Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bless me Father for I have sinned… but at least I used your endorsed product?

Today, I was thinking about the Roman Catholic norm published in July that classified ordaining women as the same sin gravity as priests raping children.  The classification is called graviora delicta, translated as “grave delict”.   For those of you like me who don’t regularly use “delict” in everyday speech, it’s an offense that injures another.  A “grave delict” is the most serious kind of offense in Canon Law.

I wondered what else appeared on the list.  I figured a comparison would help impress upon me how dreadful the church deems female ordinations.  Here are some examples from the list:

Article 3 includes “grave delicts” against the Holy Sacrifice and Sacrament of the Eucharist.  Those offenses include sacrilegious use of the consecrated species and simulation of celebrating the Eucharist.  I agree that desecration of the Eucharist is serious. 

However, I don’t know if I’m more confused or amused by the severity classification for simulating Mass since so many Catholic websites sell or advertise child’s play Mass kits.  Are these children all subject to ex-communication?  If not, at what age does playing Mass become the most severe of sins from something that, “Many bishops and priests used … when they were small boys and this relationship with the Mass when they were young helped to inspire them to enter religious life.” (From the “Official Play Mass Kit" website) 

There’s the “Wee Believers My Mass Kit” which states, “My Mass Kit is a children's version Mass kit designed for reverent play. Its design is even approved by Catholic Clergy!”  For the low, low price of $69.95 and with clergy endorsement, you too can set your child on the path to committing the gravest of sins? 

Since Article 5 classifies female ordinations as grave sins, perhaps if you buy the kit for your daughter it’s “bad”.  Maybe sons are exempt from this but only if you enroll them into “Our Lady of Pampers” pre-school seminary?  Or does the grave sin classification hit you once you surpass the same mark that lets you ride on roller coasters?  “You must be at least this tall to ride this ride or go to Hell”?  This would be somewhere between the age of reason and adulthood.

For the more economical minded, www.beliefnet.com suggests creating your own play Mass kit.  “Hey kids: Gather some old towels, Mom's best china, and Necco wafers, and you've got Mass”.   True to its commitment to serve the poor, the church offers equal opportunities to entice impoverished and financially privileged youth into committing a most grave sin?

Since this sin category is so severe I want to make sure I understand.  It’s o.k. to pretend you’re celebrating Mass as long as you’re not pretending to celebrate Mass?


  1. I never knew there was such a thing as a "toy mass kit". I would never have purchased something of that sort when my children were young for them to play with. Where is the dignity? Mass is not playtime. WHAT were they thinking?

  2. We used to "Play Mass" with necco wafers or smashed down wonder bread to make hosts. We were all girls.