Sunday, September 23, 2012
Post Homily lay speaker (liturgical abuse)
Today at Mass we got a sample of the kind of practices that have crept into the Diocese of Rochester and led to complaints about our now retired bishop, Matthew Clark, and indeed may have helped to lead to the apparent reprimand he received when Pope Benedict accepted his retirement.
Our priest gave his homily, then called up the new head of the parish council to speak to the people about the parish council. It was still during the time of the homily - a clear violation of liturgical norms. There are places during the Mass when a lay person can speak, such as the time after Communion. That would have been an appropriate time in this instance, as what the parish council head had to say was informational in nature.
Fortunately, he did not preach about the readings, as this would have been even less appropriate.
In our diocese, lay people were allowed to preach for many years, until the diocese started enforcing the rules - though one has to wonder if it did so only after multiple complaints to the Vatican may have drawn a response. But the way some parishes in the diocese have gotten around the rules is by having the priest/deacon preach a short homily, and then call up a lay person to deliver a message.
Trying to fudge the rules.
Bishop Clark did nothing obvious to curtail such questionable actions. Pope Benedict accepted his retirement this past week in an unusually speedy time - just two months - and appointed an administrator ( a nearby bishop) rather than naming a new bishop. Unless there's some added circumstances to which we are not privy - illness, for example - the move came across as a clear reprimand for what's been happening here.
And here we are, just two days later, with yet another liturgical abuse.
I wonder how long it will be before we get a new bishop, and the norms are (hopefully) enforced?
Pax et bonum