I need your comments fellow bloggers

If there is a dispute between the congregation and the priest concerning what is proper concerning church rulings. What do you think is the best way to solve a church problem without concerning the Bishop?
The problems are:
-proper dress code (veils or no veils, jeans or dress pants/skirts).
-proper way of communion (only in the tongue or in the hands).
-proper sermon (can a priest talk about political views).
-proper giving of offerings (tithings).
-proper facing of the altar (ad orientem or ad populum).
-proper singing (traditional hymns or new/contemporary hymns).
-proper giving of peace (shaking of hands or just the priest blessing the people).
-proper gesture during the “Our Father” (hands on the aisle or in prayer position).
-proper attendance (is it okay for a person to be late in the Mass?).

I welcome and appreciate any comments.

Laudater Jesus Christus
Instaurare omnia in Christo

Pick your battles. Don’t walk up to the priest with this list. Choose one or two that are most important to you and talk to the priest with humility and respect for his position. Also, be sure that you really have Church rulings on your side, and it is not simply a matter of your opinion vs. the priest’s. Remember, he is in charge of the parish, not you. Unless he is clearly violating a rule, I would not press the issue. I don’t know the situation in your church, but it seems to me that many of these issues may be more about what we wish would happen, but not necessarily what is required. And some of these issues, like the dress code and late attendance, are really more about what the people are doing, not the priest.

It may be frustrating, but remember prayer, patience, and humilty. God bless you in your mission.

Most of your list sounds like things where there are legitimate choices and/or no particular law relating to them.

Proper dress code – Women are not required to wear veils though they may if they wish. I’ve never seen anything relating wearing jeans. A priest may encourage the congregation to dress in a certain way, for example wearing modest clothes, but ultimately it’s up to the people what they wear.

Proper way of communion – The church allows either on the tongue or in the hands.

Proper sermon – “Political views” is very broad. For example, last week’s gospel on Lazarus and the rich man would have lent itself to a discussion of poverty and how to deal with it. If the priest said that as Christians we are called to pay attention and deal with this issue, is that a political view? If so, I would say it’s proper. Abortion is an issue that has all kinds of political overtones. If the priest reminds the congregation that the church teaches that life in the womb is precious, is that a political view? Again, I would say it’s proper.

Proper giving of offerings – I’m not sure what you have in mind here. It’s important to support the parish.

Proper facing of the altar – Ad orientem and ad populum are both legitimate options.

Proper singing – This seems to be largely a matter of taste. The church encourages but doesn’t require the use of Gregorian chant. Beyond that, there’s a wide range of opinions about what kind of music is proper.

Proper giving of peace – Offering a sign of peace (shaking hands) is a legitimate option but is not required.

Proper gesture during the “Our Father” – The church hasn’t specified a posture. Holding one’s arms out to God seems a legitimate posture for prayer though many people find it offensive.

Proper attendance – No it’s not right for someone to be late for Mass. But what do you expect the priest to do, order the ushers to ban such people from entering?

With some of these issues the priest could address the congregation and remind them, for example, of how to dress or that it’s important to be on time. But ultimately he can’t control them.

If these things are bothering you then you might want to chat with the priest and discuss your preferences about them. But keep in mind that they are your preferences and that’s all. The priest has his own preferences and the liturgy is in his hands.

The Church did not have a dress code before V2, other than the issue of veils. Most of the issue of dress was cultural (society was more formal). The Church has not been in the business of dress code and most likely will not become so. On the other hand, issues of modesty should be addressed.

Church law has already addressed this: Communion on the tongue is the norm, and Communion in the hand is allowed at the choice of the recipent where permitted, and is what the Early Church did, and is supported by the Fathers of the Church.

A sermon is not proper; it is to be a homily. Having said that, the Church has a legitimate business in saying what a Catholic should do if they are true to the faith - not necessarily specifically, but certainly in general on major issues.

The Church specifically does not require tithings, as that is specific Mosaic Law; it requires that one support the Church. Tithing - literally 10% - is not required; for those who can do more, more than tithing is morally required; for those who can’t, it is most certainly not.

Already addressed by the rubrics of the Mass. Both are allowed by specific Church rule.

Both are allowed. Interestingly, what gets ignored is how many contemporary hymns are based on either the Old Testament or New - or both.

Specifically alowed by Church rules.

The issue came up in the mid 60’s; the Church has twice ignored the posture of the hands at the Our Father (two rewrites of the GIRM) and has ignored the issue in other realted documents where one would expect it to be addressed if it was an issue (e.g.RS). Rome doesn’t care. It is a non-issue with them.

Relates to a constant question asked long before Vatican 2 - “how much of the Mass can I miss and still fulfill my obligation?” Sadly, it shows a legalistic and minimalistic attitude about the Mass, instead of an attitude of joy and thankfulness that one can participate. Vatican 2 didn’t make too many inroads with the people who have the attitude; they have the same one their father and mothers, and grand fathers and grand mothers had before Vatican 2.

As to a dispute between the congregation and the pastor; if the congregation is demanding that certain things which are allowed be done away with, that is not their business.

And if the priest is requiring it, he needs to get in line with what Rome allows. Where there is a legitimate choice, teh choice can be made either way. Where one thing is allowed, it is neither the business of the priest or the congregation to insist that it is no allowed. e.g. Communion in the hand; it is allowed, and neither the priest nor the congregation has the right to insist that it not be allowed.

Songs are a choice; both are allowed. Choosing one of the other is fine.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.