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.