Gralloching a priest at a wedding reception

From Creative Minority Report with my emphases and comments:

A Priest Lost In Translation
by Pat Archbold Tuesday, October 04, 2011 8:36 PM Comments

What could possibly make a priest so angry?

I went to a wedding in New Jersey last week and I ended up sitting at the same table as the priest who presided at the wedding.  I could tell from some of Father’s, ahem, liturgical stylings, that this priest and I wouldn’t see eye to eye on many issues. Since I was there to wish the happy couple well and to have a little fun, I determined not to engage Father on anything more meaningful than his preference for Dewars over Johnny Walker Red.

I forgot to send my wife the memo.

Half way through reception, my wife innocently decided to make conversation with Father.

Father, are you ready for the new translation?

Father turned toward my wife and let let loose a loud and theatrical harrumph worthy of a Mel Brooks movie.  Then, with his diaphragm fully engaged, he bellowed out his discourteous response.

Oh, whooooooooo caaarrrees?[What a scrub, as Jack Aubrey would say.  You just don’t do that.]

Before reading what comes next, you need to understand that this man was just very discourteous to my wife in order to make a point about how much he disapproved of the change.  And I had my drink on.  And like I said, he was discourteous to my wife, drink or no drink.

My wife looked at Father and then at me with stunned eyes that said “What did I say?”

At this point my eyes said something else entirely.  I raised my hand.

“I care Father. Don’t you think that as a servant of Holy Mother the Church and a pastor, you should care too?[Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

“No, I don’t care,” he said. “I took the class because I had to.  Fine.  I did.  But I think it is silly and I don’t care.[It never ceases to leave me perplexed that some priests don’t take liturgical worship seriously.]

“You don’t think it is important to have a proper translation Father?”

He said, “A translation of what?”

“The mass as it is composed in Latin, Father.”

“Aha!!  See!  The mass is composed in Aramaic!!  Who cares about Latin?  The mass was in Aramaic!  Why don’t we go back to saying it in Aramaic?  Huh?”

“Ummm.  Father, the mass is composed in Latin not Aramaic.”

“No it’s not.  Its in Aramaic.  Why don’t they just go back to saying it Aramaic?  Huh?”

“Father, are you suggesting that that Novus Ordo mass of 1970 was composed in Aramaic?”

“No.  I am saying that if they are so interested in going back to Latin, why don’t they just go back to Aramaic?”

(You see what’s happening here, right?)

“Father,” says I, “Nobody is talking about going back to the Latin here.  This is the same New Mass in the same language.  English.  This is only a moderately more accurate translation of that same New Mass.  Latin and Aramaic have nothing to do with it.  Why would you be so opposed to slightly different English words for the same mass?”

“Aramaic!”

“Father.  Don’t you believe that the liturgy is a living and breathing thing shaped by each generation that has prayed it?”

“Yes, absolutely!!  Exactly.’

“So the liturgy was a changeable thing for centuries—changed by and for generations?”

“Yes, I do!”

“But now that your generation has its input, no more changes allowed?  Don’t you think that is kinda selfish?”

“Oh, who cares?

Again, I raised my hand and said “I do.

My wife’s uncle who listened to this whole exchange then raised his hand and said “Me too!

This was Friday.  On Sunday my young pastor announced in the bulletin a series of courses to joyously prepare for the new translation.  Moreover, he announced that along with the new translation, that all the music sung from now on at regular Sunday masses will be from Franz Schubert’s mass.  I guess he cares too.

The times, they are a changing.

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61 Responses to Gralloching a priest at a wedding reception

  1. Hidden One says:

    May God bless both mentioned priests, and let us pray for each of them.

  2. Golly.

    Pat Archbold is a better man than me. I would have either clammed up or lost my temper.

  3. I tend to think the “Aramaic” argument is not so much an argument in favor for returning to Aramaic, but for avoiding the question of an authentic translation of the Missale Romanum. I think they want to avoid translation altogether and come up with a completely new liturgy in their modern language. Well, so long as we are members of the Roman Rite, we’ll use the Roman liturgy, translated or not.

    As if the people who make the Aramaic argument would actually want to pray in Aramaic (as spoken in the days of our Lord… another dead language, no?).

  4. jarhead462 says:

    Should have forced Father to do the Electric Slide ;)
    (Although he may think it’s Liturgical Dancing)

    Semper Fi!

  5. Cristero says:

    I’m with Luke Skywalker:

    “I care!”

  6. First off, it sounds as if Father had also taken on a bit of drink, and/or medication. That’s generally not going to be primo discussion time.

    That said, the writer and his family had a right to respond and responded well. (Which is very hard to do, when a priest is talking to you in that non-talking, opposition-smash sort of way that tries to use God-given paternal authority to tell you that you’re dirt. It doesn’t happen often these days, thank God, but it’s nearly always some Sixties relic who tries it on you.)

    Also, I think we’ve all noticed that the “Aramaic” crowd very seldom goes over or even is interested in a visit to the Catholic Maronites, Assyrians, etc. that actually use Aramaic at Mass and for prayer. Because they think of “Aramaic” as some kind of cloudcuckoolanguage, not as something real. In the old days or in remote areas, maybe you could think that way; but in most of today’s America and many other countries of the Aramaic diaspora, it’s a real language fighting for life, and this attitude is pure intellectual laziness of pride.

  7. Gail F says:

    I think we also need to remember that some people, no matter who they are or how much they should care, REALLY DON’T CARE. They just see this as annoying. They don’t care why there is a new translation, what the liturgy is for, or that this is just a minor change compared to the introduction of the N.O. They just don’t want to be bothered. Other people do care and don’t like the change. But many people hate any and all change and they really, truly, DON’T CARE. There is not much point in listening to what they give as their reasons, because they are only made up reasons.

  8. mrose says:

    Suburbanbanshee, a good point!! The writer should’ve suggested the priest petition for a transfer to another sui iuris Church (though on second thought it would be uncharitable to plague the good Catholics in those Churches who likely have proper liturgical sensibilities with such a priest).

    All I can say is, sad with respect to the priest. Good news at the end though, about the writer’s own parish!

  9. FrSam says:

    I care! And can’t wait!

  10. AnAmericanMother says:

    I care!
    And, even at a wedding, I would have been a lot less charitable than this nice man and his wife.
    Even a huffy dogmatic priest is not going to stand a chance against a sweet-poison cross-examination technique honed on mobsters and crooks. I learned in a hard school, and he wouldn’t even notice the knife until it was probing around in his innards.
    Suburbanbanshee, right on. I would have used the Maronite gambit, it’s pretty much unanswerable.

  11. danphunter1 says:

    Maybe this priest loves the Traditional Latin Mass and does not care so much about the Novus Ordo?
    [tongue in cheek]

  12. albinus1 says:

    Perhaps I’m thinking too much like a classicist, but I would have been tempted to ask Father to direct me to his sources for the (purported) original Aramaic text. Or pointed out that, actually, our earliest source texts are in Greek. But I doubt it would have done any good, esp. in that situation.

  13. pledbet424 says:

    I care too. But as Gail F says above, my experience is that most don’t care. At our local NO parish, which we often attend, most don’t. They don’t care much about the Mass, if it is said correctly or not. They don’t care about the Ten Commandments. From the way they dress, they don’t care about modesty. They don’t care about the fast before Holy Communion, as they take their gum out of their mouths just before receiving. Most don’t go to confession, ever.
    I could go on about the things they should care about for a couple of days, but I think I’ve made my point. Now, how do we get people to care? I’m not sure we can. Only God can change people’s hearts.

  14. Cassie says:

    I vote that we all do a Holy Hour of Reparation for the good priest and any/all of his compatriots who share his views on the liturgy.
    Oh, and its not too late to jump in on the “Novena for a Fuller Participation in the Sacrament of the Eucharist” that the USCCB has requested.

  15. pledbet424 says:

    And I might add to the above, there are things I should care more about than I do. I should care more about the state of my soul than I do. I should love God more than I do. Perhaps I am too critical of others at Mass, and should just pay attention to myself and my family, and not be looking at others behavior at Mass…but for some reason, some of the actions of others at Mass bother me. When I attend a Tridentine Mass, I find myself bothered not at all by the way people pray the Mass…perhaps it is filled with people just like me (not sure that is a good thing either, knowing myself as I do).

  16. New Sister says:

    Bravo, good reader, for defending the honor of your bride, and the Bride of our Lord at once. You get major man point from my corner, sir! I just wish I could have been there to observe and cheer you on with “ave Maria”s under my breath— and perhaps a flute of Veuve Cliquot, rather than the whiskey! :-)

  17. priests wife says:

    cassie- YES- I am joining you in prayer for this priest

    Because I am Byzantine catholic, I’m on the sidelines of this change, but I’m still excited for the change. The language is much richer- and closer to the original- and we will all be saying ‘and with your spirit!’

    here is a funny, yet informative video on this subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UD4VlsLIZfI&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

  18. Johnny Domer says:

    I feel like a priest who doesn’t care how Mass is said is like a trucker who doesn’t care what kind of truck he drives. The whole reason a priest exists is to offer Mass and administer the Sacraments. I don’t like playing amateur psychologist, but I think that that’s an extremely disturbing thing for a priest to say.

  19. smcollinsus says:

    My only question would be: from which corner in the vernacular Mass “Pandora’s Box” does this come?

  20. Centristian says:

    I encounter this breezy “none of it matters” attitude that clergy take with Catholic laity regarding ecclesiastical matters, pretty frequently. I can’t decide if they really, genuinely don’t care and don’t ever want to talk about anything church-related with anyone, or if they’re just trying to show the laity whom they encounter how “normal” they are by pretending not to be any more immersed in the ecclesiastical culture than they are. These are the same clergy who try to “impress” lay people with vulgarity, dirty jokes and the like…to demonstrate, once again, that they’re just like everyone else.

    Of course, It doesn’t “impress” most people. Most people see through it and find it obnoxious.

  21. Legisperitus says:

    If he was talking about the Last Supper, it seems that the Passover liturgy in Biblical times would have been celebrated in liturgical Hebrew, not in Aramaic or any other local vernacular.

  22. tzard says:

    Well, his caring *may* affect how he catechizes his flock and may in the end do damage. But for Mass, what matters in the end is that he just “say the black and do the red”. If he does that, maybe the mass itself will slowly change him.

    Pride is such a insidious sin (I know by experience) and sometimes it can only be dealt-with through spiritual means.

  23. jarthurcrank says:

    Ugh. A pox on both their houses. If you bait the bear, don’t be surprise if he swipes his paw at you.

  24. Andreas says:

    “Moreover, he announced that along with the new translation, that all the music sung from now on at regular Sunday masses will be from Franz Schubert’s mass. ” Hmmm…Schubert wrote six Masses employing Latin and one sung in German. Whilst good for the next seven Masses, I trust that there will be a dash of Mozart, the brothers Haydn, Victoria, Palestrina et al during the remainder of the liturgical year to come.

  25. I care and I’m only starting to remotely understand it all!

  26. AnAmericanMother says:

    Andreas –
    Odds are it’s the Deutsche Messe — that’s the one that everyone here is most familiar with, it’s part of many high school and college chorus repertoires, so it’s well known. It is usually sung here in an English translation that has been around for years. My high school chorus sang it in 1972!
    I’m sure that parishes that adopt the Schubert setting for the Ordinary will continue to ring the changes on all the great German and Austrian composers as well as the masters of Renaissance polyphony and Gregorian chant.
    Our parish is using two Mass settings composed by our music director — one very chant-based, one rather more modern in its harmonies but still harking back to Gregorian melody — but the offertory and communion motets run the gamut from Josquin to Palestrina and Hassler to Bruckner and Faure’ all the way to Taverner and McMillan. The only common denominator is that the music is reverent and good (from a musical standpoint).

  27. Tim Ferguson says:

    baiting the bear? How is a simple and reasonable question – Father are you ready for the new translation? – baiting the bear? He could answer politely, “Oh, I’m not terribly thrilled about it, but it’s going to happen isn’t it? By the way, have you had the shrimp scampi, it’s wonderful, isn’t it?” but instead, he did what many who live in an echo chamber surrounded by those of views similar to their own (something not uncommon among the clergy) and roar out at the woman who was just making polite conversation. Her husband, chivalrously, jumps in to stand up for his wife’s honor.

  28. Glen M says:

    “This is the dusking of the Age of Aquarius…the Age of Aquarisus! Bye Bye”

    In my diocese the sheer amont of resources being spent on changing a few lines of congregational response is both comical and sad. How much energy was spent on the massive liturgical change of the 1970’s? If they now spend this much time and money on a few lines, how much would have been spent then? How much if we were to scrap the O.F. in favour of the E.F? Sometimes I suspect the liturgical committees protest too much in order to prevent further corrections…I mean new translations.

  29. Henry says:

    Baiting the bear? Can anyone suggest a more natural and timely topic than the new translation, to broach with a newly met priest in an attempt to make small talk?

  30. teomatteo says:

    Tim F., I think for small talk: ‘this gralloch is wonderful, Father do you enjoy cooking?’ might be appropriate. (what the hey is gralloching anyway??)

  31. benedetta says:

    I agree with Henry that it’s a timely topic for conversation sitting at a table with a pastor one has just met. Innumerable pastors, having been seated with Catholics not having met before, could explain what they are doing in their parishes, how they are preparing, how long it will likely take for adjustment, and several other areas of discussion that do not really require one to divulge whether one has personal enthusiasm for it. If people are asked about aspects of their line of work and they reply with an answer such as that, it usually indicates some level of burn out or other discouragement about the work. Further one could ask the bride and groom whether they care or whether they had regarded the prayers for their matrimonial sacrament to constitute a collection of platitudes or a one act play recited by just about anyone at all, or, whether they expected that the priest would invest the prayers with some sort of meaning, even a little bit if not what the Church invests of them fully. I think their expectation would be, that the priest cared what he prayed during the marriage.

    Of course, I do grant possibility that he was having an exceedingly bad day such that he snapped in public and during a time of celebration and joy. It could happen. I suppose that someone could just get so fed up with hordes of people harassing about the new translation not just in one’s work or public life but constantly and through violations. Well hypothetically, it could happen though I doubt it as the people interested in doing that believe neither the truth of the prayers nor just about the existence of truth generally.

    More likely he is bitter about it because he has believed a lot of what has been said and is struggling to accept God’s will for us and the Church in the English speaking world. While I don’t agree with him that nobody cares and that it is silly, I can relate in that I do often struggle to rejoice in God’s will in the midst of trial and adversity. Just like the bride and groom say they will take each other through all sorts of things which may befall which are the opposite of their best hopes, when events one has no control over whatsoever happen and the results are bad, we are still called to struggle on God’s terms nonetheless. We can have opinions about the events that happen to us, that’s certainly true, but we miss good opportunities to encourage others to consider what the prayers really offer people when we just try to flush everything away as hopeless or worthless. Even for priests who would have liked to continue using the old translation, there is a way of saying one’s personal preference yet still being faithful to the hope that God has begun in them for all to see and follow — we have prayed it a certain way for a very long time and people (well I suppose one could reasonably discuss this) have carried on ok. Regardless of one’s opinion about the translation one can always still affirm the hope that God has placed there to be good in the first place. Using very simple language or beautiful. Or even with humor, like, I don’t like the topic which has brought us together here. Or with humility, here is my life with the new translation, see? Or a little touch of pastoral advice or correction. Innumerable ways.

  32. Random Friar says:

    If the questioner had his drink on, perhaps the Father had one or two as well? Not excusing his behavior, just saying some folks don’t take their liquor well.

  33. Random Friar says:

    And let me repeat, no I don’t think the priest should’ve said it. I’ve just been around enough wedding receptions to not take anything too personally after they open the bar.

  34. “It never ceases to leave me perplexed that some priests don’t take liturgical worship seriously.”

    If priests of “that generation” weren’t taught that they were ordained primarily to offer sacrifice, then for what? To forgive sins? (My informal observation being that most liturgically sloppy priests don’t spend all that much time in the confessional, either.)

    If not to offer sacrifice and forgive sins, then what? What other truly priestly function is there? Were these priests taught anything in the seminary?

  35. mpolo says:

    In the original German, the Deutsche Messe of Schubert doesn’t have much to do with the texts of the Mass. The “Sanctus” would be “Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord. Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy is only he. He, who never began, he, who always was, always is and rules, he will always be here.” I’m kind of hoping for the day that it will be relegated to a nice Communion hymn, since the rubrics (once the corresponding permissions have been rejected) will hopefully not allow random songs that happen to include the word “holy” to substitute for the Sanctus.

  36. servusmariaen says:

    It’s interesting that he (the priest) was preoccupied with “Aramaic”. I received this same response (unsolicited) from the priest of my childhood parish. He kept repeating the “Aramaic” argument (as though he’s say Mass in Aramaic) what he was saying is the same thing: it doesn’t matter.

  37. Fr Martin Fox says:

    (quote from original post) “It never ceases to leave me perplexed that some priests don’t take liturgical worship seriously.”

    Henry Edwards said:
    If priests of “that generation” weren’t taught that they were ordained primarily to offer sacrifice, then for what? To forgive sins? (My informal observation being that most liturgically sloppy priests don’t spend all that much time in the confessional, either.)

    If not to offer sacrifice and forgive sins, then what? What other truly priestly function is there? Were these priests taught anything in the seminary?

    I won’t defend the priest’s comments and I am not meaning to negate all Henry says here, but here’s something more.

    A lot happens after ordination, especially after becoming a pastor; a pastor often becomes deeply involved in organizing things, managing staff, doing diplomacy, raising money, dealing with a lot of business matters, and a lot of problems arising from temporal matters. More often than anyone likes to admit, the priest is racing through Mass because he has another one or has to get to a meeting or to the school or to the office right after. It’s easy for me to see how a long-time pastor could be this way, without excusing it.

  38. departing contestant says:

    here is my “Amen”
    nice thing about our Mass is it is still in Latin, Deo Gratias
    almost time to “get my drink on” i hope it still fits…….

  39. JimmyA says:

    An Englishman, I found myself in New York today and unaware that the correct translation is yet to be introduced as it had now been in England. My apologies to fellow 7am mass goers at Holy Innocents who had to endure my bellowing of “And with your spirit”!

  40. AnAmericanMother says:

    mpolo,
    In the U.S. the German is rarely sung. The English “translation” is the Ordinary of the Mass (or pretty close, from what I can remember) and was, I believe, written by Richard Proulx when he arranged the setting.
    teomatteo,
    “Gralloch” is a Highland Gaelic term for “field dress” as it pertains to deer (i.e. doing the preliminary gutting and cleaning before delivering the buck to the deer process man). A 3 1/2″ folding Buck knife is the very best tool for the job.

  41. muckemdanno says:

    I think Henry Edwards may be getting close to the head of the nail.

    Could it be that there has been a rupture in the process of priestly formation, as described by Abp. Lefebvre and SSPX for the past 40 years, and that is why the priest does not care about the mass?

    With this understanding, it should not be perplexing that there are priests who do not care.

  42. Y2Y says:

    “I care too. But as Gail F says above, my experience is that most don’t care. At our local NO parish, which we often attend, most don’t. They don’t care much about the Mass, if it is said correctly or not. They don’t care about the Ten Commandments. From the way they dress, they don’t care about modesty. They don’t care about the fast before Holy Communion, as they take their gum out of their mouths just before receiving. Most don’t go to confession, ever.”

    It is for these and many other reasons that I utterly refuse to attend a NO Mass under any circumstances, nor will I willingly associate with supporters or apologists of said Mass. Exposure to the NO rots the brain.

  43. Y2Y says:

    “Ugh. A pox on both their houses. If you bait the bear, don’t be surprise if he swipes his paw at you.”

    “Baiting the bear” ??? On what planet, exactly, would these comments amount to “baiting the bear”?

  44. jbpolhamus says:

    “If you bait the bear, don’t be surprise if he swipes his paw at you.”

    I don’t see anything baiting about the question. The offense is mainly in his mode of reply, drunkard though he probably be, or not. Priests are required to be civil just like anybody else, and you would have been quite right to grab him by his collar and remind him with your nose in his face that you don’t take kindly to that kind of uncivil reply to your lady. Then you cold ask him if he’d like to rephrase his answer to a civil if personally irritating question. You could also call the police on him when he tries to drive home! It worked on Bishop Olmstead’s predecessor.

  45. Glen M says:

    Fr. Fox, While understandable, the excuses you listed are not acceptable. The Mass should be the highest priority on the pastor’s schedule. The Social Justice Committee’s bake sale does not help get people to Heaven. I believe our supposed priest shortage is not only manufactured but exaggerated.

  46. Gail F says:

    YsY said: “…I utterly refuse to attend a NO Mass under any circumstances, nor will I willingly associate with supporters or apologists of said Mass. Exposure to the NO rots the brain.”

    That’s as bad as saying, “Who caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaares?” Bail on the rest of Catholicism, if you want to, but don’t think it makes you a better and holier person!

    I hope that priests take the liturgy seriously, I hope they care about it. But I am under no delusions that they are in a state of perpetual “amazedness” about saying mass. And please don’t forget that priests have been to innumerable conferences, workshops, formation days, etc. (not to mention meetings with with their parishes) that encouraged them to think a certain way and devalue certain things. I am not excusing anything, just saying it should not be hard to see how some of them got to be the way they are — especially if they have been rewarded for it along the way.

  47. Patrick’s mistake was not putting a boot up the guy’s arse for disrespecting his wife, essentially hiding behind his status as a cleric in so doing. It would have restored his wife’s honor, which was under attack in the circumstance, and also would have circumvented the entire Aramaic thing.

    But hey, that’s just me. I’m strictly old school. Swords, pistols, twenty paces … (sigh!)

  48. robtbrown says:

    The first-mass-was-in-Aramaic nonsense is more of the historical falsehoods dished out by liberals to justify ruining the Church. Another, which I heard again the other day, is that the Vulgate is so called because it was in the language of the people.

    Having heard such mind numbing garbage from so many priests for so many years, I have a hard time criticizing the SSPX for their flaws.

  49. Fr Martin Fox says:

    Glen:

    I agree wholeheartedly. But I’m telling you, walk in a pastor’s shoes. He’s surrounded by folks who do not want him to treat the Mass that way. Pastors who make the liturgy a priority–who take it seriously and, concomitantly, start saying no to things that intrude on the liturgy–will take a beating from parishioners, who will much prefer Father Tell-a-joke.

    I’m not defending the priest in question; but it’s very easy to understand a priest like that. And my point was that there are plenty of parish influences to create a priest like that.

  50. americangirl says:

    I care too and cannot wait for the new translation, although my pastor is very reluctant. How sad these Priests don’t get it. So pray we must everyday for Priests and religious!

  51. JonPatrick says:

    Mention of the Schubert Deutsche Messe mass settings reminded me of how I would not know anything about Catholic sacred music had I not spent 10 years in the Episcopal Church where the Schubert was our usual setting, which occasional forays into the Rutter Gloria. Then about 12 years ago my family “swam the Tiber” at which point it was the usual OCP selections almost exclusively. It is a shame that often one has to go to Protestant churches to hear the centuries old legacy of Catholic sacred music.

  52. TNCath says:

    Unfortunately, this story sounds very, very familiar to what I have experienced in my neck of the woods.

  53. La Sandia says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a priest of the Trenton diocese–AKA HokeyNovusOrdoLand. At our local parish (which we try to avoid most weeks), an older priest took a few minutes of his homily to whine about the new translation. Seriously? This same generation that so blithely tossed aside centuries of liturgical tradition is suddenly griping about too many changes? Please, spare me.

  54. JohnW says:

    I wanted to be a priest when I was young but was afraid of failure. I only wish others had given this a thought.

  55. Imrahil says:

    Dear @mpolo,

    the Schubert Mass was not meant to contain the ordinarium. It is not a “Mass” but a “Mass devotional act” (Meßandacht) to be prayed by the laity during Holy Mass as a one of many means of active participation. As, back in the Old Mass days, these was a priest there to pray the ordinarium, so if the people wanted, they could also pray along, so to speak. Which was one of the big criticism of the Liturgical Movement, but has its points, hasn’t it? As one alternative amongst others.

  56. AnAmericanMother says:

    JonPatrick,
    My mom and dad’s tiny little Episcopal church in a tiny little town in a sparsely populated South Georgia county (indeed the ONLY town in the county) uses the Schubert German Mass (arr. Proulx). Their choir is wholly amateur and rather small, but they do mostly decent music and always use chant (Anglican of course) for the Psalm.
    There is really no excuse for the poor state of music in the Catholic church generally, other than sheer indifference on the part of clergy and congregations.

  57. Charivari Rob says:

    A few thoughts…

    If the priest’s conduct was so deficient, what does it say about the correspondent that he’s arguing with him?

    Along those same lines – why didn’t he simply remonstrate with the priest for his discourtesy instead of arguing the subject?

    I hope these two lunkheads (yes, the both of them) didn’t cause such a scene as to be a distraction.

    The number of people commenting here who are willing to jump from the implication of “drinking” to label the priest as “drunk” or “drunkard” is just appalling.

  58. AnAmericanMother says:

    Rob,
    Because the priest was inexcusably rude to the man’s wife, who was simply attempting to make polite conversation.
    Some of us still appreciate a man who leaps to his bride’s defense. If he didn’t respond in what you consider an optimal manner, at least he did respond. So many men are more worried about being called a lunkhead than looking like a coward.

  59. Mark R says:

    Father may have been wrong, but maybe a wedding reception wasn’t a good time to bother him with shop talk.

  60. catholicmidwest says:

    There’s nothing wrong with talking about the new translation in public, even to a priest. The man acted like an opinionated boor, and could’ve just as easily been ignored once he showed himself to be not worth talking to. I’ve seen this sort of thing before with old clerics on similar topics at public gatherings, weddings and such. When it happens the best thing you can do is either change the subject and ignore the bore, or move to another table and better company. There’s no point in getting indigestion from sitting at table and enduring the ranting of an old crank.

  61. catholicmidwest says:

    An American Mother,
    And the fact that Catholics, in general, are about as ignorant about their faith and their real history as so many pet rocks. They think that Gregorian chant is something you pay $16.99 for at the record store.