I recently had a couple questions from a reader about a priest who regularly paraphrases the readings, especially the Gospel. He asks how he should handle this problem: should he approach the priest?
It’s hard to know how to counsel him. Of course the priest already knows that this is not to be done, but he does it anyway. Hence, he’ll probably blow off a complaint.
I suppose that he could take a video of the priest doing this and share it with the bishop’s office.
The Pope said:
The liturgical proclamation of the same Readings, with the songs deduced from Sacred Scripture, expresses and fosters ecclesial communion, accompanying the path of each and all. One understands, therefore, why subjective choices, such as the omission of Readings or their substitution with non-biblical texts, are prohibited. I’ve heard that some, if there is news, read the newspaper, because it’s the news of the day. No! The Word of God is the Word of God! We can read the newspaper later, but there, the Word of God is read. It’s the Lord who speaks to us. To substitute that Word with other things, impoverishes and compromises the dialogue between God and His people in prayer.
I’d say that Pope Francis would not be pleased with paraphrasing the Gospel.
You might print out the whole of the address, highlight a few points, and give it to him.
Francis included right after that a rather amusing comment on bad readers at Mass. At about 14:50 in the video.
“Look for good readers – eh? – who know how to read – no? – not those who read ‘myamyamyamya’ and you can’t understand anything.”
Also, note how many times he says “listen”.