Sunday, July 17, 2005

Even been stalked by a Catholic?

I just love the online Catholic Encyclopedia. No, seriously. It’s great to read it and find some of the more Byzantine if not downright bizarre bits of Christian ideology. For example, here’s a bit of what the encyclopedia has to say on the topic of apostates like me:

Today the temporal penalties formerly inflicted on apostates and heretics cannot be enforced, and have fallen into abeyance. The spiritual penalties are the same as those which apply to heretics. In order, however, to incur these penalties, it is necessary, in accordance with the general principles of canon law, that the apostasy should be shown in some way. Apostates, with all who receive, protect, or befriend them, incur excommunication, reserved speciali modo to the Sovereign Pontiff (Constitution Apostolicæ Sedis, n=B0. 1). They incur, moreover, the note of "infamy", at least when their apostasy is notorious, and are "irregular"; an infamy and an irregularity which extend to the son and the grandson of an apostate father, and to the son of an apostate mother, should the parents die without being reconciled to the Church.

There’s just so much there and it is all meat. Firstly, the observation that the temporal penalties have fallen into disuse because they are unenforceable. In other words, they don’t burn people any more because they’re not allowed to. Charming, just plain bloody charming. Secondly, the bit that says that not just the apostate is excommunicated but everyone they associate with. So, I guess if I did get excommunicated, as I clearly ought to be, then my whole family, including my pious, loving, gentle, almost saintly mother, would be excommunicated along with me with the power to remove the anathema being reserved to the Pope. I have to say that I am quite sure that would kill her. Thankfully it seems that the spiritual penalties have also turned out to be unenforceable. Finally, I have no idea what they mean by ‘irregular’ but it definitely sounds Old Testament to me. The funny thing is that they land this great moral weight upon my grandson but don’t mention my grand-daughter. For that matter, I have no idea if my daughter is supposed to be regular or not. I guess she isn’t as we haven’t been having any problems with her in that respect – the encyclopedia (thankfully!) goes on to state that most writers agree that irregularity is only genetically transferable in the case of those who’ve joined a sect or been personally condemned by ‘ecclesiastical authority’. The whole tone of the document is so deadly seriously as to be down right laughable. On the other hand, it bothers me that generations of people have spent their lives building up and caring about this hollow edifice.

“But, aren’t you doing the same thing?” someone might observe, “After all, you’re writing about it at length.” And they will have something of a point. So, let me explain.

The punishment for apostasy is excommunication. This sounds to me like someone who’s just been dropped screaming at their departing ex – “And don’t you even think about coming back!” Which is an understandable, though absurd, reaction in the case of a petulant sixteen year old boy but not in the case of a two thousand year old church led by old men. Well, the problem is that my ‘ex’ happens to like stalking. Wherever I go, the ex is there. Hanging around on street corners as I drive by. Suddenly appearing on my TV. Accosting me on the train. Coming around every time there’s a holiday. I ought to get a restraining order against Christianity!

But I can’t. So, I do what anyone would do in my situation – I try to make do as best I can in the circumstances. In my case this means, among other things, letting others know what a creep my ex is.

1 Comments:

At 8/2/13 1:45 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ge cialis
http://vtchiro.com

 

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