When "Retarded" Becomes The Punch-Line...And of course, we all become Jesus Christ
And what a morning it was for Mr. & Mrs. Caveman. We decided to forgo our long distance trek to the only parish that offers the Traditional Latin Mass every Sunday. Instead, we opted to attend Mass at a parish here locally that offers the TLM once a month. Unfortunately, today wasn't the Sunday for the Tridentine Mass, but we figured, what the heck, this priest must at least be somewhat Traditional. How bad could it be?
Well, there was a visiting Deacon from Joisey there today. He gave the Gospel readings, no big surprise, and the sermon, again, we expected that.
But what came next, neither myself nor my wife expected.
This particular Reverend Sir started his alleged "sermon" about how those in the congregation who happen to be retired, still have a mission in life. OK... I can buy off on that.
He relayed to us how when he was told by his superiors to retire and take it easy, he stayed home with his wife, as he put it, "evvvvvvvery daaaaaaay
". Three times he said "evvvvvvvery daaaaaaaay
" with an extremely sarcastic tone. I didn't know that being with one's spouse was such a hardship. Gee, what a gem she found for a husband.
But wait... there's more!
As this individual was relating to us how many look upon the retired, he read us a letter (supposedly) written by a 6-yr-old, and as many 6-yr-olds do, they get their words fouled-up. But wasn't it just as cute as could be that Lil' Johnny said that Grandma and Grandpa were retarded
and moved to Florida... and that they lived in a retarded
community... and that Grandpa moved slow, probably because he's retarded
Funny stuff, huh? I don't know what's more offensive, this guy using the word "retarded" as a punch line, or that many members of the congregation were literally howling with laughter.
As someone who works with children with mental retardation (and autism, and cerebral palsy, etc), I find what this individual said to be offensive in the extreme. I wonder what kind of response he would have gotten if the word "retarded" wasn't used, and instead, he said "malignant melanoma", or "leukemia", or just plain old "cancer"? Big yuks, no doubt.
But wait... there's more!
As his alleged sermon finally got around to relating to today's Gospel, he related the episode where he had Baptized a young 5-yr-old boy, and as he put it "I was looking into the face of Jesus". That struck me as kind of odd, because I thought only Jesus had the face of Jesus. Silly me. But I let it go.
But now comes the best part... within a span of approximately five minutes, we were all told three times that when we receive The Eucharist, that we become Jesus. And as he stood there with big puppy dog eyes, he said ever so quietly in the manner of someone sharing a secret, he asked the congregation "you do believe that, don't you?"
The House Sergeant Major and I sat about 5 pews back, and I looked at this individual in the eye and shook my head left-to-right and said "no, I don't!". And much to my happy shock, Mrs. Caveman said "we're leaving!" And leave we did. The wife and I may not have our D.D., but we know heresy when we hear it.
The saddest part of this tale of woe is during the drive home, my wife asked "why can't we have just one priest
close by who actually acts like a Catholic priest?". Then she started to cry. What she said next hit me rather hard.... she quietly and simply said "The Church has failed us."
As much as I wanted to tell her that The Church hadn't failed us, but people
in The Church failed us, I keep getting this nagging feeling that just maybe she's right.
In the past year, just in the Cape Fear Deanery, I've heard one priest allude that we become Jesus when we receive The Eucharist. Today I heard a deacon at a different parish say the same. My wife personally heard a different parish priest state that reading the writing of the Saints could lead to idolatry, and that this same priest changed "all the angels and Saints" to simply "all God's angels" (so much for Saintly intercession, huh?). And another parish priest preached the heresy of Universal Salvation, or as he puts it "oh, we're all going to heaven!"
Suffice it to say, I'm thoroughly disgusted.