We had a deanery meeting today in Savannah and a presentation on sexual harassment in the work place.
Most of it is commonsense things covered by civil law.
But an eye opener for me is that as the "CEO" if you will, as pastor, I am responsible for all things that go on in the work place to include visitors, vendors, volunteers or anyone on our property. YIKES!
Fortunately, as far as I know, no one has ever made known to me a situation of sexual harassment in the work place of the parish. Also, though, what is now considered sexual harassment today wasn't really considered such back in the 60's and 70's, my heyday!
But it got me thinking about those "touchy-feely" days especially when the charismatic movement began to blossom and they were particularly "touchy-feely" especially at Mass, but so were many others.
How many of you remember the "love fest" that the Sign of Peace became at these 1960's and70's Masses, especially small group Masses? We jokingly called the Sign of Peace the "Liturgy of Peace" long hugs and God knows what else.
But also think of those priests who encouraged handholding during the Our Father. When I first arrived in Macon in 2004 it was quite common in the congregation until I told my new parish that holding hands at the Our Father is not a gesture that is in the "rubrics" of the Mass and that they shouldn't do it.
You would have thought I was the Grinch who stole Christmas!
But I had many people tell me privately that they did not like holding hands with strangers or anyone during Mass and it was an invasion of their personal space and that some people were too eager to hold their hands! I think we can classify that as sexual harassment at Mass especially those unwanted hands coming toward us to hold our hand!
The same can be said of the Sign of Peace!
All this makes me long for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass which has none of this nonsense. The only problem there is that pews allow others to sit up against you. O MY!
Your thoughts on "sexual harassment" at Mass.