Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Priest Disciplined for Liturgical Abuse (Another Small Brick)

There can be no doubt that in many parts of the Catholic world (the United States is one) fashionable liturgical abuses that were routine in the 1970s and ’80s have become much rarer, and will become vanishingly so as new generations of clergy and laity step in to pick up the pieces of their failure. But they are not dead and gone quite yet, as recently shown in this video of a priest (mistakenly described by the person who posted it on YouTube as “cool”) hoverboarding through his church during Mass on Christmas Eve.

In the modern age, it is easy for social media and news aggregators to give these things a circulation far beyond their origins (in this case, the Philippines), and this is not a bad thing, in my estimation. Imagine how much easier the really terrible liturgical abuses would have been to denounce and control if the internet had existed to name and shame them when they were really a going concern. But sometimes, after we have sighed and moved on, something good actually does come of them, which does not make it onto our facebook feed or preferred Catholic news site. And since this has proven to be the case with the liturgical hoverboard, here is the relevant statement of the Diocese of San Pablo, where the incident took place. Our thanks go to Bishop Buenaventura Famadico and the other authorities of the diocese for an exemplary response.

The Diocese of San Pablo wishes to address an issue involving one of its clergy. Last December 24, 2015, before the final blessing of the Christmas Eve Mass, as a way of greeting his parishioners, the priest sang a Christmas song, while going around the nave standing on a hoverboard.

That was wrong.

The Eucharist demands utmost respect and reverence. It is the Memorial of the Lord’s Sacrifice. It is the source and summit of Christian life. It is the Church’s highest form of worship. Consequently, it is not a personal celebration where one can capriciously introduce something to get the attention of the people.

The priest said that it was a wake up call for him; he acknowledged that his action was not right and promised that it will not happen again. He will be out of the parish and will spend some time to reflect on this past event. He would like to apologize for what happened.

(reproduced from the facebook page of the Diocese of San Pablo. See also this article by Philippine journalist Paterno Esmaquel II, who also confirmed the statement of the diocese for us.)

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