My dear brother priests, the sacraments are not to be celebrated in exchange for money. The trafficking for money in spiritual things is simony. It is a sin.
Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments: October 2012 Archives
I read a news item by an Italian journalist bringing to light a recent letter of the Most Reverend Socrates Villegas, VP of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines where he sternly criticized the practice of priests charging for the administration of sacraments and sacramentals. Villegas said, in part,
This is not a problem exclusive to the Philippines but North American priests do similarly in cash-poor parish. It is more subtle, but the attitude is the same.
The faithful are rarely taught to understand that you don't buy a Mass, nor do you pay a priest to pray for a loved one, living or deceased. All Souls is coming and there is a high concern that priests will try to rake in the cash.
The opening Collect for the Mass of the 27th Sunday through the Year is startling. The prayer is really breath-taking. Did you notice the same line I did when it was prayed by the priest today? Here is what the Church gave the priest to pray:
Almighty ever-living God,
who in the abundance of your kindness surpass the merits
and the desires of those who entreat you,
pour out your mercy upon us to pardon what conscience dreads
and to give what prayer does not dare to ask.
Everything seems "normal" in the prayer:
- the address of God: "Almighty and ever-living"
- the "ut clause": "who in the abundance of your kindness surpass the merits and the desires of those who entreat you"
- the petition: "pour out your mercy upon us to pardon what conscience dreads and to give what prayer does not dare to ask"