Sunday, 8 July 2007

Going, going, gone....

Encouraging news today, as Eggs Benedict goes all Latin. No, we're not talking Ricky Martin (Calm down, Eggs!), but the opportunity given the faithful to return to the Latin mass, thrown out at the modernising Second Vatican Council. Now Eggs claims that the old rite was never abrogated, and he's the pope so he ought to know. So if you've been excommunicated for rambling on in a dead language now's your chance to squeeze back in and do it with papal approval.

The encouraging news is that while 97% of Italy's population is baptised, 86% declares itself catholic and 57% practising, only 21.4% is actually prepared to shift its arse from couch to pew on a regular basis. And the arses that so inadequately line the peninsula's places of worship tend to be old, poor and southern. Not
at all the human resources that old Prada-wearing Eggs is after.

The reasons 'practising' catholics give for not actually practising include boredom (33.7%), banal sermons (7.8%) and a lack of spirituality (11%). I'm sure a little Latin, Gregorian chants and the priest's back turned to the congregation will push up viewing figures no end.

1 comment:

David Isaak said...

Mixed feelings on this one...

I'm reluctant to see the Church sliding backwards in most ways (as the institution is backwards enough already), but I have to say that the Mass in Latin is a much more impressive performance.

It's a little like opera. I don't speak Italian, and when I watch opera I avoid looking at the English translations. When you don't understand the words, they sound portentous and profound, but the actual lyrics are usually trivial.

So, if someone's going to spout mumbo-jumbo, I'd prefer they do in a way where I can't understand it. It's easier on my brain.

(A correct use of "arse" all the way through your post, BTW.)