Expert Answer Forum

praying in tongues again QUESTION from Mike January 7, 2000
Dear John, I wrote to the National Liturgy Office here in Canada about praying in tongues during the liturgy just to see what they had to say about the matter. Here is the response I was given: Dear Mike, I am writing in response to your question concerning praying in tongues during the liturgy. Several times during the celebration of the eucharist the presider invites the assembly to pray with the words Let us pray. This is understood by the majority of Roman Catholics to mean that the assembly engages in silent prayer for a short period of time and then the presider continues with the collect prayer. Charismatic communities have interpreted this invitation to pray as an invitation to engage in praying in tongues. I suppose one can say that the liturgical books do not specify how a person is to pray and that charismatics interpret praying as engaging in prayer in tongues. You did not mention if your parish is understood to be a charismatic parish. Most parishes which engage in charismatic prayer usually make this known to people so that those who are uncomfortable with this form of prayer can find other places to celebrate the eucharist. You did not mention if this is the only parish in the area for you to attend Mass. If there are other options of parishes for you to attend, you might want to begin exploring them so that you might find one where you are comfortable with their means of celebration. I hope that the above comments are helpful to you. I did not include the name of the person who responded, out of respect for their privacy, but does this response sound legitimate? Again, thanks for all your help, and God bless! ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on January 12, 2000
Dear Mike, Sadly, the letter you received seems to be a typical whitewash. First of all there's no such thing as a Charismatic Parish. There are numerous Rites in communion with the Holy See such as the Byzantines and Maronites but there's no such animal as a Charismatic Rite. The Charismatics have no right to change ANYTHING or to add ANYTHING to the Mass. The faithful have a right to a TRUE liturgy, WHICH MEANS THE LITURGY DESIRED AND LAID DOWN BY THE CHURCH. Undue experimentation, changes and creativity bewilder the faithful. The Second Vatican Council's admonition in this regard must be remembered: 'No person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority'. [Pope John Paul II, April 17, 1980] Why so many ignore this clear statement is beyond me. Also the suggestion that you shop for a parish, one where you are comfortable with their means of celebration is absolutely amazing. In fact I find it insulting. The means of celebration, which we as Roman Catholics are comfortable with, is the ROMAN CATHOLIC means of celebration. To suggest that you go somewhere else and shop for a Mass you like is definite Protestant thinking. When a Protestant doesn't like the way his church worships he simply goes down the street to another Protestant church and if he can't find one to his liking he starts his own. No wonder there are more than 30,000 distinctly different Protestant denominations and they're still growing. Hang in there brother. In Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

You have successfully subscribed!