Sunday, July 20, 2014

No more lay preaching in the Diocese of Rochester

As I expected, our new Bishop, Salvatore Matano, has made it clear lay people (including women religious) should not be preaching during the time for the homily.

This has been an ongoing abuse in this diocese. The most blatant examples included lay people speaking the entire homily time - that was partly curtailed by our previous Bishop. But priests tried to get around it (with diocesan "acceptance," or least lack of enforcement) by having the priest or deacon speak for a minute or two, giving the "homily," then letting the lay person speak the rest of the time.

The abuse has always bugged me. I got caught in one situation last year where I was asked to lector, and then the priest engaged in a "dialogue homily" with a seminarian residing at the parish. The seminarian - not yet a deacon - was asked questions, and spent most of the homily time responding to the questions. A fudging of the rules, and, to my mind, a clear violation. That was the last time I agreed to lector.

I wonder what other changes/corrections are coming? I know at my parish the priest wants us to stand during the Eucharistic Prayer. The national norm is to kneel unless there's a good pastoral reason to stand - such as lack of kneelers, or Masses in places like gyms (we had to do that while our church building was being repaired). The other weekday the priest stopped the Mass and told those of us who were kneeling to stand. I did, but I have not been back since.

I play with the contemporary music group at that parish, but we'll only play once a month. I'll show up for that, but I will not rejoin the regular choir or attend that church until the kneeling is instituted. I'm hoping the Bishop will instruct the priest to do that; the Bishop is scheduled to say Mass at the parish in August, and if he sees people standing he might say something. I hope.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping the Bishop will join us for one of our pro-life events. 40 Days for Life this fall would be good!

Pax et bonum

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