I think Lewis Black said it best: "There has to be a time when we can come together and just agree on what the f*** reality is."
A perfect example comes from a blog I read about four days ago. My head was full of NyQuil and phlegm, so I couldn't tell if I was reading someone's opinion or if I was dreaming about a comedy show. I had to wait a few days before my head could clear up.
When I felt well enough to write a response, the blog was lost, and the blogger's profile no longer available. Since I cannot link, let me paraphrase the initial post:
The blogger talked about a new priest to his parish, and how he was doing something that he himself didn't feel was proper.
During the Nicene Creed, this poster's new priest was reciting it as: By the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became human. I'm sure many of you have heard this at church sometime. The poster expressed concern about it's use, and how it may be a deviation from the original creed.
For what it's worth, I understood his argument and I know how he feels. When we become used to something at church, change is uncomfortable. Change is something different, and we need to be aware that different doesn't become out of hand. That's human nature.
When my priest started having us introduce ourselves to each other before Mass, it took me a long time to get used to. I never did this as a kid or at any other church. Is this OK? Do I need to call Rome and get clearance for this? Even now, I still think it's a little weird, but the purpose is obvious and it does bring the parish closer together.
So my response to the post was going to be simple and informative. Since the Creed is translated from Latin, and the word homo is gender-inclusive , there was no real need to worry. I was going to add how the nos homines is no longer used ("For us men and for our salvation, He came down from Heaven"), and that the proper beginning to the Nicene Creed is "I believe..." not "We believe." The Nicene Creed
Again, I had no problem with the blogger. It was a good piece, and felt I was doing my Catholic duty by giving him some information and letting him make an educated decision.
But before I could add my nugget of info, someone else responded that made me want to put a fist through the screen of my notebook. The link is still unavailable, so I'll do my best to paraphrase this narrow-minded response as best I can:
"That priest is obviously wrong, and you should say something to him. There are too many priests who want to change the Mass, when in actuality they are straying from the One True Church. I pray you have the strength to stand up to this new priest. I will keep him in my intentions as well."
This is what I got out of it:
"Beware of liberal priests. You should fight his evil by standing up to his heretical dialogue. Most priests have no clue what they are doing. They want to change Catholicism. It's up to us to make sure they never do anything wrong. Call your bishop and tell him how this faux-priest is leading you and your parish astray. I will pray 437 Novenas in hopes that God gives wisdom to this fallen priest and shows him the true way."
Don't say "You're over-dramatizing that remark." I can show you sites and blogs where insolent Catholics trash, degrade, and condemn priests because they offer something a plaster saint can't: original thought. But instead of letting priests think for themselves, these self-appointed guardians of the Church monitor the tiniest variances.
It's like watching my buddy when the Detroit Lions play football. When someone drops a pass or when the quarter-back makes a bad throw, he screams at the TV like a screeching baboon. "Why did you throw to that guy? The other receiver was wide open! That's not how you win football games!"
There's a growing contingent of "young armchair theologians" who think a couple of college classes and four years of Latin gives them enough education to debate a man who's dedicated 10 years of his life to becoming a priest. These people disgust me to no end. I give them the same advice I give my buddy, spilling potato chips in front of the TV: Get off your ass and do their job for a day! If reading a few books and watching every weekend makes you an expert, then you lead everyone next Sunday! Try to make everyone in the parish happy. Try to teach those that don't want to learn. Try to reach out to those that won't open up.
A good priest doesn't give up on people because they don't understand the purpose of Adoration. A good priest will not count the number of masses someone has missed, but how many they have attended. A good priest doesn't sit back and tell people how shitty a job they are doing at being a Catholic Christian. Most importantly, a good priest doesn't think he's a better human being than those he preaches to.
If your priest adds 2 letters to the Profession of Faith, he's not changing 1700 years of established dogma. It's no big yank.
Now if he starts reciting the instructions to the "Holy Hand Grenade" during Mass, then you might wanna call the Bishop. Until then, sit back and let the priest do his job. If he's doing it wrong, his boss will let him know.
P.S. Let me know if you moved your blog, D.