Hokey Homiletics: The Violated Voicemail


It seems there's an edition to this section every week. This week, the homilist reported on a voice mail he received from a couple of "Hockey Dads". The story wasn't clear, but it seems that these Dads wanted to get their kids out of some obligation -- whether it was Mass or Religious Ed we were not told -- in order to see a "motivational speaker". I'm guessing the speaker was the kid from BU who was paralyzed a few years ago while playing the sport he loved. The fathers even offered to donate money to the Church or parochial school if they could be released from their obligation.

In any case, the homilist made it clear that the real motivational speaker was the one who speaks to us in his Word every Sunday: Christ.

I'm not arguing with that. I also don't like the idea that fathers would try to buy out of their religious obligations. And there are very many options for attending Mass that it's rarely necessary to miss Mass altogether.

But is there any justification in breaking a confidence made to a priest via a private phone call? Did the priest even call the fathers back to offer them advice on meeting their obligation? Or to tell them he did not have the authority to release them from it? We were not told.

There is something untoward in the spectacle of a man telling his flock that he broke one societal principle (maintaining confidentiality) in order to boast of upholding another -- holding a Catholic to his obligations.