Priests told: Stop abusing homilies
Eva Visperas (The Philippine Star) - April 4, 2015 - 10:00am

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines – Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop and Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Socrates Villegas yesterday called on his fellow priests to stop abusing their homilies.

During the Chrism Mass of Holy Thursday attended by all the priests in his archdiocese, Villegas said this kind of abuse exploits the kindness of the people “who are forced to listen to long-winding, repetitious, boring, unorganized, unprepared and mumbled homilies.”

He said in jest, though hinting that there is some truth to it, that listening to homilies is one of the obligatory scourges that parishioners must go through every Sunday.

“They are asked to endure Sunday after Sunday our homilies that cannot be understood because we take so long with the introduction, we do not know how to go direct to the point and we do not know how to end. Be prepared. Be clear. Be seated,” he said.

Villegas said they were all abused by the homilies of elder priests when they were seminarians.

“When our turn came to deliver homilies, the abused became the abuser,” he said.

He added that if a seminarian cannot speak in public with clarity and effectiveness, he should not be ordained.

“Long-winding, repetitious, irrelevant, unprepared homilies are signs of a sick spiritual life of the priest,” he said, quoting Saint Joseph Cupertino’s words: “A preacher is like a trumpet which produces no tone unless one blows into it.”

Villegas told fellow priests to pray this way before preaching: “Lord, you are the spirit, I am your trumpet. Without your breath, I can give no sound.”

He said priests must not only prepare their homilies but also themselves.

“Preaching is a ministry of the soul and the heart, not just of the vocal chords and brain cells. Our spiritual life is the true foundation of our homilies,” he said.

Villegas said homilies will improve if priests cut their love for talking and instead increase their love for listening.

He also underscored the simplicity of message and of life.

“Simplicity of life will also help us to stop talking about money and fund raising in the homily. Money talk has never been edifying. Simplicity means resisting to use the pulpit as a means to get back at those who oppose us,” he said.

He said simplicity also demands that priests keep divisive election politics away from the lectern.

“Simplicity in homilies means not desiring to make people laugh or cry – leave that to telenovelas and noontime shows,” he said.

ACIRC CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES DURING THE CHRISM MASS OF HOLY THURSDAY HOMILIES LIFE LINGAYEN-DAGUPAN ARCHBISHOP AND CATHOLIC BISHOPS PRIESTS SAINT JOSEPH CUPERTINO SIMPLICITY SOCRATES VILLEGAS VILLEGAS
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with