring any ecclesiastical or liturgical event to the screen, or whether it is permissible for the television camera to take in anything at all of the liturgy of the Mass. These questions do not enter into this discussion. If we are speaking about the Mass and television, the question has to be put in the form in which we have just put it: Is it right for the television camera to see, and to pass on to anyone and everyone, that which the believing Christian sees and is permitted to see when he celebrates the Church's mystery with her?

It can only confuse the issue to answer Yes with a great display of psychology, theology and apostolic zeal, and then in the end to go all embarrassed and say that it is of course bad taste and quite indecent to have the consecration on the screen, the priest just at the moment of consecration, or the actual reception of communion and things like that, because

-205-

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