In his face and in his presence

In his face and in his presence

Once again, I ask what will it take for Archbishop Harry Flynn to lay down the law? Clayton Emmer of The Weight of Glory offers a video interview with the now-deceased pastor of St. Joan’s parish who set it on it’s path to heterodoxy.

Segment 3: Egan discusses his decision to move the 11 am mass from the Church into the school gymnasium, and to begin the practice of including a secular reading in the liturgy. The interviewer notes that “this has become an immensely important part of our worship today.” Egan said he picked up this practice from something he saw in Europe. The Vatican never approved of this, but “Jesus didn’t say everything had to be approved by the Vatican.”

The good news, according to Egan, is that “everything can be sacred… there is nothing secular… it’s all sacred.”

Segment 4: More discussion of Egan’s innovations in the liturgy, including the use of the penitential rite as a time to discuss current events (as they relate to sin in the world). He talks about the important role Gloria Steinem has had in the parish’s development… she was “the inspiration” for using non-sexist language in the liturgy and referring to God as Mother. The interviewer notes that, although it took a while for parishioners to get used to this, now “if they only hear Father (in the liturgy), they sense something is wrong.” Egan notes that what some viewed as a scandal—Steinem’s involvement in the parish—led to the rapid growth of St. Joan’s: “you can’t beat popularity.”

Thus we keep asking ourselves, what will Flynn do? Surely he could not condone this craziness. If he saw it firsthand, he’d give them what for, right?

The archbishop celebrates the wacky Mass

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
6 comments
  • You’re right Dom, but there would have been a riot it any hint of orthodoxy had broken out at that mass.  Have you ever noticed that when the lefties aren’t getting their way, then suddenly violence it threatened, and if that doesn’t work, practiced?  The bishop was left with three choices:

    1. Not go to the blasted funeral.

    2. Go and lay down the law and by doing so set off a firestorm both at the mass and then more generally.

    3. Go and put up with the all the BS that the St. Joan “family” is famous for.

    The first two would have brought forth packs of reporters and mobs of forming heretics would have joined them with the second choice. 

    I guess he would rather just wait for them to be thinned out by the grim reaper.

  • Well, I was just quoting Ray’s account, but your point is well taken, Fr. Wilson. Certainly “alternative” readings and the use of prohibited vessels are more abuses too.

    Midwestmom: If Flynn is celebrating the Mass, then it’s his to order as he wills. Whenever a bishop celebrates Mass at a parish, it is de rigeur for his secretary to notify the parish of certain ways things must be ordered for him. It is not for Flynn as Priest of the Church of Minn.-St. Paul, Minnesota, to conform to the (heterodox) desires of recalcitrant parishioners, but for them to conform to him.

    It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing, especially when it comes to liturgy.

  • Based on Ray’s account, they didn’t do a full first reading, but only a couple verses from Ecclesiastes, but that’s my interpretation. Ecclesiastes is an Old Testament book and thus would be fine for a reading, as long as they used the actual readings provided in the lectionary (I think). Hopefully one of the priests can clarify or confirm.

  • Ecclesiastes is not offered as an option in my lectionary, and it is never licit to change the words of the Gospel from the approved text, even if your translation is better than the approved one.

    I am inclined to agree that the Bishop probably came into this situation without any sort of advanced preparation and decided it would be imprudent to change things.  Most Bishops are not too concerned about how the liturgy is celebrated and thus assume that their priests and parishes are doing things right.  If I were a bishop I would have my MC involved with the planning of all my liturgies.  But for most they just go with the flow.

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