Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Is nothing sacred anymore??? I hope not.

So, I heard on the news this morning, in response to fears about Swine Flu, the catholic church is making some changes.

Yep. Many churches are removing the holy water from the fronts of churches. This statement from a chancellor in Quebec City, kind of grossed me out a bit.

"In some churches the holy water is changed frequently, but there are churches that leave it there for months, turning [it] into culture fluid”.

Ewwww…. Double ewwwwwwwwwwwww…. Blech.

As a lapsed catholic, I used to dip my fingers in that water, oh at least on a yearly basis. (Yeah, I was that kind of catholic, which makes my ‘lapse’ kind of anticlimactic. I’m sure they don’t miss me too much). I have a fairly casual relationship with dirt. I’m not one of those germaphobes, who uses sanitizer at regular intervals. I firmly believe that letting your kids get dirty on a regular basis makes them stronger in the long run. (My offspring were rarely on antibiotics as children, no ear infections.) But that comment about the holy water turning into a culture fluid really did me in. And then I got past the grossness factor, and thought about how absolutely hilarious it is, that the catholic church is admitting that holy water is not some absolute protector against everything. They’re actually saying that holy water has the potential to spread disease. (Along with sharing communion and shaking hands)

(I hope I’m not going to offend anyone, please, if you’re catholic, don’t read any further. You probably shouldn’t have read up till now…. This is your warning.)

In the bible, Jesus uses spit, holy water and clay to heal a man. It’s used in the ritual of exorcism and to overcome witchcraft. It’s believed to have healing properties. It can be used to ward off vampires. I’m not sure if it has any effect on zombies.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that the catholic church has gotten to the point where they’re not so arrogant that they can’t change.

But they’ve got a long way to go, yet.

My dad used to say that the church made rules for people in order to protect them, because the general populace wasn’t educated enough to understand some things. Hence the ban against pork in the jewish faith. Because people didn’t understand that they could get sick if it wasn’t properly prepared, the church told people just to avoid it. The ban against meat on Fridays was to stretch the supply of meat, when there wasn’t enough of it to go around. (During WWII, my dad said that his priest told them that if they could get meat, they should eat it; don’t worry about what day it is) But that’s his opinion. I’m sure there are other reasons for the rules they made up.

So, I’m glad that the church figures that we’re intelligent enough to know the real reason for the removal of holy water. And I’m glad that I’m lapsed enough not to worry about catching anything from the holy water.

Full disclosure: I do have a bottle of holy water at home. I got it from a priest in this church in a small town in the Netherlands, called Beverwijk. My grandfather was on the crew that built the church. Apparently the water is from Lourdes (the place, not Madonna’s daughter), so I keep it in case of vampires. You never know when there will be an infestation. They seem to be more mainstream these days. But now, at least I know it won’t protect me from Swine Flu.

So, suck on that.


Kelly said...

I'm a Lutheran that attends Catholic church (my hubby and children are Catholic, in fact two of my children are at Religious Ed. right now). And my daughter ALWAYS dips her hand in that holy water at church. And I know (and don't know) where those grimy hands have been so God knows (pun intended) what other germs are in there! We also have holy water that my mil brought from Rome and had it blessed by the Pope. My daughter has dealt with serious medical issues and on occasion (before a surgery or after a seizure), I seriously have put it on her forehead with the sign of the cross! I also do remember wanting to perform an exorcism on her when she was in the terrible twos ;)
After church I always wipe the family's hands with the Peace be with you's. I'm all for being friendly but during cold season it grosses me out a bit!

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Next you're going to tell me that the bread they use during communion is just regular bread.


Offspring #2 said...

bahaha. This is so funny. you're cute mommy. But becca is getting jealous. your next one has to be about her. She might find out that you love me more... shh.

Monica said...

i promise it will be about her. don't tell her, k? i hope it doesnt mean getting something pierced, tho.

Anita said...

I am a total devout Catholic (not a joke), and I was sorta cringing while reading this, just waiting to get really offended offense! Yay! I had to leave my four kids at home this Sunday and go to Mass without them, because they were sick. I was like, "Yo, you don't want to be shaking hands with me, people." Also, I went at the US AIR FORCE ACADEMY, which has about 4,000 of the nose-pickiest human beings on the planet going to it, so I was washing like crazy when I left.

Monica said...

Anita, I truly admire people who can have a strong faith in the church. I believe that there is something to believe 'out there', i just hate that so many people with the need for power use people's faith for their own ends.