QUAERITUR: Of blasphemy and sacrilege during Mass

From a reader:

The pastor at a local parish has used a “super-soaker” water gun during the sprinkling rite at Mass on several occasions. In a conversation with a parishioner from the parish, I incorrectly described the act as “blasphemous.” I have two questions: (i) Do my remarks constitute grave sin?; and (ii) ought I to contact the other person and amend my description?

Super-soaker?  What is this? A kiddie party?  Did also he wear big red shoes and jump around like an idiot? Was there a cake?

Let’s not even mention damage to clothing, the parishes books, anger of the congregants, etc.

I am not entirely sure you have to correct your remarks.

Blasphemy involves words or gestures, also thoughts, which show contempt for God or dishonor God regardless of whether the person intends that contempt or dishonor or not.  Blasphemy is against the virtue of religion and a mortal sin.  Blasphemy is direct when it is aimed at God.  It is indirect when aimed at Holy Church or the saints or any sacred thing or person or place.  It seems to me that what that priest did, whether he intended it or not, by the mere fact of doing it, was a kind of indirect blasphemy.  He detracted from God’s honor indirectly by debasing the rite and the people.

As an aside: a deadly sort of blasphemy concerns the Holy Spirit (cf. Matthew 12, 31-32).  This  ghastly sin attributes God’s works to the Enemy and which also concerns the denial of the Holy Spirit the power or will to purify and forgive leading to final impenitence and hardness of heart.  That sort of sin cannot be forgiven because the person rejects forgiveness.  But that sort of blasphemy has nothing to do with what the questioner described.  I hope.

Sacrilege, also a sin against the virtue of religion, is the improper or irreverent treatment of something sacred (persons, places, things, etc.).  Sacrilege can take various forms including acts of violence, or vandalism, or purposeful harm, such as using something sacred for a sinful purpose or monetary gain.

Our Blessed Lord purified the sacred space of the Temple when he found improper things within and improper conduct.  I think there is a touch of both of blasphemy and of sacrilege in the ordained priest, alter Christus, head of the Eucharistic assembly, using a “super-soaker” in church during the sacred action of Holy Church’s liturgical worship among the congregation of baptized members of Christ’s Mystical Body.  The blasphemy would come from the gestures which would detract from the honor due to God, and the holy rites of the Church as well in an important matter.  The sacrilege would lie in the mistreatment of the sacred rites of the church and the insulting, condescension with which he treated God’s holy people gathered within a sacred space.  Beyond that, it was beneath everyone’s dignity.

Keep in mind that some single actions can result in more than one sin.  This is important for your examination of conscience before confession.  And there should be an app for that.

For example, if you belt a priest in the chops, and he is not at the moment physically attacking you, you commit the sin of unjustifiable violence against your neighbor, but also the sin of sacrilege.  If someone else is present, you may have scandalized the person.  If you do it during Mass, it is even worse.

Remember that when you are watching especially stupid and insulting liturgical abuses such using a super-soaker during Mass.

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73 Responses to QUAERITUR: Of blasphemy and sacrilege during Mass

  1. Banjo pickin girl says:

    That is an especially egregious tning. Wow. I once joked about doing such a thing as a Methodist and even the Methodists didn’t think it was funny.

  2. disco says:

    If only the deacon had been wearing his beretta…

  3. skull kid says:

    A few Sundays ago, a football was carried up during the offertory. The priest, for a laugh, played the ball across the sanctuary. That seems to be in the same ballpark as the supersoaker I would say.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    Oh my goodness, and I thought using Native American sweet-grass was bad, which happens here, and in other trendy Midwest parishes. I do think you need to speak with the priest and then the bishop, and I am sure you will not be the only one. God forgive this priest. Do these men not understand what a “solemn profession” they have? Do they not realize their very hands are sacred?

  5. gatorchant says:

    I have not seen the aspergillum-watergun, but it wouldn’t surprise me from the way I have seen some priests perform the sprinkling rite. At my home parish, one of our younger priests will intentionally sprinkle certain parishioners (usually children) repeatedly or continuously, for comedic effect. At another parish, I have seen two priests get into a “sprinkling fight” during Mass on Easter Sunday, again for comedic effect. I have never felt comfortable with these behaviors, but are they sacrilegious? [If they are trying to turn the rite into a joke or entertainment, it probably is.]

  6. Let’s keep the “I once saw….” stories to a minimum.

  7. SimonDodd says:

    Counting down to the first “you would never see this at an EF Mass comment”: 5-4-3…

  8. Tony Layne says:

    I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I’ve never been to an EF mass. (Sorry to spoil the countdown, Simon!) That kind of irreverence—from a priest yet!—would have me on the computer writing to the chancery as soon as I got home. There’s simply no valid or reasonable excuse for it.

  9. Centristian says:

    “Counting down to the first “you would never see this at an EF Mass comment”: 5-4-3…”

    What surprises me is that any parish actually uses the sprinkling rite, much less mocks it. I cannot tell you the last time I encountered the sprinkling rite at Mass.

  10. Jack Hughes says:

    When I can get to a Missa Cantanta I confess that I continually have to remind myself of the solenmnity of the asperges, I also have prolems remembering the solemnity of Mass in new Rite when priests extend their arms in a manner resembling ‘ come here I want to give you a hug’ during the “Lord be with you”; it may just be me but I prefer hand joined in prayer, eyes lowered 1/3 turn and ‘Domminus Vobiscum’.

    So much in the new rite is irreverent ………………….

  11. Legisperitus says:

    So many priests seem to have forgotten that the salvation of souls is deadly serious business. Maybe the corrected translation will help in this regard…

  12. EXCHIEF says:

    Why is it that so many priests think it is all about them and all about their popularity and thus do such attention getting things? Did they not ever get the point that it is about reverent worship of God and that God is to be the center of attention not them?

  13. frjim4321 says:

    I would think that the use of a super soaker water gun would undermine the rite completely. “Sprinkling” and “shooting” are two entirely different things. The presence of weapons in church (guns, knives, swords) is very inappropriate.

  14. Titus says:

    Blasphemy involves words or gestures, also thoughts, which show contempt for God or dishonor God regardless of whether the person intends that contempt or dishonor or not.

    Pardon, Father, but perhaps you could clarify something: I had always heard that acts showing contempt for God or holy persons or things constituted the venial sin of profanity if done without the intent to be contemptuous, and only constituted the grave sin of blasphemy if done with that intent. Might you say something about the affect, if any, of the difference of intent?

  15. teomatteo says:

    I just dont believe it…. i’m not saying someone is fibbing… i’m saying : I don’t believe it could happen!

  16. Nora says:

    … and here I was, dreading the salt “stains” from salt and water sprinkling through the Easter season…

  17. I second Titus’ question. Help me wrap my legalistic brain around this. Is blasphemy, then, sort of a general intent crime where the intent to do the act constitutes the guilty mindset, regardless of the specific result intended? For example, and by analogy: is it like battery, where you have to intend to do the unlawful/offensive touching, regardless of whether you intend to put the other person in the hospital?

  18. SimonDodd says:

    Centristian, my parish does it throughout Easter. From your comment, I wonder if that is unusual?

  19. The Egyptian says:

    disco says:
    If only the deacon had been wearing his beretta…
    —————————-
    My first thought,
    sad as that is,
    sigh
    :=(

  20. Giambattista says:

    I watched this EXACT same thing happen in the spring of 1996. The pastor wouldn’t shoot people directly, but rather, shoot the stream of water in the air and it would seem like it was “raining” when the water came back down and hit the congregation. This was the last straw for me. I left the parish and have been a Trad ever since.

    To be fair, I must admit this particular priest left the priesthood years later for reasons other than using a super-soaker on a regular basis (I was told he continued to use the super-soaker for some time after I left).

  21. Mark01 says:

    Is it EVER appropriate to stand up at mass and say that something is being done that should not be (in terms of the liturgy) or should you always wait until afterwards? [After.]

  22. digdigby says:

    I am a convert, I have only been to an NO mass twice to fulfill my obligations. I can say that the primary focus was on the relaxed, feel-good, happy-jokey ‘we’re all just folks’ ambiance which could easily accommodate such water gun behavior. I don’t know what was going on (I often don’t know what’s going on at the Extraordinary either but at least I know what’s going on is tremendous) but clothing, attitudes, postures, music where very casual and relaxed and not at all ‘threatening’ or ‘serious’. There was this fifty-something woman, obviously family-less as she sat alone, who would get up in a pants suit (of almost antiquarian interest) and read the epistle, and often interrupt the priest to make jokes and ‘insightful comments’ and seemed to be the center of attention. There was always a prayer at the end for vocations though I can’t imagine a young man wanting to take vows of chastity to be the straight man for Pants Suit Lady From Hell.

  23. michesmi says:

    …..just another example of “someone” in the Church trying to make the Church “fit in” to today’s society!!!!!

  24. Nora says:

    LOL, diddigby. I know for a fact that I am not the Pants Suit Lady From Hell, but posts like yours always make me wonder what I do from ignorance or lack of recollection that makes other folks crazy

  25. canon1753 says:

    Exchief I think a lot of priests act goofy because of pressure and formation to make liturgy relevant. Plus when you are the center of attention sometimes priest do silly things for a laugh. Note, I am not perfect, I will crack a joke in a homily and I have to shut myself up at announcement time, but Mass is serious business. I wonder if Mass was ad orientum if that would help (though not with the sprinkling rite).

  26. Centristian says:

    “Pants Suit Lady From Hell.”

    In tears. Absolutely in tears.

  27. Massachusetts Catholic says:

    Would it be an appropriate response to pull out a cell phone camera and start taking photos of the blasphemous behavior, so as to have a record to present to the pastor/bishop, etc.? Or would that it itself be an interruption of the service, since it would probably draw people’s attention?

  28. Frank H says:

    Massachusetts, my guess is with the attention of the congregation focused on the soaker-shooting priest, no one would notice your cell phone camera. In a similar situation, I hope I would take some pictures then quietly step out of the pew, genuflect, and depart.

  29. APX says:

    A Super Soaker? Umm…wow… Those aren’t exactly designed for “sprinkling” seeing how they’re intended for massive water fights, not for use in a Church setting.

    That said, the priest might have thought he’d have a better “sprinkling” range with a Super Soaker thus making more people feel included in the Asperges. It was still inappropriate, but it might have been the result of poor judgement as opposed to a malicious attack on the sacredness of Mass.

    Thanks for posting this. I never really understood what blasphemy or sacrilege was exactly.

  30. Precentrix says:

    @digdigby:

    “I don’t know what was going on (I often don’t know what’s going on at the Extraordinary either but at least I know what’s going on is tremendous)”

    I love that!!!

  31. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Father, in cope at the altar, intones antiphon “Asperges me” (Vidi Aquam in Paschal time). Choir and congregation continue “Domine hyssopo…” as Father with altar server walks down the aisle sprinkling congregation on one side of the aisle, pauses and bows for “Gloria Patri…..” and walks back up the aisle sprinkling congregation on the other side. Congregation repeats antiphon up to Psalm. At altar Father sings : “Ostende nobis….., etc.” congregation sings responses. Father goes to Epistle side where chasuble awaits, folded on a chair, takes off cope, changes, goes to the foot of the altar, “Introibo ad altare Dei…..”and Simon, I never mentioned EF. Oops!

  32. Dirichlet says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this, and I had been attending the NO mass during most of my life until just recently that I became a Trad.

    Of course, these abuses have to be reported.

  33. Tradster says:

    The pastor in my former NO parish didn’t use a soaker (thank God) but delighted in using a huge, overly-saturated sponge on a stick to drench everyone while the cantor warbled out a truly horrendous “Rain Down”. The reason I mention this is because I always felt a bit uncomfortable about all that blessed water all over the floor and walked upon.

  34. P.McGrath says:

    I somehow remember a video of such an incident — a Super-Soaker used as an aspergillum — ages ago, but I can’t seem to find it — searches on YouTube and Google Video have come up blank.

  35. asperges says:

    When one reads just what the poor faithful are subjected to in some places, as noted above, one can but admire the fact that they have scuples at all or a delicate conscience.

  36. uh oh, better trash that pants suit!

  37. PghCath says:

    Note to priests: if your parish is short on cash and you can’t afford a new sprinkling set, please know there are more dignified alternatives than a Super Soaker. I’ve seen a priest use a simple bucket and paint brush with good effect. As long as the brush isn’t huge, it spreads the same amount of water as the more commonly-seen metal sprinklers. I thought this was weird when I saw it, but Jesus was a carpenter…

  38. Mitchell NY says:

    I would stand up and walk out after being shot with this thing. That would be scene enough without words. We are obligated since Vat II to do something about abuses. If this can in any way be considered or linked to blasphemy inside a Church I would want no part of it.

  39. Dr. K says:

    We had the same problem with a campus minister in Rochester:

    http://cleansingfiredor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/BlastOTheSpirit.jpg

  40. chironomo says:

    Whatever was this Priest thinking? That this would be “funny”? Maybe to break the monotony of the liturgy (although it’s at the beginning, so how monotonous could it have been?). Why not a Cub Cadet 6HP Power Washer (mine throws a good 100-150ft on the “stream” setting and can rain on the entire backyard at once on the broad setting), and the noise would drown out the cantor’s “Rain Down” at the same time.

  41. teomatteo says:

    The OF mass we normaly attend hasn’t gotten to that ‘soaker gun’ yet but it could happen with the trajectory i’ve seen. I took my 9 year old son to an EF mass and on our way out i asked him what he thought of the latin mass. “They’re serious about God” was what I heard him say. Perfect

  42. albizzi says:

    PghCath,
    A paint brush lacks dignity.
    A tree bough would look more appropriate and easier to get quickly.
    Don’t you think so?

  43. APX says:

    Note to priests: if your parish is short on cash and you can’t afford a new sprinkling set, please know there are more dignified alternatives than a Super Soaker. I’ve seen a priest use a simple bucket and paint brush with good effect.

    We just use a cedar shrub branch one of the holy water bowls. Seems to work just fine and more cost effective seeing how every guy and his dog has a cedar shrub here.

  44. Philangelus says:

    My experience with being on the other end of a branch is that one lucky parishioner gets super-blessed because all the holy water gets sprayed in one straight line, and no one else gets sprinkled. I remember watching Father M. do this at one of my parishes and fighting the urge to duck and cover.

  45. benedetta says:

    So narcissistic, these liturgical experiments and foolishness. Perhaps it takes self-discipline on the part of the priest celebrating the NO to resist every single strange thought and possibility and inventiveness that comes to mind. I think the celebrity and tv culture we are in can seduce people into thinking that it is all about them and what drama, mugging, and stand-up comedy they can personally bring to it and dream up, to the maximum extent. Meanwhile, the beauty of the faith in music, art, word, gesture, architecture, so many legitimate expressions, have often been ignored. Those usually do require a communal effort and active participation whereas this sort of thing is more an aspect of dictatorship over the laity, of an unfortunate personality.

  46. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Mark01, One can envision a more sensitive soul screaming and fainting.

  47. jules1 says:

    Sometimes it is not even words or actions that offend. It can be inaction, and attitude. Some priests are burnt out and when they need to respond or lead or say something positive/powerful/assertive they are silent. I hope the up and coming new generation of priests will be courageous.

  48. digdigby says:

    Sorry about the pants suit jibe, didn’t mean to make any women feel shoddy. Actually I sometimes prefer pants suits to really really bad ‘Little House on the Latin Prairie’ dresses.
    I’ve gotten ‘asperged’ every Sunday and even up in the fourth row of a cathedral never felt so much as one drop of hyssop. It’s ‘symbolic’ I guess – OOOPS there’s that naughty word!

  49. Legisperitus says:

    I can remember my grandfather some 25 years ago saying the only “value” left in America was entertainment. I think he was quoting a priest.

  50. PghCath says:

    albizzi: The parish was a poor urban one with nary a blade of grass in sight. Moreover, the paint brush was new and only used for the sprinkling of holy water.

    Was the situation ideal? No. But I would hardly say that it lacks dignity. That’s like saying that having Mass on the hood of a Jeep lacks dignity. It all depends on your situation. . .

  51. Margaret says:

    One of our priests is a highly enthusiastic sprinkler, and has quite a decent arm, I must say. But he uses the appropriate liturgical equipment, and performs the rite with complete decorum.

    My toddler, on the other hand, has taken note of this enthusiastic sprinkling, and attempted to replicate it at home, using the toilet bowl brush and the (ahem) source of water easiest for him to reach.

  52. jfm says:

    I double checked the date, as I thought it must be April 1 not March 1, when I read about the holy water squirt gun.
    Life always winds up being weirder than fiction.

  53. Again, we see somebody trying to pile everything and the kitchen sink into Mass.

    It’s right that a priest should want his parish to have fun; but Mass isn’t the time and place. If he would just wait until an appropriate baptism-related feast during summer, he could have a massive parish water fight outside after Mass (as is entirely traditional in the hotter countries), with every splash and Super Soaker and water balloon becoming a reminder of how happy we are to have been baptized. It would be educational and Catholic, and fun would be more fun for being devotional. Instead, this.

    Re: weapons in church — If you’re the Swiss Guard, the Knights of Columbus, or similar, they are entirely proper. There are other situations, too. But yes, you could certainly argue that a priest carrying even a fake gun in church during Mass has unfortunate overtones of, say, Pope Julian. But more, it seems to be an act of someone wielding tyrannical power over his flock rather than shepherding them and helping them become ritually clean. Using a Super Soaker on those who have no Super Soakers of their own is the act of a one-way prankster who likes his victims helpless. (Of course, if you really want that bully feel, bring out the firehoses and police dogs for your next Asperging! High tech!) I’m sure that such connotations have never entered such priests’ minds, though.

  54. Henry Edwards says:

    Using a Super Soaker on those who have no Super Soakers of their own is the act of a one-way prankster who likes his victims helpless.

    Hmm . . . A connection lurking somewhere here between liturgical abuse and sexual abuse? Is it basically narcissism, however it’s manifested?

  55. Animadversor says:

    Well, I’m usually pretty good at spotting manifestations of sacerdotal narcissism—even when maybe they’re not really there—but this isn’t hard. Lord, take away their thrones, give us back the sedilia and the scamna! That will be a good beginning for everything else.

    Do we, though, perhaps enjoy these reports of liturgical aberrations a bit too much: Deus, gratias ago tibi quia non sum sicut ceteri hominum.

    To add, though, to the general gaiety, have a look at this, found at “PEREGRINUS GASOLINUS: Wandering Notes on the Liturgy”:

    You really ought to have the job they tell me some Chamberlain has in Rome, to watch the Pope saying Mass, write down the ceremonial errors he makes, and present the pagellum to His Holiness afterwards for repudiation, lest said errors should be taken as precedents by those who assist.

    It is lovely to think that this practice ever existed. Does anyone know? Se non è vero, è ben trovato. That it did exist, or even that this writer thought it well to invent it, ought to be an encouragement, I think, to priests learning the older rite who may be, perhaps, feel a bit fainthearted.

  56. orthros says:

    33 Rites… Thirty. Three. And this is the one the vast majority of Catholics worldwide get stuck with. :(

  57. Gail F says:

    Exchief said: “Why is it that so many priests think it is all about them and all about their popularity and thus do such attention getting things? Did they not ever get the point that it is about reverent worship of God and that God is to be the center of attention not them?”

    Because they were taught that’s how they should do it, and if they weren’t taught it at the seminary, they were taught it by parishioners who wanted them to — or by bishops who wanted them to. They were taught it at seminars about how to make the liturgy “meaningful to people of today.” They were told to do what the Protestant ministers down the street do. It is not fair to blame priests entirely for this situation. They didn’t all force this kind of stuff on unbelieving parishioners (though some did just that). This behavior was (and is) taught and encouraged. A lot of people in the parish probably loved the Super-Soaker. A bunch hated it but would never DREAM of saying anything. When priests are bombarded by people who want inclusive language and who love the “Gather” hymnal and who want to be “creative” with the mass, what do you think most of them are going to do? They are going to do what is expected of them, that’s what.

  58. “Counting down to the first “you would never see this at an EF Mass comment”: 5-4-3…”

    Well, you wouldn’t! So what’s your point?

  59. The Cobbler says:

    Longest “…2-1″ I ever saw! Must be a Godwin’s Law sort of thing.

  60. Catholictothecore says:

    Is he a newly ordained priest? Probably just a lapse in judgment. He will know better for next time.

  61. Sandmama says:

    Fr. Z or others, perhaps a comment (or link to some posts) on WHAT, if any, obligation the faithful have to attempt to address and rectify things like the SuperSoaker problem?
    Calling blasphemy what it is, seems like a good start, but what can the faithful do to discourage and change this kind of behavior?

  62. Scott W. says:

    Counting down to the first “you would never see this at an EF Mass comment”: 5-4-3…

    I’m entirely sympathetic to the idea of not commenting on something so obvious. But, “We’ll stop commenting when it stops being true.” is a pretty good retort.

  63. Sandmama: WHAT, if any, obligation the faithful have to attempt to address and rectify things like the SuperSoaker problem?

    Yes, there is an obligation.  Look at the end of Redemptionis Sacramentum:

    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.

  64. tlewis says:

    Interesting how liberalism is destroying the church. I always seem to notice a number of people laughing after the greeding at Mass. It is true a distraction from Christ in the Blessed Sacrament and is just one of the ways we’ve turned the Holy Mass into as social event. Liberals will say it should be, blah, blah, it’s about Christ, and we share in his divinity during Mass, not each others.

  65. Titus says:

    For example, and by analogy: is it like battery . . .

    Well, I was going to say that I had enough difficulty with Garratt v. Dailey the first time round, and that there’s no need to dredge that up again. But as it is, Miss O.P., it doesn’t look like our concern has stirred much interest about sins or torts. C’est la vie.

  66. cgell says:

    Fr. Z…
    I’m curious about going to the local bishop first. I’m in my own canonical/reprobate question in my parish, dealing with the consecration. Without going into detail, I know something is being done that is reprobate and I’m praying for direction to address the pastor who is doing it. He’s very arrogant and I’m afraid would take nothing of what I say as valid or otherwise insult me. And he knows me well as a faithful parishioner and contributor (very important to him). He lacks any people skills and talks about his coming early (medical reasons) retirement with glee.
    My main concern is around the scriptural context of first going to the person and then if they don’t hear, then bring in another. I have little hope that going directly to the pastor is going to have any effect, but I’ve been praying for him hard and offering sacrifices for him. Would stepping over this ‘one on one’ be acceptable as the obligation you posted above seems to suggest? I do know those around the bishop, and my husband personally knows our bishop. It wouldn’t be too hard to skip to that step, but I’m concerned for our priest’s soul and going directly to the bishop without giving our pastor the opportunity of knowing my concern. Little as I feel it would make a difference.
    Any thoughts on the matter would be extremely appreciated, from a canonical and priestly standpoint.

  67. cgell: I know something is being done that is reprobate and I’m praying for direction to address the pastor who is doing it. He’s very arrogant and I’m afraid would take nothing of what I say as valid or otherwise insult me.

    Every Catholic can address themselves at any time to any level of ecclesiastical authority. You can go straight to the Holy See if you want. But I recommend, and so does Redemptionis Sacramentum that you start at the lowest level nearest to the problem. In this case the source of the problem is the parish priest. If you can’t, really can’t, deal with him, then address yourself to the bishop.

    However, it would be a good idea to have something on paper first.

    You used a term in your comment “reprobate”. If there is some abuse which has been reprobated and you can demonstrate that using Redemptionis Sacramentum, you would do well to document what is happening and then write a short, respectful note to the pastor of the parish doing the reprobated thing together with a copy of Redemptionis Sacramentum pointing to the relevant section. That may produce results. If it does not, send a copy of your note to the bishop, together with the pastor’s written response if you get one, or a concise factual account of a conversation that ensues as a result of what you wrote.

    Work your way up, patiently. Read my tips about how to write to ecclesiastical authorities.

  68. cgell says:

    Thank you, Father! That is extremely helpful. I have been agonizing over this for quite some time and never even crossed my mind to compose this into a note to the pastor. I was dreading a face to face. I think that is a wonderful idea and will spend considerable time praying over the exact wording. I’d welcome any prayers for this situation and for our pastor. Jesus, I trust in You!

  69. ttucker says:

    You sure have to wonder about the maturity level of a priest who would do something like this.
    Have there been other examples of such immaturity by this fellow?
    It needs to be looked into.

  70. brassplayer says:

    Would it be better if the Super Soaker was in the shape of a beretta? :-D

    http://wdtprs.com/blog/2010/09/quaeritur-use-of-the-beretta-at-mass-in-the-ordinary-form/

  71. rkmansfield says:

    The priest in question was not recently ordained, and he has not used the “super-soaker” on only one occasion. He openly advocated the ordination of women during an Easter Vigil Mass homily several years ago, defended the use of liturgical dancers in an exchange of letters with a non-parishioner who questioned the practice, continues to invite the faithful to assemble around the altar during the canon at LifeTeen Masses (even after LifeTeen International agreed to follow the directives issued by the CDWDS), assumed the role of Satan (“Nick”) during a dramatization at the beginning of a Good Friday “service”, and on and on. He was named a monsignor by the bishop a few years ago.

  72. LarryW2LJ says:

    I am very fortunate to have been a parishioner of two Churches here in New Jersey in my lifetime. The first was the ethnic parish (Polish) that I grew up in, while the second is a “normal” parish (don’t know the technical term) which is in the town I currently live in. Both parishes are very traditional. And while the Novus Ordo Mass is used in both parishes, it is done very reverently and “by the book” as it were.

    There’s no deviation, no clowning around and definitely nothing weird. Both parishes are places where you would feel completely at ease bringing someone without worrying that they would be offended by anything.

    I have been to parishes in other states where at times I have had to do a “double take” at some of the practices and goings on. I was always glad to return to my home parish for “no nonsense” Mass.

  73. John Nolan says:

    See the priest after Mass. Thrust a copy of the (real) Rituale Romanum into his hands. Then ask him to bless your car and wash it at the same time.