Tuesday, January 19, 2010

WHAT?! No Masses for a whole week?

MANILA, Jan. 19, 2010—There will be no mass the whole next week in majority of the country’s Catholic Churches—because there are no priests to celebrate it.

A ranking church leader said thousands of priests are going to Manila to attend the 2nd National Congress of the Clergy from Jan. 25 to 29 and many dioceses can’t supply stand-in.

The cancellation of regular masses also means that weddings and other liturgical rites such as baptisms and confession will also temporarily be suspended so that priests could attend the gathering. [What if there are sick calls? ]

But Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said that in the absence of priests, lay ministers will take over in administering communion to the faithful and bless the dead [WHAT?!  EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION (EMHC) DO NOT HAVE THE FACULTIES TO BLESS!!!  Only the ordained can do this!  This is a perfect example of a liturgical abuse that has been going on.  I have witnessed this in several occassions, in several parishes of different dioceses all around the country!  Now this proves it!]  in at least five-day period.

“There are dioceses where 100 percent of the priests will be here together with the bishop so no one will be left in the parishes. The lay ministers will be the ones to give communion and bless the dead,” he said.

Rosales said there only about 8,000 priests all over the country and around 6,000 clergymen are expected to attend the nationwide gathering in Manila.

More of a spiritual retreat in dynamics, the congress aims to bring the clergy to a deepening of their pastoral commitment through interior renewal, he added.

“The reason also (for the cancellation of Masses) is to let the people realize that priests have also their needs. We also need some solitude. We need to pray also,” the cardinal said. [And some folks don't know that yet.  Calling priests even late in the evening.]

Rosales added that even Masses in Metro Manila will also be adjusted for his priests to attend the congress.

“Those in Metro Manila and nearby provinces will just hold early Masses,” he said.

“In Luzon, some of the priests will be shuttling; for example in Tagaytay they leave early in the morning and then they leave in the evening,” added Rosales.

The prelate said he is certain the faithful will understand the need of priests to come together and reflect for the good of the church.

“It’s time for parishioners to realize that we priests also need some quiet and I think that’ll be behind the reasoning,” he said. (Roy Lagarde)


I was prepared to rant for having no Mass for the whole week...

But for the Primate of the Philippines and a Prince of the Church to say that EMHCs can bless the dead!

God forgive me...

All those folks can do is sprinkle holy water and that's that.  The outstretching of hands and blessings they utter are invalid and illicit!

Remember this post about an EMHC blessing a car?

Maybe it would be practical to ordain some of these hard-working, dedicated, good family man EMHCs to the permanent diaconate...

What do you think?


  1. If we had permanent deacons married or otherwise, they can 1) solemnize marriages, 2) bless at funerals, 3) distribute communion, 4) preach

    It sometimes it puzzles me that the Philippine bishops haven't established a formation program for permanent deacons. It seems the bishops are concerned about the expense of having these deacons.

  2. I too am wondering why our Pinoy bishops did not consider this possibility. There are retirees who want to spend much of their time serving at Church since their children have a family of their own. I know quite a few. Permanent deacons can solve this problem. And most of these lay people are better financial and HR managers than most of our priests.

    The diaconate was instituted by the apostles to precisely do these functions. The Sacraments are for the priests.

  3. In the last plenary council, there was a proposal to have the permanent diaconate in the Philippines but it was shelved.

  4. I am also in favor of having permanent deacons. I wonder why in the Philippines this does not exist in our church heirarchy. There are indeed good and dedicated married men who so very much want to serve, and can serve in this way....sayang naman, hindi ba vocation din ito?

  5. Also, I want to comment on the non-availability of the majority of priests for almost a week in some places in the country because of the Congress. Yes, I do understand their need for recollection, fraternal bonding, resting time with the Lord....but, can there not be at least one left in every parish?...I shudder to think of a situation where a priest is needed by a dying person...and there is no one to minister to him...isn't it more faithful to priestly vows.... being always available for the sacraments?