Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Another Parish, Another Letter

July 29th, 2013, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

Last week I had a conversation with someone on the importance of writing letters to the proper authorities.  Sometimes it can get discouraging to write letters over and over again, but you never know if it might pay off.  It is our duty as lay people to follow the proper course of action.  Coincidentally, I attended mass this past weekend at a parish I’ve never attended before and there were some pretty serious deviations from the rubrics of the mass.  So, another parish, another letter.

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12 Responses to “Another Parish, Another Letter”

  1. avatar Scott W. says:

    Maybe there isn’t enough joy in your letters. :rolleyes

    Seriously, a letter written and ignored or dismissed is better than keeping silent when the very stones should be shouting out. Granted, I suspect bishop must be inundated with letters about problems in his diocese that range from the picayune to the gravely serious and it can’t always be clear how to “triage” these things. But more than once I’ve seen a story where a bishop said he had no idea something was going on and was thankful for the information. There are lots of good shepherds out there, and that gives me courage and JOY. 🙂

  2. avatar Richard Thomas says:

    I met my fill-in postman and when he told me he had read my letters in the local Catholic newspaper, I realized I might have something useful to do. So I now write letters to the editor of several diocesan newspapers. When I hear a homily concerning sexual or other issues, I write an encouraging letter to the priest. When I experience something bad, I also let my opinion be known.

  3. avatar Jim says:

    Just be aware that it may take several months or even years to hear back for a response from the Vatican. The situation of St. Thomas the Apostle Church’s status is a good example. We’ve been waiting to hear back about its potential opening or closing since 2010. Me thinks the Vatican takes its sweet old time in responding. So be sure to practice the virtue of patience, and above all, just keep on praying and praying and praying, and when you think your done, just keep on praying some more….

  4. avatar JLo says:

    I think it should be noted that one first approaches the celebrant, then the pastor (if he wasn’t the celebrant). If the deviation from the GIRM continues, then one contacts the bishop, nuncio, etc. You should also understand that most bishops will copy the priest you are reporting on, as he should, to give the cleric an opportunity to remedy. +JMJ

  5. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    good point, JLo. Yep, I started with the celebrant in this case and it’s good to be explicit about the proper ordering.

  6. avatar Ron says:

    I’ve actually seen some people have success – both in going to the celebrant, and in appealing to the diocese. I’ve found sometimes people in the parishes were simply following the lead of the diocese, and were reasonable when approached in a respectful way.

  7. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    Jim,
    good points. What I’ve experienced in my life is that I go wrong when I spend too much time worrying about the results. Instead, I’ve learned that I must resign myself to God’s will and not worry about the outcome. What is important is that I do my duty with joy and in union with Christ. That is all He asks of us.

  8. avatar obmark3 says:

    It seems that Sacred Heart has completely abandoned the Profession of Faith. They even have the Apostles’ Creed printed in their weekly cards.

  9. avatar Ben Anderson says:

    It seems that Sacred Heart has completely abandoned the Profession of Faith. They even have the Apostles’ Creed printed in their weekly cards.

    You mean they’re saying the Apostles’ Creed instead of the Nicene Creed? If so, that’s legit.

    http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/order-of-mass/liturgy-of-the-word/index.cfm

    In many Masses, the Profession of Faith then follows the homily, either the Nicene or Apostles’ Creed. The Nicene Creed is a statement of faith dating from the fourth century, while the Apostles’ Creed is the ancient baptismal creed of the Church in Rome. If baptismal promises are renewed, from a formula based on the Apostles’ Creed, this takes the place of the Creed.

  10. avatar obmark3 says:

    I know either is acceptable, I just thought it interesting that they went as far as printing the Apostles’ Creed. When the Cathedral does something, it always makes me wonder.

  11. avatar Hopefull says:

    My perception is that the Apostles’ Creed is encouraged for Children’s Masses, First Communions, School Masses and the like. But while both are allowed, the Nicene Creed is much more widely used at Mass. (I don’t know what the Roman Missal instruction says….it would be interesting to know.)

    Here is an alternative take on the routine substitution of the Apostles Creed for the Nicene Creed. During the years that the USCCB dragged its feet on making and/or agreeing with proposed changes to the Roman Missal (while, some would say, their trade-marked supply of then-current Roman Missals got used up), the deepest point of argument seemed to be the use of the word “consubstantial” in the Nicene Creed. EWTN aired at least two days of the floor debate and I remember being appalled. The leader of the opposition to the word “consubstantial” seemed to be Cardinal Mahony of LA (yes, the same Mahony who has fallen into such disrpute over how pedophilia had been handled there). I remember a moment one afternoon when he blurted out, in seeming anger and frustration, that the American people are too stupid? unlearned? illiterate? (some word that left that impression) to understand what the word consubstantial means!

    I don’t think any word, any change, divided the USCCB’s input as much as that word, and the subsequent vote to go along with consubstatial (recommended by Rome.) Anger would not be an over-exaggeration. Now I am wondering, less than 2 years after receiving the new Roman Missal and with a new Pope misunderstood as being liberal, if using only the Apostles’ Creed at Mass, even though allowed, is a veiled protest or not. (Like using God instead of “He” in certain prayers by those favoring women’s ordination.) Does anyone else have a take on the REASON for being technically compliant but out of step with the practice of most Catholic Churches?

  12. avatar Jim says:

    Sorry for the lateness of this reply, Ben, but you are right. It’s just that we who belonged to St. Thomas the Apostle Parish have been going through the mill for so many years now, that we are beginning to ask: “How Long, Oh Lord, How Long?”


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