NOVEMBER 26, 2015
Fee levied on priests wanting to offer Holy Mass at the Tomb of St. Thomas in Madras-Mylapore
Very recently, a visiting priest friend visited the National Shrine Cathedral Basilica of St. Thomas in Chennai.
Desiring to offer Holy Mass at the crypt (the Tomb of St. Thomas the Apostle), he met with the parish priest, Fr. Louis Mathias, to introduce himself and get the necessary permission.
Fr. Mathias informed my priest friend that he would have to pay a fee for the privilege of offering Mass at the tomb chapel, the charge being Rs. 500 for an Indian priest and Rs 1000 for a foreigner.
My priest friend suggested that Fr. Mathias must be joking, but no, he was very serious, even though my priest friend informed him that he has been offering Mass in the chapel on his annual visits to Chennai since many years. My priest friend asked the parish priest the reason for the fee being levied and the explanation that was given to him was that they are being troubled by too many priests asking for permission and this charge would deter many of those priests. A priest is encouraged to offer Mass every day (though he is not specifically required to do so as per Canon Law #276 and #904), so when my priest friend expressed his anguish about being unable to fulfil his desire to say Mass, Fr. Mathias heartlessly suggested that he use the sacristy! We then went to a private chapel where my priest friend offered Holy Mass.
My priest friend ran into Fr. Mathias a couple of hours later after he had prayed his breviary at the Blessed Sacrament and resumed discussion with him on the issue hoping that the parish priest might thaw and be more friendly and accommodating, but Fr. Mathias was still rigid and unrelenting and defended his policy.
I do not allow visiting priests, even those who reside with us (and there are a fair number of them) to say Mass at our home after I heard years ago that one has to have the permission of the local Ordinary, and I once had to turn down the request made by a bishop from the North East who stayed with us overnight.
I wrote to the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore with a copy to the parish email address but did not receive a response from either:
Subject: FEE BEING LEVIED ON PRIESTS FOR OFFERING HOLY MASS IN THE ST. THOMAS’ CRYPT CHAPEL
Fri, 20 Nov 2015 22:09:42 +0530
Dear Archbishop George,
I do not know if you are aware of this, but Fr. Louis Mathias, the parish priest of the National Shrine of St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica is demanding that visiting priests who are desirous of offering Holy Mass at the St. Thomas’ crypt chapel must pay a fee for the privilege of doing so.
Do you think that it is right for him to do so?
May I know if he provides the priests with a receipt for the money received?
I am writing to you hoping that you will put an end to what I believe is a most unfair practice, and because I do not have Fr. Mathias’ email address (firstname.lastname@example.org has bounced on earlier attempts made by me).
If Fr. Louis Mathias would only read Catholic literature on the inestimable riches of the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, he would, instead of levying a ‘penalty’ to discourage Masses, provide a stipend to visiting priests to offer Masses in the Tomb chapel. But the problem is that for many priests today, the Mass has become routine and meaningless, which is evident for those who are not blind to the irreverence of many of the “celebrants”, their hollow homilies, and the innovations, aberrations and liturgical abuses that I report on:
The Power of the Mass
DIGNITY AND DUTIES OF THE PRIEST-ST ALPHONSUS LIGUORI
(The priest) shall perform all his functions with difficulty and by force, or without devotion. You shall, says the Lord, be anointed all over with oil, but you shall remain without unction. 1
The Mass, the divine Office, preaching, hearing confessions, assisting the dying, attending at funerals, are exercises that should excite new fervor; but after all these functions you shall remain dry, without peace, dissipated, agitated by a thousand temptations. I will begin to vomit thee out of My mouth. Behold how God begins to vomit you out of his mouth.
1 “Calcabis olivam, et non ungeris oleo.” Mich, vi. 15.
ENDING CLERICALISM IN THE CHURCH
SOME RELATED FILES
A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF HOLY MASS WITH THE BLESSED SACRAMENT FATHERS
15 NOVEMBER 2015
ARCHDIOCESE OF MADRAS-MYLAPORE HOLY MASS-THE SACRIFICE OF CALVARY OR A BIRTHDAY PARTY? 17 JULY/6 DECEMBER 2014
BHARATANATYAM AT HOLY MASS AT CATHEDRAL OF ST THOMAS IN MADRAS-MYLAPORE ARCHDIOCESE
8 FEBRUARY, 2013
LITURGICAL ABUSES IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MADRAS-MYLAPORE
FEBRUARY/MARCH 11/19/MAY 20/JUNE 25/6 AUGUST 2013/APRIL/MAY 2014/MARCH 2015
PETS AT HOLY MASS AT CATHEDRAL OF ST THOMAS IN MADRAS-MYLAPORE ARCHDIOCESE
8 FEBRUARY/ JULY 2013/MARCH/24 SEPTEMBER 2015
WHY I NOW AVOID THE NOVUS ORDO MASS AND ATTEND THE TRIDENTINE MASS-MICHAEL PRABHU
I received two letters (reproduced below) from the father of Emmanuel Bishop in the United States. He however, did not respond to my enquiry of November 21. I was curious to know if the liturgy was abused.
I could not attend the Mass as I was convalescing after an accident.
Fr. Louis Mathias granted permission for Emmanuel to perform (nothing like providing the faithful with a side-show as you noted in the links above) at Sunday Mass in the Cathedral. I am quite certain that he did not insist on a payment from Emmanuel Bishop for the privilege of serving or playing the violin at Mass.
From: Victor J. Bishop email@example.com
Date: Thu, 25 Jun 2015 16:40:06 -0500
Subject: Sunday Mass Santhome Church Request (Down syndrome)
Organisation: Riverbend Down Syndrome Association
Help requested please:
My son Emmanuel Joseph Bishop (12/12/1996) has been invited to the 12th World Down Syndrome Congress in Chennai to give a keynote speech and a violin concert: http://www.wdsc2015.com/
I kindly request if my son could play the violin, e.g., Adora Te Devote or Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach, after Communion during the August 16th Sunday Mass at The National Shrine of St. Thomas Basilica.
I attach 3 photographs from the Basilicas in Mexico, Nicaragua and Argentina. It is our tradition that when Emmanuel gets invited to a country to speak, the first thing we do upon our arrival is to go to the Basilica to give thanks for the abilities that God bestowed upon my son
Following is the link of a short recital with my son’s violin teacher: https://youtu.be/CzBaPtlXvQQ
Thank you very much,
Victor J. Bishop firstname.lastname@example.org 528 Grafton Hills Drive Grafton, IL 62037 (618) 786-2917
Date: Sun, 05 Jul 2015 07:50:30 -0500
Our prayers are with you during your surgery and our utmost thanks that under your precarious and delicate situation you took time to answer my e-mail.
Yes, I found your name by Googling Chennai and Catholic.
The good news is that a couple of days ago, via the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, I have been put in contact with the Shrine Rector Most Rev Louis Mathias, and the date will be16 August 2015 in the English mass at 11 am.
It maybe that my son will play from the choir, and I have taken the liberty to ask if Emmanuel could also serve as an acolyte.
Our first personal pilgrimage upon our arrival to Chennai is to give thanks to the Lord for the graces bestowed on my son, but also secondary, with the appropriate permissions, to have the congregation see Emmanuel, a person with an intellectual disability, either as an altar server and/or playing the violin as a musical offering.
Kind regards, Victor
Subject: Your son Emmanuel Joseph Bishop at St. Thomas’ Cathedral Basilica in Chennai
Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2015 17:42:33 +0530
My dear Victor,
Could you please send me some photographs of Emmanuel playing at the Holy Mass on August 16 at 11:00 AM for my web site?
Also can you let me know if he played solo or with the choir, and what exactly he played and at which point/s during the Holy Mass.
God bless you,
ST THOMAS TREE-ARCHDIOCESE OF MADRAS-MYLAPORE-GENUINE OR HUMBUG
APRIL/19 NOVEMBER 2015