Progressive Priest and Dramatic Acting of the Gospel

Over the past few years my parish has had a very progressive priest who seems to enjoy driving the traditionalist Catholics from the parish. I will not leave this parish as my family has been members of it for three generations. He has changed the renewal of Baptismal Promises to include the line “I renounce the accumulation of material wealth.” He requires the holding of hands during the Our Father. Now his latest innovation is the dramatic acting of the Gospel. I have dealt with the first two with research and finding the exact parts in Church Documents, but the dramatic acting I cannot find. Is there any church document, law, or constitution that forbids the Dramatic Acting of the Gospel?

Sorry, that sounds like it would be obnoxious. But just to clarify, do you mean he has actors and props up there and has them put on a whole little skit, or just that he reads the Gospel with too much dramatic intonation for your taste?

This, by itself, does not seem like a big enough reason for someone to stay in a parish they do not like. It is good to preserve what your ancestors had, but it is more important that you preserve the Faith that has been given to you.

I would write a letter to the bishop to address this problem. I am not sure what you mean by “dramatic acting”, but holding hands during the Our Father is an innovation- not a requirement (and shouldn’t really even be done) and it is unacceptable to add anything to the renewal of the baptismal vows. Renouncing accumulation of material wealth can be a good thing- but the Church does not condemn accumulating material wealth as long as it doesn’t involve greed or the oppression of others. By adding this to the baptismal vow, the priest is changing a public devotion of the Church. In this case, a letter to the bishop seems in order.

We had a priest like this at our parish for 12 years. I decided to stay and do what I could to help the confused parishioners. As time marched on, the number of parishioners and donations in the sunday offering dwindled. We are a shrinking parish now and those left behind are starting to ask why it turned out this way. I know why. Now you know what may come to pass at your parish.

In hindsight, you can write the bishop, however if this bishop placed the priest in the parish, then you may have to assume they are like minded. This is the case in my parish. The bishop did not respond to several serious messages, written concisely and with care.

I write to the bishop still and follow the recommendations of our Church, I copy the congregation of the Doctrine of The Faith (Rome). It has started to make a difference.

Keep the faith! Fight the spiritual battle. It is now time to remove the progressive members from the councils and commissions.

I see nothing wrong with a reminder about potential pitfalls of excess accumulation of material wealth. Jesus afterall told the young rich man to sell his belongings and follow Him. And said it was easier for a camel to pass thru the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven. :shrug:

And holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer is a beautiful sign of a unity in His love.

I hope he’s not disappointed when the collections go down because people stop accumulating wealth.

While people can hold hands at their own discretion, there is, of course, nothing which permits a priest to require such a posture.

The Gospel is to be read by the priest or deacon at the ambo. The only days where multiple speakers can be used are Palm Sunday and Good Friday, and that is only for splitting narration and voices among many readers, not for “dramatic acting”.

Please explain what the priest is doing in his “dramatic acting”.

I don’t think it’s just about preservation. We are entitled to sound Sacraments from our home parish, and rather than just leaving, I say the person should do what he/she can to help.

I would write a letter to the bishop to address this problem. I am not sure what you mean by “dramatic acting”, but holding hands during the Our Father is an innovation- not a requirement (and shouldn’t really even be done) and it is unacceptable to add anything to the renewal of the baptismal vows. Renouncing accumulation of material wealth can be a good thing- but the Church does not condemn accumulating material wealth as long as it doesn’t involve greed or the oppression of others. By adding this to the baptismal vow, the priest is changing a public devotion of the Church. In this case, a letter to the bishop seems in order.

I would first talk to the priest in question. Perhaps no one has “complained” about the changes and therefore thinks that everyone approves. Also, going straight to the “boss” is unprofessional and I can almost guarantee that the first question the bishop asks is if the OP first spoke with the priest. The priest deserves that courtesy.

A well-written letter to your Bishop is in order. It may take time, and others to write as well to achieve results, but do it anyway.

Sorry, for taking so long to reply. The priest means by “Dramatic Acting” of the Gospel that he is going to have actors acting out the Gospel, either as he reads the gospel or him being the narrator, and having the actors act out the parts with speaking roles, he has stated he has not decided which he will do yet.

You and your parish will be in my prayers. With the greatest respect for your priest, he should be doing nothing of the kind. It is totally illicit and a slap in the face of his bishop and indeed of his congregation, who are entitled to have an authentic and licit liturgy, and not "Father Experimental’s Flying Circus’. . .

Remind him he’s entitled to do this once a year during Palm Sunday

:bigyikes:

WOW , that is really all I can say but WOW!!! What is he a protestant? That’s what we used to do when I was a Baptist. I think the Lord should be shown more reverance than that IMHO.

WOW

On children’s mass this may be a powerful way to convey the meaning of the Gospel with the Children. In the medieval ages mystery plays used the same tool. I had seen similar thing in the fifties: first he read the Gospel in Latin (that was the strict rule) but instead of rereading in vernacular, children pays it out as part of the sermon. Kids loved it.

The rubrics against the play as only mean of proclaiming the Gospel, is that only ordained person (priest of deacon) has the right to proclaim the Gospel

  1. By tradition, the function of proclaiming the readings is ministerial, not presidential. The readings, therefore, should be proclaimed by a lector, and the Gospel by a deacon or, in his absence, a priest other than the celebrant. If, however, a deacon or another priest is not present, the priest celebrant himself should read the Gospel. Further, if another suitable lector is also not present, then the priest celebrant should also proclaim the other readings.

nccbuscc.org/liturgy/current/chapter2.shtml#sect3b

My first instinct was to say to go right to the bishop. However, damooster has it correct. Politely talk with the priest and explain your concerns. Use references from the GIRM, CCL, or CC, if applicable, to back up your concerns. If all this fails, then go to the bishop. Until then, the priest does deserve that courtesy.

You should first talk to the priest and then if you get no where go to the Bishop. Remember that Christ calls us to be counter cultural and sometimes even to be persecuted because of His name.

An update, I spoke with my parish priest about the concerns I had with the “dramatic acting” of the Gospel at Mass. He respectfully listened to me, and said that “Several members of the parish have come to me with their concerns. Though I listened to them, I feel it is for the best for the parish, and besides I can make changes to certain parts of the mass.” When I pressed him with Church Documents as was suggested on this forum saying what he was doing was not allowed, he replied “You do not have all the information”. I then respectfully told him I was going to write the Bishop on the matter, which he replied “It is your right to do so; however I would expect anything to come from your complaint.” He then suggested a nearby parish where he says “Catholics like you would be happier”

Good for you. I’m glad it was a respectful meeting.

I wonder why he thinks it’s best. Has anyone come and expressed their support of this idea? What about the parish makes him think this is necessary or beneficial?

But did he show you the information he has which permits him to do this? Probably not.

What sort of Catholic is that?

It was good of you to contact the priest first. Chalk this up to experience.

When a priest is this far out on the limb, forget about dialogue, you need intervention. The only way to get it is to go up the ladder high and fast. You have to start writing to the bishop but expect no response. You then can go straight to Congregation of The Doctrine of The Faith (CDF).

You need to understand, our church in certain parishes and diocese has been overrun. Dialogue is a polite step to take but know you need much more. You can consider these religious leaders as having “taken over” the faith in the area.

Stand your ground and fight back!

Keep recording all instances of deviation from the faith in the mass and especially the homily. Write it down and send it out to the community and the CDF. After several years, attendance will dwindle to the point that the collection is way behind (in the red). Then you will be at the start of reform.

Get orthodox faith filled people setup to take over the bulletin, liturgical ministry, lector positions, etc.

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