Friday, January 16, 2009

Ergonomic ecumenism

Years ago, in the 60s or 70s (I think), I saw an episode on Sixty Minutes (I think) about a church which was sharing its sanctuary with a Jewish group. On Saturday, down went the Christian symbols and up went the Jewish symbols. On Sunday, down went the Jewish symbols and up went the Christian symbols.

Due to the chronic shortage of priests (and even nuns), Roman Catholic bishops and archbishops have been forced to close various churches in their Dioceses. In light of Catholic ecumenism, I think it would be more cost-effective if they worked out a timesharing arrangement with the Hindus and Buddhists.

We’ve all see Catholic churches with shrines enclosing statues and votive candles. And we’ve all see Hindu and Buddhist temples with shrines enclosing statues and votive candles.

Why not use the same facilities, with adjustable signage? One minute it’s a statue of Mary, a minute later it’s a statue…I mean, idol…of Kali. One minute it’s an idol…I mean, statue…of Jude, a minute later it’s an idol of Krishna. You could have digital signs with preset names (for the appropriate patron saint or patron god or goddess). Just push a button—depending on the next worshipper in line.

After all, as John-Paul II so fluently illustrated at Assisi, Catholics and pagans don’t worship a different divinity using the same statues, but worship the same divinity using different statues. So it’s all sort of interchangeable, is it not?


  1. The same sad thing is happening to Protestant churches. :-(

  2. Of course it's all interchangeable. One non-existent God is the same as any other...

    And btw- why is Lvka banned? He seems to be a nice guy.

  3. Zilch wrote:

    "And btw- why is Lvka banned? He seems to be a nice guy."

    When you see somebody who's been banned posting anyway, you have the impression that he's a "nice guy"? Would you have the same impression if somebody like LVKA kept coming into your house to live there after being told that he's not welcome?

    If you read our Rules of Engagement, you'll see that whether a person is nice isn't the only relevant issue. And if you had consulted the archives, you would have found this explanation for LVKA's banning. To read LVKA's posts in the linked threads, click on "POST A COMMENT". You can read what he wrote on that screen.

  4. Steve,

    Have you read Dormannn's series, Pope John Paul II's Theological Journey to the Prayer Meeting at Assisi?


  5. Here's LVKA's assessment of whether it would be appropriate to ban him:

    "I'll support Jason here: he has my vote also: I'm pretty disgusted with myself after this incident of ill-memory, and I wouldn't want that to happen again either. (And if You won't ban me, I'm affraid I won't be able to resist the temptation of the 'eternal return' to this blog either). Trust me, it's far more better this way for everybody involved. Bye and adieu!"

    He continues to post, long after being banned and after repeatedly being reminded that he shouldn't be posting.

  6. Steve: You could have digital signs with preset names (for the appropriate patron saint or patron god or goddess). Just push a button—depending on the next worshipper in line.

    Vytautas: That would be too costly, but once they have the system in place, then they would be weaned off of the idols made out of wood, plastic, or metal. But you lose a layer of reality if you use digital pictures instead of statues made out of some material. For example, you would like a real person next to you rather than a picture of that person.

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