Need help

Lots to ask about, so little space. In a nutshell, our new priest has us sit for the final blessing all the time, and now, during Lent, asks everyone to sit for the Gospel reading. He removed the holy water on Ash Wednesday. He substitutes “people” for “Church” in the Eucharistic prayer and sets the chalice and ciborium down instead of holding them up when he says, “Do this in memory of me”. He says something different (it varies) than “This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, happy are those who are called to his supper.” His delivery is sing-song and he sounds so BORED! When he purifies the vessels, he swipes at the ciborium a couple of times with a purificator like a bored housewife dusting a table. He dropped a large piece of the Host on the altar, tried once to pick it up, missed it, so left it lying there to distribute Communion (the deacon got it and consumed it). One of our RCIA candidates died suddenly. His mother-in-law is the parish nurse. Fr. told the whole congregation during his homily that his mother-in-law baptized him, then he (Fr.) baptized him again when he got there and his wife baptized him for the third time with her tears. He obviously thought this “triune” baptizing was very touching. All I could think of was what about one baptism for the forgiveness of sins, and in emergencies anyone can baptize? And this is just what happens at Mass. What do you think? People are suffering here.

Any idea why he gets the congregation to sit for the final blessing? It is hardly the normal posture for imploring and receiving a blessing. In my diocese, the people stand for the final blessing; in other places the people kneel.

It is very clear that the people are to be standing for the Gospel (I think you know this, but for the benefit of the priest…) - the GIRM says:

The reading of the Gospel is the high point of the Liturgy of the Word. The Liturgy itself teaches that great reverence is to be shown to it by setting it off from the other readings with special marks of honor: whether on the part of the minister appointed to proclaim it, who prepares himself by a blessing or prayer; or on the part of the faithful, who stand as they listen to it being read

He should not have removed holy water on Ash Wednesday. The approved practice is to remove holy water during the Paschal Triduum - i.e. from Holy Thursday until the newly-blessed water from the Easter Vigil can be placed in the fonts.

The priest is instructed by the Missal to show the consecrated host and chalice to the people, not to put them down on the altar at that point.

Changing the words of the Eucharistic Prayer or any other parts of the Mass is completely illicit. From Redemptionis Sacramentum:

Only those Eucharistic Prayers are to be used which are found in the Roman Missal or are legitimately approved by the Apostolic See, and according to the manner and the terms set forth by it. “It is not to be tolerated that some Priests take upon themselves the right to compose their own Eucharistic Prayers” or to change the same texts approved by the Church, or to introduce others composed by private individuals.

  • R.S. is also clear that this is a grave abuse (it is actually listed as such).

His attitude towards the purification of the chalice and of the sacred host on the altar is quite worrying. Does the priest purify the chalice first with water (or wine and water), or does he simply wipe the chalice with the purificator?

The piece about the “triple baptism” is strange - although it does remind me of a priest I know… There are some who, in an attempt to express a point, become overly sentimental. What should have been done, if the priest really needed to talk about this topic at all, was to express the value of the sacrament, the consolation it could have brought to the dying person and his family. Surely educating the faithful on the effect of the sacrament on a soul could not be surpassed with a more touching story!

Redemptionis Sacramentum gives the following directions for dealing with abuses:

In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their power to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favouritism.

Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.

It would be good, however, if these issues could be sorted out with the priest directly - might this be possible? If not, or if someone has already raised concerns with him, the next step is to go to the bishop. If you take this route, make sure you have precise details of dates, abuses, relevant correspondence, concentrating solely on the facts.

Search for a neighboring parish where Jesus Christ is worshiped and not confused ideas about the church of the people.

[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon **or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. **It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.

[RIGHT]Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum
[/RIGHT]
In charity toward the remainder of the faithful in the parish, you should lodge a complaint about the abuses you witness.
[12.] On the contrary, it is the right of all of Christ’s faithful that the Liturgy, and in particular the celebration of Holy Mass, should truly be as the Church wishes, according to her stipulations as prescribed in the liturgical books and in the other laws and norms. Likewise, the Catholic people have the right that the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass should be celebrated for them in an integral manner, according to the entire doctrine of the Church’s Magisterium. Finally, it is the Catholic community’s right that the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist should be carried out for it in such a manner that it truly stands out as a sacrament of unity, to the exclusion of all blemishes and actions that might engender divisions and factions in the Church

[24.] It is the right of the Christian people themselves that their diocesan Bishop should take care to prevent the occurrence of abuses in ecclesiastical discipline, especially as regards the ministry of the word, the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God and devotion to the Saints.
[RIGHT]Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum
[/RIGHT]
This priest is violating your rights.

(By the way, if it isn’t obvious, you should read the entire Instruction for yourself)

And charitably let him know why. That way when many people tell him that the liturgical abuses are upsetting to them, and that they would like to switch parishes, perhaps he’ll get the hint…

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.