17 February, 2008

The more things change...

My local parish had no masses last week, save perhaps a school mass. There was no mass the Friday before, either. Our pastor was out of town for something. All I know is that I walked up to the church and pulled on a locked door. It didn't budge.

There was a time when attending Mass daily was a ritual that many Catholics aspired to, and made sufficient effort during Lent to succeed. I know that this remains the case in many parts of the country and even of the world.

Indeed, there are parts of the world where churches are left unlocked so that the faithful, or even wanderers off the street, can enter to pray if they feel so moved, or at least enter and feel that they are in a sacred space. In other places that is not possible, as the churches remain locked—if, that is, they haven't been emptied of every sign of the sacred.

My house shall be a house of prayer, says the Lord. To the contrary, your house is said to be no better than any person's house, and your religion is said to be no better than any other. I might understand this if it were spoken by those not blessed with faith. It is unnerving to hear it spoken by some of the very men commissioned by Holy Mother Church to preach at your altar.

If every religion is an equally valid path to you, then I see no point in visiting another Mass, or paying another penny for a Catholic school. I know from the television that many religions consist of nothing more than successful deceptions and frauds. Certainly those religions cannot be valid. If all religions are equally valid, then all of them are frauds, and none of them is valid.

So what's the point of hearing a mass? Paris may have been worth a mass to King Henry, but I have no shot at ruling the French, not that I'd want to. Gaeta might be worth a mass, but last I checked, no one's offering.

After proclaiming in their homilies that all religions are equally valid, after neglecting the importance of the sacraments, these same men ask in very nearly the same breath why no one sees the importance of visiting church anymore.

I only wish I were joking.

1 comment:

Clemens said...

Did you see the latest stats on religion in America? Protestants are now at 51%, mainstream churches are losing folks, and the Catholic church is losing the most.

It keeps its numbers constant by the influx of Catholics from other countries.

Should be interesting where that leaves the Catholic Church in a decade or two.