I tried to address this in another thread but I didn’t get much feedback. I guess I will try another direction. I am back in the Church after a 30 year absence and I am having a hard time figuring out what is going on with the Catholic Church in America. I attend Mass at a fairly liberal church. I am not entirely sure that’s the case because I have no idea what the majority of American Catholics think. A comment from the priest during a homily was along the lines of, the Pope can change his mind any time he wants to in regards to women in the priesthood, etc, etc. etc. I saw a sign in another church promoting a CTA meeting in still another church in the Diocese. I complained to the Bishop’s office and the sign was taken down. The surprise was the following Sunday in my own church. The woman next to me, who is the Pastoral Minister, would not take my hand during the Lord’s Prayer. I had to grab her hand and she acted like she would catch on fire or something. I left the church that Sunday without a single person saying hello to me. I was crushed. My elderly father says, “listen to the Pope, he’s God’s man on earth.” Any advice for me, because I am fumbling spirtually at this point, would really be appreciated.
I just wanted to say hi!!! I’m sure others can help you more, but I thought I’d welcome you :).
As for the holding hands thing- this isn’t done at either parish, and there is no rules about people having to participate in it. I wouldn’t be offended- she may have had a cold, or has been helping with a baby, or a compromised immune system, etc, and is very careful of interaction. Personally, I tend not to unless I’m in the middle of a pew- for me, it really disrupts my concentration of the mass, so unless I end up in a position where it may call attention by not holding hands, I don’t. Like I said, I really wouldn’t feel offended :).
Until someone else comes along to address your concerns, I’d remember that we are there for focus on the Lord, the Eucharist, and the mass itself- not neccessarily how those around us are acting.
Perhpas there is somone on this board in your area that would be able to suggest a parish they know is more formal in their worship, or orthodox, if that is your concern.
Anyway, welcome back!
I am back in the Church after a 30 year absence and I am having a hard time figuring out what is going on with the Catholic Church in America.
Welcome back! I too have recently returned.
A comment from the priest during a homily was along the lines of, the Pope can change his mind any time he wants to in regards to women in the priesthood, etc, etc. etc.
I wouldn’t worry too much about that happening, or anything “liberal” taking over the Church. I have confidence that our new Pope will continue the course of JPII, cleaning out the liberal churches in America from within, all in love.
The woman next to me, who is the Pastoral Minister, would not take my hand during the Lord’s Prayer. I had to grab her hand and she acted like she would catch on fire or something. I left the church that Sunday without a single person saying hello to me. I was crushed.
I too wasn’t really “welcomed” at the Church I started attending, but I found when I started to attend a young adults group meeting, I was overwhelmed with attention! I was even asked to go on a mission trip to our sister parish in Central America (which I declined; I’ve only been back in the faith for less than a year for goodness sakes!)
The point is though, to really get involved, in any group setting much less a church, you have to take the first step. Look in your bulliten for info about similar group meetings. Try to attend something.
I will keep you in my prayers! Above all, don’t judge the whole Church by the actions (or inactions) of Her local parishoners! We all fail, we’re all sinners. That doesn’t detract from the pure Truth that is the Church though!
Let me say that I did not imagine what happened to me that Sunday. This is a very small congregation and it is easy to see what everyone does. Everyone holds hands and during the Sign of Peace the priest goes around the church and says hello to just about everyone.
But the fact is, the Pope has made it clear that he has no authority to allow women in the priesthood. Those who continue to press for this or imply it can happen are actually acting contrary to explicit Church teaching and we must disregard their opinion. We must also pray for them and those they may be misleading. But God is the one who will judge them. Take it as a trial from God to test your faith.
I advise you to seek your consolation from the Blessed Sacrament you receive, not from the friendly disposition of others. Accept their apparent spurning with gratitude to God for whatever purpose He is allowing it. Focus on practicing the virtues you have. See others as priceless treasures in the eyes of God because Christ has paid dearly for them, even while sinners. See them through the sacrifice of Jesus even as God sees us this way. In other words, turn the other cheek cheerfully for the sake of Jesus’ sacrifice. Forgive them so that God will forgive you. Be like Mary and stand at the foot of the cross to console Jesus as the crowd around rejoices at His being defaced, unrecognizable, and defamed (as the Church is today). But do what you can, for He cries out that He thirsts.
Welcome back! First of all don’t be surprised by all sorts of strange behavior at Mass. Our parish used to hold hands during the Our Father, then some started praying it with their hands extended like the priest, now we have both and some who do neither. At the kiss of peace some folks actually kissed and hugged their family group, but this has settled down to a simple handshake for most. Then we stood for twenty years during the Eucharistic prayers and consecration, for abouit two years now we have gone back to kneeling.
Secondly as regards doctrine and teaching there have been few changes except in our relationship with other Christian groups. Some think this ecumenism means we must accept certain parts of each others beliefs, but in truth ecumenism is meant that we are familiar with each others belief system, but we don’t compromise ours nor should we expect them to compromise theirs. We can be friendly with each other, work together on charitable works, and be ready to explain points of our Faith when asked.
If you have been away for awhile, there is an excellent, easy to understand book called “Catholicism for Dummies”. It is reliable, fairly complete, and orthodox. There is another book called Catholicism for Idiots which is not reliable or completely orthodox.I don’t recommend that one. I am surprised that a priest would say the Pope has the power to change anything he wants to. There are many teachings and doctrine which the Pope may elucidate further, but cannot turn upside down at will. Again welcome back. Dick
We are rebuilding after the mass exodus and abuses of the last 45 years. Your departure probably didn’t help!
Liberal elements linger - they got strong over the last 35 years in particular, but a definite recoil effect is in motion!
The pope can change his mind about anything, but he won’t be altering the faith as far as women priests. John Paul ll was abundantly clear on this - Benedict XVl will follow suit unequivocably.
I have been told by my Priest that holding hands during the Our Father is not part of the Liturgical game plan. I wouldn’t get all bent out of shape about it without knowing WHY she did it. That would require you doing something outrageous such as asking her why she did it and being prepared to discuss it. You’re right about nobody saying hello, though. My parish is the same way. They don’t intend to offend, but it would be nice if there were more of a community feeling…
Your elderly father is wise. Judge the Church by her Truth and not by the behavior of her children. Listen to the Pope(s). Read the tracts on the Catholic Answers home page. Get yourself a copy of the Catechism. Pray for guidance. And most of all, get prepared to share what you have with your parish! You know what’s missing, why not be the one to bring it to fruition in your parish?
Thank-you everyone. You have helped me.