Liturgical Abuse?


Several younger siblings of mine attend the local Catholic primary school. Since I left, it appears a tradition has sprung up to celebrate a Mass for reconciliation with the Aboriginal people ( I am an Australian).

What concerns me is that at these Masses, the first reading consists of a reading from the Dreamtime, the traditional religious text of the Australian Indigenous peoples. This is the second or third year in a row this has occurred. Is this a liturgical abuse and if so, what can I do about it?


sounds wrong to me. i would start with the pastor, and if no luck, go up to the bishop.


It does sound incorrect to my eyes/ears here in the USA.

I would ask your pastor for the reasoning and how/why it is allowed (I don’t think it is, no matter where in the world you are) as from what I can tell, this is not a mere translation of the Old or New Testament.

If your pastor’s explanation is not satisfactory, or lacks in the necessary apparent references, I would take it to the Priest Director of Liturgy for your diocese, the Dean of priests for your diocese, Vicar General for your diocese, or even the Bishop himself.

I would definitely recommend approaching it with an inquiring sense, and not an accusatory mindset.

God bless,


From the Wiki article on “Dreamtime:”

In the animist framework of Australian Aboriginal mythology, Dreamtime is a place beyond time and space in which the past, present, and future exist wholly as one. Tribespeople could enter this alternate universe through dreams or various states of altered consciousness, as well as death, Dreamtime being considered the final destination before reincarnation.

Doesn’t sound too Catholic to me. :eek:

Reconciliations with Natives have happened around me as well though I thought it should be made clear that we weren’t apologizing for having brought them the message of Christ.


Most certainly, it is a liturgical abuse. You should address the matter with the priest who allows this, and if this does not help, write to the bishop.


It’s stories like these that seriously make me reconsider ever even thinking about converting to the Catholic faith. There’s just really no way to soften this: it’s downright paganism, not even false ecumenism. Had I witnessed that, I would have immediately gotten up and excused myself from the “Mass”.


In response to this post only, and not to derail the thread, but please, PLEASE, do not take the above actions as typical within the Catholic Church.

God’s Church is divine, but is made up of sinners and those who make mistakes. Please understand this and know that we all have a fallen nature, but are trying to do it right.

Look to the teachings and principles of the UNIVERSAL Church, and NOT the particulars of local individuals or even sole parishes.

Thank you, and may God bless you abundantly on your journey of faith!


Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.


The only readings at Mass that you’re allowed to substitute are other readings for Mass.
Like a weekday Mass doing suggested readings from the lectionary for some kind of votive Mass.

I would definitely take it to the bishop (or the local pastor first, if it’s under him). If you can find evidence (videos of the readings, etc.) to send the bishop, that would probably help.

If the bishop doesn’t do anything, you can always get in touch with the Vatican. Email is your friend. :slight_smile:

Fr. Z says (IIRC) to be brief and to the point, charitable and pleasant, provide evidence, and then end the letter. Make sure you give your name and contact information so they know you’re a real person.


This is the only time I have ever heard anything like this before, hence why I’m here.


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