Monday, 20 April 2009

Top 10 Tips for Modern, 'That Was Not My Mass'-Type Catholics

1. Your local parish priest has shown brazen audacity and reckless regard to the words of His Holiness the Pope and decided to follow the Pope's wish to see Mass offered in the Extraordinary Form. Who does he think he is?! A Priest!? Who does the Pope think he is?! The Pope!? This is an outrage, this is not your Mass and this calls for urgent action. So, firstly, form a rock band and break into The Who's 'Substitute' just at the moment of consecration on the Altar. Watch the look on his face when you profane the Sacrament just at the moment the priest consecrates the Blessed Host. Oh boy, that'll really get him going and it'll shut up those wet Gregorian Choristers, and all they're 'sanctus' this and 'agnus' that. Oh yes, it'll get right up their 'nostris'.

2. Your Priest has began offering the Latin Mass. Not only is this not your Mass, but he didn't even ask you or consult you before he offered it. Outrageous! Doesn't he know who you are and that the Laity too are now kind of like mini-Priests!? There is only one thing that can sort this out and that is a parish Fairtrade coffee meeting. Demand to see the Priest who has had the temerity to do his job and tell him very firmly, 'That was not my Mass'. If necessary have placards. These holy, faithful priests need to be told. If you are hard up, free placards can be obtained from Curti-Curt'n'Angry Placards Inc. c/o The Tablet.

3. The Priest is ignoring you and this just won't do. He's started to wear lace, like what that Padre Pio chap used to wear and vestments that reflect the Glory of God and the Splendour of His Church. This is just not on. We need polyester and we need it now! Encourage him to wear modern polyester vestments by putting notes through his door telling him he, 'looks like a lady-priest with all that lace and the Church sayz no lady priests.' This way, you'll be challenging both his faith and his masculinity at the same time. Now you're really challenging his authority and endangering your very mortal soul, like some kind of deranged, possessed madman. Great work!

4. The Priest is carrying on in his holy mission regardless and being terribly obstinate. Not only that, but Mass is being offered, 'Ad Orientem,' because he feels the less attention that is drawn to himself the better, the more befitting it is to the worship of God Almighty and insists that we should all be facing East towards the Lord, for that is from whence He shall come at His Glorious Second Coming. Ignore his explanation and tell him firmly that he's turned his back on you and you feel offended, that you love his face, his features and everything about him, and that it is only of thinking of his face on the Altar that gets you to sleep at night. Appeal to his ego, oh yes, because this will change his mind and deter him from the desire to see God worshipped with reverence, piety and heartfelt devotion. Whatever you do, don't immerse yourself in holy prayer in the Mass or respect the awesome task that with great humility he is undertaking in the holy Office of the Priesthood.

5. The Priest, with great love for Christ and His Body, the Church, is hearing Confessions all week after Mass. Determined as you are to profane the Blessed Sacrament and challenge the authority of the Priest, wait until he has finished Confessions and tell him that if the Pope just changed the doctrine and 'updated' to the '21st century', the Priest would have a lot more time on his hands to be with the poor and needy and gain a qualification in social work or even rise high in worldly status, fulfilling all the personal ambitions he harboured before he was a Priest. Tell him that if he weren't hearing Confessions so much that he would have more time to spend with the beautiful wife he could have if Pope Benedict XVI changed his mind about priestly celibacy. If you can make your head turn around 360 degrees, now is the time to do it. If he offers you a Confession out of humble mercy for your soul, decline, telling him you, "already went five years ago and don't get why some people go every year, month, bi-weekly or even weekly" and that those people are just "crazy guys like the Saints of old were."

6. The Priest is boldly preaching the forgiveness of sins and our need to draw close to Christ, our only true Hope, echoing the Pope's call for a radical conversion of life, embracing the Cross and entrusting ourselves in fidelity to Christ, His Blessed Mother and the Communion of Saints, in whom alone, eternal happiness is to be found. 'Yes,' you think, 'this is all very well,' but what about the Environment?' Approach the Priest with friends and tell him that, "the only way we're going to save this planet is if we get off our arses and start recycling - and pronto, because ultimately we shall not be judged upon our words, deeds, love or mercy, but on whether we contributed to climate change and landfill. In the middle of the night, break in and replace the statues of Holy Saints and Holy Martyrs with trees to offset your carbon footprint as penance for your eco-sins.

7. The Latin Mass is not inclusive enough because whole communities of people are being left out. Insist with your friends that gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgendered people have been on the margins of the Church for too long, while watching a man with a slight mince leave the Confessional, kneel down and with great gratitude says prayers to the Blessed Virgin for his penance. Nope, that's not the answer. The only way the problem is going to be addressed is by having an LGBT Mass. Draw up your flyers and show the Priest your first idea, appealing to his knowledge of latin by calling it the Special Ecce Homo Mass, thereby impressing the Priest with your latin, pleasing the gay community who deserve a special Mass just for gays and alluding to them that Our Blessed Lord was 'probably into guys'. This will please the 'gay community' greatly and totally and utterly floor your Priest who now pleads desperately to God for your immortal souls.

8. The Priest in his homily is now commiting the ultimate sacrilege and defending the Holy Father, who has made comments to the press regarding a two-fold vision for mankind espoused by the Church, firstly a humanisation of sexuality and a solidarity and friendship with those who suffer as a result of AIDS/HIV. The press is going wild on this story and the Holy Father is under attack from all quarters. There can only be one course of action in this situation. Send your Priest and the Holy Father himself as many condoms as you can because you want to make it quite clear that you know better than the Church and deep down, you love the idea of the Pope and all the Vatican having a water balloon party.

9. The Holy Father has embraced the worst of the worst sinners, the traddies at SSPX, out of a keen desire to see those cut off from the Church, inside the Ark of Salvation, in a wise and judicious move to bring more unhappy Bishops, Priests and Laity into the Bride of Christ and ameliorating and healing a schizmatic wound that tears at the Lord's Most Sacred Heart. Not only that, but your parish Priest is defending the bold act of generosity. This is outrageous and calls for the single largest Microsoft Word mailmerge operation, addressing letters to every Catholic newspaper in the land, the Vatican itself, every diocese and parish in the UK and anyone else who will listen to your vitriolic rage, in the history of mankind.

10. Your unholy, near diabolical mission has failed. You leave the church of your parish and go to another church in another parish, where a more liberal Catholic Priest is putting your plan of action into effect more rapidly than you had even hoped.

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