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  • Writer's pictureFr. Kris

Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time ‘b’

 

I remember being a young priest, only a year or a couple years after my ordination. I believed that nothing could be changed in the liturgy that I celebrated; nothing could be changed in the teaching or in the laws of the church. At times I would even be scandalized by some other priests who - in my opinion - broke this sacred law or didn’t follow the regulations of Canon Law. Let me give an example: according to Canon Law a priest can’t celebrate more than two Masses in one day without the special permission from the ordinary (a bishop). But I knew priests who had to say three or more Masses a day because there was a need for that. Or a priest would perform the general absolution of sins instead of listening to individual confessions - only because there was just one priest in that very busy parish with hundreds of people who wanted to be forgiven from their sins. Today, after being a priest for almost twenty years, I believe in ‘pastoral need’. In other words, I still strongly agree that the liturgy shouldn’t be changed arbitrarily and that we must follow church teaching and Canon Law. However, there are places, times, and circumstances where, instead of putting the laws first, we need to care for the spiritual well-being of our people. I think Jesus would agree with this since in the Gospel today He reminds us that “the sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.”



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