We Are Welcome!

Some priests and theologians get cranky (justifiably) about songs that sing about heresy. Marty Haugen's "Canticle of the Sun," according to a professor of mine, once had lyrics that would have fit right into ancient Egyptian sun worship: "Praise to the sun!" rather than "Praise for the sun," as St. Francis had written.

That bugs me, but frankly, I won't mistake Catholic worship for pantheism anytime soon.

What does bug me is when the Church sings, with a straight face, praises to its tolerance and inclusivity. This past Sunday, we sang Marty's "All Are Welcome," whose first stanza goes like this:

Let us build a house where love can dwell
And all can safely live.
A place where saints and children tell
How hearts learn to forgive.

And on and on in this vein.

When I think of how many people are actually excluded from the welcome of the Church, I blanch. So, I suggest we sing along these lines:

Let us hide here from reality
And all who might disagree
With the least thing that dear Father says
Or who hate his homily
Do not dare approach the table
If you're gay or divorcee
If you live in sin with one another,

We are welcome! We are welcome!
We are welcome, but not thee!