I was born, baptized and raised Catholic, and although I don’t show up at church very often, I haven’t heard that I was excommunicated or anything. The reason I seldom go to church is because I went to Catholic schools for twelve years. I am, however, always polite. Anyway, being Catholic is what I know, so I’m thinking I’ll just go with that for the duration.
Fortunately, my God happens to have an excellent sense of humor, because there’s been so much odd news lately religion-wise, it’s almost impossible not to make jokes about it. “Go for it, Judy,” He/She said.
Not the way I remember things
You may have heard about a church in Cincinnati offering drive-thru ashes on Ash Wednesday and figured it was some jivey young Catholic priest wearing an earring who came up with the idea. Actually it was the people at the Mount Healthy United Methodist Church. (Mount Healthy?)
I may not be the holiest person in the chapel, but I’m pretty sure receiving ashes is supposed to symbolize your repentance for the year you just spent sinning and/or generally goofing off. If you can’t take the time to park the car, walk into church and spend ten minutes being anointed, how penitent can you be? Not very darn penitent.
Why would anyone want that?
The heart of St. Laurence O’Toole, patron saint of Dublin, was reported stolen recently from Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin. The holy relic, all that was left of the sainted man, had been on display there since the 13th century. A little morbid perhaps, but so be it. This was the second inexplicable burglary of a Dublin church this year. In January a thief made off with the jawbone of St. Brigid, an Irish abbess who died in 525.
While I’m no theologian, I do recall Sister Olivia telling us that relic stealing is a sure path to hell for all eternity. And why would anyone want old body parts anyway? Isn’t it weird enough that people once thought it was a good idea to cut up dead saints and put pieces of them in a box? How insane would you have to be to want to keep them to yourself?
Don’t like your clergyperson? Do it yourself.
So I was reading about the mysterious Irish relic thefts when an ad popped up for StartCHURCH, a website where you can go to do exactly that, i.e., set up your own tax-free religious institution. Apparently some rather pesky tax laws, along with recent court cases, have made launching your own church “very complex” nowadays. The folks at StartCHURCH will help you with everything from filling out the federal application [form 501(c)(3)] to ordaining your own ministers. “Let Us Do the Work For You!” it urged.
Out of work? Struggling to make ends meet? StartCHURCH may be the answer. How attached were you to that soul anyway?
Subscribe to this blog under Email Subscription in the right column.