March 19, 2007

Ov vey...

One of the things I like about large, impersonal churches is the blessed lack of church politics. At least politics I can see.

In our small Byzantine parish there is growing angst over changes to the liturgy that are in the process of being implemented. Some are threatening to go to the Melkites, others are writing Rome.

A woman I hadn't met before called over the weekend. She's from the Byzantine parish and is organizing some sort of protest letter to the pastor and wanted to know if I would put my name to it. (As it turned out, a third of the parish did.)

Turns out it wasn't about the liturgical changes.

She's upset with the pastor for not offering Easter morning liturgy. It's going to be set for midnight Saturday night. Apparently this is in line with some Eastern traditions. You might say Father is "more Eastern than the Easterns" based on the negative response. Maybe it's that they don't think Father comes by it honestly enough since he's a Roman Catholic transplant.

A friend is a big booster of the letter, saying that many elderly of the parish go to bed early. At first I saw the whole thing as interesting, in the way any sort of conflict/gossip is. Then I became unnecessarily irritated, responding that liturgy is a privilege not a right and if the pastor is in tune with his bishop then it's none of our business. It's pastor/flock as in father/child, not a democracy. Ron accused me of not caring about the elderly and not recognizing that priests are fallible humans. (Did I not recall the pedophile scandal?) I asked him if the late Blessed Mother Teresa, who was elderly, would've put her name on it.

Dissent is the love-song of the devil isn't it? Divide the parish between "signers" and "non-signers" over a trivial matter and then repeat with larger ones...

No comments: