Catholic Scapulars Totally Different From Mormon Temple Garment

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The scapular undergarment that was part of old-time Catholic culture is completely different from the temple garments promoted by the Church of Latter Day Saints.

That’s the word from several Catholic bloggers who laugh off the idea that the two types of clothing are similar.

“The scapular protects a person from demonic attacks,” said Corey Pilkinson, a 2008 convert to Catholicism.  “That Mormon underwear keeps them from drinking beer or something.”

The temple garment, often called ‘Mormon magic underwear” by non-Mormons, is intended to remind church members of their experiences in the temple, according to the LDS website.

“The scapular and the temple garment are totally not the same” said Elizabeth Motterly, a conservative blogger.  “The Mormon underwear is no different from a Batman outfit; without his gadgets Batman is nothing.  The scapular gives you supernatual powers.’

The scapular declined in popularity after World War II but has experienced some come-back as self-styled Traditionalists try to prove their devotion to themselves.

Temple garments have also declined in popularity in recent decades but not as precipitously as Catholic scapulars have.

It is estimated that 30% of American Mormons wear temple garments today but less than 0.5% of American Catholics even own scapulars.

“Scapulars will come back into style when people start going to Latin mass,” Pilkinson said.  Which should happen when hell freezes over.

Devil tired of being Washington Generals to Jesus’s Globetrotters.

 

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Satan has been complaining that his narrative line is in a rut and his repeated defeat at the hands of God is boring.

“What kind of drama is it if the same side wins every time?” the devil asked.  Satan rejected the example of the Washington Generals who provide entertainment value by always losing to the Harlem Globetrotters.

The Generals were formed in 1952 and have toured with the Globetrotter for decades.  The Generals play straight man to the more comical and flashy Globetrotters.

The Globetrotters have won over 10,000 games against the Generals, while the Generals have won fewer than 10.

“I try to be a good sport but this can’t be good entertainment for the spectators,” the devil said.

The Bible guarantees God’s victory over evil, and indeed Jesus’ victory over death is a central tenet of Christianity, a drama that is regularly replayed in liturgies.

“You try being the lovable loser all the time.  It’s not easy.”  The devil had no comment when it was suggested when challenged with the suggestion that no one finds him lovable.

Priest riffs on Embolism phrase “protect us from all anxiety”; describes God as Giant Xanax tablet.

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Fr Dennis O’Malley of St Alphonsus Church in Naperville, IL used his homily to unpack the phrase “protect us from all anxiety”. That phrase, which the priest used to say during the Liturgy of the Eucharist, is part of the Embolism, and reflects what many look for out of God and religion, O’Malley said.

O’Malley told mass-goers that one way to think of God is like a giant Xanas pll. Xanax, a bendodiazepine drug, is prescribed to patients with high anxiety.

Entreating God to take away our fears and stresses is one of the most visible forms of religious practice, according to sociologists.

 

The Latin embolism phrase “perturbatione securi” can be translated into modern English as “anxiety” which was the word used in the Mass until 2011.

In 2004 a joint task force of theologians, psychiatrists, and drug company salesmen agreed that the modern psychopharmacology has taken over the function that religion used to provide. In addition to weekly services (Mass in Catholicism) people with anxiety should consider medication, according to the task force.

“That’s why I felt comfortable comparing Our Lord to a giant Pill” said O’Malley. “It’s really just pragmatism. Whatever works, works.”

The new translation now used in Masses in the United States uses the word “distress” instead of “anxiety”. The old translation:

Deliver us Lord, from every evil and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The new translation used since Nov 2011:

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant us peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The change from anxiety to distress is not as clinically important as one might think.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classifies Generalized Anxiety Disorder as number 300.02. While there is no classification for “distress” the word distress occurs in many descriptions of disorders, and anxiety disorders are marked by “significant distress”.

“God just makes everything better”, O’Malley said. “Like Xanax.”

Holy Crap There Was a Lot of Crying at the Men’s CRHP Weekend!

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Tear flowed like a river, said people on the campus of St. Joseph Calasanz Catholic Church during the most recent CRHP weekend for men.  CRHP stands for Christ Renews His Parish, a spiritual rebirth program that has spread like a crying virus throughout the country.

Observers could not believe how much crying happened.  “The janitor had to bring an extra mop to clean up the floor” after the CRHP brothers left for their closing mass, according to a St Joe’s parishioner.

Outsiders have speculated if readings from The Book of Lamentations, renowned as the saddest book in the Bible, are part of CRHP.  But insiders say no, they generate their own sadness without the help of scripture.

Stories told by redeemed Christians were said to cause the crying.  Although retreat participants were sworn to secrecy, hints of the stories leaked out.  Babies being born and serendipitous meetings with future wives were among the most cry-inducing stories.

“Every time somebody mentioned his kid being born the room erupted in tears” according to one participant who requested anonymity.

Stories about overcoming addiction and dabbling in other religions, although common, did not seem to induce tears.

CRHP participants stay over night on church grounds and are advised to bring several t-shirts because of how wet their clothing gets from all the crying.  Weeping often happens in hugs with other men.

Red-eyed CRHPers interviewed mentioned the ancient Greek notion of Catharsis – a spiritual rebirth caused by the release of emotion through intense weeping, is an integral part of the benefit CRHP brings to participants.

“Sometimes you just need a good cry,” one said.

The women’s CRHP retreat is the weekend after next and is expected to yield at least as many tears as the Men’s retreat.

Mephistopheles upset nobody knows his name

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The demon Mephistopheles has reportedly been in a deep depression lately, sparked by the failure of most mortals to know or be able to pronounce his name.

Mephistopheles, most well known from the German story of Faust, makes deals with humans on a regular basis. His modus operandi is to propose and execute a contract trading the human soul in return for Earthly riches, power, or prestige.

Mephistopheles reportedly complained to friends about a lack of name recognition. “When I show up in a cloud of smoke, everybody thinks I’m Lucifer or Beelzebub,” he reportedly said, referring to other famous demons.

“Even that Rolling Stones song mentions Lucifer”, he said, about to the 1969 classic Sympathy for the Devil. “What, Jagger couldn’t pronounce Mephistopheles?”

Second Collection for Yet Another Building

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Mass-goers at St Anne’s were not surprised when a second collection was announced to raise money for another building on the church campus. “Another year, another building campaign”, said Monty Ferguson, long-time member of St. Anne’s. Parishioners interviewed agreed that the church’s main function appears to be constructing facilities.

Spirit in the Sky Bishops’ Favorite Song

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At the summer meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” was voted favorite song.

Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody” was runner-up in the lighthearted poll which was conducted by voice vote during lunch on the second day of the conference.

Other tunes getting mentions included some early U2 works and George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”, even if it is about Hinduism.

Interviews with individual bishops indicated that the industry category of Christian Rock was considered a marketing gimmick and most music in that category was “pretty lame” in the words of one prelate.

Parish Now Serves Fair Trade Coffee; Says This Counts for Social Justice Work

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St Phillip Catholic Church recently switched the coffee served at parish functions to a brand designated “free trade” by international watch organizations. The free trade coffee will be offered after Mass on Sundays and at all formal gatherings and celebrations, according to Mary Beth Perkins, chair of the social justice committee.

Unlike conventional coffee sold at supermarkets, free trade coffee does not involve multi-billion dollar middleman distributors who take advantage of small coffee growers in South America. Instead, the middleman distributor is a smaller multi-million dollar operation that puts a cute little “fair trade certified” logo on the package.

The coffee at St Phillip comes from Ethical Edible Industries, according to Perkins. Ethical buys coffee beans from growers at 11 cents/bushel (in contrast to the 9 cents/bushel that the big companies pay). Ethical grinds and roasts the beans and sells the coffee directly to socially conscious groups. St Phillip members say the new coffee satisfies their obligation to work for social justice.

“It’s mighty good” said Jorge Ramirez, sipping some of the socially acceptable brew after the 9:30 Mass last Sunday. “And it’s fair trade!”

Fair trade coffee, formerly known as free trade coffee, has been growing in popularity at parishes throughout the country.

St Phillip members said they preferred this method of social justice work to directly helping dumb poor in the community, many of whom are lazy and just living off government handouts instead of working.

“I feel better knowing the small farmer is making a decent wage for his labors,” said Jim Fiveash, before getting into his Cadillac Escalade with an estimated 8 mpg.

Easter Vigil Congregation Screams for Freebird

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Holy Angels’ Easter Vigil Mass took on shadings of a 1970s stadium rock concert as parishioners refused to exit at the end the service and instead called for the choir to play Freebird. Hundreds of parishioners die-hard enough in their faith to sit through the 4-hour vigil mass, acted spontaneously as a group in calling for the beloved rock anthem.

Many in the pews held candles issued before the liturgy began. A large number of people held up the lit candles and chanted “Freebird!” according to Deacon Sandy White who witnessed the event.

Freebird, written and first recorded by the 1970s rock band Lynard Skynard, has become a shibboleth for concert-goers in the years since, many of whom ironically call out for it at rock concerts.

The congregation was feeling anything but ironic after the Vigil mass according to those in attendance. “The Holy Spirit was moving the people to cry out for FREEBIRD” said Veronica Henderson.

Choir director Wes Stodden said neither his vocalists nor his guitarists and drummers knew Freebird well enough to perform it, and the Holy Spirit did not seem to work the chords and lyrics through them.

As a result, the congregation exited the church frustrated until they got to the parish hall and saw all the food and drink prepared for the new converts.

Vatican II unpopular, but implementation of Vatican II gets high approval

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A nationwide survey shows that the implementation of Vatican II is much more popular than the actual Council itself.

Catholics in all age groups in all parts of the United States say they don’t much like Vatican II but they love the implementation of Vatican II, according to polling done by Dayton University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.

Vatican II, a series of meetings in Rome from 1962 to 1965 resulted in creation of 16 documents, most of which are rarely read by lay people. Heralded as a renaissance at the time, the council is now regarded with skepticism by conservative Catholics.

The skepticism has grown beyond just the self-styled Traditionalists to the church at large, according to the survey, which found most American Catholics take a dim view of the Council.

In contrast, however, most American Catholics give high marks to the implementation of the Council.   The implementation is rated higher than the Council itself, with large majorities of Catholics across all demographic groups rating it “good” or “excellent”.

Vatican II naysayers have long complained about the disparity between the Council and its implementation.

“People don’t understand this, but there was nothing in the Vatican II documents about mass in the vernacular or turning the priest toward the people or hiding the tabernacle down the hall” said Paul Vincent, a well-known conservative blogger and critic of the USCCB. “And that’s to say nothing of extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist or female altar servers.” Yet the survey shows that these changes to the liturgy are among the most popular with American Catholics.

“I’d just as soon see them announce Vatican II was all a mistake” said Melanie Johnson of Covington, Kentucky. “But don’t take away my liturgy in English and guitars during the exit hymn.”

“I certainly don’t want start using communion rails and have the priest turn his back on us during the Mass,” said Mark Swanson of Denver.  “I am against Vatican but we need to keep the Spirit of Vatican II.”

Most American Catholics were born after the council ended.