The reader who started it all, and wrote to ask why people don’t take crying babies out of church, dropped me a line yesterday:
Thank you for posting my questions; I really do appreciate it, as do a few of my priest-friends who are also wondering what more they have to do to get parents to take disruptive babies & young children out of Mass.
The comments really saddened me. I have worked as a DRE for all age levels, & am working on my master’s degree in theology. My husband & I also have 6 children, ages 15-27, so we have a fair amount of experience with kids at Mass.
What most saddened me were the comments by clergy & laity alike saying that disruptive children belong at Mass. It seems that we’ve forgotten what the Mass really is–the worship of God, the re-presentation of the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. It is not meant to be a place to socialize children. They should be prepared to join the worship of God along with the rest of congregation. It is not a place to be oogling the newest baby or be waving at kids who are antsy.
People like to say that because the Church encourages couples to have children that we are obligated to have babies & young children at Mass. It seems to be that when Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me,” He wasn’t teaching in the synagogue!
UPDATE: Red Cardigan, from the blog “And Sometimes Tea” has further reaction to all this that’s worth reading.
UPDATE II: Check out Calah Alexander’s post on this, which sums up a lot of my thoughts on this perfectly.