Jokes at the end of Mass are not appropriate, Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Julian Porteous says.
Bishop Porteous told the Sydney Morning Herald that Mass was not the venue for the priest to indulge his own personality.
“A religious ceremony, for Catholics a Mass, is a sacred event, and therefore the whole context of celebration should be one that engenders respect, appreciation of the divine and a whole sense of reverence for holy things, that is always got to be the ground in which a priest approaches his duties.
“There has been a tendency for people to feel a joke at the end of the Mass is something to leave people with a smile, but I personally don’t think it is appropriate.”
Preserving the dignity of the occasion should be uppermost in the mind of a priest.
“There can be place for a comment which may be a truth or insight into the foibles of humanity, but jokes, if they are corny and self serving, are inappropriate,” Bishop Porteous said.
Bishop Porteous was agreeing with similar sentiments expressed by the Anglican Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth.
There is nothing funny in “lame fisted attempts” to crack jokes and be funny during services and church meetings, Bishop Forsth said. Humour has its place, but God and Church, he says, is no laughing matter.