CAN THIS CHURCH BE SAVED?
by Maura Hanrahan
Last week I sat in an old wooden pew and listened to a priest harangue a tiny congregation about the evils of hip-hop clothing. He was especially concerned about those pants teenagers are so fond of, the ones that seem like they’re about to fall off. He explained that these pants represent moral decay, and the loss of community values.
There were about 20 of us in the small rural church. Some were tourists; a few, mostly elderly ladies, were locals. The priest began his sermon by saying, "People laughed at me earlier this morning when I gave my sermon in (a community about 50 miles away)." It was not an auspicious beginning. Before long, many of us were trying in vain to stifle our giggles as the man on the altar pontificated for 30 minutes about eccentrically-dressed teenagers, throwing in the odd tie-in to Bernadette of Lourdes.