08 March 2008

The Vatican Loses a Child

The child was raised Roman Catholic, and he attends a Catholic grade school, and he goes to Mass, and wears a tie and everything. And I hadn't heard, from him, a peep of annoyance at this state of affairs. Until last Sunday.

Right before we went off to Mass, we read, courtesy of Witchvox, an article (this was from the Telegraph, in London, though I did my research and found it elsewhere as well), stating that the Vatican has recently stated that not only is it not ok, in the liturgy, to refer to Our Lord as Our Creator, or any such like, anybody who was baptized in a ceremony wherein such terms as Our Creator were used, rather than the gender specific Our Lord or Our Father, wasn't really baptized at all, and has to have a do-over.

I laughed and laughed, cause I thought it was just about the funniest useless proclamation I'd heard in a long time, and the child laughed too, though not as gleefully, and then later at Mass, when it was time for him to go on up for communion, he said, "Mom, I don't want to go up for communion," and I said ok, and we sang our songs and listened to the announcements and at the end of everything I said, "ok, tell me what's going on."

And it turns out that for Some Years the child has been Entertaining Doubts. Years this has been going on. He just quietly disagrees with what he's being told, sometimes. And the news about retroactive baptisms was the last straw.

I asked him what he does believe in. "I believe there's a God," he said. "I just don't think he says stupid things."

Well, no arguing with that.

So this week we're off on an adventure. He read the Unitarian Universalist affirmations, and said he believed them all, and so we're going on over there tomorrow, where, to his great joy, he gets to hear about All Sorts of Deities, and be someplace where his mom is Welcome.

And maybe there'll be jelly donuts. I think that's a big piece of a nurturing spiritual environment.


Marjie said...

I don't think the Vatican wants the ones who think for themselves.
Just my thoughts after 8 years of Catholic school.

CarlBrannen said...

One of my friends left Christianity due to a similar decision on the part of one of the Protestant churches, I forget which one and the details.

When I was young, it was clear to me that religion was bunk. Why would God tell people things that were clearly not true? As I've gotten older, and the unfortunate consequences of telling the literal truth to immature creatures has become more obvious, my position on the non sacredness of the written heavenly word has collapsed.

I forget when this realization dawned on me. I think it was associated with watching a 3-year-old declaim on the details of human reproduction while accompanying his mother at the grocery store. Suddenly, the story about the stork seemed an attractive and justifiable alternative.

And similarly, I think God had his reasons for not explaining the use of chemistry and physics (thinking of gunpowder and atomic weapons) to the Israelites. Instead, things have been craftily arranged so that we haven't quite simultaneously had the means and inclination to fry ourselves off the planet.

Anonymous said...

glad he worked it out.
i lost my dad when i was seven and spent ages doing the prayer thing with the rosary beads..and at the end asked for my dad to come back...he didn't needless to say..despite the tales in the bible..the dead can rise again it seemed from the stories, but not my dad? that was it for me!!!!
it was terrible going to a catholic church when i did not believe in it....
xxann from a very stormy england

Anne Hill said...

That is the most heartwarming thing I've heard all day! Bully for him, and I hope they have jelly donuts *and* chocolate chip cookies, the combination of which gives an extra added sparkle to a Sunday morning.

Reya Mellicker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reya Mellicker said...

Too many typos (above). Sorry.


He's so precocious! It was much later in my life before I had the wherewithal to question my family's form of Judaism. It never occurred. This boy is smart. So lucky to have you, too.

I salute you both! Looking forward to hearing about your further investigations. Yes!

Lora said...

It was good to see you, Laura and Rhys at the park yesterday!

thorn said...

OMGs, I am coming to this a month late, but thanks for the belly laugh... "I just don't think he says stupid things." Oh. Beautiful!