I did not attend the closing Mass at the Fortnight for Freedom, held at Washington's National Shrine. I did watch the video of Archbishop Chaput's homily and, as I wrote last week, his sermon was quite good. But, I missed something that happened at the end of the Mass. Archbishop William Lori asked the congregation to take out their I-phones or similar hand-held devices and to text the word "freedom" or "libertad" to the number he provided. You can see the video here.
I am not sure why the USCCB has thought it a good idea to call attention to this. It is appalling. This was the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, not a political rally. If Archbishop Lori had invited the congregation to attend a rally later that day, and then encourgaed them to do their texting, I would have no objection. But, we do not interrupt the prayer of the Church to text. Really, ask yourself - or perhaps the Congregation for Divine Worship should ask itself - what is so different about what Archbishop Lori did from what that priest in Belleville did, you know, the one who was suspended because he took liberties with the text of the rite?
Archbishop Lori is needs to be reined in. He is a smart man, but he has lost his sense of perspective and, just so, his better judgment. Really, stop and ask yourself: Can you imagine Pope Benedict pulling a stunt like this? Can you imagine Pope Benedict delivering the sermon Lori delivered at the opening Mass for the Fortnight? Or at his installation in Baltimore the month before?
I take a back seat to no one in my opposition to the HHS mandate, but a good cause is being damaged when it is taken to such extremes. I find this intrusion of texting into the Mass even more offensive than some of the overblown rhetoric about President Obama. It is one thing to diss the President. Archbishop Lori dissed the Mass.