Recent Posts

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Magical Thinking AGAIN

I have written about magical thinking in the Church.

One example from past articles has been the misconception that sacraments can be given to the dead.


But, something which has come to my attention in the past six months has been the fact that in some dioceses, not all, The Rite of Christian Burial is being allowed for known apostates.

Recently, a young woman committed suicide in another state after many years of living away from the Church. In fact, some of her relatives, who are truly orthodox, said she may not have even been baptized by her parents long ago.

Yet, the priest in the home parish said a funeral Mass "for the parents".  The Rite of Christian Burial is for Christians. If the woman had been a practicing Catholic and mentally unstable, and committed suicide, there would be room for doubt and a funeral could be appropriate. But, to hold large funeral for a young woman who did not want to be a Catholic and never lived an adult life as a Catholic seems to be not only hypocritical, but an insult to the dead.

She decided to fall away, or perhaps never did practice past her teens, so she chose not to be a Christian.

Why a funeral? The person who is dead gets no graces after death. Death ends the journey to heaven, hell or purgatory.

The parents should have been mourning the death of a soul long before the day of death--when a child grows up and falls away from the Church, choosing to live in a pagan lifestyle, that is a choice.

Magical thinking clouds truth.

For those who are faithful and fight the good fight daily, this confusion as to the reality of apostasy means that we have a hard time helping people fast, do mortification, pray daily, for those fallen away.

The priest made matters worse, imho, by giving in to the parents'desire for comfort. Funerals occur for three reasons: to say goodbye formally and allow grief to be shared; to give the body to God in respect for the tabernacle of the soul; and to pray for the dead person.

Magical thinking disregards not only sacramental theology, but common decency.

How far some clerics have fallen from the true understanding of death. This young woman chose a radically different lifestyle from her family. No amount of the trappings of the funeral Mass can change her decision made long ago to reject Christ and His Church.

Why, why do people choose lies? This situation was a running away of pain and suffering, which should have been faced while the woman lived.

Did anyone try to evangelize her? No, her pagan ways were accepted by her parents. "Everyone goes to heaven."

No, not everyone goes to heaven.

Perhaps the young woman repented at the last moment of life, That is possible, always, but a funeral Mass seems presumptuous.

Those diocese which have rules that a person be practicing member of a parish seem to be more obedient to reality and Church teaching on free will.

Years ago, many years ago, a grandmother who had fallen away from the Church for most of her life, came back because her grandson phoned the priest and asked him to go to the hospital. She was reconciled to the Church and she received the Last Rites.

Sadly, she did not have a Catholic funeral, as her children had fallen away, but her death was "in the Lord" and "in the Church". Her grandson acted by doctrine and good faith, not in magical thinking.

We need to be Catholics, not mushy minded relativists or universalists, and that warning must be applied to priests as well as the laity.