Correct procedure for reporting abuses?


Hello everyone, and Happy New Year! :slight_smile:

I have just come back from Mass, and unfortunately I observed multiple serious abuses once again. The Confiteor was completely (yes, completely!) omitted, the Creed was some sort of song that did not resemble any approved version, the Homily was given to a lay person and the Greeting of Peace turned so chaotic that people walked across the nave, causing the Agnus Dei to be interrupted unpleasantly.

I understand that we are to deal with such things beginning at the lowest level possible, but I have already written one letter to the priest about Liturgical Dance and feel it would be quite awkward to send another one about these things now. Should I still do this, or should I inform the Bishop?

Thanks. :slight_smile:


Awkward or not, the right thing to do is to talk to the pastor (not send a letter, actually talk to him) and possibly the parish council as well. Have your list of specific concerns and request a proper Mass be said from now on.

Only after you have done this should you write to the bishop or ask for an appointment with the bishop.


Alright, but it does seem a bit indecent to be new to the parish having become Catholic only 5 weeks ago and already making demands. It’s the priest who received me into Holy Church I’d be talking to which makes it feel even more strange. That’s why I wondered whether or not it is appropriate. If I were the priest approached by someone like me, I’d probably think “Who does he think he is?”


You may have been Catholic for only 5 weeks, but you are a Catholic. Every Catholic has the right to a Mass done “by the book.” You should take it up with your pastor with humility and politeness.


It’s all in how you approach it. Instead of “these are abuses!” go to him as a new Catholic seeking clarification. “Father, I understand from the GIRM that we should have prayed the Confiteor Sunday. Is the Epiphany an exception?” and so forth.


Exactly. Do what this user recommends.

Humility is the key. Even if you know the answer to “Is the Epiphany an exception?” You don’t want to appear cocky and arrogant. Humility is what you want.


The GIRM is not available in German, and English is a bit of a problem with the priest. I’ll give it a try though. :slight_smile:


I don’t read German, but could this what you need?


Yes! I only checked the Vatican website, which is… well, not complete. It doesn’t even have the Latin version, but one in Swahili. Thanks for that link!


You do know, or perhaps you don’t, that there are THREE options for the Penitential Rite and only one involves the Confiteor.

So, as others have said, you need to sit down with the parish priest and have this discussion asking why certain things are happening and not start off with yelling “abuser!”. Tone and approach domake a difference.

Then, if necessary, do you go to the next higher authority.


Yes, I do know that. That’s what I meant with “completely”. There was nothing even remotely connected to it. There was the greeting, and then the Kyrie. I checked it against all three forms.


You said that there was the Kyrie. Are you sure that they didn’t do Form C?

You were sent to heal the contrite of heart. Lord, have mercy. R: Lord, have mercy
You came to call sinners. Christ, have mercy. R: Christ, have mercy.
You plead for us at the right hand of the Father. Lord, have mercy. R: Lord, have mercy.

P: May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.


It might have been similar, since the priest did say some words between the acclamations (Lord, have mercy, etc.) but I don’t think the words were the ones printed. I am quite sure he did not say the last sentence there.

Would the other things I listed be abuses, though? Perhaps I’ll leave the Kyrie one out, since I noticed this type of Kyrie is used quite often. I shall keep a lookout before I mention that.


The words in Form C can be substituted for something similar. However, the absolution cannot be omitted.

The homily can only be given by a priest (sometimes a deacon), never a layperson.

The Creed cannot be omitted when it is required. Are you referring to a Mass back in Advent? If so, the Creed is omitted in that time, and it is possible a song was put in place.

The sign of peace should only be given to those in the immediate vicinity. The priest should never leave the altar for the sign of peace. However, the situation you described is not really the priest’s fault. It’s some members’ of the congregation’s fault. The sign of peace at my parish is chaotic, but we can’t really stamp the blame on the priest.


Let me give some details:

Kyrie: Alright, but I shall still refrain from mentioning it, since I’d rather be sure than accuse unjustly.

Homily: One could debate whether it was a homily… After the Gospel, which the priest read, he went back to his seat and the youth-group-teacher got up and started talking to the congregation and specifically the children about what it means to be “children of God” from the Gospel reading of St John 1. When he had finished, the priest got up and said something to the effect of “thanks for this talk interpreting the Gospel”. To me that sounds like what the homily is supposed to be.

Creed: No, I am referring to today’s Mass, 5 January, the Second Sunday after Christmas. We had a short song that was more similar to the Gloria, and went like this (translated):

To the Lord in Heaven Glory be sung, great peace to all men on earth. Let us thank God Almighty, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him, the King, the Lord.
You alone are Ruler of Heaven and earth, You alone are the Most High, Lord Jesus Christ. To You and the Father and the Spirit be the glory. O come let us adore Him…

And before you suggest this may have been the Gloria, no, we had “Gloria in excelsis Deo” repeated over and over with altar bells ringing constantly for that.

Sing of Peace: The priest specifically instructed us to reach across the aisle and hold our hands. I was very confused, since he launched into the Agnus Dei straight away and everyone wanted to shake hands.


What you described are abuses.


Wow, CutlerB, these do seem like a lot of weird things going on.
Honestly, I think the priest knows what he is doing. Is it possible to find a different parish, and gradually transition away from the current priest? That may be the easiest way. Possibly the other normal people left the parish already, if there is another one nearby.
It’s tough to fight the priest, who is in charge. Just try another parish, would be my advice!
Good luck with this - - it should be such a joyous time for you after just “coming home”!


Well… I live in the diaspora. There is one other parish near me, but that’s a really modern one. The one I am home at is really quite nice. Wonderful church, nice people… I doubt the other one would be different concerning liturgical abuse. I feel these things are the norm in Germany, but that’s just my feelings.





the Creed is never omitted at a Sunday Mass, even in Advent or Lent, but it can be replaced with the Apostle’s Creed sometimes. It is the Gloria that is omitted at Sunday Mass in those seasons.

There are limited occasions when the Creed can be replaced by the baptismal promises, such as, in fact, when a baptism is occurring at Mass. But those circumstances are rare except at the Easter Vigil or when a baptism is occurring at Mass.

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