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Renowned as composer, conductor, theorist, author, pedagogue, and organist, Aurelio Porfiri has served the Church on multiple continents at the highest levels. Born and raised in Italy, he currently serves as Director of Choral Activities and Composer in Residence for Santa Rosa de Lima School (Macao, China).
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“Since the ability of Francisco Guerrero is now abundantly known to all […] he shall henceforth act as master of the boys so long as: ( 1) he must teach them to read, write, and to sing the responsories, versicles, antiphons, lessons, and kalends, and other parts of divine service; (2) he shall teach them plainchant, harmony, and counterpoint, his instruction in counterpoint to include both the art of adding a melody to a plainsong and to an already existing piece of polyphonic music; (3) he shall always clothe them decently and properly, see that they wear good shoes, and ensure that their beds are kept perfectly clean; (4) he shall feed them the same food that he himself eats and never take money from them for anything having to do with their services in church or their musical instruction…” [cont’d]
— Málaga Cathedral Document (11 September 1551)

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Blog Etiquette & "Liturgy Wars"
published 20 May 2014 by Aurelio Porfiri

AM NOT SURE about the debates going on in Anglo-Saxons liturgical blogs. Being that the United States is where the phrase “liturgical wars” is used, I assume that it’s not all rose e fiori (“roses and flowers”) as we say in Italian, meaning it’s not all pleasant conversation.

Italian blogs are the same. When I contribute postings to some of these blogs, some “anonymous” commentators start to insult one another (sometimes even me…) defending or denigrating the liturgical reform. Sometimes I’m surprised to notice that what I say is completely ignored and just used as a pretext to vent their own positions, always making sure to thoroughly offend the interlocutor before proceeding.

I know that some important people are commenting on the blogs where I contribute: priests, professors, and so on. I’m always amazed to see how being anonymous can make people behave in a way they would never behave if they used their true names. On the other hand, I also know that “liturgical wars” are really wars that have broken the church into two fighting sides. It is difficult to know how we can find a way out from this.

I can see that these two factions are condemned to stay together. Probably it would be hard to foresee any form of reconciliation between the two positions in the near future. Maybe there will be a Pope that will take strongly in his hands the “liturgical problem”, as did Saint Pius X, and so a mediation would allow the two fighting sides to understand that we should be one church, not a scattered and always quarreling flock.


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