Over the weekend I was really irritated at this video from Brian Holdsworth, the Canadian Catholic YouTuber. He complains about a member of the congregation, one of the people who brought the gifts to the altar, wearing an AC/DC t-shirt. (He backtracked a bit in the comments, but not very convincingly.)
Before I launch into my rant, let me concede that I don't think it's a good thing to wear a heavy metal t-shirt to Mass. I've never worn a t-shirt to Mass myself, as far as I can remember.
I go to Mass wearing work clothes. There was a time I used to attend Sunday Mass in a suit and tie. Right now that's not very practicable for all sorts of reasons, including the fact that wearing a suit every week is going to wear it down.
Enough about that. What really upsets me about the video is the sheer negativity it reflects-- not only on its own, but in a pattern with so many videos by so many other YouTubers, bloggers, and professional Catholics. It's become endemic among the Catholic commentariat.
It almost seems as though many people go to Mass primed to be offended by something that somebody else doesn't or doesn't do. If they can find one person wearing an AC/DC t-shirt, or doing something else they can gripe about, they fixate on that.
It really seems a way of taking the liturgy, which should be joyous as well as solemn, and weighing it down with angst, sourness and bitterness. Isn't this what Satan does-- taking something good and poisoning it?
I completely sympathise with what Pope Francis said recently: "It’s not possible to worship God while making the liturgy a battleground for issues that are not essential, indeed, outdated issues, and to take sides starting with the liturgy, with ideologies that divide the Church."