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Anton Sinaga wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a question about abuses during our Mass.

At the First Friday Mass, I left the Chapel because I got upset with the priest. From the beginning of the Mass, he was playing with his tablet and even put it on the altar. I was not pleased with this so choose to leave the Mass. I felt that I was not worthy to stay and continue attending that Mass while there was anger in my heart.

  • Was it right for me to leave the Mass or should I have stayed?

Anton

  { Was it right for me to leave the First Friday Mass and should the priest be using his tablet? }

Mike replied:

Dear Anton,

While I can empathize with your feelings toward this scandalous priest, we all have to remember that none of us are worthy. That is why the Lord left us the Sacrament of Confession. It is also important to remember that the effectiveness of the sacraments is not affected by:

  • the worthiness or lack of worthiness of the priest celebrating the Mass, or
  • the worthiness or lack of worthiness of those attending the Mass.

It is sad that a priest would give such a poor witness especially when single Catholic men may have been present at that Mass considering the priesthood.

That said, you should have still stayed for the Mass and received the Blessed Sacrament.

First Fridays and First Saturdays, in my opinion, are important devotionals that should be practiced in all Catholic parishes in the Church. It is sad that none of the priests at my parish make this devotional offering at the beginning of the Mass when celebrated on those specific days. (Nevertheless, our own lay people practice a First Saturday devotional after that Mass.)
We use to have a 7:30pm First Friday Mass but the previous pastor decided he didn't want to do them any more.

I've been doing them privately month after month for almost 30 years now. I think I have only missed one 8 times. This posting will shed some light on the blessing participants receive who practice these devotions.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Anton replied:

Hi Mike,

Thanks for your nice reply.

I know that the effectiveness of the sacraments is not affected by either the worthiness or lack of worthiness of the priest celebrating the Mass nor by the worthiness or lack of worthiness of those attending the Mass. As long as it is a valid Mass then it is a sacrament but there is something bothering me, about staying at a Mass while there is an anger in my heart.

Matthew 5:24 reads:

Leave thy gift lying there before the altar, and go home; be reconciled with thy brother first, and then come back to offer thy gift.

  • Does attending that Mass still have a same value for me because I offer myself with all my anger to our God?
  • Can I leave the Mass and find another place to receive the Blessed Sacrament?

Regards,

Anton

Mike replied:

Hi Anton,

You said:

  • Does attending that Mass still have a same value for me because I offer myself with all my anger to our God?
  • Can I leave the Mass and find another place to receive the Blessed Sacrament?

Some do not have the option of being able to attend another Mass at another parish. If you can, and would feel more at peace, by all means do so, but if you can’t, I would not worry about it.

I would re-channel your anger toward praying for that priest — specifically, that brother priests and clergy who he holds in high esteem come into his life and share with him how inappropriate his behavior is.

My colleagues may have a different take but that’s mine.

Mike

Anton replied:

Thank you very much for your kind reply Mike.

It makes me feel better now and, Yes, I do pray for that priest as well as for all of our priests.

I will always do that.

Regards,

Anton

Bob replied:

Anton,

It may be that the priest was using the iPad for the Mass readings, etc.

Some priests have converted over to an electronic pad for their homilies and other needs.
It makes it easier to carry around and keep everything in one place. You could ask him if that is what he does. It is unlikely, in my opinion, that he would simply use a tablet for mundane purposes during Mass.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Anton replied:

Hi Bob,

When I entered the Chapel, I saw the priest was playing with his tablet — even when the entrance song began, he kept playing. When he initiated the liturgical greeting, he put the tablet on the altar and did not use it for a while but when the Liturgy of the Word began, he played the tablet again. According to our GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal)

GIRM: Numbers 296-308 titled The Altar and Its Appointments as well as and GIRM: Numbers 348-351 titled Other Things Intended for Church Use we can said that it is forbidden to put a profane thing on the Altar.

306. For only what is required for the celebration of the Mass may be placed on the altar table: namely, from the beginning of the celebration until the proclamation of the Gospel, the Book of the Gospels; then from the Presentation of the Gifts until the purification of the vessels, the chalice with the paten, a ciborium, if necessary, and, finally, the corporal, the purificator, the pall, and the Missal.

351. Every effort should be made, even in minor matters, to observe appropriately the requirements of art and to ensure that a noble simplicity is combined with elegance.

If we start make compromises for such things, it could lead to other things like changing a candle with beautiful garden lighting.

The whole thing really made me sad. I just want a good Mass according to what the Church would want.

Regards,

Anton

Bob replied:

Anton —

If he truly was playing with the tablet for general personal stuff, and it was not relevant to the Mass, then it was completely inappropriate and he should be corrected by someone.

Peace,

Bob

Fr. Jonathan replied:

Hi, Anton —

I agree with Bob. He was probably using it as his Roman Missal and Lectionary. Prior to Mass he was setting it up. I use it for private Mass but I would not use it as this priest did.

You should talk to the priest if that is possible.

Fr. Jonathan

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