Sunday, August 26, 2012

Protest Sacreligious Mass in Honolulu

Wet N' Wild, Honolulu, where Bishop Larry Silva proposes saying Mass next Sunday

It has come to our attention that the Diocese of Honolulu under Bishop Larry Silva is unfortunately planning to have sacrilegious Mass at a local water park. This is in the context of a Diocesan Youth Day, which seems like an imitation of the horrendous National Catholic Youth Conference events, which I have blogged about (here and here).

I know I am preaching to the choir, but let's look at why it is wrong to have Mass at a water park.

First, it could be argued that  the location planned for Mass is a demeaning venue and contrary to the dignity due to the Blessed Sacrament. The focus of the surrounding environment of a water park screams personal fun and self-gratification rather than personal sacrifice and the selfless sacrifice of our Lord and Savior made present at the holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the real presence of His body and blood.

Second, we could note that canon law actually forbids Mass in places like this. Canon 932 of the 1983 Code states: "The eucharistic celebration is to be carried out in a sacred place, unless in a particular case neccesity requires otherwise; in which case, the celebration must be in a fitting place." In case anyone has any qualms about what constitutes a "sacred place," Canons 1205 and 1210 clearly define them as "those which are assigned to divine worship" and where "only those things are permitted which serve to exercise or promote worship, piety and religion." Clearly a water park does not qualify as a sacred space, and the 1983 Code seems to envision nothing other than a church, oratory or private chapel by the phrase "sacred space." Certainly a water park is excluded.

So, unless there is "particular necessity," a Mass must be said in a consecrated Church (a consecrated cemetery is also permitted, provided there is a suitable place for the Sacrifice). Now, we must ask ourselves, is there necessity in having the Mass outdoors against the order of Canon 932? The answer must be no, for three reasons: (1) There is no emergency; it appeared to be done just to be "fun" for the teens (2) There are ten Catholic parishes on the same island as the event,  the closest being only twenty minutes away. It is pointless to have a Mass in a water park when it could easily be done in the Church or (if room did not permit it for such a crowd) at least on parish grounds.

Finally, we could note that a water park will undoubtedly feature scantily clad individuals. As part of the event, teens will have access to all the slides, so boasts the video promo for the event. Are we to believe that they will go off and all change into Mass clothes prior to the Eucharistic celebration? To be sure some will, but a great many will not. The liturgy will be celebrated at the same time girls are standing around in bathing suits. Boys will be barefoot or shirtless, most likely. Even if this applies to only a small amount of teens, it will still be too much and could be avoided by having Mass in a parish church as usual.

This event is sacrilegious, but unfortunately too few of our bishops care these days about the sacredness of liturgy. Even high-ranking bishops and primates, even cardinals who have authored the Catechism of the Catholic Church, permit sacrilegious Masses at improper locations or allow grave liturgical abuse. They are more concerned with appearing relevant than being reverent.

Please contact the Diocese of Honolulu and protest this sacrilege. Contact information below:

Diocese of Honolulu
Most Reverend Clarence Silva
1184 Bishop Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 585-3300
Fax: (808) 521-8428
info@rcchawaii.org

Lisa Gomes
Director Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry
lgomes@rcchawaii.org
hawaiicathyyam@rcchawaii.org
808-203-6743

It is particularly important for folks outside of Hawaii to contact Bishop Silva and Miss Gomes, for otherwise they will simply write off complains as coming from stuffy Catholics in their own diocese, nay-sayers who are always "complaining." It would be good if they were to realize that this is not about anyone being a nay-sayer, but that this is genuinely offensive to large numbers of the faithful who take the reverence due to the Sacrifice of the Mass seriously.

Here is anothers blogger's much more erudite take on this.

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3 comments:

Alan Aversa said...

Bp. Tissier's biography of Abp. Lefebvre mentions that the Archbishop learned never to use gimmicks to win converts.

Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

Will they also have hula dancers? And will the mass be called God's luau?

David C Nicoll said...

Might also be worth ensuring the CDW are notified.