Thursday, September 22, 2016

Things Getting Interesting in Catholic Liturgies: Polish Bishops Decree Sign of Peace to Be Preceded by Accusing Fellow Parishioners of Sin

One more gloss on today's news:

Gosh, folks, things are about to get very interesting at Catholic liturgies. I might need to consider returning just for the show, now and again. As Jonathan Luxmoore reports, in response to lay Catholic groups in Poland who want the Catholic church to bury the hatchet and stop its warfare (at the level of church leaders) against gay* folks, the Polish bishops say that true Christians have an obligation to accuse each other of sin. 

To be specific: because they're about making peace where there has been needless, destructive culture war, the lay Catholic campaign uses the sign of peace from the Catholic liturgy as its central symbol. The response of the Polish bishops to the lay Catholic peacemaking camping: 

[I]f extending hands to others means accepting the person, it never means approving their sin. Members of a community gathered in the liturgy have a permanent duty to be converted, and meet Gospel demands by turning away from their sinful fancies.

Got that? You are not to extend your hand in the sign of peace to a fellow Catholic until you have assured yourself he or she is not a sinner (presumably, in contrast to yourself). The liturgical practice of extending the sign of peace to others is properly preceded by aggressive acts of warfare — accusing others of sin and letting them know they are not worthy to be in a Catholic liturgy because they are sinners. 

Before the sign of peace is extended in the Catholic liturgy, it is meet and right that all parishioners accuse each other of sin, name each others' sins, shout them to the rooftops. Then the sign of peace may be extended.

Catholic liturgies are about to get very interesting now that we know this, aren't they? And speaking of interesting: isn't it interesting how it's always someone else who is the sinner — and not oneself? 

Isn't it fascinating how there are no sinners in Catholic churches but gay* ones? Who would have known? And who knew that the sign of peace is actually about engaging in the hyper-aggressive act of informing fellow parishioners that they are sinners before you bury the hatchet with them liturgically?

But, of course, this is all about informing only a select group of Catholics that they are dirty, unwelcome, sinful, isn't it? This is surely not about accusing the 70% of Polish couples using contraception of sin, is it?**

* Gay = LGBTQI.

** Note: this measure aggregates all forms of contraception including the withdrawal method (forbidden by magisterial teaching) and the rhythm method (the latter approved of by the Catholic magisterium), and not only forms of contraception forbidden by Catholic teaching.

No comments: