Hierarchy suspends priest for RWP — rapping while preaching

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jserraglio
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Hierarchy suspends priest for RWP — rapping while preaching

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:38 pm

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washin ... preaching/

WAPO — The white robe came off, and the red bandanna came on.

And then the Rev. Paul Ogalo emerged in front of his open-air congregation with a microphone.
The Catholic priest started rapping, and the nuns started dancing. Teenage boys and even middle-aged women dressed in their Sunday best circled around Ogalo as he waved his hands and kicked his feet and spread the gospel in a string of rap verses to the beat of drums, all in his native language.
It was May 6, and Ogalo — or Sweet Paul, as his fans call him — had recently become a viral sensation. Somebody had posted a video of him rapping on social media — that time while wearing both his white robe and red bandanna at once — and instantly it seemed all the churchgoers in Kenya wanted to know who this rapping priest was. So on May 6, Ogalo invited news crews to come find out.
“Usually, I do this thing separately. Liturgy remains liturgy. And then talks and entertainment remain separate, so that I attract young people to come to church,” Ogalo told Kenya’s NTV that day. “I use that as bait to bring them to church, and then we catechize them and make them productive citizens of the nation, members of the Catholic Church. That’s my mission.”
But while Sweet Paul may have been a hit with the youth, the Catholic Church was apparently not pleased.
Bishop Philip Anyolo, of the Catholic Diocese of Homa Bay, confirmed to a number of Kenyan and international news outlets this week that the church suspended Ogalo from leading mass for one year because “the use of rap music in preaching is not allowed,” as he told Kenya’s Nairobi News. For the duration of his suspension, Anyolo said, Ogalo will still be allowed to attend mass at his parish, St. Monica Catholic Church in Rapogi.
“We have just stopped him from preaching using rap to accord him time to change his ways,” the bishop told Nairobi News.
The Rev. Charles Kochiel, judicial vicar of the inter-diocesan tribunal of Kisumu, told the Catholic News Service that there are “certain things the church promotes in the society.”
“If we mix . . . what the secular and church institutions do,” he said, “then definitely people are going to read different messages.”
In an interview with the BBC last month, Ogalo said he was inspired to start rapping the gospel after young people were trampled to death at a music event in Nairobi in 2004.
“I said, this should not happen anymore,” he told the BBC. “If young people want entertainment, they can come to church to pray, to play and to entertain themselves.”
Ogalo started writing songs, seeking to steer young people away from drugs and prison and toward the church and a productive lifestyle. He said he has used drama, martial arts and poetry, too, to teach about issues such as HIV/AIDS and climate change, traveling to schools or other community centers to reach them.
“We try to help young people understand what life is and also to use art to vitalize the world,” he told NTV on May 6. “We have a lot of manpower. Our youth is so vibrant. We only need to help them to nurture the potential in them.”
He wanted his stage name to be Paul S.W.I.T., standing for Paul Sees the World in Turmoil — but “my fans don’t want that,” he told NTV in a follow-up interview. “They want Sweet Paul, for flavor. They say I rap sweet, I dance sweet.”
But he acknowledged that when he mixed his rapping with his sermon — and his bandanna with his robe — “that was something regrettable.”
Ogalo could not be reached for comment early Thursday. The Diocese of Homa Bay and the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops did not immediately return requests for comment.

Meagan Flynn is a reporter on The Washington Post's Morning Mix team.

jbuck919
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Re: Hierarchy suspends priest for RWP — rapping while preaching

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:02 pm

There is absolutely nothing new about incorporating popular cultural forms in African RC worship, though they are more often more traditionally cultural than rap.




There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Re: Hierarchy suspends priest for RWP — rapping while preaching

Post by jserraglio » Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:12 pm

Not everything that has been done should be done. Old wine in new wineskins, etc., the proverb is something musty.

Kenyan Bishop Philip Anyolo, the guy that suspended the 'sweet' Padre, appears to be much less forgiving of pop culture hailing from the streets of NYC, whatever its African origins may be, infiltrating the liturgy without authorization; and it's his call to make, he's the man.

jbuck919
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Re: Hierarchy suspends priest for RWP — rapping while preaching

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:25 am

jserraglio wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 6:12 pm
Not everything that has been done should be done. Old wine in new wineskins, etc., the proverb is something musty.

Kenyan Bishop Philip Anyolo, the guy that suspended the 'sweet' Padre, appears to be much less forgiving of pop culture hailing from the streets of NYC, whatever its African origins may be, infiltrating the liturgy without authorization; and it's his call to make, he's the man.
Well you can hardly think I'm approving of rap in worship. I included the cardinal's remarkably nuanced answer on purpose to show a difference. He would also not approve of rap, nor would he approve of dance in Euro-American contexts where dance has only a pop-culture entertainment history. I know that I made a slight shift by bringing up dance at all, except that most rap videos show some sort of motion that might loosely be described as dance, and I doubt that this priest rapped while standing stock still in the pulpit.

Vatican directives explicitly forbid the use of popular and "profane" music at mass. Specifically, they prohibit the use of musical instruments associated with same. So what do I invariably see when the Organ Historical Society itinerary includes a Catholic church with a good organ (and there are some such)? The organ up in the choir loft, and in the front of the church an electric keyboard, amp hookups, and everything needed for a rhythm section. You get the picture. But ordinary RC parish worship (and even what might be found in most grander churches) has always been awful in the US. It's just awful now in a different way.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

jserraglio
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Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:06 am
Location: Cleveland, Ohio

Re: Hierarchy suspends priest for RWP — rapping while preaching

Post by jserraglio » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:34 am

It may be a moot issue, the churches of both the New and Old World being increasingly void of worshipers.

Africa, however, is the future, and I for one would have no problem with church-authorized liturgical rap, another in the long line of musical genres that trace their roots back to mother Africa. Bishop Anyolo might want to consider upping his game.

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