Dan Haley [There’s no improvising Mass, News, Feb. 22] is indignant about Bishop Braxton’s telling a priest not to ad-lib the Mass, as if it’s the priest’s Mass and he can do with it anything he wants. But it’s not his, it’s the church’s. Braxton had no choice. Once apprised of the situation, he nixed the practice. What was he supposed to do, poll the congregation?

Dan knows the church doesn’t act that way, but he continues to kick against the goad, betraying either naivete or stubbornness in the matter. He would like the church to conform in this matter. And in how many others?

It’s an institution that claims divine founding and has thousands of years of being governed pretty much as it is today. But a priest wants to remake the Mass, the center of Catholic worship? Braxton is supposed to say go ahead, suit yourself? If he has authority in any area, it’s in worship.

He doesn’t have Dan’s vote, and he may not always have mine, but in either case, so what? We’re both trying to be decent Catholics; that’s the important thing.

Jim Bowman
Oak Park

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