Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Now that's the Catholic Church I remember

When The Rascal was growing up in the Catholic Church in the pre-Vatican II days, we had our masses in a language nobody understood, with the priest's back turned to us, and we believed that Protestants were pretty much full of crap.

Pope Benedict XVI seems bent on bringing back those good old days.


Will Pfeifer said...

Rascal, maybe you can clear something up for me. Isn't the underlying (and almost always unspoken) theme of the various Christian religions that they're the ones with the real ticket to heaven and everyone else is screwed? Cooperation and brotherhood aside, doesn't Catholic doctrine (or born again doctrine or Mormon doctrine) basically say that if you don't worship according to their rules, you're going to hell? I mean, otherwise, why would it be important to pick one over the others, right? It's just not something that (for obvious reasons) anyone usually just comes out and says.

The Rascal said...

Will: That's not entirely correct. The Vatican, for example, doesn't hold that Protestants are doomed to perdition, nor is the opposite always the case. So-called mainstream, or liberal, Protestants generally don't contend that members of other Christian denominations can't get to heaven. Some aren't even ready to damn the unchurched or the Jews or whatever. There are, however, some fundamentalist Protestants who contend that you must be born-again (or "saved," as it were) or you're in big trouble, eternity-wise. Let's also remember that there are thousands of Christian denominations, and lots of them are pretty tolerant of certain others and not so tolerant of yet others. The point the pope is making is that his outfit is the real deal, the one with apostolic pedigree, and the others are not genuine churches, but not necessarily evil either. Let's remember, too, that the official stances of the various denominations on matters of who gets into heaven and who doesn't aren't necessarily embraced by all their members. That's also true of certain other doctrines. Lots of Catholics, for example, don't agree with the Vatican on issues of birth control, homosexuality, embryonic stem-cell research, etc. I hope I've been of some help, Will. Now, go in peace, and sin no more, my son.

Will Pfeifer said...

Bless you, rascal. Bless you.