Hovver Bovver

A priest who conducted a Christmas Eve mass in the Phillipines has been suspended by his RC peers because he carried out the service on a hoverboard.


Is this The Church being overly stuffy and outdated or should traditional reverence remain the norm ?

An interesting topic to a "retired" pastor. Anyone in the greater Bergerac area is warmly invited to Café Church - meeting on the 4th Sunday of the month, in the building of L'Eglise Evangélique Libre at 5 rue Durou, Bergerac. At the moment, we meet at 1600 (for tea/coffee and cakes) before the time of worship at 1630. This is early, because of the distance some travel in order to meet with us. In the Spring, we expect to revert to 1700 and 1730 respectively. No 'hoverboards', but my wife does play guitar, and we really are a friendly bunch!

L'Eglise meets at 1000, every Sunday and, although most of the services are in French, headphones are available for those whose command of the language is not quite at that level, with an English language translation provided for most of the proceedings (on most Sundays!).

If you should come along to either fellowship, please make yourself known to me. It would be good to meet, in person, anyone from SFN. Oh! - typing this en route to home (Gardonne), so won't be at l'Eglise this Sunday (10th).

I fully understand John. While in England there were still some problems those paled into insignificance with the Irish ones. Ireland was a very different sort of place in those days. I'm not a Catholic (but my wife and daughter are) but an Anglo Catholic which can be the best, and the worst, of all. My school was at that time extremely dedicated to the cause and I was very anti it for decades. Now I seem to have come back to it and thank my parents for haven chosen it for me all that time ago. However I don't think they gave it any importance back then.

Especially after loosing a spouse after decades of marriage.

I agree David, religion can be a force for good and well as bad. In fact I’ve experienced that personally. My early childhood was in London and that was where I was first introduced to the Catholic Church. A more friendly and caring organisation would be hard to find. I really enjoyed Sunday school and making my first communion, there was even a little party (with jelly!) afterwards in my school. My folks then moved to Dublin and I was introduced to the Irish Catholic Church and a more vicious, corrupt bunch of child molesters would be impossible to find. The answer to every problem was to beat the children and the State left them to it. Notionally the same Church as in England but a completly different ethos. Had I not experienced the Irish version I might still be a (probably not very good) catholic today. So, whenever I disparage Catholism I’m careful to prefix it with “Irish” as for all I know in other countries it might be fine.

Personally I think that the method of delivering his message should not matter so much. If his congregation was paying attention to what he said, then what is the harm?

But I am not religious and that might make a difference!

Whilst Church membership is declining in some countries (as is the population) it is actually accelerating in others. Not the issue under debate here but a robust interest in religion (of whatever sort) may actually benefit society as that seems intent on materialism and selfishness. Having just been described by somebody on FB as a religious bigot (because I refused to be bamboozled by his agressive atheism) I feel rather defensive. Please forgive me.

Like. When my wife died this sort of site was not about but I wish it had been. I know that another former and now deceased member Graham Richards got enormous benefit from it after his wife died. As a result of meeting here Graham and I developed quite a friendship over the phone and by email. Loneliness, for whatever reason, can be devastating.

Actually this and just about any topic is about Surviving France. Some expats see SFN and other forums as 'lifelines' at times and communication is a comfort. SFN helped me when I lost my wife three years ago. Just chatting with members about anything was my lifeline and a part of the 'survival kit' at the time.

Don't knock it Ian,even you may find it useful one day...

I think hoverboard is a misnomer, they don’t hover and are really just cutdown Segways. I’ve seen them called balanceboards which seems more accurate. I’d like a go on one but falling off might be painful, though I was reading today about a airbag vest for skiing which inflates in milliseconds if you fall over which could be a useful accessory. As for the priest, at the rate the Catholic Church is loosing members I think they should adopt any strategy they can to retain a few. Some years ago these “cool” trendy guitar playing priests were quit popular but they struggled to reverse the steep decline in mass attendence. Nevertheless the Church, for example, laughingly claims Ireland is a Catholic country yet contraception, divorce and gay marriage are all available plus 40% of births are outside marriage. All forbidden by the Church. So what is it to be a Catholic today if the rules don’t matter I wonder? I don’t really pay too much attention to religion in France but watching the spectacular (and, in my opinion, well deserved) decline of the domineering and arrogant RCC in Ireland has been a pleasure. I’ve been waiting for it to happen since I was about ten and putting up with the Marist Fathers beating me and my little schoolmates with leather straps in our private Catholic school. What comes around… :slight_smile:

We have a great priest who sings magnificently in Breton. I'll ask him if he fancies a hoverboard but the nearest we get to hovering in Church is Breton dancing in an open air chapel every August. This clip features our local garageiste on the vocals. Some may say this drives people away from Church! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr48Dwi51HA

There are plenty of general conversations here- the phrase "dinner party" has been used a few times. I guess it's to do with being quite isolated as many of us are!

Do you think a priest on a hoverboard would be deemed acceptable in a French RC church Ian ?

The vast majority of services i've attended have been dull and uninspiring. Certain Evangelical services have been refreshing without being too OTT on the other hand.

All fascinating, but what has this got to do with “surviving France” ??

I am attaching a picture of our small hamlet chapel in the province of Leyte Philippines which has been rebuilt following the typhoon's destruction of the last one. The good people of Brittany contributed towards a good part of the cost. It has been built in a more robust way and was re-consecrated on 27 December 2015 with a fiesta outside afterwards, complete with obligatory karaoke. There was no hovering going on.![](upload://mGmyMAUOyeVfR68Z0e0v8p7HvKY.jpg)![](upload://mGrrpHtiEkMKEoOFCDwtagpd3nb.jpg)

I have been to mass several times in the Philippines and the services are far from being starchy. Firstly the place is usually rammed- standing room only. One place I go normally welcomes about 10000 people every Sunday. The priests need amplification just to be heard. There are loads and loads of children. Overhead projectors are used to emphasise the sermon. English and Tagalog or another dialect are used (in our case Visayan). It's very very hot and sticky (especially for visiting Europeans). The atmosphere is very happyand joyful. Lots of smiles. I would say this is a good way to get deeper into the large congregation. Just hope it doesn't catch fire and roast the Father!

Our friend Alejandro came to the conference in Berlin we helped organise last year. Officially he is a Jesuit priest in Lima. We have his chapter from the conference for the edited book version and in that there are more references to Marxist rebels than to Christian idols, actually none of the latter. He is getting on a bit, mid 80s and hardly a young revolutionary, but he works with the children's movements in South America and has been the driving force behind reggae, punk, heavy rock, rap and other forms of presenting religious messages, including in church, in order to give the young people a more acceptable form of RC for their age and time. They are there somewhere if you scratch the surface.

I attended a friend's wedding ceremony in Normandy in september. The church service was carried out by their new priest who not only did the usual 'religious' bits but also played all the music on his accoustic guitar with excellent vocals to boot ! The overall experience was truly brill. This is the most 'adventurous' i've ever witnessed in the RC church so maybe things are changing, if only a tad ?

Happy New Year to you BM and anyone else reading this topic.

Back in the late 1980s wasn't there a similar story about a roller blading vicar somewhere in England. The RC church is very outdated, my OH's emeritus bishop uncle who is well over 80 says it is and he is hardly a man of the modern world.

I suppose they can attract more little boys with hover boards