I am wondering if I should address this with the cruiseline, and if so, to whom? We sailed with Celebrity last week. We are Roman Catholics, it was Holy Week, and everybody knows that the Catholic Church is a mess right now. Along with about 20 other passengers, we attended daily Mass. Seemed like a devout bunch, taking time from their cruise to worship. Here's the problem: from the first day, there was something odd about the priest. He didn't seem to know the ritual, left out parts of the prayers, and was accompanied by a lady who I first assumed was probably his sister. As the week progressed, the situation became more and more curious. The guy made a total mess of the Easter Vigil Service, which is possibly the most solemn of the year, along with Good Friday.
It crossed my mind to ask the Cruise Director about this man, but I decided not to "rock the boat" (sorry.) However, it bothered me enough to look him up when I got home in the diocese he said he was from. He was not listed. Then I did a yahoo search on the man's name and found him listed with rentapriest.com. THis is an organization of priests who have left the Roman Catholic church to marry and consider themselves still entitled to function as priests. The Church thinks otherwise, unless someone is in danger of death, I think.
I am offended that the cruiseline either didn't check this guy's credentials or didn't care. I admit that the services in the Daily were listed as "Catholic" rather than "Roman Catholic", but the whole thing seems rather a fraud. It is especially offensive in that, with the recent scandals, we took time from our cruise to pray for all who have been affected. I can't call the guy a phony, because a priest is a priest forever, even if not allowed to function, but it sure was a deceptive situation.
Look at it from Jesus's standpoint. What would He do in your situation? I doubt He would care if the man left the priesthood but still wished to spread goodwill. I doubt He would think the cruise line is perpetrating a fraud. I would suspect Jesus would find a little bit of humor in the insignificant omissions of the ritual. I would rather think Jesus would prefer to have the man lead other children of God in prayer whether he's still a full-fledged priest or not. Just as He would rather a heathen such as me lead others in prayer rather than have no one at all.
No, I beleive there's more going on here. See http://www.theworkingvacation.com/ for information on both Gentlemen Escorts, dancing gentlemen of a certain age (45 to 72, who are "refined socializers, cultivated social dancers and enjoy enriching the lives of others", Presenters and members of the clergy who enjoy certain travel perks and priviliges in exchange for providing social and religious services on board.
To allow others to believe, incorrectly, that one is a practicing member of a religious organization, which these cruisers did, and lead specific rituals which he/she is no longer authorized to perform is deceptive to say the least. The word "coward" also springs to mind; this man did not inform the worshippers that he lacked the credentials they believed him to have. I am in no way an expert in what Jesus would say or do, but my gut feeling tells me that hoodwinking one's flock is not on the "Approved" list.
My guess would be that the cruise lines rely on consulting companies like The Working Vacation to check the credentials of the people they place on the ships, and perhaps that needs to change.
I really don't want this to get into a heated discussion over religion, but what differance does it really make? You are not worshipping the priest or anything else for that matter except your God. Cruise;lines have a very difficult time over providing services just because of reasons like this. Why should RC be the religion featured? Why not Buddisim, Jewish, Methodist, Muslem, or any of the hundreds of other religions? People have complained about just this very thing in the past and this is one of the main reasons many ships do not have any clergy onboard for those that wish, out of fear of offending. You must also consider the crew and thier moral, most of them are probably of a differing religion than yours. Worship in your own way and be sincere and allow others to do as they wish. Isn't that what all religions actually say?
RC was not the"featured religion on board." A rabbi led a Passover Seder on two nights and there were two interfaith services as well.
I felt sorry for the crew in this case. Many were Eastern Europeans who used their very limited time off to attend services that were unnecessarily prolonged by this man's lack of knowledge about what he was doing.
Does it really matter? Obviously, I'm not sure or I would not have asked for input. Had there been only nondenominational services, I would have attended those and made other arrangements to fulfill my obligations as a Catholic. Still, I find it troubling to be misled in carrying out some of the most sacred traditions of my faith by someone who was not authorized to lead the services. In my faith, what this man did was a very grave offense, according to a local priest I just checked with. However, I have to assume that if one leaves a church, one then does not worry much about what that church defines as a grave offense.
Thomas & Jim Bragg, you both make valid points, which is why I am glad I didn't raise the issue on the cruise. But, as I'm told that clergy cruise either free or at greatly reduced rates in exchange for their services, shouldn't they be the "genuine article?"
The only religious experience I want on a cruise is a Royal Straight Flush on the poker slots. I don't think cruise lines should offer any type of religious ceremonies......someone will always be offended.
The Working Vacation is a Highly reputable organization, as has been seen on ABC's 20/20, and is in no way responsible or wishes to be suggested as a part of the deceptionhas been experienced by the misrepresentation of a clergyman . The Working Vacation takes pride in establishing high standards in screening Gentlemen that serve as Dance Hosts ( NOT escorts). Our company is NOT placing clergy.
If you have any questions, you may contact us directly.
We recommend that you inform the Cruise line directly of your experience.
Having had some time to think it over, I guess the old "no harm, no foul" is the best way for me to look at this. As Jim M. pointed out, 2 or 3 together is a good thing
Now, on the guy who got in my cabin and switched all my clothes for a smaller size, that's another story. Wonder how he got all the same styles and colors? Rick, since you have no luck in the casino, maybe your next cruise you could look for this villian and keel-haul him for me?
We were cruising on Sept. 11, not arriving in the US until Sept. 21. Aboard our ship was a retired rabbi, on board for Yom Kippur and Rosh Hoshanna services. He volunteered and led an interfaith service before dinner on September 11, which was attended by most guests and many crew. It was a great comfort to have a member of the clergy to speak to us on that dreadful day.
I really wouldn't be too upset unless Celebrity misrepresented by stating in writing that they had clergy that met the creditials. I don't recall any promises like that, but I wasn't specifically looking for them either. But for me, that would determine whether it was a serious matter or not. Sorry it wasn't what you expected.
Thanks Mary Actually I don't get mad easily now because I am on strong meds <G> plus we head to Fl on the 26th to meet the Pride on the 27th! Very excited here. I can't discuss Jenn (Gag order)..if I do, the Master deleter may strike again..lol...kidding
Going on the Pride June 15th. Celebrating my 40th birthday. I hope you'll come back on tell us what an excellent time you had on the Pride and tell us all about the restaurant on the top deck (Dave's?) Have a great cruise!!
You don't need to apologize for being a practicing Catholic. When you go on a cruise, or anywhere else, you may or may not have the opportunity to attend services. When they are offered, however, it is resonable to expect them to be the real thing. Anything else is simply dishonest. The thinly vailed anti-catholic comments wrapped in "Jesus' standpoint" are from people with a different religious belief. Your religious beliefs are important, they just are not important to the aforementioned, and they don't understand why they are important to you - so, they mock you. But, it doesn't make your concerns wrong, or the bogus services an "insignificant ommition".
Perhaps a friendly get-acquainted chat with the "priest" would be in order next time.
For your information Charlie, I am and have been Catholic for all my 47 years. I attended Catholic schools and practice the religion today. To call my comments "thinly-veiled anti-Catholic" displays your callous assumptions of other's posts. And to say my comments are from "people of a different religion" only proves that reading a post and understanding it are two different things. Responding to one without the understanding is haphazard. It's a huge supposition to state that religious beliefs "are not important to the aforementioned."
Cathie asked for an opinion on the experience. Nobody "mocked" her.
There is nothing like venting a gripe to make it go away. Many of the comments did give me a better perspective on the matter. As for insignificant omissions, even my 12 year old who has a developmental disability said "Mom, he's NOT doing it RIGHT!!!" Of course, I promptly gave him the maternal "no talking in church" glare. Nothing like a little time to allow one to see the humor in a situation.
Thanks to all who responded. I regret that my post caused some hard feelings between some folks.
Maybe we should get back to babies in diapers in the hot tubs...Yuck!
No hard feelings here Cathie, I just get frustrated with people who post comments as facts, such as: "The thinly vailed anti-catholic comments wrapped in "Jesus' standpoint" are from people with a different religious belief" when they have NO clue of the poster's religion. Or "they just are not important to the aforementioned" as though he has supreme knowledge of another's values.
I'll say it again, when faced with a question of the proper course of action to take when you believe you have been wronged, I always wonder what Jesus would do in that situation. I feel that I cannot go wrong following his lead.
It was sad reading about your experience with the "rent a priest". I am RC, not religious, but absolutely faithful to God. I am not religious the way that some of the ladies are in my Catholic Daughters group are. I don't even know how to say the rosary(I came in as an adult). However, I do know that the sacraments and priests are very important to most practicing rosary saying Catholics and having an ex-priest would, while not in any way threaten salvation, definitely bother one a great deal. If one is told a person IS a priest he should BE a priest.
My CDA group learned of a fundraising cruise on the Inspiration next Oct or Nov. I warned the gal telling us of the trip about the experience I read about here and she was appalled and is making sure the priest who is serving the catholic womens group is an actual priest that is brought on board by the group(which is raising funds to support seminarians!)
It may seem silly to you all, but it seems a mockery of ones faith to have a fake clergyman(former, ex, non, he isn't supposed to be leading active catholics in worship as an ordained practicing priest) I don't think anyone would appreciate that in any faith. I would rather get taught by a baptist preacher or a rabbi that I knew was such than have a person who is misrepresented as being something they are not.
Okay...I have to say, though I'm Baptist, did you go on the cruise for worship or vacation? Ya know...not everybody does everything right..and I'm pretty sure that Jesus is pleased to just have somebody TRY! Why stop him from doing EXACTLY what God told us to do? I think it's a good decision not to tattle-tale on the priest. As for the clergy being on the cruise...at least there is some form of religion for all those drinkers who wake up with a hangover the next day!!! HAHA!
Religion is over rated and throughout history, very dangerous. I shudder at the number of people who have died, killed and tortured others in the name of religion. Leave religion at home when you cruise and you will be the better for it. A cruise is a vacation...not a religous retreat. IMHO