Cardinal Friedrich Wetter of Munich, Germany said he will no longer listen to complaints about liturgy from people who haven’t first confronted the priest involved. This has become topical because the recent document Redemptionis Sacramentum reiterated the right of the laity to report liturgical abuses. But Wetter goes further, requiring confrontation with the priest first and recourse to the bishop only if he’s unresponsive.
That seems dumb. What if the pastor tends toward the vindictive? What if people are afraid of their pastor or being shunned or something else? The priest’s ministry is just an extension of the bishop’s ministry. So why the need for a “chain of command?” The bishop is your pastor and you have a right and duty to go to him with concerns and reports of abuses. After all, if we’re going to report physical abuse, in an ideal situation, we’d go directly to the diocese and to the bishop. Shouldn’t it be that much more so when it’s an abuse of the Eucharist?