When is a Catholic not a Catholic?
A recent survey conducted among Catholics in Ireland has been raising a stir after it was found that only a quarter believe in transubstantiation and less than a third attend mass regularly, both of which are key aspects of being a Catholic. Many people also defy the Magisterium, or teaching authority of the Church, by using contraception or having gay relationships, yet still claim to be Catholic.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, when asked about the transubstantiation issue in the survey, speculated that maybe they have never been educated in that. I don’t think he is calling 75% of Irish Catholics dumb, just saying that they haven’t been told they have to believe this stuff. Does that mean you can be a Catholic if you don’t know you are supposed to believe in it? It reminds me of that joke:
Eskimo: If I did not know about God and sin would I go to hell?
Priest: No, not if you didn’t know.
Eskimo: Then why did you tell me?
So Catholics, now you know. When you eat that little wafer, you are actually eating the flesh of Christ and if you are lucky enough to sample the wine, it is the actual blood of Christ. If it looks like bread, smells like bread and tastes like bread, it’s actually meat. If it looks like wine, smells like wine and tastes like wine, it’s actually blood. Gruesome, I know. It’s your religion, get your head around it.