Is it okay to tune out a homily?


#1

The only Mass I have access to (for just one more week yay!!!) is given by a very nice priest who unfortunately tends to take certain liberties in saying Mass/giving his homilies. For most of this year, his homilies have been okay, if rather empty and sentimental, they did not seem to have anything actually wrong with them. The past few masses, however, Father has been giving homilies that strike me as "off". For example, saying that the emphasis of Mass is participation and togetherness and that people emphasize the Eucharist too much, among other somewhat strange (if not outright wrong, I don't know) ideas. Last week, for example, he read this article as his homily ncronline.org/node/40386 and it just gave me a bit of pause, because it condemns the EF as being silly, like people reenacting civil war battles, and says that's liturgically dangerous... but I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that the Pope said EF masses were totally fine. This is a rather small point, but I think it kind of goes along with a sort of agenda that Father seems to be interested in representing (I'm also a little concerned at the implication that his holiness is wrong).

Anyways, is it okay for me to sort of ignore the homily and just pray silently/ meditate on the Gospel? As I only have one more Mass with Father, I'm more concerned over what to do if I find myself in a similar situation in the future.


#2

Okay by me, I have to do it most Sundays. I watch Mass on EWTN so I'll get a good homily. The priest we have now in our Parish is just not very spiritual outwardly, not judging him, just can't listen to him talk about himself week after week. He'd make a good business motivational speaker. He was a CEO for a big oil company for years.


#3

There is one Rite in two Forms, and what is silly is to dismiss one or another form.

There is quite a lot that I could say about his remarks, but I won't out of the deep reverence I have for the Holy Orders. Suffices to say that I would personally change Parrish (and I am glad you will soon enough).

I also suggest you to read the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, which begins as follows:

The Church draws her life from the Eucharist.

Have you thought of finding out if in your new area there is any celebration of the Extraordinary Form? It is growing quite a bit, fortunately, not just due to the presence of FSSP priests (their website has locations for EF Masses) but also due to the commitment of diocesan priests who have responded to the Pope's appeal in Summorum Pontificorum.

However it's not fine to disregard the homily, due to the virtue of his priestly office and the role of the homily during Holy Mass:

It is not, therefore, a simple speech on the subject of God: it is truly an act of God Himself acting through the ministry of His Church. ("Discovering the Mass", St. Austin Press)

Be always as good and reverent a discerner as you display to be, for this is very good.


#4

[quote="R_C, post:3, topic:308490"]
There is one Rite in two Forms, and what is silly is to dismiss one or another form. This was my concern :)

There is quite a lot that I could say about his remarks, but I won't out of the deep reverence I have for the Holy Orders. Suffices to say that I would personally change Parrish (and I am glad you will soon enough).Yes. I only attend Mass with this particular priest (it's on a college campus, not really its own parish) is because it's the only one I can safely get to. But I'm transferring schools, so I'll be done with it next week.

I also suggest you to read the encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, which begins as follows:
Thanks, I'll go ahead and read it.

Have you thought of finding out if in your new area there is any celebration of the Extraordinary Form? It is growing quite a bit, fortunately, not just due to the presence of FSSP priests (their website has locations for EF Masses) but also due to the commitment of diocesan priests who have responded to the Pope's appeal in Summorum Pontificorum.
I can't access an EF Mass right now, but Ithe college I'm hoping to attend next year offers one daily! :D
However it's not fine to disregard the homily, due to the virtue of his priestly office and the role of the homily during Holy Mass:
Okay, thank you for answering so thoroughly!

Be always as good and reverent a discerner as you display to be, for this is very good.

[/quote]


#5

The homily is an integral part of the Liturgy of the Word.


#6

Reverence and fault finding.

Reverence had no exception, fault finding has no place.

So its not OK, but more so that you listen to attain Gods will, not your ignorant superstition of judgement you know better…


#7

[quote="waanju, post:1, topic:308490"]
The only Mass I have access to (for just one more week yay!!!) is given by a very nice priest who unfortunately tends to take certain liberties in saying Mass/giving his homilies. For most of this year, his homilies have been okay, if rather empty and sentimental, they did not seem to have anything actually wrong with them. The past few masses, however, Father has been giving homilies that strike me as "off". For example, saying that the emphasis of Mass is participation and togetherness and that people emphasize the Eucharist too much, among other somewhat strange (if not outright wrong, I don't know) ideas. Last week, for example, he read this article as his homily ncronline.org/node/40386 and it just gave me a bit of pause, because it condemns the EF as being silly, like people reenacting civil war battles, and says that's liturgically dangerous... but I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that the Pope said EF masses were totally fine. This is a rather small point, but I think it kind of goes along with a sort of agenda that Father seems to be interested in representing (I'm also a little concerned at the implication that his holiness is wrong).

Anyways, is it okay for me to sort of ignore the homily and just pray silently/ meditate on the Gospel? As I only have one more Mass with Father, I'm more concerned over what to do if I find myself in a similar situation in the future.

[/quote]

That article is from a news source that I struggle to call authentically 'Catholic' in that they publish all kinds of material contrary to Church teachings. It's a liberal publication through and through, with maybe a few exceptions. The cut-line underneath the photo calls the Mass a "Tridentine-Rite Mass". There is no such thing, and that simply kicks off an uninformed, ignorant rant on a perfectly valid form of the Roman Rite. The author displays a blatant enmity towards traditional orthodox Catholicism and this is highlighted by his apparent misunderstanding that the Paschal Mystery only takes into account Christ's Resurrection, a very incomplete understanding. The Paschal Mystery, includes as key elements the Passion and Death as well as the Resurrection of our Lord. There is no Easter Sunday without the suffering and Passion of Good Friday. This is the problem with removing crucifixes from our Church's to be replaced by bare crosses or resurrection crosses. Our salvation was merited by Christ's death on the Cross, regardless of the creative theology that some folks like to toss around these days.

And I'm sorry, but I've had it with these people who continually propagate the false notion that up until Vatican II nobody in the pews had any idea what was going on. This is absolute nonsense. I have missale from the early 1900's that provide Latin-English translations (Latin on the left page with the corresponding English translation on the right) and I believe these were also available in the 19th century and perhaps even before. These missale lay out the propers and ordinary of the Mass with easy to follow directions and cues so that one can pray the Mass along with the Priest. I find a low EF Mass to be a beautiful and reverent (quiet) liturgical prayer to God. Did some people pray the rosary during Mass, sure. I see people texting their friends during Mass these days. One prays the Rosary. The same cannot be said for those concerning themselves with text messaging dring Mass. In the decades leading up to Vatican II there was most certainly missale available to the faithful for those who wanted to "fully and actively participate". Any other claim is just misleading.

Moving on, this notion that Vatican II "went back" to the "sources" or to the way Church Fathers did things has a real flaw. It negates and dismisses, or rather discards, centuries of Sacred Tradition. If one wants to reincorporate a 6th century practice excluding natural organic development and understanding (tradition) from the centuries in between, one forgets that Holy Mother Church always moves forward drawing from Sacred Tradition as it evolves and is handed down through Apostolic succession.

Vatican II was not a "Super-Council" that trumps the 2000 years of Sacred Church Tradition and teachings and the Ecumenical Council's before it. To consider something this way is to buy into the hermeneutic of discontinuity or rupture. The Holy Father has spoken often about how this is an inappropriate way to interpret the Council.

Lastly, the comments under the article are a case in point of how poorly catechized many of the faithful are. We live in a "me" centred society and this philosophy has carried over into our liturgy, so now it's no longer always focused on God, but on the individual or community.

To answer the OP's question, you could listen and simply mentally dismiss what the Priest has said t your discretion. You do not have to give your assent to the contents of a homily, though I would suggest that you discern carefully. If the homily is way out to lunch to the point where you cannot in good conscience continue to sit and provide silent approval to what is being said, I have heard of cases where parishioners simply walked out. That is a pretty serious course of action which I would not advocate unless extraordinary circumstances warrant doing so.

mda


#8

[quote="wanabesaint, post:6, topic:308490"]
Reverence and fault finding.

Reverence had no exception, fault finding has no place.

So its not OK, but more so that you listen to attain Gods will, not your ignorant superstition of judgement you know better..

[/quote]

That's the readings and the Gospel, the word of God. A homily is given by an individual Priest and is not infallible. There have been homilies given condoning same sex marriage. Should not one tune that out?

The end of discerning no faults is accepting absolutely everything that is thrown one's way. Not necessarily wise IMHO.

mda


#9

I don't think you should tune it out.

I think when a homily is "questionable," you should listen even harder, take notes, and then afterwards, spend time, as you are now, reading and studying to find out what the Catholic Church really teaches.

Other people in your parish who aren't as discerning as you are being led astray by these questionable homilies. Whenever you meet up with fellow parishioners who think that Father is teaching the right thing, you need to be ready with an answer for them. You need to be able to help them to know what the Church really teaches.

And you need to be able to do all this in a calm and loving way without condemning Father or alienating his friends and supporters.

We are in a battle, and in order to win it, we must know our "enemy." I'm not saying that Father is the enemy, but he appears to be aiding and abetting the enemy. You need to be fully aware of exactly what Father is teaching so that you will be able to "battle" it.

If you don't listen, you won't know for sure what he actually said, and then you will make a fool of yourself if you are involved in a discussion with fellow parishioners. You will present apologetics, and they will say, "Father never said that! You're just making stuff up!" This will hurt your credibility. You MUST listen and you MUST remember exactly what Father said so that your strong witness is without flaw.

Godspeed to you.


#10

:eek: That’s wonderful!!! I hope you can make it :slight_smile:


#11

Okay. I'm kind of worried that I did wrong today. I didn't listen to all of you, and I ended up praying a rosary during the homily. I'm not sure if this was actually wrong though, because it wasn't Father Fenton, the celebrant, who was talking. I listened at the beginning, when he said "After the tragedy in Newton, I think it's important to talk about gun control. What do you think?" I listened to about ten minutes of random opinions from the congregation. I listened to someone mention the best point of the whole thing, that we need to pray for the soul of the shooter even more than for the children. I listened to about five more minutes of random people talking about guns, then I took out my rosary and prayed for the victims, their families, and that the shooter had true remorse before he died. I finished the rosary and listened to what was left of the comments (this whole discussion lasted about 45 minutes!). Finally, I listened as Fr Joe told us that we should work against violence (except for the opening, this is the only time he spoke, except a brief interjection where someone mentioned that maybe the devil takes advantage of the mentally ill, who are more susceptible to temptation, to which Fr. said "No, that is not the problem. The problem is too many guns and a lack of funding for psychologists in our educational system.). The mass then went on.

Was it a sin to not pay 100% attention to the middle of this homily, since Fr. wasn't even giving it? I was sort of half-listening, in case something important was said of in case Father spoke.

Also, just want to clarify that it's not that I disagree with them, it's just that this sort of debate kind of broke up the Mass and made it really hard for me to focus on the upcoming sacrifice, because it went on for 45 minutes, Fr. wasn't talking, it wasn't related really to the Gospel, and other than the two times I mentioned, God was not brought up at all. I felt like I was listening to NPR or something instead of at Mass. I did try to stay related by praying for the victims and the shooter, but now that it's over, I'm afraid that maybe that was still wrong to do.

Any help? I actually WILL listen this time (I feel badly for not doing so).


#12

Perhaps it wasn't the best idea but I don't think (personally) that it was sinful to do so. After all, you prayed to Christ through Mary meditating on His life.

It is very sad that he turned the homily into a dialogue. This is modernism and it does no good to the Church.

Don't worry exceedingly and just focus on Christ and on whatever of Christian may be found in the homily, if anything.


#13

I agree.

The priest had parishioners share their opinions during the homily? You should contact the priest and ask him about this. If he acts like he thinks it’s OK and plans to continue doing things like this, you should consider contacting the Bishop. This is not supposed to happen.


#14

[quote="anp1215, post:13, topic:308490"]
I agree.

The priest had parishioners share their opinions during the homily? You should contact the priest and ask him about this. If he acts like he thinks it's OK and plans to continue doing things like this, you should consider contacting the Bishop. This is not supposed to happen.

[/quote]

He does this quite often. Usually, it's at least related to the Gospel "What do YOU think this reading means?" but today he was basically telling everyone to share what they think about the shooting and gun control.

I'm not really sure how one would contact the bishop. I believe that I'm in Los Angeles Diocese, but it might be the Diocese of Orange (we're sort of on the border of the two counties. I'm not sure how to look it up, as this isn't really a parish. Does anyone know how I could find out? I can't speak to Fr. as I will never see him again. He only comes for Mass on Sundays (if that) and I'm leaving for home this Thursday.


#15

[quote="waanju, post:14, topic:308490"]
He does this quite often. Usually, it's at least related to the Gospel "What do YOU think this reading means?" but today he was basically telling everyone to share what they think about the shooting and gun control.

I'm not really sure how one would contact the bishop. I believe that I'm in Los Angeles Diocese, but it might be the Diocese of Orange (we're sort of on the border of the two counties. I'm not sure how to look it up, as this isn't really a parish. Does anyone know how I could find out? I can't speak to Fr. as I will never see him again. He only comes for Mass on Sundays (if that) and I'm leaving for home this Thursday.

[/quote]

You can look up your university or Newman center where the Mass occurs. Or go to the website for each Diocese and see if the university/Newman center is listed. Or simply call one of the Dioceses and ask. Once you know which Diocese, you know which Bishop to contact.

Here is the mailing address for Archbishop Gomez of the Los Angeles Archdiocese:
Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Office of the Archbishop of Los Angeles
3424 Wilshire Boulevard, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241

Here is the mailing address for the Diocese of Orange, Bishop Vann (just installed 6 days ago):
P.O. Box 14195
Orange, CA 92863-1595

Since you won't see them again, I would first write or email the priest(s) who celebrate these Masses about this issue as a courtesy.


#16

[quote="waanju, post:14, topic:308490"]
He does this quite often. Usually, it's at least related to the Gospel "What do YOU think this reading means?" but today he was basically telling everyone to share what they think about the shooting and gun control.

I'm not really sure how one would contact the bishop. I believe that I'm in Los Angeles Diocese, but it might be the Diocese of Orange (we're sort of on the border of the two counties. I'm not sure how to look it up, as this isn't really a parish. Does anyone know how I could find out? I can't speak to Fr. as I will never see him again. He only comes for Mass on Sundays (if that) and I'm leaving for home this Thursday.

[/quote]

You can go to the Archdiocese of LA's website and that of the Diocese of Orange and look if you see your college's parish/chapel listed under parishes.


#17

[quote="anp1215, post:15, topic:308490"]
You can look up your university or Newman center where the Mass occurs. Or go to the website for each Diocese and see if the university/Newman center is listed. Or simply call one of the Dioceses and ask. Once you know which Diocese, you know which Bishop to contact.

Here is the mailing address for Archbishop Gomez of the Los Angeles Archdiocese:
Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Office of the Archbishop of Los Angeles
3424 Wilshire Boulevard, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90010-2241

Here is the mailing address for the Diocese of Orange, Bishop Vann (just installed 6 days ago):
P.O. Box 14195
Orange, CA 92863-1595

Since you won't see them again, I would first write or email the priest(s) who celebrate these Masses about this issue as a courtesy.

[/quote]

Thanks. Overlapping some of the time he's been chaplain here, Fr. had been director of media relations for the Diocese of Orange, but I THINK that during Mass we mention Bishop Jose, so I'm going to guess Los Angeles.

EDITED: oh wow my looking this up has turned up some strange stuff. It seems that my particular area and the priests that serve it are quite... controversial....


#18

Around a month or so ago, there was a visiting celebrant that, during the homily, starting speaking about the election that was approaching. As I don't particularly care about knowing people's political leanings, and as I did not agree with what he was saying, I didn't really pay "close" attention to the homily; I payed enough attention to know and remember what was said, but I didn't really care for it myself. :shrug:

All other Masses, however, I pay attention during the homily. Our priest often speaks great things, along with a few humorous observations as well.


#19

However, my college isn't listed on EITHER diocese website. Perhaps because we aren't a parish OR a Newman Center? Geographically, we're in Los Angeles (at least that's what I assume- the nearest parish is in Los Angeles) but I still think that MAYBE Fr. is under the authority of Diocese of Orange. I can't call as I don't have a phone, but I'm continuing to search.


#20

For the most part, I attend the EF Mass. In that Form, when the priest removes his Maniple, that indicates that what follows (the Homily) is outside of the Mass. After the Homily, the priest replaces the Maniple, indicating the re-entrance of the Mass. (probably used a poor choice of words here).

I hope you get the picture of what I'm trying to say.


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