After having the same priest in our small parish for 17 years, he was moved to a new parish. Our new priest is what I would consider very traditional and this is his first parish. He made changes that were not received well by many of the parishioners. He does not bless children or anyone at communion time and discourages hand holding during the Lord’s Prayer. I am fine with the changes, but many parishioners got very angry and lashed out at him. Some have even stopped coming to Mass. What is the church’s stance on these issues? I don’t understand how people can treat a priest with such disrespect and give up their faith over such trivial issues!
Constitution on Sacred Liturgy (emphasis added):
A) General norms
- Regulation of the sacred liturgy depends solely on the authority of the Church, that is, on the Apostolic See and, as laws may determine, on the bishop.
- In virtue of power conceded by the law, the regulation of the liturgy within certain defined limits belongs also to various kinds of competent territorial bodies of bishops legitimately established.
3. Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority.
The priest is doing what he’s supposed to be doing. The liturgy does not contain the option of blessings during communion nor does the liturgy instruct anyone to hold hands at the Our Father.
Mass is not a private action, it is the public worship of the Church. Once we start adding and subtracting from the Mass based on our whims we’re no longer worshiping with the Church but instead are simply making up our own thing.