We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I wrote earlier today that Mozart had a negative feeling towards Roman Catholicism. I don't know where I read that. He certainly was a Freemason, and at least impatient with Catholic requirements, but never formally left the RC Church.
Merton and Barth were both wrestling with what it meant to be created in Godís image, and ó as in the famous passage, Matthew 18:3 ó saw that image most clearly in human beings who could express childlike joy.
Since I am specializing today in posting statements which I cannot source, I may as well mention that I once read that Barth said that this song summed up all anybody needed to know about Christian faith.
Again, what makes you think that Mozart was "impatient with Catholic requirements"? His belonging to free masonry is perhaps misunderstood. He belonged to the more aristocratic lodges geared more toward so called "Enlightenment rationalism", as opposed to the more "mystically religious" lodges. There is no reason to believe that his belonging to these orders in anyway impinged on his religious beliefs. Much of it was purely social as he had a lot of friends who were masons. One should note as well that he was only in these lodges the last 7 years of his life.
Though it is true the Vatican denounced Masonry in the early 1730's, it is not clear how seriously this was taken in such a setting as late 18th century Vienna. It was a quite stylish thing to be involved in masonic lodges in the late 18th century, particularly in a place such as Vienna were new freedoms of association were being found for the commoner and commoner and aristocrat were coming into to a newly found common contact. Lodges such as the one's that Mozart belonged manifest this tendency of polite society in that age. One can see them almost as a sort of rarefied Salon.
It is likely that there were also professional interests at play in this case as well. It might have indeed been rude and impolitic to refuse. In any even, one can assume that a great many--most likely the majority--of the members of these lodges where at least nominally Catholics.
Beethoven too was a Catholic and yet flirted with masonry. Does this mean he rejected the church?
It is true that neither were avid church goers where not stcikers for orthodox observance, but this was fairly common of the circles in which they moved. It is also true that each had highly personalized, even eccentric notions of Christianity. Again, some of this comes with their times and places. It is also not uncommon great creators. This should not be interpreted as either contempt for the Church or atheism.
The most telling expressions of their views is perhaps their work. The great religious music of Mozart and the Missa Solemnis of Beethoven are profoundly and deeply felt religious expressions created inside an established tradition and as such could not be made by nonbelievers or heretics. They also are profoundly Catholic in spirit and design.
I would not let modern "musicologists" with their left wing prejudices lead you astray in these matters.
When I was in college we sang Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Boston Symphony. It is indeed profoundly Catholic and profoundly religious.
Don't let modern academics give you the run-around about our musical and artistic idols. They've started a rumor that Jane Austin was a lesbian, too. What do they know? They disseminate these unwholesome ideas because they're just trying to get published.
Publish or perish they say. And I wish some of them would.