Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Heathen Bound for Heaven?

Forgive me father for I have sinned. It has been 20 years since my last confession. (It has been awhile, so shoot me.)

This was my planned introduction for when I finally got back in the swing of church going. I was raised Catholic. Mom dragged us to church every Sunday until we were Confirmed and then felt bold enough to put up a fight.

Surprisingly, I ended up at a Catholic College, but somehow avoided all but one religion course in 4 years. (That one was required.)

But, lets get to the heart of the matter.

NEWS ALERT: Scandal! I am divorced.

And since I am divorced and therefore a sinner, I have been banned from the Catholic Church.

When Joe and I first got married we visited the Catholic Church in Freehold, NJ (where we were living) and inquired about joining. We were told flat out that we could attend, but we could not be members because I am divorced. So, we said $crew this and we moved on. Meaning, we haven’t been to church in oh, seven years save for a few weddings and christenings.

When my sister got married I could not be her maid of honor, because I was not Catholic. Really? I’m not Catholic anymore? If I start eating Italian food does that make me not Irish anymore?

But, I digress.

When my niece was born I could not be her Godmother because I was not Catholic. Or so we thought … After new Godparents (I call them the B Team) were selected and it was discovered that the Godfather was not Catholic (more scandal) we learned that only one Godparent had to be Catholic. Now, you tell us!

So, my sister gets knocked up again, asks me to be Godmother and I say, “of course” and then go on to suggest that despite the fact that I do not have to be a member of a church, maybe we will re-visit joining the Catholic Church. Surely, there must be some wiggle room …

So, I draft a lovely letter to the local church – an excerpt of which is provided below…

"Dear Father:

Now, we both understand the rules of the church, but we had hoped that there would be some level of forgiveness and that we would be welcomed back – after all isn’t confession and forgiveness a key component of the church?

We realize that we were divorced and are remarried, but it is rather upsetting when we are told that we cannot be a part of our family sacraments because of circumstances that took place many years ago.

So, I am writing now to see if we would be welcomed to join the church.

I attach our completed Parish Registration Form and look forward to your reply..."

Well, we were shocked to receive a “Welcome to the Parish” letter just days later. Really? We’re accepted woo hoo! Oh, and look they even included offering envelopes in our welcome package – I guess they really want us to start “participating” immediately.

And then, the phone rang. Um yeah, they forgot to mention that in order for us to really be members I would have to track down the dead beat that I married in the Catholic Church 10 years ago and get an annulment. Oh, and I would have to pay for my sins to the tune of $1,000. Really? What a bargain!

We just received our second set of offering envelopes.

I think it is time to break the news to Father Flanagan. It’s a no go father. I paid enough in that marriage.

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