You know about the hijinx in Brisbane’s St. Mary’s Church over the persistent use of invalid baptismal forms despite the instruction of the CDF and local Archbishop.
Recently we had an entry on this here.
This is from CathNews.
St Mary’s South Brisbane churchgoer, Richard Stokes, has asked police to press charges against parish priest Fr Peter Kennedy after a mobile phone camera was knocked from his hand at a baptism yesterday.
Mr Stokes has written to the Vatican and to Brisbane Archbishop John Bathersby in a campaign to have St Mary’s and Fr Kennedy, follow official protocols or be removed from the church, The Australian reports.
Yesterday, after travelling 40 minutes from his home in Caboolture to attend Sunday Mass at St Mary’s, Mr Stokes stayed behind to watch some baptisms, which have brought the church into controversy on previous occasions. [Obviously the fellow was hunting up more dirt on the priest.]
Incensed that a priest was performing baptisms in casual clothes, and not his vestments, Mr Stokes positioned himself to take a photo on his mobile phone, whereupon Fr Kennedy allegedly knocked the phone from his hand, The Australian says.
Fr Kennedy, who was not performing the baptisms but has had previous encounters with Mr Stokes, would not comment on the incident yesterday.
Mr Stokes, who was not hurt and put his phone back together, said: "I saw a blur out of the corner of my eye and then bang, the mobile phone was knocked out of my hand and on to the ground," Mr Stokes said.
"It all happened so quickly."
Fr Kennedy’s supporters say Mr Stokes was being deliberately provocative [well... that's sound like it is indeed the case...] and ignored pleas by parishioners and the children’s families not to cause trouble.
After being hustled out of the church, and admonished by parishioners, Mr Stokes and his supporters went to a nearby police station where they made an assault complaint and asked that charges be laid.
Parish row leads to police report (The Australian, 13/10/08)
Brisbane church’s controversial baptism (CathNews, 6/10/08)
A couple things must be said here.
First, something like this happens because the parish hasn’t been definitively put in order. Until that happens, this sort of thing is likely to occur again.
Baptisms are not "secret" events, but they aren’t exactly public either. They are, … but they are not.
I don’t know how things are in Australia, but in my native place, it is illegal to disturb a religious service.
Sometimes people suggest to me that there should be individuals or even teams who go around to places and record liturgical abuses in such a way that the recordings and accounts can be proofs useful to the CDF or CDW.
I am of two minds about that.
First, if a parish/priest is doing what is required, there is no reason to worry about recordings, etc. Of course there are aberrations from time to time, but if they are not representative of what goes on in a place, that is not a problem.
The biggest problems in my mind come from the fact that not everyone who thinks he knows what ought to be done really knows very much at all. Also, if a person is going into a church with a malicious or a "gotchya" attitude… well… that’s a problem.
It is hard to know what to do, however, in the face of persistent abuses or even invalid sacraments, which are not being corrected despite repeated reoprts and requests of the faithful. The faithful too have both the right to sound worship and valid sacraments and they have the responsibility to make problems known.
6. Complaints Regarding Abuses in Liturgical Matters
[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 favouritism.
[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. 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.
"… in truth and charity…"
First, work up the ladder if you can.
Second, do what you do in truth and charity.
Third, consult a sound spiritual director before you undertake anything like this. Don’t fool yourself that in your zeal you are actually acting in charity. Do not fall into self-righteousness.