Monday, November 24, 2008

What have I done?

I have just found myself quoted on the Muniment Room.
Fr Ray wrote: "I really do feel for people who have to put up with this type of nonsense week after week. The rubrics, the Liturgical Law is to protect people's faith. I really do wonder if my faith would be strong enough to endure onslaughts of this kind of abuse week after week after week."
Ttony then goes on to tell a story of being liturgical abused, what should he do?

The teaching of the great spiritual masters is that we should stand and fight against sin, ignorance, heresy, oppression everything infact, except in two cases:

  1. Against attacks on purity, it which case we should flee to the Cross.

  2. Against attacks on the faith, in which case we should flee to the Magisterium.

Ttony says if he didn't go to his parish church he would have to travel half an hour. If it was just him I would say travel, but he mentions a young daughter, he also has a duty her, sand a lesser duty to other parishioners, and the priest himself.

Now I know some of my brother priests will hate me for saying this, but...

If the priest is not being faithful to the Church, poor old Ttony has a duty first of all gently and with as much tact as possible to point out the problems to the priest, if this doesn't work the Gospels say he should take some other members of the community along with him and try again. If that doesn't work then obviously he has to take the matter to his bishop, if the bishop doesn't act and enforce the Church's Laws, "and all the trees have been cut down", then Ttony must go, or at least write, to Rome.
Priests have a duty, for which they are answerable before God himself, to preach the Catholic faith whole and entire, this includes the proper celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, I would prefer to be corrected by my parishioners or bishop, than punished by God.
Having said that, it is important to remember priests can have a bad day, or occasionally just be plain stupid or ignorant of Liturgical Law, or even be overworked and depressed, an increasing feature of many UK dioceses. Sometimes there can just be a clash of personalities or legitimate theologies, so it is always useful to check out one's own feelings with someone wise and gentle in the congregation.
Remember too that more flies are caught with a teaspoon full of honey than a barrel full of vinegar, priests have a right to expect mercy from their congregations.


Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Agreed totally...I'd be gone, it's about a half hour from my house to my parish...If plans a, b, c and d don't work, then i'm out

Michael Clifton said...

What you say about the procedures to be adopted are absolutely correct. If you are complained about by the way, the person complaining should have the courtesy to send you a copy unless of course it is a matter of Holy Purity.

Ttony said...

(Deep breath) OK I'll try your way.

Would "Fr Ray told me to ..." be trying it on? :-)

Kate said...

Fr., you are so wise!
It's all too easy to forget that Priests, like the rest of the human race, can have 'off' days,or be suffering, or even unaware of the finer points of Liturgical law, too.
I'm probably not the only one who expects much of my P.P. but forgets to pray for him, daily. I will try harder.

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