Monday, April 18, 2011

Readers: share your stories of liturgical abuse

Mark Shea says he's having an Amy Welborn moment today:
So, my proposal is this: I would like to ask my readers to let me know what you hear this Triduum. The hundreds of followers of One of the Few Real Catholics in America deluged me last week with the certitude that this Triduum would oblige thousands of other Real Catholics to bail on their parishes this weekend in search of a Truly True Catholic parish (or perhaps no Catholic parish at all if their diocese is not up to snuff). The basis for bailing is that Michael Voris seems certain that there are ever so many priests and bishops who will "breathe a word" about Earth Day, thereby proving (to those incapable of thinking) that their parish is celebrating "Pagan Easter".

But since, as I have just kindly pointed out, 1) there are any number of ways of mentioning Earth Day in an orthodox way; 2), we have no particular reason for supposing the Gore memo will have any impact at all and 3) even *if* the Gore memo was mentioned and somebody included a little "give a hoot, don't pollute" mention in a homily or voiced an opinion that global warming is something to take seriously, that *still* doesn't constitute "paganism" or "earth worship". In order to be actually pagan, somebody has to propose that a creature is a deity to be worshipped because that's what paganism is: exchanging the truth about God for a lie and worshipping and serving the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! (Romans 1:25).

So tell me what actually happens in your parish this Triduum. I want to get a sense of how much the Great Voris Pagan Easter Panic in my comboxes last week was rooted in reality, and how much was hysteria. (My sense, in case you haven't figured it out, is "pretty much mostly hysteria"). But since "my sense" plus five bucks will get you a cup of Starbucks, I thought I might collect a bit of data. So I need to hear from as many of you as possible, since the Panickers will be hypersensitive to the slightest hint of Impurity, while normal people who are not inclined to comment will not, particularly if the homily is a perfectly ordinary one.
(Of course, in the comment boxes beneath Amy's most recent post, somebody accuses the Holy Father of writing something Manichean--so I wonder what sort of response Mark will actually get.)

I like what Mark is proposing here. In fact, I'm going to do something similar myself. Instead of telling me what happens this week, though, I'd like to ask all my Catholic readers two specific questions:

1. What is the worst example of liturgical abuse at Mass you personally witnessed in the last five years?

2. What, if anything, did you do about it?

Note well: I'm asking you for things you personally experienced at Mass, not things your second cousin's best friend in Oklahoma read about in an underground Catholic newspaper. I'm also asking you to stick to the time limit: five years. This is because as a lifelong Catholic I could fill a book (or at least a small pamphlet) with liturgical abuses I have witnessed in my lifetime, but when I really think about it most of them occurred between twenty-five and thirty years ago, in my junior high to high school years. This doesn't mean I've never seen anything since, but anything really jarring has been rare.

That said, I'll share two things to give you an example, both of which occurred roughly in the last five years:

1. A visiting priest ad-libbed the whole Mass so much, including the prayers of consecration, that we slipped out as communion was being distributed and drove across town to attend another Mass, just in case that one was invalid. I wrote to the pastor, and got a nice letter back reminding me to be grateful for the service of all priests--but agreeing that what we'd experienced was problematic and not what the faithful had the right to expect. That particular visiting priest never returned to our parish.

2. A parish priest became agitated during a Mass for the poor souls on Nov. 2., insisted at the homily that we should be celebrating because all the deceased were in heaven, railed against the Church for insisting on purple vestments and a spirit of penitence at this Mass, and finally tore off his purple vestments and celebrated the rest of the Mass in his alb. This priest had a late vocation after his wife died, however, which should be taken into account (as lingering grief can make us do strange things). I intended to write a letter, but just three days later our beloved choir director died suddenly and unexpectedly, and I lost sight of the matter.

In five years, those are the worst things I've seen. Perhaps that means nothing other than that I'm in a halfway decent diocese, but I don't know. Certainly it makes the constant drumbeat that the Novus Ordo Mass is riddled with serious liturgical abuse everywhere it is celebrated seem like an exaggeration to me.

But now it's your turn. What's it like where you live? What is the worst liturgical abuse you've personally seen between 2006 and today? What did you do about it?


Brian Michael Page said...

Most of the ones I've seen are either in the music or simply the priest taking too many liberties to come off as a game show host.

The worst one has to be this one church (I'll withhold the name for safety sake)... First the pastor loudly chastises the organist in the middle of the responsorial Psalm (EXCUSE ME!!! THE CHILDREN ARE GONNA READ IT!!) Then there's the "extraordinary minister of HOly Communion" (or poor excuse for one, thus the quotes), who saw my hands folded and tongue out and said to me, "I'm sorry, I can only give it in the hand."

A few years ago, a friend of mine was organist at that same church. At the end of Holy Thursday Mass, that same pastor could be heard SCREAMING at the organist "I DON'T EVER WANT TO HEAR LATIN IN MY CHURCH AGAIN! EVER!" (he did Mozart's Ave Verum at Communion).


Thomas L. McDonald said...

It's not the heavy duty abuse that irks me, since it's pretty rare. But we do have a priest who continually modifies the mass with little emendations and stupid asides, such as, "and then, in a gesture of personal responsibility, He took the cup..." He begins the creed by telling us to "put down the books" (meaning don't read along, just follow his lead) and then essentially pantomimes the whole thing. Lately, all his homilies seem to be about how badly the church treats women.

Red Cardigan said...

Thank you, gentlemen! Those are certainly annoying examples of a priest treating the Mass as his property/plaything.

And that does need to stop.

Keep the examples coming, all!

Anonymous said...

St. Francis Xavier, 16th St. NYC, Dignity Mass. Drag queen dressed to the nines whose playfulness would've charmed Le Cage, was an extraordinary minister, passing the Host, assuming there was enough intention for it to be a Host.

Witnessed it, wrote about it, spoke to the Archbishop about it.

But I'm cheating. Am confident it wasn't unique, but it was more than 5 years ago, & I haven't been back.

But I'm cheating.

Anonymous said...

I heard a homily at a daily Mass where the priest said that the Catholic Sunday obligation was only instituted because the Church found it too inconvenient to pass the collection plate every day. If they made everyone come on Sunday, then they just had to pass it around once a week and they still could bring in the money. So, if you can't make it on Sunday, just attend Mass on another day. I could only wonder if this was his opinion of the Church, why be a priest?

My husband also knelt at communion at a small chapel we were visiting, our parish still uses a communion rail. The priest stopped him after Mass and asked him if he was trying to be holier than the pope.

The worst, though, breaks the rules. It was roughly 8-10 years ago. We attended a parish where a youth group got up, pantomimed and danced to a rock song. After this performance, the priest stood up and said, "the gospel of the Lord..." and proceeded with his homily.

RC said...

I witnessed this at my town's parish in 2010. A retired priest likes to tell the people a joke every week during the Saturday afternoon Mass he offers. He pulls out a slip from his pocket and reads a lame little story: sort of a Readers'-Digest style joke.

Not a big deal, you might say?

He does this during Holy Communion: immediately after the distribution of the sacrament, before the ablutions, and before the Postcommunion prayer. Instead of a moment of silent meditation, the people get -- and have come to expect -- the joke of the week.

The pastor ignored my letter, and when I spoke to him in person, trying to reach out for some understanding, he refused to do anything, saying he wouldn't "insult" the old priest. Apparently correction is the same as an insult. I have not been back there in several months.

Cardinal O'Malley's secretary responded to my letter by saying he hopes I can receive Fr. V's ministry in the spirit in which it is intended.

Lindsay said...

Childrens liturgies are pretty bad. Once, the children doi ng the readings actually read a poem inplace of scripture, and once, maybe Good Friday iir, the priest actually read a picture book about the animals who witnessed the Passion in place of the gospel. Not in place of the onion, mind you, the gospel!

I also was a paid cantor at a parish where I knew the liturgy was pretty loose, but I'd always gotten the older priest who wasn't so bad. Then, I got the pastor for Pentacost vigil. He started the mass by saying, "Do you know why I love Pentacost? Cause I look great in red." I t sort of went downhill from there with his leaving the altar to join the congregation during the Our Father, and the climax was when he did his own jazz imorov for the "chanting" of "Through Him, with Him, in Him..." I thought I was in a bad movie. At the end of mass he told a story about a funeral he'd said that week and how he'd given the leftover sacramental wine (I was unclear but assume he meant unconsecrated) to the son to remember his Father...and there, I can't recall how he said it, but he made some weird connection between he dead father on the altar with Christ that made it sound as if he didn't believe. In the real presence. I was scandalized and felt I could not in good conscience go there again. Fortunately, I got pregnant and was able to bow out gracefully. I'd been unsure if I should go because it horrified me every week to see the vessels set on a table in the congregation after communion without being purified, and then, everyone was just milling about chatting around the "dishes" after mass. But the above experience put me over the edge.

Then, at my own parish, they started having readers do all the readings in dialog form with multiple readers reading the "parts" which was just plain silly.

And it was around that time we started attending the TLM every Sunday as a family (I only cantored for pay on Saturday evenings). So, I suppose we are freaky traditionalists now, but we were appropriately scandalized on our own.

Lindsay said...

I promise I typed something like homily in the above instead of "onion" but autocorrect is a mysterious thing.

Alice said...

About 4 years ago, I went to Mass and the priest didn't wear a chasuble and offered the bread and wine at the same time. I think he played around with the Eucharistic prayer as well. (I thanked God that the priest was near retirement age and I noticed that the Bishop didn't keep him in his parish a day after his 75th birthday.)

About 3 years ago my boss decided to do the Angelus in place of the Creed at Mass and wore blue vestments on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. (I did nothing, although the DRE complained to the vicar of our vicariate and the performance was not repeated.)

My next boss decided that CDs during Communion were THE bee's knees. (I resigned my position as music director and my successor seems to have convinced him that it's rude to the musicians.)

On the First Sunday of Advent (last November), the priest had synonymitis and replaced many words in the Eucharistic prayer with a synonym. (I wrote a long email to my father-in-law detailing the good -sermon acknowledging the existence of hell from the deacon and organ music- the bad -the priest's synonymitis- and the ugly -vestments. Since my father-in-law has been complaining for years to no avail, I left it with that.)

Honestly I don't get the whole "Novus Ordo Mass is riddled with serious liturgical abuse everywhere" thing either. Things were much worse 20 years ago, especially at daily Mass.

Muscovite said...

I'm not sure if this was in the last five years, but it was close: my family and I saw the same three-year-old child grab a fistful of consecrated Hosts off the paten and dunk his hand in the chalice of Precious Blood while in his parent's arms. He did this at least three times on different Sundays. The pastor's response to me about another situation like this: "Jesus can take care of Himself." So I didn't bother to try to discuss it with him. I did try to talk to the couple privately, but it wasn't well received. The child was still doing it a year later. We moved to a different parish.

This next one didn't happen at Mass, but during choir rehearsal. The priest brought his dog into the sanctuary (on a leash, of course). This was ironic, because not too long before we had been lectured by his predecessor that "altar rails were only originally installed to keep dogs and other animals out of the sanctuary" followed by a snarky "when was the last time you saw a dog in the sanctuary?"

mz said...

If one searches, one can find (or invent) irregularities at any mass. At some point you have to choose between being liturgical critic and being hospitable. Of all the problems at a typical North American parish, is the worst one that say the Creed was omitted one Sunday? I wrote a post (not that it was a particularly important one) that made a 95/5 rule. If 95% of the masses in a diocese bother you, the problem is likely with you. I personally had that problem. If 5% of the masses on a given Sunday bother you, you probably have a legitimate grievance.

Liz said...

While there are small annoyances like the organist playing Protestant music (including the theme song of the Reformation A Mighty Fortress is our God), the worst thing I ever saw liturgically didn't even happen in our diocese. My daughter and I were traveling and landed in a parish in Henrietta, NY on Palm Sunday. We should have know something was afoot when the sign in front of the church announced it was the Catholic community instead of the Catholic Church, but being naive converts we didn't pay attention to that. Anyway, the homilist was a female. The priest celebrated the liturgy of the Eucharist scrupulously by the book, but when they processed out he and the homilist processed out side by side. A valid Mass because of his care with the rubrics, but certainly a major abuse anyway. The second incident happened in our diocese, but not at our parish. We ended up at a parish closer than the one we ordinarily attend due to a snowstorm. There was a baptism of a baby girl. When the priest did the anointing with chrism he announced that he was anointing the top of her head, that when she was confirmed her forehead would be anointed and that hopefully someday she might be able to be ordained as a priest and have her hands anointed. There is a reason why that parish isn't where we go regularly.

We have a good bishop and things actually have been improving in our diocese, so the abuses really do fall into less than 5% for the most part. There are parishes that refuse to obey his instructions about kneeling, there are priests that ignore his preference for the tabernacle to be in the center of the sanctuary, there are people at the diocese itself who seem to do their best to sabotage some of his efforts, but he's a faithful bishop and he's assigned wonderful priests to parishes that had had decades of progressives. So I guess I'll put up with the 5%.

I still wish we could have a TLM regularly, and I long for the day when the OCP music edition finally hits the trash can, but at least we know that our priest means well. He got his training at the wrong point in history and he sometimes lacks gravitas, but he loves the Lord and obeys the bishop and the Holy Father, and for now that will have to be enough.

Liz said...

Oh, as for the abuses, we did nothing. In the first case we weren't even sure whether we were in the Diocese of Rochester or the Diocese of Syracuse. In the second instance, it wasn't our parish and it was a priest who will be retiring shortly, besides it happened while our previous bishop was around and he didn't tend to listen to complaints from the orthodox side of the aisle.

Rebecca in CA said...

offhand, the two biggies in the last few years I can think of are: EMs/priests several times refusing to give communion on the tongue, and worse: several babies being baptised by being dipped up to their waists in water. The water never even touched their heads. Visiting priest. I let dh take care of the first one; lots of documents being printed off, etc., and the second one, I told the pastor what I had seen and I'm not sure what the followup on that was. Oh yeah, I also had to tell the pastor about a heretical homily from the associate priest, talking about how women should be able to be priests, etc. What was even more wild about that, was to see the complete complacence of the congregation--they were laughing at his jokes, no one blinked an was surreal. Anyway, the pastor is good and was glad to hear about it. I think he finally got rid of that priest, but of course he's just preaching somewhere else.

joye said...

Taipei, Taiwan. Parish's titular feast day, 2008. Teenage girls in togas doing liturgical dance down the aisles. Said liturgical dance reminded me of a conga line. Lots of shoulder shimmies.

I did nothing as, while I speak Chinese, I definitely did not feel confident enough in my Chinese ability to explain why this might be a problem. Also, the archbishop was there for the feast, and thus could see it with his own eyes; it seemed redundant to do anything about it, since the person whose responsibility it was was already seeing it.

That's the worst single example I can think of. The odd thing is, I attended that parish the rest of the year I lived in Taipei and never experienced such things otherwise. It was really random.

There is also a case that I wasn't personally there for that Mass but I did read the apology in the bulletin the next week, so I know it happened. This was in Pittsburgh. The priest, attempting to make a point in connection with the reading about not wearing a proper wedding garment, did the liturgy of the Word in running shorts and t-shirt. Since the very next week, the bulletin contained an official apology, you can see that this was taken care of right smartly.

JMB said...

Two come to mind: Last November I atttended a Women's retreat in my parish and the homily was replaced with our "witness" (which I didn't do, too shy) and then the Creed was dropped. Afterwards, the pastor joked about calling the Archbishop and reporting him.

And then last year during a holy day of obligation, a visiting priest referred to God as our Mother. Not kidding.

John E. said...

I'm not 'in the club' so don't know if the following is unusual, but once for grins, my ex-Catholic wife and I went to a Charismatic Catholic service that seemed kind of out there.

Nuns playing tambourines and trombones at the start of the Eucharist sort of thing.

We left as the speaking in tongues was getting started because that is always pretty creepy.

Anonymous said...

We have a young 40ish associate pastor who used to take a microphone and walk through the aisles during his homily and ask questions of those in the pews and stick that microphone in their face for the answer. Not that they raised their hands. We lived in fear of that microphone. He doesn't do that anymore, but he loves to add jokes or commentary throughout parts of the mass, thereby snapping anyone out of their reverential moment. He's always looking for ways to lighten the mood.

He prays the line "..for us men and our salvation..." as "...for us (pause) and our salvation..." He's always looking for ways to make everything gender-neutral.

Our parish had a shoe drive to send shoes to Haiti and encouraged everyone to go to mass barefoot in solidarity with Haitians after the earthquake a few years back. No one did except for the above assoc. pastor who said mass in bare feet. I'm not sure if that's liturgical abuse, but it does not set the example to my children that we dress appropriately to meet the Lord every Sunday.

This man was recently appointed by our archdiocese to head vocations recruitment. God have mercy on us all, but especially me for not speaking up to anyone who can do anything about it and instead choosing to grouse to some close friends who feel as outraged as I that this man who rushes through the mass in a distracted manner, does not bow or genuflect during the consecration and constantly cracks wisecracks is now influencing men who are considering the priesthood.

Anonymous said...

@Lindsay, I was starting to wonder if I'd forgotten the important part of the liturgical onion in the Holy Thursday Mass. Something to do with the seder meal, perhaps? LOL Love that auto-correct.

Most of the things I've seen personally are pretty common, I think. Teens holding hands around the altar during consecration, teens doing a skit instead of a proper homily, priest habitually leaving out "for us men" and just saying "for us", no one ever bowing in the Creed for the incarnation, no one ever kneeling after the agnus dei (which is maybe a regional thing?), at one place the priest sat in the congregation during the readings and distribution of communion, emhc's putting things on and taking things off the altar. The worst example of that was probably a very young emhc who ran out of hosts (very large parish) and went up to the altar to help herself to more hosts from the ciborium.

Anonymous said...

I forgot about this: at my former parish, a woman who was the pastoral assistant regularly gave homilies for years. While I was in RCIA she happened to be on sabbatical at the direction of the newish pastor, who had asked her to consider prayerfully her role in the church, etc. If I had known she had been giving regular homilies I would have left that RCIA program in a hurry! Anyway, a few months after my reception into the Church she came to give a farewell homily, one last time, before she moved on to another parish. The pastor there had a way of dealing with abuses that was not swift but ultimately effective. (Anon @ 11:12 AM again)

Charlotte said...

I'm not sure I think a Eucharistic Minister refusing to give communion on the tongue is strictly liturgical abuse. He/she just might not have known, or said that because they were nervous about getting the host properly into a person's mouth. You have to allow some leeway on that one because we don't know what kind of training they've had, etc. When you get a bunch of different people up there assisting, you're gonna get a bunch of different results, especially since some people were trained years before by different people. A priest refusing, of course, is a different story. (That being said, I wish we would restrict communion distribution to just priests and deacons - or at least just men, if absolutely needed. It has irked me FOREVER when I'm at mass and our deacon is there and he doesn't assist with communion distribution. Argh!!!)

Anyway, I think some (some) of the above stories aren't exactly "abuse." Dumb, stupid, misguided, unthinking, sure. To be tolerated on a weekly basis? Probably not. But like someone said, if some (some) of these little things are driving you bonkers, then the problem is you.

As for the dancers in Taiwan, my understanding is that in Africa all kinds of interpretive stuff is legitimately allowed at masses because of the extreme culture differences. Perhaps that explains it? But perhaps not....for me, I have never seen liturgical dancing at mass and hope never to. (Although I have seen it at a HUGE African-American Protestant mega-church here in Milwaukee and was interiorly laughing my ass off.)

eulogos said...

Henrietta NY by the map is clearly in the Diocese of Rochester, where Bishop Matthew Clark supports having women pastoral associates give homilies at mass. There is some kind of strange way they justify it. It is ongoing in that diocese and will be until Bishop Clark retires in July 2012, and for some time thereafter depending on the degree of spine of his successor. By the way, I think this is wrong because it is disobedient. And it is not a good idea because the sort of women we have who imagine they know how to give a homily have been educated in all the worst ways. But there is nothing intrinsically wrong about a woman preaching. The mother superior of some Domincan nuns would appropriately preach to her sisters. A woman might preach at a retreat. I don't think this is the worst of liturgical abuses.

Will go on to give my own example.

eulogos said...

Now, what I have encountered in the past five years. Well I have spent most of that time with the Byzantines, and we don't have liturgical abuses, or if we do, I don't know enough to recognize them.

However, one All Saints Day a few years back, I went back to my Latin Rite parish, and I encountered what I consider to be not only a liturgical abuse, but to be implied heresy. The choir was doing the Litany of the Saints, and after doing a few standard saints, they started praying TO all the people in the parish who died in the past year!!
I call in Canonizing all the deceased. For one thing, it is explicitly prohibited by the Code of Canon Law publically to venerate someone who hasn't been declared venerable by the Church. Second, it says pretty clearly that we believe that everyone who attends this parish goes to heaven, goes directly to heaven, with no stay in purgatory. Third, this could really give scandal. Suppose the person who died, unknown to everyone else, was secretly beating his wife, had several mistresses, or sexually abused his daughter for years? Or suppose he is the head of a local business which hires illegal immigrants and pays them three dollars an hour, or is a slum landlord who overcharges for infested and unsafe apartments, and his tenants also belong to the parish?
The most harmful part is implying that we all go to heaven, and not really because we are Protestants and believe in sola fide, but because you know, we are all nice people here, and to talk of purgatory is so retro, to mention hell is in extreme bad taste.

What I did? At that point I was still going to daily mass in that parish, and after the Friday morning mass at one worship site we all went to breakfast. I tried to talk to the pastor about it there, who said "the choir picks what they sing." I told him this was a doctrinal issue, and tried to say what I have said here. When I said these people were most likely in purgatory, he said "Oh, I wouldn't say that!" and when I said some of them might even be damned, there was a shocked silence at the breakfast table

LarryD said...

This past Sunday, for the Gospel, the priest read all the 'Voice' parts (Peter, Pilate, Judas, etc) and a female lector read Jesus' parts. It might not be an objective liturgical abuse, but it certainly seemed like one.

I'm writing a letter to the head of the Dominican Motherhouse, in which the chapel was located where this occurred, to explain why we won't be attending there any longer. This is only the latest in a string of stupid things they do that frankly can and ought to be avoided.

Anonymous said...

I love my Catholic community and take turns visiting all the Churches in the diocese. I find that when I'm uncomfortable in any way during a Mass, it's usually because I've not prepared myself adequately to be open to the love my fellow Christians have brought to the Celebration. I am more annoyed when judgmental parishioners refuse to acknowledge they are among the Living Word, as a painted sepulchre.

I once attended Mass during the Christmas season at the Cathedral wherein particulars of the audio system were set up as if for an echo chamber, and the lead soprano was a fully-throated warbler. But it was a unique expression of worship; a little hard to differentiate the words, but no evidence of a lack of zestfulness.

MWC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RC said...

Oh, and one more case: a priest at the parish in the next town brings his dog into the church and lets it sit in the sanctuary during Mass. It's not against the rubrics, I suppose, but then the people who wrote the rubrics probably never thought of all the stupid and boneheaded things priests could think up.

bathilda said...

I don't know if this is technically incorrect, and I'm guessing it isn't, but I hate it when the entire Mass is sung, starting with "on the night he was betrayed..." It's not a chant, but rather a broadway type song-thing. it's horrible. I've seen this with some lighting as well. I have witnessed it with a priest who has a lovely singing voice (with the lighting show) and with a priest who has a very out tune (and loud) voice. I live in dread of it.

Anonymous said...

There is an old hippy hold-out priest who fills in at daily Mass here once in a while - he likes to invoke "God our Mother and Father" during the Consecration, endlessly drums on about how we are "all priests, prophets and servant-leaders"...and often mentions how he has to fight the "laws created by men, humans" in the Church, and is "always in trouble with superiors"...
Initially I was repelled from staying through his craziness, but now stay nonetheless to pray for him and report his "persecuted" self if he goes postal on the Mass. He's dropped the "God Mom Dad etc..." routine lately so there's progress. I'm sure he suspected the odd 8 out of 30 that kneeled during Consecration of being tattlers...but now that kneelers have been installed finally by the Bishop's direction, everyone kneels...some kinda conspiracy..... ;)

Tony said...

Most of the liturgical abuses I experienced were over 10 years ago.


1. Our pastor "Johhny Carsons" the homily coming away from the ambo and wandering back and forth in front of the congregation. My wife is hard of hearing, and when he turns his back on her half the time, she misses half the homily. When approached about it, he said: "What I have to say in the homily isn't that important" minimizing the homily and the value to the congregation.

2. During the consecration, when the words "...He broke the bread..." he holds up the host and breaks it, spraying fragments of bread onto the altar where they are consecrated and remain after Mass.

I haven't done anyting about this one. I'm not really sure it's forbidden. Every time he does it it makes me cringe, because it injects unnecessary theatrics into the consecration.

Red Cardigan said...

Tony, the breaking of the host during the consecration is absolutely forbidden:

[55.] In some places there has existed an abuse by which the Priest breaks the host at the time of the consecration in the Holy Mass. This abuse is contrary to the tradition of the Church. It is reprobated and is to be corrected with haste.

Source: Redemptionis Sacramentum

Since your pastor is committing this grave liturgical abuse in spite of Redemtionis Sacramentum's clear directions to the contrary, I would write a respectful letter to him citing RS--and carbon copy the bishop, the diocesan office of worship, the vicar of priests, and anybody else who might help stamp this one out immediately. :)