Yes, my daughter attends Mass every Sunday and is a very devout Catholic. I don’t have a problem with children at Mass. I went to Mass as a child. What I DO have a problem with is the PARENTS who bring their children to Mass and make no attempt whatsoever to restrain them when they are becoming disruptive.
Today, my family went to Mass. A tatooed-plastered woman walked into the church with her two-year-old son and sat in the pew in front of us. All throughout the Mass, the mother was text-messaging and reading her text messages. She was paying absolutely no attention whatsoever to what was going on at Mass. While she was busy at her text-messaging, she allowed her son to jump up and down on the pews. When he grew bored with this, she allowed him to crawl beneath the pews. His head would pop up all throughout the sanctuary. Did she attempt to restrain him in any way? Of course not. After all, there were messages to be returned. She didn’t even notice that her son was missing. When he grew bored with this, he then proceeded to run up and down the aisles. During the Consecretation, he even ran up to the altar and attempted to entertain the priests and the altar servers.
My husband and I are getting sick and tired of experiencing this kind of scenario week after week at Mass and all in the name of political correctness. We want the children to feel special, valued, and significant. Therefore, we must allow them them to rule the day, at home, at school, in the streets, and at church.
This is wrong. The sanctuary is a holy place, and if the church leaders aren’t going to deal with the problem, then the problem will be solved by the parishioners themselves. Every week, I see, arguments breaking out in the pews between those who have come to worship the Lord and couples who seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that their children are noisy and distruptive.
There is a difference between hearing a child make a slight noise and one which brings electronical toys to church.
We must not be afraid to call a spade a spade, Kathy. Wrong conduct is wrong conduct. People are coming to Mass in order to encounter the Lord Jesus Christ, and whether parents want to accept this fact or not, they simply cannot do so when children are screaming, crying, burping, farting, eating, slurping, jumping, and running up and down the church aisles as if they were at the local park.
Strange, isn’t it, my sister. In the 1950s and 1960s, our church sanctuaries were filled with children, there seemed to me not much noise and disturbance. Children back then were taught properly at home. And the teaching they received at home carried over into the sanctuary.
Fast forward to the year 2012, and we have a completely different situation altogether. I am afraid that the American culture of permissive parenting has pervaded the Church and corrupted parents in the raising of the children. Children who are not taught proper manners at home will not act properly when in the public. It doesn’t matter whether they are in a classroom, a restaurant, or sitting in a church sanctuary. The liberalism, and the everything-is-okay attitude of the parents, unfortunately, will spill over into the church sanctuary.
The Bible says, “a child left to himself disgraces his mother.” Whenever I see a child acting up at Mass, I do not look at the child with disdain. After all, he is a child, and he is doesn’t know any better. It is the parent, according to the Bible, who is the disgrace in the eyes of God, because the parent simply has chosen not to teach the child how to behave.