Too bad condoms don't prevent influenza

I love this story - and not only because I was once a parishioner of St. Michael's in Brattleboro:
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. – When it came time for the communion offering at Thanksgiving Mass in St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church, the Rev. Stanley Deresienski blessed the sacramental bread and wine on the altar, preparing it for distribution among the 40 or so congregants.

But the wine never touched the parishioners' lips, for in the war against the flu, not even the sacred is spared.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington is the only one in the country that has formally asked priests to refrain from using the communion chalice and parishioners to avoid the usual handshake, hug or kiss when they make the sign of peace during Mass until the end of flu season, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says.
Welcome to Wacky World...

So, let's see... the Catholic Church believes only in abstinence, saying that promoting the use of condoms to prevent pregnancy and the transmission of HIV and other STDs is "immoral". And yet, it's perfectly acceptable to take measures, which to many Catholics are out of the ordinary, in order to presumably prevent the spread of the flu? Why is my bullshit detector reverberating like Tom DeLay's head does when struck with a mallet?
Maybe the flu bug is more evil than HIV? Perhaps this is acceptable because you don't have to use your "naughty bits" in order to catch this particular virus?
Isn't hypocrisy convenient?


Blogger Chepooka said...

The mouth is a "naughty bit" no? In any case, we'd best keep that little secret to ourselves.

12/01/2004 4:56 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

One of the most satisfying, rejuvenating rituals I enjoyed growing up in my Seventh-Day-Adventist Church was every 13th Sabbath when we would celebrate communion, the ancient tradition of foot-washing (each other's feet,) any baptisms that were scheduled for that day, all accompanied by a full choral program, voices reaching up on high.

The ushers would pass from aisle to aisle, a shiny, round tray full of individual little glasses full of grape juice, big enough to hold a swallow. On the back of the pews in front of us, was a tiny shelf full of holes that would hold the empty shot glasses after consumption.

What's the big deal? I don't see why the government-induced paranoia over the political and economic withholding of suffient flu vaccines should replace simple commen sense in using individual servings and infringe on the sacred tradition of communion within in the Catholic Church ... unless it's because of a secret govt. memo to the Catholics -- who are not Southern Baptists. I don't think the Southern Baptists like anybody else.

I'm so sorry to see this happening. I liked visiting the Catholic Church with friends from time to time for special services, being exposed to all the robes and satin and incense and Holy water and stuff. It was great! I felt like I was in a time machine, realizing that these same rituals had survived time, going back for millennia...

Kate S., Alaska

12/02/2004 11:26 AM  
Blogger angry homo said...

I'm glad that you enjoyed the fellowship of the church - and I'm not saying that you shouldn't or that I begrudge anyone that fellowship.

HOWEVER, I find it hypocritical in the EXTREME for Mother Church to be recommending measures that are not necessarily prophylactic regarding the spread of the influenza virus - and out of the same mouth preaching that it is immoral to use condoms to prevent pregnancy or the spread of HIV, a virus that is, or so I have heard, a lot fucking worse than the flu.And, yes, I know that this was the AB of Burlington acting on his own, not under direct orders from the Poop. But what kind of cognitive dissonance goes on in the head of someone who still buys into the whole hierarchy? The RC Church is no better or worse than any other, nor for that matter are they better or worse than any unwieldy bureaucracy; individuals within the church can be good, moral people who try to do good. But the institution itself is lumbering towards irrelevance precisely because its only concern is the retention of power by any means. Hmm... sound familiar?

12/02/2004 7:52 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Oh, don't get me wrong: I'm a hard-core, died-in-the-wool, fucking Athiest by damn and I hate all organized religion, especially LATELY. And I did get the point you were trying to make about irrelevance (thy name is smoke screen) confusing the real issues at stake.

I can only hope we all get front row seats to see the show, the smack-down of the century between government and religion, when they start to feel like the other is ursurping their power in a real grimmace-to-grimmace combat scrimmage over power, the likes we haven't seen since the Church of England and the Crown tried to delicately extricate themselves from each other in a sticky, post-coital let down.

Kate S., Alaska

12/03/2004 10:21 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Oh, please. Tom Delay's head does not "reverberate when struck with a mallet." It just goes "moosh."

Which is something I would quite like to see, in fact.

12/10/2004 10:46 PM  

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