Nick, let me run something by you. As you may be aware beginning in Advent there are changes coming in the Mass prayers. As I help out in parishes around the diocese it seems to me that, other than the pastors and pastoral staffs, the folks don’t seem to know or care. There are tremendous negative feelings among the staffs, but the folks who would care seem already to have gone. As for myself, I resent both the translation and the heavy handed way it is being imposed on the English speaking church. Some have said simply obey orders as in the military. This is not anything like the military. In the military there is respect both up and down the chain of command. This is not the case in the church, where respect is demanded up the chain, but not reciprocated down the chain. At least, this is how it seems to me.
My dilemma: as much as I would like not to follow the text as it is printed, I feel to do so would be to insult the folks who are entitled to a quality liturgy, which my making my own accommodations would not be. Yet simply to read the prayers as they are written seems to me like desertion in the face of the enemy.
There really are not too many places to discuss this because it is a hot button issue with significant emotional baggage. I am looking for honest, open, respectful dialogue and pastoral wisdom. A common response is name-calling, judging, anathemas, etc. I understand fully why so many priests hesitate to say in public what they really feel. Fortunately, as indicated in a comment in America’s recent article about Cardinal Schoenbrun dialoguing with the priests in Vienna, there is in the formation stage a nationwide group called AUSCP [the Association of US Catholic Priests] canonical priests wishing to stay within the bounds and disciplines of the Church but likewise calling for a more open spirit of dialogue for so many issues. I look forward to being a part of this Association. Sometimes i think we priests need more help and less name-calling and judging.
Do you have any wisdom? If you publish this, please do so anonymously (I think this is an act of cowardice on my part).
Publisher’s comment: I would encourage priests to comment on this posting. If you want to be anonymous. please submit your comments under a different email address. The people need to hear from our priests. I commend this retired priest for being a great example of courage under very difficult circumstances. Dr Nick
This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 at 8:27 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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Dr Nick holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from Seton Hall University and a Master's Degree in Sociology from Montclair Stste University.
A former seminarian for Trenton, NJ diocese, Dr Nick is very familiar with the institutional church and faith communities.