From a reader…
This past weekend my family and I attended Mass at a neighboring parish, which had for many years been considered very liberal. We were informed that a new pastor had been appointed in the course of the last year who was very orthodox. For his part, the pastor was in fact very reverent and celebrated the Mass accurately. However, the music was horrific, complete with Hippie hymns and rythmic clapping. At the homily the Deacon called the children forward to sit in the sanctuary while he sat facing them and led a “discussion” complete with platitudes about diversity, niceness and quotes from St Martin Luther King.
My question is: Why are good priests so afraid of “stirring the pot” or “sweeping changes” with regard to the proper and reverent celebration of Holy Mass, especially with a supportive bishop and many (perhaps quieter) faithful who just can’t stand the stupidity?
Not knowing the full situation there, one cannot be exhaustive or too precise. However, in my experience, some priests when they arrive in a new parish wait for quite a while before making changes. Whether that is a good idea or not, that’s what many priests do. Of course if there are obvious abuses or sacrilege, they ought to correct them immediately. Some do, some don’t. Some priests are timid. Some have been requested by the bishop, or threatened, not to make “problems”.
Also, some priests arrive in a new place and find a whole raft of things that have to be corrected. They find it hard to tackle them all at once. I, of course, think that liturgical worship is the main issue. However, that is also the issue where people who are entrenched will fight you the most. And if the bishop doesn’t support his priests – that’s common – Father might turn his attention elsewhere. He has only so much mental energy and, perhaps, does not want to die on that particular hill.
When you’ve been beaten on for enough years by harassing libs and the bishop who will throw you to the wolves, you get a little tired.
There are many reasons for why “the stupidity” is allowed to go on. Quite often at the root you will find bullying from parishioners and chancery staff and a lack of support from the bishop.
What can you do?
Fast and pray for the priest. Ask the guardian angels of those who are obstacles to help you out. Support the priest in the good initiatives he undertakes. Express your hope for change in a kind way that doesn’t hector. Get like minded people together who will offer to be of service in making the changes.