The Philosophy Behind True “Active Participation”, by Alexander Schimpf

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By Alexander Schimpf, Crisis Magazine, Jan. 10, 2023

Alexander Schimpf received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America in 2015. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Sarah, and their four children. His writings have appeared in Crisis, Aleteia, the National Catholic Register, and the Imaginative Conservative.


If the Church desires active participation, then self-examination is in order.

Alexander SchimpfWhile there is no shortage of commentary on the need for the “active participation” of the faithful at Mass, the issue is rarely approached philosophically. Yet if the Thomistic dictum holds true that God’s grace builds on and perfects nature, we should expect that philosophy would have much to contribute to the discussion.

Here I will offer two brief philosophical notes relevant to active participation: first, the emotional basis of such participation should not be overlooked; and second, participation requires likeness. …