Although I wasn't present at this Mass my friend who was informed me that this morning at 9:30 a.m. at st. Theresa's Church on Mundy Pond Road in St. John's Newfoundland a woman read the gospel from memory in the center of the Altar and then proceeded to give a homily. This is while two ordained priests looked on as she was doing this.
This practice is fully and explicitly forbidden in the general instruction of the Roman missal as well as in the code of canon law. These are two of the guides which govern all the activities that occur within the church.
If you would like the details of what is contained within these Church documents please go to this exclamation given by Father John trigilio when something similar happened to someone else:
I am not sure but I fear this could be part of a new program initiated in Newfoundland to deal with the shortage of priests in certain areas. In the case where there is no priest present in a particular area on a Sunday it is permissible for parishioners to have a form of service. However this service would not include Eucharist or anything that is specifically assigned to a priest. Also it requires that there be no priest available at the time. However this was clearly not the case here because there were two priests actually in the church sitting there doing everything else for Mass.
What is happening is that priests are being given an inch and they are taking a mile. This is pretty much what happens every time there is any form of slight change that occurs in the church. There are radicals within the church that will take it to an extreme that was never intended.
Celebrating this mass or father Tony bidgood and another priest who has not been identified. Either one of these priests should have stepped in to stop what was happening here. But it is most likely that father Tony not only didn't try to stop it but had actually set it up.
This is an outrageous disaster. My friend was so distraught and put off by this that he simply walked out of the church. He felt he had no other option. In fact what I told him was that Catholics are forbidden from spending their Sunday celebration at a non-catholic place of worship. If a Catholic Church is not respecting specific and explicit Catholic laws I have to wonder if it would even fulfill one's Sunday obligation. My friend did the right thing by walking out of the church. When something so manifestly wrong is occurring it is our moral duty to stand up and do something about it. I'm not talking about tiny little peccadilloes which can sometimes occur. I'm talking about massive violations of canon law.
He will be contacting the bishop for something to be done about this. Hopefully the bishop will follow his duty invocation and explicitly forbid this action and tell the priest this is unacceptable. My fear in all of this is that the bishop does nothing and ignores canon law.
I will keep you posted on any updates.