EDITORIAL - A time and a place for everything

The Freeman

You are probably now familiar with a video gone viral where a priest scolds a couple at the altar during their wedding day in Amlan, Negros Oriental, for showing up late.

When one looks at the events that led to this incident, one can conclude that it resulted from miscommunication. Long story short, a wedding sponsor told the couple that their wedding had been rescheduled an hour and a half later, which turned out not to be true.

When couple showed up for what they thought was their new time slot they disrupted a series of already-scheduled activities, including a funeral Mass that was set to follow their wedding.

The priest had the right to be upset, but he shouldn’t have done what he did and where he did it.

There is a time and a place for everything, including a reprimand, a scolding, or even a punishment, but that occasion was not the time and place for a scolding. Even if he had to, the priest could have said it in a more civil manner that didn’t have to cause embarrassment for the couple in front of all their friends and relatives.

This calls to mind a similar incident some years back where a priest shamed an unwed teenage mother who brought her child to church for Baptism during the sacrament itself. We can only imagine the courage it took her --and the stigma she had to overcome-- to bring the child to church, but there she got a lecture about how bad she was and how the priest said he hoped other teenagers won’t end up like her.

Of course, the backlash was inevitable and he apologized for his rash actions.

Like the priest mentioned above, he was not wrong to be upset at something, but he should not have lashed out when and where he did. Most of all, he could have also said it in a way that would have inspired the young unwed mother to do better instead of belittle her.

In the end, this should be all water under the bridge. It doesn’t behoove any of us to hold a grudge. Everyone should learn from these experiences, forgive, and move on.

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