Priest used vulgar word in homily

My sister called, all upset. She and her 8-year-old daughter attended the Spanish Mass at her parish this morning. During the homily, the priest uttered a vulgar comment (in Spanish) that is, unfortunately, rather common and well-known, even to young children (of which there were many in attendance.) The congregation, rather than gasping in shock, which my sister expected, LAUGHED! My sister was upset, especially since the priest did not excuse or explain or apologize for the use of the word... he used it the way it is commonly used. My sister was so disturbed that she ended up leaving along with her daughter, who, of course, wanted to know why Father said a "bad word" in church. What could my sister say? As she told me, "That's a word I'd have made my daughter go to confession for using!"

Anyway, she said she intends to call the church office tomorrow and complain. She's had some other issues with this parish and had been thinking about finding a new one and now, this is the straw that broke the camel's back. Please pray for her and her daughter and for that priest... and for all those people who think it's funny that a priest uttered a vulgarity like that during Mass.

[quote="bluerose, post:1, topic:184280"]
My sister called, all upset. She and her 8-year-old daughter attended the Spanish Mass at her parish this morning. During the homily, the priest uttered a vulgar comment (in Spanish) that is, unfortunately, rather common and well-known, even to young children (of which there were many in attendance.) The congregation, rather than gasping in shock, which my sister expected, LAUGHED! My sister was upset, especially since the priest did not excuse or explain or apologize for the use of the word... he used it the way it is commonly used. My sister was so disturbed that she ended up leaving along with her daughter, who, of course, wanted to know why Father said a "bad word" in church. What could my sister say? As she told me, "That's a word I'd have made my daughter go to confession for using!"

Anyway, she said she intends to call the church office tomorrow and complain. She's had some other issues with this parish and had been thinking about finding a new one and now, this is the straw that broke the camel's back. Please pray for her and her daughter and for that priest... and for all those people who think it's funny that a priest uttered a vulgarity like that during Mass.

[/quote]

I've never heard a priest swear at mass before. The nearest I can come to this is my parish priest Father Pat McLoughlin when I was in my late teens who was from Belfast where swearing is used in lieu of punctation at times and who when around fellow male parishioners who were adults might occassionally let a rude word out when working on a building project or so if something dropped or paint spilled etc. He wouldn't have dreamt of swearing in Church though and would have gone bananas had anyone done so and he was a real hard cookie so I don't think anyone would have crossed him in that regard.

Colloqualisms to an extent I think would be fine in a homily but considering a mass is by it's very nature has a mixed audience of all ages I wouldn't be too impressed with vulgarity from the pulpit. Although what is vulgar does vary from culture to culture but it's sensible to be aware of differing culturual standards in regards to that when in a place with many cultures who intersect. I'm far from perfect with regards to swear words in real life but there are places I would never dream of using vulgarity and I do try to restrain myself with regards to it as it erodes the ability to communicate when over-used.

[quote="bluerose, post:1, topic:184280"]
MyAnyway, she said she intends to call the church office tomorrow and complain. .

[/quote]

just a tip, don't complain to the office staff, they don't know nor are they responsible for what the priest says or does. Call and ask to speak to the priest himself and express your concern.

[quote="puzzleannie, post:3, topic:184280"]
just a tip, don't complain to the office staff, they don't know nor are they responsible for what the priest says or does. Call and ask to speak to the priest himself and express your concern.

[/quote]

Thanks, annnie, I'll tell her that!

[quote="bluerose, post:1, topic:184280"]
congregation, rather than gasping in shock, which my sister expected, LAUGHED!

[/quote]

I also think the congregation should be cut some slack. People react differently and often people laugh when they are nervous or caught off guard. It's quite possible that they later realized what happened and will be complaining also.

I consider myself a fairly tolerant person and forgiving of mistakes, but a priest who uses vulgarity in his homily reveals either a lack of preparation or a lack of imagination as he reflects upon the Gospel. But more than this, it reveals a certain degree of contempt for the parishoners or anyone else who may have entered the sactuary of the Church to meet their Lord. I agree with your sister 100 % and I hope she gives this ignorant man an earful!

Is it possible that, this being a Spanish Mass, this is a situation in which one of them (either the priest or your sister) speaks Spanish as a second language, and so the word was misused by the priest or misunderstood by your sister?

[quote="Tsuwano, post:6, topic:184280"]
I consider myself a fairly tolerant person and forgiving of mistakes, but a priest who uses vulgarity in his homily reveals either a lack of preparation or a lack of imagination as he reflects upon the Gospel. But more than this, it reveals a certain degree of contempt for the parishoners or anyone else who may have entered the sactuary of the Church to meet their Lord. I agree with your sister 100 % and I hope she gives this ignorant man an earful!

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Wow! :eek:

Do I ever agree with you.

I hate it when there are others who say, 'Oh, that doesn't mean anything' or 'It's ok... this one time'.... not just in this situation, but others. :mad:

There was a discussion around a table about what people post to the internet on sites like Facebook ™ or MySpace™ and whether or not the posts to those site should have any impact on their employ-ability.:confused:

I say that it DOES.. because if you have lapses of judgement that you are willing to put on a public website, that any one can see, I need to know that you may be a hair trigger, or just irresponsible! :eek:

They argue that its personal and not shouldn't be a measure of the person. Ha! :p

I want to know what was said exactly.

Maybe it was a nervous laughter the congregation displayed.

What's the point of making a daughter go to Confession? If she's made to go, she may not be truly sorry.

Assuming all this is true as is, that it the priest really did say a really bad word in a vulgar way, your sister was wrong to get up and leave without staying for Communion. Regardless of what happened, if everything was legit, his are the hands that can hold the Eucharist. I hope your sister and niece made it to another Mass. IF what you say is true, it is truly perverse that such a euphamism slipped during the Divine Litury which is a gift from God.

What exactly did he say?

My mom once thought that the priest used a "bad word" when he said "asinine.":rolleyes:

[quote="Timothysis, post:10, topic:184280"]
What exactly did he say?

My mom once thought that the priest used a "bad word" when he said "asinine.":rolleyes:

[/quote]

A fair point, also the point about words that could be misunderstood via two languages or where someone could speak a language poorly and thus be unintentionally offensive is also worth considering.

I can think of several words that are used as slang in one language that originated in another where the original use is more offensive or vulgar.

The woman was not wrong in getting up to leave, I would have walked out myself. Don't make excuses for the priest, he should know what he was saying was wrong.

[quote="Renko, post:12, topic:184280"]
The woman was not wrong in getting up to leave, I would have walked out myself. Don't make excuses for the priest, he should know what he was saying was wrong.

[/quote]

Yet, we don't even know what the priest said.

[quote="Timothysis, post:13, topic:184280"]
Yet, we don't even know what the priest said.

[/quote]

I will state my own position, I don't know what others is but this is mine.If and that's if the priest swore or used inappropriate vulgarity it might be a good idea for someone to bring the concerns of those troubled with it before him. However I don't think we should go in the direction of a gossip session here and since the situation's details are not absolutely known to us we should be careful how we talk about it here.

[quote="JharekCarnelian, post:14, topic:184280"]
I will state my own position, I don't know what others is but this is mine.If and that's if the priest swore or used inappropriate vulgarity it might be a good idea for someone to bring the concerns of those troubled with it before him. However I don't think we should go in the direction of a gossip session here and since the situation's details are not absolutely known to us we should be careful how we talk about it here.

[/quote]

I agree.

We don't know what the priest said, and we don't know whether Spanish was even the priest's first language. He may not truly realize why everyone gasped and laughed. He may have intended to get a reaction, after all, but for some totally different reason! Or he may have been puzzled by the laughter but in no position to find out what it was about. This would explain why no apology was forthcoming.

The woman should speak to the priest directly, let him know that she is upset and why, and ask for an explanation.

If, realizing what happened, he apologizes, she should accept, but insist he explain himself and apologize to her daughter.

If he attempts to defend the use of vulgar speech, particularly in front of youngsters and espectially within the context of the Mass, she should contact the pastor directly, if this is an associate pastor. If it is the pastor, call the vicar of clergy for the diocese. There may or may not be any direct action taken, other than making a call to the priest and putting a note in the priest's file, but such complaints add up. The bishop can't know it is a pattern, if no one ever complains.

It is right to let the priest attempt to explain himself first, though.

My sister, the priest, and the majority of the congregation are quite fluent in Spanish (I grew up in this parish--in El Paso, TX--so I know!) and the word is hardly ever used any way BUT as a vugarity.

The word (if you'll excuse me for using it) is "pendejo", which is NOT a word used in polite language, under ANY circumstances. Although it can be used as a euphemism for "stupid", the most common usage (around this area, perhaps other areas not) is "m-f"... and this is the context in which it was used, by a priest, during a homily! (I don't have the exact quote, something to the effect of how different racial, ethnic and religious groups make derogatory references to each other... but surely a priest, of all people, could come up with a better example than THAT!)

And to clarify, my sister did not make her daughter go to confession... she said if her daughter had used the word the priest used, she WOULD HAVE made her go to confession (even an 8-year-old, on the border, knows this word is not one to be used in church!)

She is, as I said, going to speak to the priest today, and the pastor if necessary.

[quote="bluerose, post:17, topic:184280"]
My sister, the priest, and the majority of the congregation are quite fluent in Spanish (I grew up in this parish--in El Paso, TX--so I know!) and the word is hardly ever used any way BUT as a vugarity.

The word (if you'll excuse me for using it) is "pendejo", which is NOT a word used in polite language, under ANY circumstances. Although it can be used as a euphemism for "stupid", the most common usage (around this area, perhaps other areas not) is "m-f"... and this is the context in which it was used, by a priest, during a homily! (I don't have the exact quote, something to the effect of how different racial, ethnic and religious groups make derogatory references to each other... but surely a priest, of all people, could come up with a better example than THAT!)

And to clarify, my sister did not make her daughter go to confession... she said if her daughter had used the word the priest used, she WOULD HAVE made her go to confession (even an 8-year-old, on the border, knows this word is not one to be used in church!)

She is, as I said, going to speak to the priest today, and the pastor if necessary.

[/quote]

Bluerose, I think that there is a bit of an over-reaction here. With all due respect, I was expecting something worse than what you just reported. I am also from the Texas-Mexico hinterland. "Pendejo" is actually not as bad as one would seem. Had it been another word, I would have been greatly concerned. "Pendejo" is coarse slang for the words dumb, stupid,imbecile and idiot. Granted, it may not have been the best word choice for the priest to use in a homily; however, when you said vulgarity, there are words that are far worse that are certainly unrepeatable here that could have been used.

By the way, down here in Laredo, the word is most commonly used as a coarse slang for dumb, stupid, idiot and imbecile and not as a slur on any particular group. It is also used for oneself. I know that I have called myself that on some occasions when I have made a mistake. Granted, it is not the nicest word in the world, but, it is also not the most vile either. There are far worse words in both language, albeit in any language, than this particular one.

[quote="Renko, post:12, topic:184280"]
The woman was not wrong in getting up to leave, I would have walked out myself. Don't make excuses for the priest, he should know what he was saying was wrong.

[/quote]

We don't know what the priest said.

[quote="bluerose, post:17, topic:184280"]
My sister, the priest, and the majority of the congregation are quite fluent in Spanish (I grew up in this parish--in El Paso, TX--so I know!) and the word is hardly ever used any way BUT as a vugarity.

The word (if you'll excuse me for using it) is "pendejo", which is NOT a word used in polite language, under ANY circumstances. Although it can be used as a euphemism for "stupid", the most common usage (around this area, perhaps other areas not) is "m-f"... and this is the context in which it was used, by a priest, during a homily! (I don't have the exact quote, something to the effect of how different racial, ethnic and religious groups make derogatory references to each other... but surely a priest, of all people, could come up with a better example than THAT!)

And to clarify, my sister did not make her daughter go to confession... she said if her daughter had used the word the priest used, she WOULD HAVE made her go to confession (even an 8-year-old, on the border, knows this word is not one to be used in church!)

She is, as I said, going to speak to the priest today, and the pastor if necessary.

[/quote]

Pendejo

Pendejo may be translated as "dumbass" in many situations, though it carries an extra implication of rank and willful incompetence. The less extreme version, which is used in most Spanish speaking countries, translates more or less as "jackass". The term however, has very high offensive connotations in Puerto Rico.
In Mexico, Central and Northern South America, pendejo refers to a stupid person (estúpido), synonymous with idiota ("idiot") or imbécil ("moron"), although it carries a much stronger connotation than the words in English may imply. It is a much stronger word in Mexico and Central America than it is in Panama, where, while still impolite, it is not as offensive, especially not among younger people. In Peru it means a person who gains benefits from an advantageous situation in an immoral or deceptively persuasive manner (usually involving sexual gain and promiscuity, but not limited to it), and if used referring to a female (ella es pendeja) it means she is promiscuous (but the sense of female con-man can also apply). There the word pendejada and a whole family of related words have meanings that stem from these. In South America pendejo¡Te cogieron de pendejo! "You were fooled!" (e.g. by a con-man), to ¡Qué tipa pendeja! "What a dumbass !" (as when some unknown woman unexpectedly offends you with no apparent motive, and just leaves turning her back on you). In Mexico and some countries of Central America, especially El Salvador, una pendejada is used to describe something incredibly stupid that someone has done. In many countries, pendejo also means coward (with a stronger connotation), as in ¡No huyas, pendejo! "Don't run away, chicken-s*t!". **is also a vulgar, yet inoffensive word, for children. It also signifies a person with a disorderly or irregular life. In Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, it has different meanings depending on the situation. It can range from *
In Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, pendejo or pendeja refers to a child, usually with a negative connotation, like that of immaturity or a "brat".
In South America it refers to a person regarded with an obnoxiously determined advancement of one's own personality, wishes, or views (a "smartass").
In the Philippines, the word pendejo is a very offensive word meaning "cuckold". When said to a certain person, its intent is to degrade that man and rob him of his pride.
In North Sulawesi, Indonesia, pendo (a derivative of pendejo) is used as profanity but with the majority of the population not knowing its meaning. The word was adopted during the colonial era when Spanish and Portuguese merchants sailed to this northern tip of Indonesia for spices.
In Spain, this word is hardly ever used.

I think there's much ado about very little here.

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