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Dogs accompanying priest to the altar
Question from Mrs. Maria Braun on 1/17/2013:

Dear Fathers,

I received this link with photos of a priest accompanied by dogs to the altar. Is this altright? I picked the scripture bin because all the others were full. Thank you. Mrs. Braun

Church Revolution in Pictures Photo of the Week

The altar dogs of Texas A new extravagant way of desecrating the Mass has been introduced into progressivist churches: the altar dog. An experiment is now being made in Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in the city of Mission, Texas. It has also been introduced Our Lady of the Holy Cross Church in Baden, Missouri. In Mission, the one responsible for this new outrage is Fr. Ray Snipers. From his 13 dogs, he selects four or five to accompany him during his Masses, confessions and other priestly duties. He dresses them in a kind of vestment to emphasize that he actually sees them as acolytes. In Baden, it is Fr. Donald Buhr who is accompanied by his one dog as he says the Mass and hears confessions. Above left, you see Fr. Snipers giving Communion and, at right, delivering his homily at the New Year's Mass with a dog at his side. Below, first row, he incenses the altar while several dogs lay at its feet. Last row, as he leaves the altar after Sunday Mass, instead of being escorted by altar boys, which is the tradition in the Church, Fr. Sniper is surrounded by several dogs. As would be expected, attendants report that the dogs curl up around the altar, the celebrant's chair and other places in the presbytery. "Among all the Sacred Mysteries bequeathed to us by Our Lord and Savior as secure instruments of divine grace, there is none that could compare with the Holy Eucharist. So also for no crime is there a heavier punishment to be feared from God than for the lack of devotion and respect in the practice of such a Mystery that is full of holiness, or rather, which contains in itself the very Author and Source of holiness." These are the words theCatechism of Trent uses to warn us about lack of respect toward the Mass and Holy Eucharist. One can ponder how aptly these words apply to these priests who are transforming the Mass into a circus, as well as their respective Bishops who do not forbid them to do so. In the case of Fr. Snipers, we are speaking of Bishop of Brownsville, Daniel Flores; for Fr. Donald Buhr, it is the Archbishop of St. Louis, Robert Carlson.

Photos from Pinocchio

Posted January 22, 2012

Answer by Fr. John Echert on 5/1/2013:

As described in this post, this would constitute an egregious liturgical abuse, not to mention outrageous behavior by the pastor. I love dogs and have a pet myself: Buddy Beagle. I could not imagine having him function in any liturgical role. The only exception I can imagine to having dogs in the church would be for a blessing, such as happens in some cultures and locations for the Feast of Saint Francis, who is associated with nature and the animal world. Even that is not a liturgical function, as such, and should be done outside the Mass itself, such as immediately following another time.

God bless,

Father Echert


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