Loving those in error is sometimes very hard. I have just returned to my hometown after traveling for twenty years to twenty-eight countries. Before leaving, there were many problems in my parish, but with a new bishop and the forced retirement of the old pastor, I assumed everything would be better.
This is a large parish that draws people from three of the richest cities in the country. It is a complex of several buildings, including a large rectory, school, recreation center, and new church. Although the church is circular, with people facing each other instead of God, there are some redeeming factors to the architecture. The tabernacle is behind the altar, and on the back side is a Eucharistic Chapel, a perfect situation as far as the tabernacle is concerned.
The fact that no one kneels throughout the entire Mass [in violation of the "Rubrics of the Mass"] is of some concern. However, I stay in the front row and no one tells me to stand, as they used to do.
The Monsignor speaks very well of the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist in the Mass, and I have never heard him say anything that was contrary to the faith. This surprises and confuses me in light of the fact that in the Eucharistic Chapel he carries books like "Faithful Dissent" by Charles Curran, "Christ Among Us" by Anthony Wilhelm, [three volumes], NIV and King James Bibles. All these books are contrary to the Catholic Faith.
They also have Eucharistic Adoration, and this is what bothers me the most. Sound strange coming from an orthodox Catholic? Well! Maybe not. In Fatima, the first thing the children were taught was proper devotion to the real, physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They were taught to make reparation for all the "outrages, sacrileges, and indifference by which He is offended" in the Eucharist.
Apparently (at least the best I can find out), the parishioners petitioned for Eucharistic Adoration and had the required number of people signed up for hours of adoration. The pastor agreed to it and then went around asking them what they got out of it. Unwilling to make the time to take the Host out of the Tabernacle for the people, he has the people, themselves, simply open the Tabernacle.
There, inside the Tabernacle, is a cookie jar full of Eucharistic Hosts. This jar is not gold. It is glass with a plastic base and a glass lid. The people do not complain and they Adore anyway. I guess its the best they can get. Besides, at the Masses, the pastor uses a salad bowl instead of a paten for the consecration. He then uses a Koolaid pitcher, and water glasses for the Blood of Christ. From the salad bowl he dumps Consecrated Hosts into six or seven plates for the Extraordinary Ministers to pass out the Body of Christ. From the Koolaid pitcher he pours the Blood of Christ into the water glasses. Sometimes the Hosts fall on the altar [no altar cloth] and are brushed onto the plates.
I dont want to seem overly critical. The parish does a lot of charitable work for the poor. Maybe they cannot afford anything better than a salad bowl, Koolaid pitcher and a cookie jar for Our Lord. I dont know! I must wonder, though, considering the wealth of the parish and the statements of my friend! My friend has a business in Riverside in which he travels around the country buying up all the sacred items that churches are throwing away: Chalices, Patens, Monstrances, Statues, Incense Dispensers, Altar Bells, Tabernacles, Altar Clothes, Altars, and even relics (hundreds of them). He said that if he tells the nuns or priests that his reason is to preserve and protect them, they will not sell to him, but would rather throw them into the trash. If he tells them that he is going to melt them down, they will sell the items to him.
If our parish cannot afford a Monstrance for Our Lord, if they cannot afford a proper Chalice for the Blood of Our Lord, if they cannot afford a proper Paten for the Body of Our Lord, if they cannot afford a proper alter cloth for Our Lord, I am sure my friend will give them to our parish free. He might even give them a relic of Saint James, which I know he has, for the altar.