Skip to comments.Anger over Mass card 'industry': Catholic Church has hit out at what it calls Mass card trafficking
Posted on 03/06/2008 7:58:50 AM PST by Alex Murphy
It says Mass cards with printed signatures are being sold in some shops, with Catholics believing the cost is the offering for the Mass.
Instead, it is claimed most of the money goes to the shop and distributor, with very little going to the church.
Bishop O'Reilly from Longford said it was a massive industry and the lack of accountability undermined public confidence in missionary work.
He said missionary orders were concerned people were buying these Mass cards thinking the money was going to support charity work in the third world.
In the past, people bought an unsigned card and got local priests to sign them, while making a donation.
"People that want to make Mass offerings should do so on a personal basis with an individual priest," said Bishop O'Reilly.
"I would much prefer if they wrote a letter to the person who's been bereaved or better still if they undertook to personally fulfill some act of charity or prayer," he said.
The Irish government has looked at this issue when tightening up its charities' legislation.
Fine Gael TD Michael Ring claimed that in the case of some Mass cards being sold from retail outlets, the names of priests "who had been dead for years" had been used on them.
"In other cases, writing was illegible and they were not able to discern who the priest was," the Mayo deputy claimed.
A Mass Card is a special card that indicates that a Catholic mass was given in honor of someone (deceased or living person or their family). It is a gesture that shows that prayers are being said in their honor. Mass Cards can be obtained at any Catholic Parish and at some funeral homes. They are "greeting cards" that offer your intentions at a mass. Many religious orders sell these on-line too.
Traditionally, they were given to a deceased's family at funerals. The intention is that a mass will be said for their soul.
Now they have so many themes for masses.
My church has a basket filled with various card themes - birthdays, etc. Pick the card out, and drop a few bucks in a contributoin box. Along with your money, you drop in the intention for the mass - so the priests knows who he will be praying for.