Monday, October 25, 2004

Exploiting a Teachable Moment

Last weekend, I was away from my parish as most of you know. When I got back I found out, that the coverage priest had done some fairly unorthodox things during Mass. I won't go into detail, because the actions themselves are not relevant nor did they invalidate the sacrament, but I do want to show you how Tharp-Kwon-Do can be helpful in lots of situations.

My first instinct was to retaliate with a JUDO CHOP followed by the WHIRLING SPIN KICK OF CHARITY, but I thought better of it. Added is the fact that the parish has had a history of liturgical nuttiness, so going after the priest alone was not going to be enough. The parishioners who told me about it reminded me of small children who "rat" on the substitute teacher when the regular teacher returns. They could barely suppress their glee at the thought they had done something that I wouldn't approve of, as though the changes I made were only my idea. Thank GOD for the GIRM. So I re-directed their energy and created the teachable moment.

Next weekend, this blurb will appear in the bulletin:

From the Pastor’s Desk:
It came to my attention that some unorthodox
events occurred during the celebration of the Holy Mass last weekend. I want to
apologize for their taking place. The Catholic laity deserve to have the liturgy
of the Church celebrated without adulteration or modification of the whims of a
particular presider. After all, "For this reason no sacramental rite may be
modified or manipulated at the will of the minister or the community. Even the
supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only
in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the
liturgy" (CCC #1125). Be assured that I have already addressed this matter with
both Fr. X’s superior and the Archbishop. Thank you to those who approached me
about this matter.

Subtlety is not my strong suit, but I can use it when I need it. Dave says, "You can be charming when you really want to be." I'll keep you posted.

No comments: