A wad of bishops is on the verge of deciding Joe Biden should not be allowed to partake of the Eucharist on account of his support for abortion rights. They didn’t ding Trump for restoring the federal death penalty, although, of course, Trump is not a Catholic. Or anything else. At least most of the time. Depends on what church he poses in front of, I guess.
All of which led me to revisit the subject of the Eucharist, or Holy Communion. And how much of a big deal it would be to be denied the partakance thereof. And, of course, the funeral rituals of the Wari’ tribe of the Amazon rainforest.
It would be a pretty big deal. Like a lot of other things, but not climate change, it’s important to the degree you believe in it. No Eucharist for you basically means you’re out of the club, and this is a club that goes to a lot of effort to make you stay in it.
Catholics believe that the bread and wine of the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Jesus. If that seems like a hard sell, they remind us that this happens “in a way surpassing understanding.” So if you don’t understand it, that proves it. The phenomenon of the transformation of actual bread and wine to actual body and blood is called “transubstantiation.” One of the most miraculous parts of it is it still looks and tastes like bread and wine, so I would judge it has not been so much wholly as substantially transubstantiated.
I remember when Mom and Dad trooped up to the altar for Communion. And then they came back to the pew smelling like alcohol, which was a damn miracle, all right. The pastor held up the Host and said “This is my body, broken for thee,” or something like that. Okay. I could plainly see the Host was not Jesus himself but just some other cracker. I was little, but even I could appreciate a metaphor.
Catholics evidently do not. They are not about figures of speech. If Jesus wanted to make the point that breaking bread should remind people of the sacrifice he was going to make for them, he would have said “Verily, this is, like, a little illustration of a broken body, much like mine is about to be, and I hope you all think of me next time you have some,” but he did not, not even in Aramaic. He said “This is my body,” and that was that.
Back to the Wari’ tribe. They used to honor their dead by eating them. Not right away, either. They’d wait for the apparently standard three days, during which time the deceased did not, in their case, rise again incorruptible. It’s hot in Peru and they were plenty corrupted and they ate them anyway, causing great gastric distress. The Wari’ believed this honored the dead by incorporating them into their own bodies, albeit for a very short period of time. Clearly this was a ritual involving a lot more sacrifice than is required of Catholics, except perhaps the ones with celiac disease, because–this is true–the people in charge of these things insist the Body Of Christ must not be gluten-free.
In any case Joe Biden, by all accounts a faithful Catholic, might well think it was a BFD if he would no longer be allowed to eat his Lord and Savior. It depends how gullible he is. I know he doesn’t believe in trickle-down economics.
LOL! I remember that as a mere child, my mom, uncle, and I drove off to the beach on a day trip. It was a Friday. His car got a flat, and we pulled into a garage, where there was a sub shop next door. My mom and I split a sub. Then I realized: It was Friday! I was so worried that I was doomed to Hell because I had a fucking sub! I mean, Jeeze. people, this shit is all make believe!
Yep, saved one minute, lost the next … which is it!
Salvation-by-(ones own)-works (and not eating subs) religions are everywhere; they are toxic. Guess Jesus Christ was wasting His time, compared to wonderful, holy, sub-denying us … bluuch!
If he even existed.
"… not been so much wholly as substantially transubstantiated." I saw what you did here.
You always do.
I always wondered about cannibalism in the Catholic church, but it never occurred to me that the body of Jesus himself ought to be gluten free.
Seems to me if the bread has transubstantiated into the actual body of Christ, it has BECOME gluten-free. So if you have a bad case of diarrhea, that kind of puts the lie to the whole idea, doesn't it?
George Carlin had some of the best Catholic takedowns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYZYVr0Lcww
A genius. And if he were still alive to see what we've seen the last few years, it'd've killed him.
Good thing he's already dead then.
Sometimes I envy him that. Life is just SO fucked-up now.
I think you might need a good long walk in the woods. I know I do.
Perhaps the "wad of bishops" might like to take over the feeding and clothing and educating of all unwanted children born because abortions were denied. Maybe that would change their minds? And they should stay out of Joe Biden's government policies.
The universal vasectomy at age twelve idea is getting some traction. Reverse the surgery if you really, really want to.
I always thought something like that would be a great idea! We have more people than we really need, or that we can sustain. People would really have to WANT to have children instead of spitting them out because they can't be fashed to use birth control.
I had my vasectomy at age 25, and never looked back.
Agreat conversation starter with the ladies. " Wanna see my scars?"
If the "Faithful" don't reproduce, they'd run out of Catholics pretty quick. I seriously doubt that the conversion rate is anywhere near high enough to sustain them.
They are running out. Did I just read Italy is on track to halving its population this century?
When I was living in Buffalo, NY in the 60's, the Mafia ran the city. They would have people killed, go to confession on Saturday and take communion at Mass on Sunday. The bishop of Buffalo never blinked an eye. Maybe Biden could just go to confession before Mass each week like they did.
Well, that solves the problem so neatly. Hundreds of pedophile priests apparently use this trick on a weekly basis, so I can't see why Biden can't use it to be absolved of his Liberal politics. Injecting these relationships with their invisible friends into politics make everything so very complicated. Tch!
That's one weird religion, right there.
You got real alcohol? The hideous Southern Baptists served Welch's Grape Juice! (Of course, they believed that alcohol, like most other sources of pleasure, was a sin.)
We got real wine. We didn't have a big public community chalice though–we got individual Fun Size glasses.
Man! I used to be Catholic, and we got the wafer (which tasted vaguely like a Carr's water cracker — but no brie!) but no wine. The priest drank some wine, but none of the congregants. WTF?
In the United Church of Canada, we also got Welch's grape juice, in the tiny glasses. I only got to have it a couple of times – joined the church at age 14, then started turning athiest by 17 🙂
My Catholic Dad drank his wine and asked for a refill, he got told to leave and not come back.
Yes. He never went to church again.
These guys are in bed with Steve Bannon and Bill Barr…
Sorry, I just blacked out there for a moment.
I was in my early teens before I began to wonder, but my mother was the priest's housekeeper so I claim interference.
The whole thing is a lot to swallow, as it were.