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Mel Gibson

So the Shrine Choir has been exceptionally busy this week, providing music for Masses at the convention of the Knights of Columbus. This morning we were at the Washington Hilton for a Mass remembering deceased members of that order. I now realize why Cardinal Law was present at the Bob Hope Memorial (see post from August 3): he is in town for the Knights of Columbus, and he has concelebrated with Cardinal McCarrick at every Mass where we have sung. This really burns me, because the Knights claim to stand for family values and Catholic principles. Am I the only one to be bothered by this? I am not ready to forgive Cardinal Law for what he did. (Of course, the problem is way beyond Cardinal Law.)

Anyway, one of the pieces we sang was Gaudent in caelis by Renaissance composer Luca Marenzio (1553/54-1599). He is the brilliant madrigalist who is the secular counterpoint to Palestrina's career in the churches of Rome. However, I have learned over the past year or so that he did write some sacred works. His style is less restrained and more given to expressionism than Palestrina's, and I have enjoyed getting to sing some of his music. The surprise at the end of this service was an impromptu appearance by actor Mel Gibson, whose movie The Passion the Knights are supporting. (Some Christian groups, including the American Catholic bishops' conference, and Jewish groups have criticized the script and tried to have the movie banned from theaters.) We saw a few clips from the movie, and nothing seemed offensive to me.

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