"Everyone has a place in the church, every person without exception should be able to feel at home and never rejected"
They were on a banner outside St Mary’s church in South Brisbane.
Some might describe these as words of "pretend christianity", but they were actually spoken by Pope Benedict XVI.
I pray for a church where positive words like these are put into action.
He got as far as "pretend christianity" (a phrase borrowed from the sermon to which the congregation had just been subjected), when the celebrant, Pelle, tried to terminate the prayer and stop further offerings. Len attempted to finish his prayer.
The two Neocat clerics then threatened to terminate the Mass, and when several other members of the congregation ignored their bullying tactics by offering their own prayers, they scurried from the altar to the sacristy.
Several disappointed parishioners tried to reason with them, only to be berated by the same old Neocat mantra:
You have no respect for the Roman Catholic Church
And a new one from Mendes:
This is my church
who then made out that he was going to lock the church, but changed his mind, and the "priests" headed for the church door with their small entourage.
Len followed, trying to reason with them, only to have the door slammed in his face by the Neocat woman, M. Fortunately he suffered only a glancing blow to the side of the head. The assault was witnessed by several of those present.
The community, sans Neocats, regathered and said the Lord’s prayer.
Jack suggests that The Hollow Men, by T. S. Eliot offers a detached, subjective description that might be applied to our pastors:
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.
The St Vincent’s community lives with the constant threat of having their Masses terminated. The notice discussed in Update from February this year appears in every Sunday’s church bulletin.
From the General Instruction for the Roman Missal:
The Prayer of the Faithful
69. In the General Intercessions or the Prayer of the Faithful, the people respond in a certain way to the word of God which they have welcomed in faith and, exercising the office of their baptismal priesthood, offer prayers to God for the salvation of all. It is fitting that such a prayer be included, as a rule, in Masses celebrated with a congregation, so that petitions will be offered for the holy Church, for civil authorities, for those weighed down by various needs, for all men and women, and for the salvation of the whole world.
70. As a rule, the series of intentions is to be:
a. for the needs of the Church;
b. for public authorities and the salvation of the whole world;
c. for those burdened by any kind of difficulty;
d. for the local community.
Nevertheless, in a particular celebration, such as Confirmation, Marriage, or a Funeral, the series of intentions may reflect more closely the particular occasion.
71. It is for the priest celebrant to direct this prayer from the chair. He himself begins it with a brief introduction, by which he invites the faithful to pray, and likewise he concludes it with a prayer. The intentions announced should be sober, be composed freely but prudently, and be succinct, and they should express the prayer of the entire community.
The intentions are announced from the ambo or from another suitable place, by the deacon or by a cantor, a lector, or one of the lay faithful. The people, however, stand and give expression to their prayer either by an invocation said together after each intention or by praying in silence.