Laguna priest chided for using hoverboard in Mass

MANILA, Philippines – The Diocese of San Pablo on Tuesday, December 29, criticized one of its priests for using a hoverboard in a Christmas Eve Mass as seen in a video that has gone viral. 

“That was wrong,” the Diocese of San Pablo, Laguna, said in a statement Tuesday.

“The Eucharist demands utmost respect and reverence. It is the Memorial of the Lord’s Sacrifice. It is the source and summit of Christian life,” the Diocese of San Pablo said. 

Referring to the Mass, the diocese continued: “It is the Church’s highest form of worship. Consequently, it is not a personal celebration where one can capriciously introduce something to get the attention of the people.”

The Diocese of San Pablo said the incident happened on Thursday, December 24.

The diocese said that “before the final blessing of the Christmas Eve Mass, as a way of greeting his parishioners, the priest sang a Christmas song, while going around the nave standing on a hoverboard.”

The diocese did not identify the priest in its statement.

A hoverboard is a battery-operated device that brings a person from one point to another, and is now the subject of a possible ban in the Philippines due to security concerns. Hoverboards first appeared in the 1989 science-fiction film Back to the Future II.

A video of the Laguna-based priest using the hoverboard, posted by Flow Cartagena on Facebook, has received 13.89 million views so far.

Priest says sorry

A traditionalist Catholic group, on its Facebook page called Novus Ordo Insider, also reposted the video.

The video on Novus Ordo Insider’s Facebook page has gotten around 60,000 views as of posting time.

The group, which protests the “abuses” in the new version of the Mass, said on Facebook: “This calls for a reparation! Instead pray a rosary for this priest and attend a traditional Latin Mass!”

In its statement, the Diocese of San Pablo added, “The priest said that it was a wake up call for him; he acknowledged that his action was not right and promised that it will not happen again.”

“He will be out of the parish and will spend some time to reflect on this past event. He would like to apologize for what happened,” the diocese said. 

This comes as the Catholic Church in the Philippines prepares for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) in Cebu. (READ: Cardinal Tagle: Gift of self can overcome hatred)

Seen to draw up to 15,000 pilgrims, the IEC is one of the biggest events in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis himself is sending an envoy to the IEC. 

The IEC aims to discuss issues surrounding the Mass or the Holy Eucharist, described by Catholics as “the source and summit of the Christian life” because it revolves around the body and blood of Christ. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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