Humor Fiction posted March 23, 2017

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A primer

Catholicism 101

by Mark Valentine

As a holder of a Master’s Degree in Theology from a Catholic seminary, I am often asked to explain doctrines of the Church. (Actually, that’s a lie, nobody ever asks me that. As a Catholic though, I can go to confession and have the slate wiped clean. Cool, huh?).

Among the frequent questions I do not get are:
Why don’t you guys read the Bible?
Same reason we don’t read Tolstoy – it’s long, and we have better things to do.
Why do you all have so many children?
Because sex is one of those “better things to do” referenced above.
Why don’t you get divorced?
Nobody wants to take care of all those kids by herself/himself?
Why do you guys drink so much?
In the Gospel of John (Catholic version) –Chapter 2, Verses 1-12, we are told that the first miracle that Jesus’ performed was to change water into wine at a wedding celebration at Cana.
What does this have to do with why you drink so much?
Nothing. Next question.
What is the deal with all of the Holy Days you guys have related to Mary? For example, there’s one coming up on Saturday, right?
Correct. Allow me to explain with a passage taken from Luke 1:26 (Catholic version):

MARY: Yes. Thanks for speaking so clearly.

And that is why, on March 25th, we celebrate the Feast of the Enunciation - often, by drinking.
What about the Feast of the Assumption?
Later on in the Gospel of Luke (Catholic version), we encounter the following passage about Mary:

PETER: Has anyone seen Mary?
JOHN: I haven’t seen her in weeks. Where could she have gone?
PETER: I dunno. I assume she went to heaven.
JOHN: Sounds like a reasonable assumption to me. Let’s drink to it.
Why, if we celebrate Christmas on December 25th, do we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th? Do divinely-conceived babies gestate for shorter periods?
This is a common misconception (see how punny we Catholics are?...No?... Ok). Anyway, the Immaculate Conception actually commemorates Mary’s conception (we celebrate her birthday on September 8th) and not Jesus’. Catholics believe that Mary was conceived without original sin. I will cite the Gospel of John (Catholic version) for evidence:

As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”  Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

Just then, a large rock came from the crowd and nailed the woman in the head, causing a great gash and knocking her to the ground. Jesus looked to see who had thrown the rock and said, “Mom, you really piss me off sometimes, you know that? I need a drink. Anybody have any wine? No? Water will do - I know a great trick.”


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