Sunday, February 10, 2008


For the first time in my 43 years of living I walked out of a Mass in disgust during a homily because of the homily.

I went to attend Mass this morning at a church in the burbs. The celebrant (I hate that word presider in reference to the priest that is saying Mass - save that word for the courtroom judge) was an older priest - probably retired. In his homily, he mentions his running into a man that he "knew was having a relationship with another man". So he asks the man how his partner was doing. He also knew that the man and his gay partner had adopted a child. It was revealed in the conversation that the "partners" now have THREE adopted children. The priest then proceeds to tell us (this was a so-called "family" Mass, mind you, with a good-sized children's choir singing) that he "could have reminded the man that he was committing sin but didn't". Instead, he praised the man and his partner for adopting the three kids.

His excuse for not reminding the man of his falling is because he felt that Jesus would not have either. That is pure bull$&!+! Jesus forgave the sinner - that is very much true. However, Jesus surely DID preach against sin and there are plenty of instances within the Gospel readings to go about.

Further, what kind of an example would the adopted children have to follow? I for one would dread finding out!

Was I wrong for leaving? I probably was, and I have every intention of bringing this up in confession (not at THAT church, however), and I'll take whatever penance the priest assigns me. After all, I'm not perfect - none of us are, we're all sinners. I just couldn't endure this guy anymore.



Richard Chonak said...

I don't think it's wrong to leave if the priest is talking rubbish. I genuflected and walked out of a weekday Mass just last week, when the visiting priest turned his homily into a stand-up act. He started babbling about how our Lord, at his Ascension, "said sayonara to the apostles".

If you want to be sure you've met your Sunday obligation, just attend Mass somewhere else.

Bear said...

I know how you feel. I've sat through several theologically unsound homilies, even a few heretical ones. Having children makes it that much worse for me. I really wonder what it does for their faith to have me point to the priest and say "You see that man up there, standing as alter dei? That man is a liar." But I really have no alternative.

Fr. Erik Richtsteig said...

No, I don't think what you did was wrong. But, please consider dropping the priest a note explaining why you did it (with a CC to the bishop.)

BTW what the heck did that have to do with the scriptures?

frival said...

I find it ironic (okay, I find a lot ironic, but that's just me) that the Church attempted to make such an effort to improve homiletics and yet one of the most-complained-about things these days is homilies. Clearly something has not yet set in.

That said, I've never yet met a homilist that forced me to leave, although I've come close a couple of times. I think I may have just had a stroke right there before I could leave if I heard this homily though, BMP. And I thought I had a problem with the occasional homily about how bad is the war in Iraq / President Bush / Capitalism - at least those fall into the realm of prudential judgement... Ah well, at least my pastor can always be counted on for a good, orthodox homily. He even talked about pornography (by name!) recently - almost made me fall right out of my pew...

Cathy said...

Good job, Brian!

Jesussssss.... [Thinks.]

That's the Guy that chased the people with a bullwhip, right?

Woe to those that call good evil and evil goodddddddd... [Thinks.]

That's the inspired Word of God, right?

Okay, just so we're clear.

Jason Pennington said...

Yes, the priest's comments were contrary to Church teaching, however, just as wrong is what we also hear coming from Catholic pulpits from neo-traditionalists, namely, that such sin will damn eternally, period. The concept of mercy and redemption rarely enters in on the other end of the spectrum. So easy it is to forget that "with God there is plenteous redemption."