This is not one of those funny, fluff posts I write. Despite the cartoon. It's one of those that will piss you off. Just saying.
Stop me if you've heard this story before...but in college during a class called geography (it was social geography) the professor said that in the United States the official language is English. Not true. Some states have an official language and even some towns/cities. It may surprise you that some of these towns made their official language Spanish. The United States has never made an official language unlike Canada or India. All our documents are in English because that's what most people speak but they could just as easily be in Spanish.
Point is the professor was wrong. Does that mean the school is a terrible school? Or that because the professor represents the school the school teaches that the official language in the US is English? No. He's only one representative.
I have heard in numerous places that because Sister N. says or Father J. says it therefore must be true. Folks, that's like highschool learning. In college they teach you to search out the sources of information yourself. And then you dialogue about it. It's a highschool mentality if you believe something simply because it's been spoon fed to you.
Okay. That was harsh.
Sister N and Father J are only representatives. And they could be wrong either through ignorance or deliberate deceit. Or you could have misunderstood them. I had a condom moment with a priest. It was similar to when Pope Benedict said that a prostitute using condoms is a step in the right moral direction. What the priest said was that condom usage is bad, but not that bad. Meaning there are far worse sins out there. Does that mean that Father J was allowing condom usage? If you take it out of context, sure. But that's not what he said. That's twisting it. And some people do that.
But what if they are wrong? So what? I point you back to the whole "it's your responsibility to keep learning." Seek out sources of knowledge like the Catechism. Be a grown up. It's harsh, but that's the way life is.
Now that you know these things...now what? Keeping with the condom usage thing, if you just now found out about this you have two options.
1) Continue with condom usage but excommunicate yourself until it can be reconciled. I don't recommend this one, but in the context of a marriage it take two persons and sometimes your spouse won't immediately jump ship, which isn't good for the marriage.
2) Drop condom usage and excommunicate yourself until such time as you have accepted the Church's teaching.
Excommunicate yourself means you can't take communion or receive any other sacraments until you've reconciled and gone to confession.
If you find that you can't accept the Church's teaching, well you are no longer a Catholic. You are a Protestant. Find a new church.
Ouch! Delta! Just Ouch!
Yeah, well. Being a Catholic means you accept the Church's teachings. To do otherwise makes you a Protestant. I point you to your history books. Here is exhibit A: Henry the 8th, who left the Church over not submitting to the Church's authority on marriage. And Here is exhibit B: Marin Luther who after attempting to reconcile himself realized that he couldn't and left. You can do that too if you want.
Are you telling people to leave?
No. I'm telling them that to be a Catholic is to submit. To be a Catholic is to sacrifice one's will. It's not easy. I know. I've excommunicated myself more times than I can count over various issues and personal sins that I've had to wrestle with. I didn't cry about it. I just did until such time as I could decide to submit or to get the hell out.
My parents, I want to thank, have for a long time excommunicated themselves. I asked my dad when I was little why he didn't receive communion and he said it was because he needed to go to confession. So I asked him why he just didn't go and he said he wasn't ready yet. See? My parents get it and I get it. So why do we need to be even discussing this? I realize that some people are ignorant but if you crack open a missal you see that it says who can receive and who can't. Most people ignore that part, but it's there. You can't feign ignorance. You can't receive communion if you don't submit to the Church's teachings. Only Catholics in good standing, the Orthodox, and two other small Christian groups can. Protestants can't. They aren't "reconciled" to the Church's authority enough.
So are you recommending that people excommunicate themselves in mass droves?
Yes and No. It's my hope that people will reconcile themselves to the Church. I wish it was easy for everyone to just simply follow; that we didn't have to experience questions. But we have free will and concupiscence and part of all that is choosing to resist. I can't force a person to make that choice. It's hard being a Catholic. It's a sacrifice of inherently selfish nature to submit to an outside authority. I get it. It's one of the reasons why I know being a Catholic is right. All Protestant denominations are easy. You get to pick and choose who and what you submit to at will. There's no wrestling match on par with the likes of Israel's to be had. (the Biblical figure, not the country) But...as I said I can't make you and let's not kid ourselves. If you can't, you can't. So leave.
Why all this harshness? You're being judgy!
No, I'm not. As I've said, I've excommunicated myself before. A lot of Catholics especially cradle ones do from time to time as part of growing up in the faith and contending with the secular world. I could name names and could specify reasons, but that would be unfair to them. I'm just using myself as an example of what you should be doing when faced with uncertainty. I'm being very fair about this.
The harshness stems from people blatantly not excommunicating themselves or worse refusing to leave and expecting the Church to conform to their beliefs. It doesn't work that way, folks. I've known people who say they are pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, IVF users, don't believe in the Real Presence, don't think confession is necessary, and so on and so forth say they are Catholics in good standing. They aren't. Then they have the audacity and disrespect to march themselves up for communion. Absolutely, Hell to the No! That's blasphemous and sacrilegious. Park yourself back in the pew, for St. Pete's Sake! If people like me have excommunicated themselves, you can too. Respect the Authority, and sit down!
And please don't tell me they don't know. They may not know that the reason is because it's a mortal sin to do otherwise. Heck, they may not even care. But it says it in the missal and at the very least respect the religion you are choosing to partake of. Otherwise, please leave. You're behaving just as bad as Satanists who try to sneak out hosts from the communion line. It's childish. Suck it up and sit back down.
See and you thought I was all funny and stuff. I like what Considerer said...I'm blatantly honest.