Monday, August 8, 2011

"I Can't Understand A Word He Says."

Most of us have probably heard this at some point. We've had a priest from Africa or Asia or somewhere beyond the English-speaking pale, and the guy happens to have a very thick accent. This almost inevitably leads to people griping that they can't understand him.

Such people should be beaten.

First of all, they should be happy they have a priest around at all.

Second, these complaints are usually always related to the homily which, objectively speaking, is probably the least important part of the Mass. I can't recall hearing anyone worried about whether or not they comprehended the Eucharistic Prayer.

Third, I've noticed these are often the same folks who will go to charismatic gatherings, conferences, etc. and sit completely enrapt while someone babbles utterly incoherent gibberish. Let me add that whether this sort of gift is authentic or not, the fact that it's usually done with total disregard for St. Paul's directives should tell you something.

Fourth, if someone doesn't like hearing a priest with a foreign accent, maybe they should take a long look in the mirror. Have they done anything to encourage vocations? The reason we have so many foreign priests is because we aren't taking care of business in our own country. We should thank God that He has blessed some nations with an abundance of priests so that we can mooch off of them. Instead, we complain that we might have to listen a little more closely to make out what our pastor says.

It's just plain weird to hear people make this such a big deal. Of all the things going on in the Church today, we actually have the inclination to air grievances about a priest's manner of speech. Thank God we didn't have to make it through the times of Nero or Diocletian.


haskovec said...

When I was up in Minnesota a month ago there was a visiting Missionary from Africa who was there to raise some money for their mission. Anyway I really enjoyed the homily because of his accent. He was talking about how they speak English, Africans, and Click where he is from. He then did a demonstration of the other languages for the people so you could hear what it sounded like. Have to say it was cool to hear someone speak Click as that is something that I never really thought I would hear.

Throwback said...

That is pretty awesome