Wednesday 11 May 2011

Just as I thought it couldn't get any worse...

So I was discussing the run-in with my in-laws over the Blessed Sacrament with a lapsed C of E friend who, although in the midst of a crisis of faith herself, generally understands these things. She was quite (rightly) shocked at my in-laws' (I'm doing my best to avoid the toe-curlingly daggy "outlaws" but it's difficult as the shoe fits so well...) behaviour. Surely, she posited, the right thing to do when one finds oneself in an unfamiliar religious situation is to find out what the norm is or what the rules are, so as not to offend anyone, and then stick to those rules, even if you might not normally behave in that way. This would, for instance, include non-Muslims removing footwear and women covering their heads when visiting a mosque.

You'd think this was hard to argue with... Then...

By way of example my friend mentioned that several years ago she was invited, with her husband (a lapsed Presbyterian) to a mixed wedding in a Catholic Church. Before the ceremony she and her husband asked the priest what they should do regarding Holy Communion, as they were not Catholics and were unfamiliar with the rules. The priest told them that if they usually received Communion in whatever church they went to, then they should do the same at the wedding. In case you missed that, let me repeat: a CATHOLIC priest told a non-Catholic couple that it was OK to receive Holy Communion at a Catholic Mass.


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