Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Catholic Church Down on Saunas

Apparently Vienna's archdiocese has a problem with saunas - at least if they are made from secondhand confessionals.

Bidding on eBay on a confessional at a church undergoing renovation – described on the site as ideal for conversion into a one-person sauna or a small bar or a children's playhouse – was stopped when the archdiocese stepped in.

Spokesman Erich Leitenberger said that auctioning 'objects that were used for dispensing the sacraments is not acceptable.'

Confessionals 'should not be converted into saunas or bars,' he was quoted Tuesday as saying.

It strikes me as kind of silly to impose these sorts of restrictions especially at a time when the Church could use the money. What are they supposed to do with old sacramental items? Dump them? Burn them? Warehouse them somewhere to rot until the end of time? None of that seems particularly respectful.

I mean, Jesus didn't say one single bad word about sitting in a box full of steam or drinking. In fact, given the nature of the eucharist it seems to me that he must have been a fan of good wine.

Here's some advice from a magician - the clergy should perform a ritual to remove any lingering spiritual power that has accumulated in the object. Then they can do whatever they like with it, including selling it raise needed funds.

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V.V.F. said...

Well. Imagine if someone wanted to sell your kid's old clothes to a pedophile. That's pretty much how they feel.

Not that there's anything comparably evil - from a non-Catholic perspective - about saunas or alchohol. But it's about the idea of what's "sacred" (rather than "powerful," as you put it.) Your kid's clothes aren't special to anyone else, but they are sacred to you and your child because of the intimacy and private nature of their function. Because of the history of their use. You wouldn't mind giving them to another child who could use them in the same way. But you would hesitate before letting some pervert (noun) pervert (verb) those objects for his own carnal intentions, wouldn't you?

Of course, this is coming from a childfree person who uses a Communion chalice on her Wiccan altar. Just providing another perspective. Sanctity isn't always something you can just declare void.

Scott Stenwick said...

Sanctity isn't always something you can just declare void.

A friend of mine who grew up Roman Catholic informed me this evening that the Catholic Church does in fact have a ritual that they use to de-sanctify old ritual objects. So apparently they have the technology, they just are unwilling to use it in this case.

V.V.F. said...

Oh. Well then.