Skip to comments.QUAERITUR: Diocese asking everyone at Mass to extend arms and “bless” the priest
Posted on 10/31/2012 2:39:56 PM PDT by NYer
From a reader:
Diocese of Albany is asking all Mass attendees to participate in ritual of extending our arms and praying and blessing the priest who just said Mass. Part of their “Called by Name” vocations pitch. I didn’t hold up my arm, I folded my hands & prayed for the priest. Not comfortable. Am I uncharitable?
Goodness gracious. Quousque tandem?
Some dioceses did this “Called by Name” program some thirty years ago. If I am not mistaken, a large number of names of potential priestly vocations were identified this way. Most of them were from relatively conservative backgrounds. But in those days, the men who responded often had a hard time of it indeed. Many did not survive their seminaries, their bishops, or their diocesan vocation directors. Dark days. Dark days. Think of the book Goodbye! Good Men: How Catholic Seminaries Turned Away Two Generations of Vocations From the Priesthood.
Seminaries are different now, thanks be to God. They have been cleaned up. The cleaning began from “below”, because the seminarians themselves wouldn’t endure the rubbish anymore. They told their bishops. Bishops on the boards of seminaries had to do something. Therefore, faculties were reigned in or turned over. By now a critical mass has been attained. But I digress.
By the way, there is some… amazing verbiage about vocations to the priesthood on the website of the Diocese of Albany. For example:
“Presently the Church does not allow for the ordination of women or married men. This matter cannot be resolved at the local level. For the spiritual well being of our faithful people we cannot allow this to prevent us from aggressively seeking new priesthood candidates for our diocese.”
That’s the sort of ringing endorsement of the Church’s teaching sure to inspire hundreds, nay rather, thousands of young men to flock to Albany to become priests.
On that note, I’m thoroughly shocked that their website only shows six men in formation for Albany. By contrast the Diocese of Madison has 32 seminarians. They are all required to learn the Extraordinary Form. Albany in 2006 had 403,000 Catholics in a population of 1,351,000 (29.8%). Madison in 2004 had 269,556 Catholics in a population of 947,699 (28.4%). I’m just sayin’…
Back to the reader’s question.
I couldn’t find any specifics on Albany’s website about the congregation blessing the priest thing. I don’t doubt that it’s being done, or that it’s even being encouraged.
If there’s anything in print – a bulletin or flyer – calling for it, make a copy and send it to the Nuncio and to the Congregation for Divine Worship.
If not, if it was just a verbal invitation. “Blah, blah, blah.” One might make a video/audio recording it and send it in. Otherwise, or simply fold your hands, bow your head and pray.
“But Father! But Father!”, some are saying. “You hate Vatican II! You don’t want people to participate! I hope the ordained minister and others in the assembly ask those people why they hate Vatican II and why they object to active participation!”
If, dear questioner, you are ever quizzed about why you didn’t participate in this silly ceremony of “blessing the priest,” you might respond, “The priest is the one who’s getting a stipend for the Mass. He darn well better be the one giving me a blessing!”
I want to be called on!!!
How much longer?
I thought it was a good thing to pray for our priests. They have enough trouble avoiding scandal, they need the assist. That being said, I’ve never seen a blessing at mass like the one the writer is talking about. We pray for Religious Ed. teachers, RCIA people and little kids, etc., but I don’t recall having done that for the priest. There is probably a good reason.
I have the misfortune to be in the Albany Diocese and haven’t seen this yet, but have no doubt it is possibly pending. Lay people have limited qualifications to Bless others - they are not ordained, so the validity of the whole premise is suspect anyway.
I think Hubbard is getting old enough to retire soon!!! Our Diocese is a mess - it has deliberately been deconstructed.
Ditto! Fortunately, I have found a wonderful community at St. Ann's. We will be relocating from Troy to Watervliet, in about one month. You are welcome to join us for Sunday Mass (still in Troy), at 10:30 am.
I don't know if you have followed the history of Hubbard's destruction of this diocese. Back in 94, the Wanderer Press did a 10 part series entitled "Agony in Albany". You can read the pdf file here.
Bishop Hubbard turns 75, one year from yesterday. Let's pray that our Holy Father Pope Benedict, will send us a solidly orthodox bishop to rebuild the diocese.
One year from yesterday! Interestingly enough, neighboring diocesan Bishop Matthew Clark, retired in July of this year. He and Hubbard have been friends since seminary and both became bishops at the same time. Clark wreckovated his diocese as well. According to another freeper from Clark's diocese, when he retired, the pope accepted his resignation and told him to step down immediately. Until a new bishop is appointed, the bishop of Syracuse has been asked to oversee the Rochester diocese. I think that may be a precedent.