Having grown up in the south, I know that Protestant ministers, even the most conservative fundamentalistic ones, are close to their people and spend time with them when they are in need.
Catholic priests have had a reputation in the south of being more aloof, formal and otherly. They come to the hospital, do the ritual for the sacraments and then leave. The perception was that the priest didn't want his personal time bothered by extended visits with those in need.
Pope Francis speaks of people being turned away at the confessional if they show signs of not being repentant. If I recall correctly, His Holiness once said that if a priest can't offer absolution to an "unrepentant" sinner, he should offer a prayer and blessing. That is sound advice.
I think a priest dressed in the finery of the Church can be engaged in the lives of his people just as one in blue jeans and a t-shirt.
How many priests and congregations automatically exclude gay people from Mass? How many are turned away from receiving Holy Communion? The only ones I know of being excluded from Mass are ones where the Church has actually taken a warrant out against a disruptive Catholics for various reasons and are prevented by law enforcement from attending a particular parish.
So I have to ask the laity here and any priests who read this blog, just how engaged are priests with their congregation or do they come across as arrogant, holier than thou and more interested in the ceremonial aspects of the Church and the fine details of the liturgy?????
Let me give an example. I have a newly ordained parochial vicar. Last night we have a wonderful annual celebration of the Recitation of the Holy Rosary with Exposition and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
The English version of the new GIRM has brought confusion to how many swings of the thruible during the incensations various objects/ persons or relics receive in the liturgy.
My custom is to offer three twos to the priest/celebrant and three threes for the Blessed Sacrament and the Paschal Candle during Eastertide.
My PV disagrees. It is three twos for the Blessed Sacrament and I can't remember for celebrants and laity.
What is your thought on this profound cause of concern to the laity?