Pseudonymous Father Justin Thyme, a Glasgow priest, responsible for two parishes in Glasgow, found himself in a bit of a bind when he realised that the kick-off for the Celtic Vs Rangers game on 31 March, 2019 was at 12 noon. Mass in one of his parishes is at 9 a.m. on Sundays, but in the other… well, that’s at 11 a.m.
You see the problem? Either miss the kick-off, arrive late at the game, or…
And that turned out to be the solution. That “or” – Father Thyme simply arranged for a supply priest to celebrate the Mass for the 4th Sunday in Lent while he, Father Justin, made the supreme sacrifice and toddled off to the Celtic game instead.
But, is it easy to preach the primacy of the Sunday Mass obligation if the priest is able to justify attending a football match instead? Even if, as the defence will go, he’s celebrated either the vigil Mass, or the 9 a.m. Mass, tell that to the parishioners of the 11.a.m. Mass in “parish number 2”.
Not a good look, as they say these days – or as we used to say in the bad old days “doesn’t look good…”
“I’m sure that” – Father Thyme was heard saying solemnly to a friend en route to the game – “Pope Francis would approve.”
There’s no arguing with that, unfortunately…