Thursday 4 November 2010

For those in peril in the Ark

"It is important to recognize dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate. It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated by the Church’s Magisterium that sets us free.”

— Pope Benedict XVI’s address to the Bishops of England and Wales
Visit “ad limina apostolorum,” January, 2010
I've had a huge leap in hits on this blog - nearly 1000 in the last 24 hours! Not a flurry of interest in the Archdiocesan plans to change the order of the Sacraments (of which more in my next post) but the result of a mention on Fr Ray Blake's blog (thank you Fr Ray).

I wanted to make some answer to the comments on the last post of those experiencing flagrant abuses in the liturgy in their parishes and not knowing what to do about it.

It's a difficult one, as I know even as a priest. I get criticised for doing what's asked of me in black and white (or red) while all around flagrant abuses are praised to the skies. It depends on your priest or pastor. Is he open enough for you to feel able to ask him gently to help you understand why he's doing some of the the things he's doing? In the case of Mass on the coffee table and the Blessed Sacrament being passed around in clay bowls, I think you can only get up and leave and write a polite letter to the bishop. The pattern that lay people are encouraged to follow is: if the priest can't answer your (politely put) inquiries then you should write and ask the bishop and if he can't or won't respond stisfactorily, then you should write to the most suitable Congregation in Rome. But all that is indeed daunting. Finding what ways you can of recalling the teaching of the Church to the forefront with priests and laity, all charity, is perhaps the best you can do but also, offering up your sufferings in prayer for the priest in question and for the Church would mean that some spiritual benefit is squeezed out of these unfortunate circumstances and might bring God's grace to fruition where words and letters have failed.

But it is sad that in so many areas - moral, liturgical and sacramental - that there is so much unchallenged public dissent from the Church's teaching at every level. A house divided against itself and all that...

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