A very strange Catholic church


#1

Last weekend I went to a church that I found extremely disturbing and I’m not sure what, if anything, I should do. It’s not my normal church, thank goodness, so I should just let it go but I can’t stop thinking about it.

First, I like to arrive at Mass about 30 minutes early so I can sit quietly and pray or contemplate. As I entered this church I heard the “band” playing. It was a piano, drums, tamborine, a bass guitar and a choir singing extremely loudly (and quite badly, I’m afraid) They continued for the full half hour. Not singing hymns I’m familar with but rather it was a type of gospel/praise music with lots of drums and clapping.

Then the priest came out, and I honestly had no idea what he was doing. I couldn’t follow his Mass at all. We didn’t do the Gloria or profession of faith instead the choir sang songs both time. Honestly, I think he wrote his own Mass, using his own words and order. I have no idea.

I took a church bulletin and it opened with a mission statement with this line: “We are an all welcoming, all embracing Christian church.” It didn’t mention being a Catholic chuch until the very end, almost as an afterthought. It mostly focused on being “all welcoming, all embracing”

Afterwards, I was talking to a girlfriend about it and she said she’s been to that church when this same priest has preached on the fact that women will and should be priests one day and she also witnessed him give communion to non-catholics, in fact he made a point of introducing them first as a Lutheran minister and his wife.

Do you think I should write a letter to the Bishop? Or should I just be thankful that my parish priests are extremely orthodox and true to Rome and let this go?


#2

This is a Roman Catholic Church? Or is it one of those schismatic or Protestant churches?


#3

I think it would be a very good idea to write a letter to the Bishop. Of course, you could always try talking to this priest first, but it doesn’t seem likely that you could change his mind.

I do not believe you should just let it go. Who knows how many people are being led astray by this priest? And then there is the probability that many sacrileges are going on at that parish. This is something the bishop should really hear about.


#4

The priest has obviously been to seminary, yet disagrees with the Church. He has had his chance to learn from right and wrong on such issues. Don’t even bother talking to the priest. Tell the bishop, so he can catch the priest off guard and straighten him out.

God speed.

Vigis


#5

This is a Roman Catholic church. Although, it has no statues and only a very, very small crucifix off to the side of the alter. My girlfriend said that during the Vereration of the Cross on Good Friday, he refused to use a crucifix; he used a plain, wooden cross.

The whole thing is very disturbing to me.


#6

It wasn’t a Life Teen Mass by any chance?

I found a website that answers all your questions about Life Teen Masses:

lifeteen.com/default.aspx?PageID=PRIESTS

What you describe sounds very simliar to our Life Teen Masses, except that our priests definitely know what’s going on!

The band sets up at least an hour in advance. All of the band members and singers are teenagers except for the leader, who is a fairly young man.

I personally think this is wonderful. I dislike rock bands that are done with 40-somethings. That’s just my personal preference, though. There’s nothing wrong with it. I just prefer seeing teenagers sing rock music.

They practice for at least a half-hour before the Mass begins. For anyone who expects to sit quietly and meditate before Mass, Life Teen is not the Mass to do this in! But we have an Adoration Chapel that is right next to our Sanctuary, so those seeking quiet can sit in there and visit with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

Usually the band plays/sings almost all the responses, using music that the Life Teen organization publishes. Occasionally they sing the Creed, too.

I don’t think that our Life Teen Mass band would win any Grammys for good singing or playing. But they’re just kids, and to me, it sounds beautiful because they’re doing this to serve the Lord and lead the congregation in the songs and responses.

All of the rest of the Mass is like any other Mass.

I would describe the Life Teen Mass as incredibly reverent, probably one of the most reverent Masses in our parish. But it is NOT quiet!

I know several of the teenagers who are involved and they are rock-solid, wonderful, on-fire for the Lord and the Church Catholics. One of the teenagers who used to play keyboards for the Life Teen Mass graduated from high school and went straight into the Convent to become a contemplative nun. Several of the boys are discerning calls to the priesthood.

These kids put me to SHAME with their reverence for the Lord and their zeal to share their faith! They’re an example to all of us grownups.

Anyway, I don’t know if the Mass you attended was a Life Teen or not. There were things that you described that didn’t sound at all correct, and Life Teen is definitely correct liturgically. (See the website.)


#7

I have seen advertised in the church listings of a nearby “big city” newspaper a parish called Holy Spirit of Hope Catholic Church under the listing “Independent Catholic Church”. Their ad mentions “open communion” or “all are welcomed to communion” (it varies from week to week).

They are NOT part of the Catholic diocese. The problem lies in the fact that their name implies that they are a “real” Catholic church and the person passing by may not realize that, even though they are under a seperate heading (Independent Catholic Church) in the phone book and the church directory.

I have not discovered the origin of this particular church, but it almost sounds like the one you attended is heading in that direction. Pray for them.


#8

That’s what I was thinking. Check with the local diocese - they can tell you whether or not the church you attended is under the charge of the Bishop (which would tell you whether it’s worth complaining to him, of course)


#9

First, I like to arrive at Mass about 30 minutes early so I can sit quietly and pray or contemplate. As I entered this church I heard the “band” playing. . . … Not singing hymns I’m familar with but rather it was a type of gospel/praise music with lots of drums and clapping.

well here we are talking about personal preference, not liturgical abuse

Then the priest came out, and I honestly had no idea what he was doing. I couldn’t follow his Mass at all. We didn’t do the Gloria or profession of faith instead the choir sang songs both time. Honestly, I think he wrote his own Mass, using his own words and order. I have no idea.

the Gloria is supposed to be sung, unless the choir sang a song that is not the Gloria, there is no abuse. There are also settings for singing or chanting the prayer of the faithful.
do you know for a fact that the priest changed the words in the Eucharistic prayer? he has options for the penitential rite, and he can choose the Eucharistic prayer. Is it possible he used one that you are not familiar with?

I took a church bulletin and it opened with a mission statement with this line: “We are an all welcoming, all embracing Christian church.” It didn’t mention being a Catholic chuch until the very end, almost as an afterthought.

did the bulletin indicate anywhere this is a Catholic Church in a Catholic diocese? did the “welcoming” statement say anything to the effect that those welcome do not have to confess their sins? if not, is there some objection to being welcoming?

Afterwards, I was talking to a girlfriend about it and she said she’s been to that church when this same priest has preached on the fact that women will and should be priests one day and she also witnessed him give communion to non-catholics, in fact he made a point of introducing them first as a Lutheran minister and his wife. Do you think I should write a letter to the Bishop?

this is hearsay. you yourself did not hear these statements or witness these things, so it does not appear you have anything to write to the bishop about. If your girlfriend is a parishioner and observes heretical teaching or liturgical abuse, she should be the one writing to the bishop.


#10

this is the common way of venerating the cross, again, just because something is not what we are used to that does not make it an abuse. there is a crucifix at the altar during Mass, which is required. Statues are not required in any case. we may not like the architecture or the decorations, but that still does not add up to liturgical abuse


#11

Puzzleannie -

I’ve always been taught, and understood, that the moments prior to Mass beginning are for sacred silence. It is a time for quiet contemplation and prayer; not the noise of this band.

No, the choir did not sing the Gloria. We do this at my parish so I’m familiar with it and would have recognized it. I did not recognize the song the choir sung at all. And we did not recite the profession of faith, or anything similar that I am familiar with. We just skipped over it.

I have no objection to being welcoming; my problem was that the mission statement, seemed to me, to be a very non-Catholic mission statement…it mentioned nothing about any Catholic beliefs…just my opinion.

I agree what my friend told me was heresay and I would not have mentioned that to the Bishop; only what I observed myself. However, I will not be writing a letter; I will simply be thankful that my Parish is a very conservative one.


#12

Autumn, in an ideal world the moments before Mass would be silent.

But practically speaking, it’s often the only time that the musicians (cantor and pianist/organist, guitarist, or “rock band”) can get together and go over the music.

I play piano for several churches, and they really don’t have a “private practice room” that we can go to. So we practice right before Mass. We try to do it quietly, but it’s really difficult. We want to do a good job. The cantor doesn’t want to mess up the rhythm or the words, and the instrumentalist doesn’t want to mess up the cantor or choir.

Get there earlier? Well, at our Church, one Mass immediately follows another. There isn’t time.

Do it earlier in the week? I’d be willing, but most people are pushing their schedule just to be a cantor. In the two years that I’ve been playing at Mass, I’ve only rehearsed during the week ONCE with a cantor, and she was an older lady who wanted to feel very secure.

Our choir practices during the week, but cantors don’t.

Sorry. :frowning: We musicians are kind of stuck, unless churches start adding “rehearsal rooms.” I’m really sorry we disturb you.

My personal feeling is that we all need to find that “inner silence” within ourselves, that little private room in our souls where we can commune with Jesus and not be disturbed by any outside distractions. I think we need to become more detached from the “world” and not so bothered or upset by it.

I’m working on this. The many distractions, noises, conversations, and music rehearsals before Mass are helping me to practice “inner quiet” so I say, "Bring on the noise! It’s making a saint out of me!


#13

Just a qualification…some things about the OPost is like LIFETEEN…a band and upbeat music.

The heresy (women priests) is NOT a part of lifeteen. You may find it at some particular parish, but it is not what LifeTeen promotes at all. Lifeteen is 100% Catholic.


#14

I think you should make a phone call to the bishop. If your intuition is correct, just think of the harm to other Catholics.


#15

For what its worth, there is one that sounds like this about an hour or so from here. They say they are Catholic, but there was an awful row in the press a few years back, when the priest was told to stop :rolleyes: “marrying” gay couples, & a whole group of people left the Catholic Church, & formed :eek: “their own Catholic church”. They advertise themselves as Catholic, & if someone hadn’t been around when all this was happening…:shrug: :shrug:
I may be the resident Methodist, but I would say, to call the bishop.


#16

A plain wooden cross is supposed t be used for good Friday Veneration.


#17

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

I’ve never been to a Life Teen Mass yet that was even close to being liturgically correct, and I’ve been to a lot of them.


#18

Someone recently told me that a really good way to sanctify yourself amid the noise and distractions that are so prevalent in our churches today, is to imagine Jesus on the road to Calvary with people shouting insults and jeering at Him, while all along Jesus kept His mind on His Father in Heaven. I tried this last Sunday after Mass when people literally shout in my church while others are praying. It’s very hard, but I’m going to keep trying to do this.


#19

That is sad, not funny. Even if you don’t care for the music, the the mass should be according to the GIRM.


#20

Hey, you must be from close to El Paso. I know the Church you speak of and it’s pastor, Bp. Robert Ortega. It is in the Catholic Charismatic Church, as is my diocese. Your assumption that we are not a “real” Catholic Church is erroneous. If you merely meant that we are not Roman Catholic then you are precisely correct. (and please do not take offense to my use of the term Roman, I use it only in order to differentiate between jurisdictions) We do offer communion to any baptized believers who also believe in the true presence of Jesus in the Sacrament. We ordain only males and do not even allow female altar servers. We are very conservative in doctrine and Theology and liberal in administration of the Sacraments.

I’ll duck now, cuz I know the fur’s about to fly :smiley:

Peace,
+N


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