Reporting Liturgical Infractions

This question is for all.

Have any of you or someone close you, personally reported Liturgical infractions that have occurred in yours or another church parish ???

My main curiosity is not the process and what is suggested that you do, but rather, what was your actual experience as well as the results you got from reporting it…thanks!!!

(no, i don’t have anyone to turn in …LOL!!!):slight_smile:

I simply informed the priest and he changed accordingly. :slight_smile:

We were at a really big home Mass and they were going to use a wine glass as the chalice because the portable “Mass-kit” chalice was too small and I kindly said that the use of a wine glass would not be acceptable.

I personally reported a pretty major issue involving EMHCs to one of the orthodox priests in my parish.

It involved the “liturgical committee director” informing the EMHCs that they should cleanse the cup and patten with paper towels instead of purificators because the people that washed the purificators were complaining there were to many purificators being used.

The priest was actually shocked that it was even suggested, everyone went back to using purificators.

Of course under the new requirements, no longer allowing the EMHCs to clean the cup and patten, this won’t be an issue at all.

That’s right up there with EMHC’s wiping their hands on their pants when they are done distributing. :frowning:

Occasionally you get people who like to complain about their parish priest.

Normally I feel this does more harm than good. It easily turns into a vehicle for agendas, whilst we are there to learn and the priest to teach us. It is the bishop’s job to make sure that liturgical norms are followed, not the man in the pew’s to complain about the design of the chalice, or choice of person as eucharistic minister, or whatever.
However it is also our responsibility to make sure that we personally are not contributing to a situation in which I priest feels he has to tolerate abuses or risk alienating his congregation. In particular, Bishop Arthur recently clamped down on some abuses concerning distribution of the eucharist to the sick. Instead of simply obeying, some eucharistic ministers decided that they knew better than the bishop what the protocol should be. It didn’t help matters that the parish priest refused to admit that these instructions had come from the bishop and said that they were all his own rules, but that wasn’t really the point. Sometimes it is best to tolerate another’s infraction of a rule, but if someone with authority is insisting that a rule be adhered to, it must always be adhered to.

I disagree wholeheartedly. Unless we take the initiative to report, how is the Bishop supposed to find out in the first place? Especially in larger Dioceses?? Also, the GIRM specifies where there is wiggle room or not and if the practice is in blatant contradiction then it’s not a matter of “I have the authority over the Pastor or Bishop” but that “the GIRM carries the authority of Rome and should be held as such.”

I have and it was to the Pastor in a letter. It involved the Mass Setting that the “Music Minister” instituted. It butchered the Glorial so much that it headed towards violate the licity of that part of the Mass. It took a couple of weeks, but it looks like that setting has been dropped. Good thing because I was about to report it to the Archdiocese.

“Don’t report” isn’t meant as an abolsute rule, just as a general guide.
The bishop ought to know what is going on. A specific incident isn’t normally too important, but if it is really serious, then there would be a case for an exception. If there is a pattern of abuse, the bishop will be clued up to it, unless he is unusually other-worldly.

You can let Rome and the diosecan bishop argue about the precise extent of each other’s authority. Unless the bishop has been formally declared to be in schism, no one in the Vatican will blame you for following his instructions.

Very seldomn does a blatant liturgical abuse move beyond a particular parish. Also, there’s a chain of command when reporting incidents and a simple discussion with a liturgist or a priest can be the end of it, such as the case I noted. I’m not sure why you feel like reporting liturgical abuses has to be immediately escalated to undermining the authority of the Bishop.

You were claiming that the GIRM overrides the authority of the bishop. No doubt you are correct, but that’s the type of question it is best to leave to the bishops and Pope to sort out amongst themselves.
Pope Benedict is not going to blame you for following your parish priest and bishop, even if he thinks that, in this particular case, the local authority is in the wrong.

What you are saying is in direct conflict with Redemptionis Sacramentum.

183. 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 favoritism.

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.290 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.

Its one thing to complain about small matters, minor issues, or personality issues with a priest, EMHC, etc. It’s a totally different thing to tolerate major liturgical abuses.

Just remember that you should always take up an issue with the pastor/priest first because if you go immediately to the Bishop he will just point you back to the respective person before doing anything.

I only offered the GIRM as a general, authoritative, guide when it comes to liturgical abuses. I’m not trying to garner support for second guessing the Bishopric. It is important for us as the faithful to right wrongs and go about the proper channels of doing so. 99.9% of all liturgical problems will be worked out well before ever having to butt-heads with the Bishop and my suggestion was not meant to target the Bishop, just that if you stick with the GIRM, it shouldn’t be a matter of who’s authority is higher. With the GIRM at your side, a liturgist or priest can’t simply discard you as a know-nothing, no-say, random Joe or Jane.

Maybe.
I think not all the implications have been thought through in the Vatican document.

It is importnat that lay people should have the right to make a complaint. In Western democratic countries we also expect that our voice should be heard. However Mass should not be a forum for traditionalists to battle trendies.

Let’s take an energetic parish priest who thinks that the way to get young people into church is to make the service as informal as possible. Now personally I disagree that this is effective. A bit of advice, if it can be phrased tactfully and constructively, might not go amiss. What young men respond to is formality, not some guy with a beard strumming “Abba Father” on a guitar.

However the last thing that that parish needs is endless petty complaints to the bishop. The priest deserves support from good and enthusiastic members.

I’m sure the Vatican knew exactly what they were saying when they put that in the document. Everyone is entitled to a Mass that conforms to standards as set for in RS and the GIRM. Priests are not supposed to be taking liberties with the Mass and if Priests are taking major liberties with the Mass then it is up to people to first confront the priest in a charitable manner outside of Mass, then the pastor then the bishop.

As I said before this doesn’t apply to minor things (i.e. you don’t like the individual songs the priest is picking, you don’t like the content of the homilies, there may be 1 to many EMHCs, etc.) but for major things you are in your right to complain to the proper people. Also assumed is that the person is using proper charity and compassion when making those complaints.

Let’s take an energetic parish priest who thinks that the way to get young people into church is to make the service as informal as possible. Now personally I disagree that this is effective. A bit of advice, if it can be phrased tactfully and constructively, might not go amiss. What young men respond to is formality, not some guy with a beard strumming “Abba Father” on a guitar.

Priests are not supposed to be taking liberties with the Mass, outside of changes to optional parts of the Mass. There are other ways to get people interested. It’s funny the most effective priests at my parish have also been the newest and most Orthodox priests in the area.

However the last thing that that parish needs is endless petty complaints to the bishop. The priest deserves support from good and enthusiastic members.

Agreed that a priest doesn’t need petty complaints and priests need support. But if the complaints are about things that aren’t petty, the priests need to be given an opportunity to explain themselves and make it right, and if not then complaints should go up the chain in an appropriate and charitable manner.

Yes, I know of infractions, and some out-and-out abuses, brought to the priest’s attention and nothing was done. Letters from several parshioners to the bishop brought no response, so a letter was drafted and sent to Cardinal Arinze, but nobody expects a sudden visit from Rome.

Well I’m certainly glad that you have no one to turn in.

I won’t get into details about the actual terrible abuses I witnessed. I will say I did manage to immediately report all the discrepencies I witnessed

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