Monday, September 21, 2009

Liturgical Abuse In Destin, FL: The Celebrant Priest Involves His Dog In the Procession

Here's the description of the video as it appears on its original Youtube page:

"After a promotion for a dog shampoo by the pastor, Fr. Thomas Guido, before Sunday Mass, this was the procession we witnessed while on our vacation in Destin, FL. The priest can be e-mailed at"

Here is the video. This really is sinking to a new low:

I'm willing to excuse abuses when the person committing the abuse is genuinely ignorant of what is being done. It is extremely difficult, however, to imagine that this pastor did not know that dogs have no place in Mass processions, or that dog shampoo has no place on an altar. Please e-mail this pastor at the address listed above, and if you are in the Tallahassee-Pensacola diocese please contact your bishop and make sure he cannot claim ignorance over this blatant disregard for liturgical norms. God bless!

In Jesus and Mary,


Karen said...

How in the world can you consider this an abuse? I thought that God loved all creatures, and hey, wasn't Jesus born in a manger surrounded by animals? Were they not the first creatures to welcome Him into the world?

The narrow-minded nature of this post is abhorrent to me and, in my opinion, represents the larger problems with the Church and the world as a whole. We're so caught up in the small stuff that we completely miss the big picture. With all the evil and tragedy going on in the world, I suspect that God would be disappointed in the pettiness and judgmental thinking involved in this hoopla.

Liturgical Abuse, indeed! The only abuse I see is the failure to accept all of God's creatures as a reflection of his perfect love.

Gerald Lamb said...

Karen, with all due respect, there are so many logical fallacies and unwarranted assumptions in your post that I honestly don't know where to begin. Your rush to judgment of me, a person you've never met, based on one post that didn't sit well with you is, respectfully, a narrow-minded act.

First off, it is a liturgical abuse precisely because the use of animals in the Sacred Mass is expressly prohibited. That you refer to an improper celebration of the greatest prayer available to humanity as "small stuff" represents a larger problem with the secular world in general and in particular of people who rail against the Church without bothering to learn anything meaningful about the thing against which they rail. Specifically, it speaks of a preoccupation with political correctness in a venue where political correctness should hold no sway. The Mass is where Catholics go to, among other things, learn how to deal or cope with all the evil and tragedy in the world. More importantly, it is where they come to worship and to endeavor to know God, not to hear advertisements about dog shampoo.

Your comments suggest that you subscribe to Peter Singer's notion of "specieism," the idea that all creatures, be they man or animal, hold equal value. I can point to a number of things wrong with that view, but would like to know if you indeed believe this before I address it further.

You assume that opposition to the involvement of a dog in the Sacred Liturgy is somehow tantamount to a failure to accept all of God's creatures. This is an enormous and incredibly illogical leap. As I nowhere in my post or anywhere in this blog speak of the need to reject God's creatures, I can only assume that this is an erroneous extrapolation you derived on your own and chose to include in your commentary as a means of forwarding an argument that already rests on a shaky foundation. If you take the time to familiarize yourself with Catholic doctrine, you would find a deep and abiding love for all of God's creation and for all of his creatures save those that consciously and irrevocably rejected Him (Satan and his demons). That you rushed to judge me as someone who is petty and judgmental based on this one post says more about your own struggles with pettiness and the tendency towards being judgmental than it does about any of the shortcomings you imagine me having (believe me, I have shortcomings; and because of my fallen human nature I have indeed been guilty of pettiness and being judgmental, but not in the present instance).

To borrow your own words: Liturgical Abuse, indeed! The sacred liturgy is to remain sacred, and as such we are to follow the norms prescribed for us to ensure that the sense of the sacred is maintained. Begging your pardon, but prominently displaying dog shampoo on the altar and having a dog process out of Mass with a priest and acolytes specifically trained in the proper acts of the Sacred Liturgy does not advance such a sense. And the priest knows this, and made the conscious decision to violate norms that he promised to uphold through the vow of obedience he took at the time of ordination.