Friday, November 10, 2006

Confessions of a Catholic Blogger: Imprudent Posting of Liturgical Abuses

I've learned a lot since I've started blogging and I've been debating about starting a series of posts to accumulate those lesson's learned so that I may revisit them periodically, and perhaps lead a few others to contemplate them. This is my first "Confession" in a series that will be ongoing as long as there are lessons learned. I know some of you will disagree with my decision here, and that's fine. I can't follow anyone else's conscience, I have to follow my own.

This post was previously about a Halloween Mass and had an embedded video and photos of liturgical abuses. I am overwriting it, and modifying the date & time stamp to put it up top with this in it's place. It comes after much reflection in adoration today at the 40 Hours Devotion. This was prompted after two people were kind enough to express their disappointment with seeing such things on this blog. I owe them my thanks and would invite readers to please email me (see profile) with any such concerns in the future. This is a learning process for me. I can't guarantee I will agree with everyone who has a problem with my content - particularly on issues where there are varying opinions all the way up the heirarchy, such as Medjugorje. But, I can guarantee that I will pray and reflect on it, then make corrections where my conscience tells me it is necessary.

One might ask, "But, how will it ever stop if we do not put a spot light on it and spread it all over the internet?" My answer is simple: Those who made the video need to use the process the Church has asked us to use to report liturgical abuse. What is the process? It can be found in Redemptionis Sacramentum (Section VIII-6; Paragraph 184)

[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.[290] 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.
Hence, it is actually best if the originators of the video were to seal it and send it to the diocesan bishop, then spend some time in adoration and prayer that the will of God be done - and, in God's timeframe, not ours. God knows all, far more than we do, so we must trust the process his Church provides. If there is low confidence in the bishop, nothing prevents a courtesy copy of the video from being sent to the Apostolic See (Cardinal Arinze at the CDW) at the same time.

We ought not be going out looking for abuses (or looking for abuses to post), but it's another matter if it occurs in our own parish and it happens to get on tape. From there, those who have such material have to discern the appropriate course of action just as we Catholic bloggers will have to discern whether to advocate some alternate, unofficial process by promoting those photos and videos on our blogs. For my part, I am publicly encouraging the official process be used.

With that, I would like to apologize to anyone who was offended with the content that was here previously and again, express my gratitude to those who in Christian charity gave me some things to ponder.

If we really want to do something about liturgical abuses we need to spend some time in prayer - in particular - the Rosary, and in adoration. The web has limits, but prayer has no boundaries. Help one priest through prayer, and you help all with whom the priest has contact. Prayer has the added benefit of gracing us with patience and charity, without which we are nothing more than clanging cymbals.

Mea Culpa!