Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Excommunicated? Or Just Frowned Upon?

Before I start this, let me put up my disclaimer that I am not religious but not anti-religious nor do I want to get into any religion-related conversations/arguments.

I learned I am essentially excommunicated from the Catholic church.

As most of you gasp and say 'ANNA is Catholic? Who'd have guessed?' let me give you a little background. I was raised by a mother that embraced the Catholic church and even put in a private school for grades K-6. I have been baptized and have godparents that are practicing Catholics. I have had communion and have been confirmed (they were prerequisites to "passing" that grade in grade school - feels a little forced).

I digress. I was in a conversation today and was told that because I got married outside of the church to a non-Catholic that I am essentially excommunicated. I've done some googling on this and it seems to me that Catholics aren't all that excommunication-happy as they like to leave the door open for you to 'repent and return' whatever that means.

I did find, however, that I am not a valid Catholic any longer and neither is Jen. I tell ya, I've never missed it (sorry mom and Auntie D), don't really like the Catholic religion and even got C's in Religion class in 5th grade because I refused to memorize prayers (but got extra credit from Sr. Cecilia for doodling a portrait of Mary in my workbook)... but now that I'm invalid... I feel like I just got VOID stamped all over me.

I don't think it will make me run to the church and ask the local bishop to recognize me (apparently you have to do this now that I've marred my record). I don't know that it will even drive me to go to any church. Just something I found interesting today.


Tina said...

I don't think the church excommunicated you, I think you excommunicated the church from your life. :) By the way, never heard of excommunication for a reason like that. I think you have to blatantly do something against the faith like take the host and step on it to be excommunicated. That's why we have confession and turn the other cheek and all that. I love being a Catholic and basically following all the "rules" just means I'm living my life with good values and trying to repect all human life. I know you didn't want to strike up discussion, sorry. You can post this or not. And if you have any questions about the Catholic faith from someone actually practicing it, ask me. If I don't know the answer, I can easily find out for you.

Anna said...

Yes, through my google research I found that I am not excommunicated - just invalid.

And yes, I did excommunicate myself which to me feels better than having someone excommunicate me. That would just be rude.

teamcraun said...

Perhaps you are addressing the issue in too logical/mathematical of an approach?

I think faith is a lot more experiential. I know the Catholics have a lot of "rules" which makes the parallel of your conversation + post here quite funny to me.

Like a never-ending semantics game of "following the rules". A "team" of undecided players, put in the game by their parents, and then later called out by a referee...

I never really considered myself a catholic, aside from going to catholic school -- I guess it has been kind of compartmental to me. I was saved through a friend's church in middle school, and in adult hood always chosen more non denominational charismatic evangelical expression...

It got me laughing first, and thinking second --

When are you "officially" a catholic?
and, Can your parents or school decide that for you?

Tina said...

I'm not out to "convert" anyone. And I'm not bashing anyone else's beliefs. Catholic's have a "catechism", which has a historical (or what we call Tradition) and biblical (or what we call the Word) foundation from when Jesus began the church. Thus, at a Catholic school it is taught as a class. Kind of like history class. I didn't like memorizing the President's names and order in grade school, but that doesn't make me dislike America.

Children are born into their family and attain their cultural and spiritual base immediately. Since Josh and I are practicing Catholics, our kids are also Catholic and attend church with us weekly. Jews, Muslims, Baptist.. the children will learn what their parents teach. As a non-denominational charismatic evangelical, your children will be taught your values. What's wrong with that? Am I completely off base assuming this is the same thing?

I don't know who the "referee" calling us out is in your reference. A person is Catholic when they are "in communion" with what the Catholic church believes and then can receive "communion" in the church. If you don't believe in what the church teaches, you, yourself are the referee and take yourself out of the game.

I'm not much of a debater, but I just wanted to give my perspective. I hope I sounded somewhat cohesive as I'm a scatterbrain at times. I respect your views and love you both.

teamcraun said...

Tina, I am pretty sure your recent comment was directed at me? or a response to mine.

I think I am a bit misunderstood --

For starters, I absolutely do not dislike Catholicism, or catholics. I am sorry if this were in any way implied.

I also think there is nothing wrong with teaching your children what you believe. I mean the universal you, as in yourself, as well as myself, and others.

Second, I think some clarity could be shed on a few points. One is Jewish by birthright -- that makes COMPLETE sense to me they are a culture, beyond a set of beliefs [and you can marry in, and convert]. I am not sure what the Muslims believe about the formal start of their faith. I know the various Denominations also have different "benchmarks" for membership...

I guess I am talking not about learning what is taught. But actually believing and acknowledging it for yourself.

I only meant to engage in the discussion, I am sorry if you felt in any way challenged, or disliked. Entirely not my intention.

Anna said...

Okaaaaaay... We're done here!

Tina - I am going to be in your neighborhood tomorrow night but I have no idea how late I'll be. Wanna stick my sunglasses in your mailbox so I can finally retrieve them? If it's not too late, I'll stop in but I don't want to wake any sleeping kids! :o)

Tina said...

No, I didn't feel challenged or disliked. I was just giving an insiders perspective and a response to the whole post/comments. I'm sorry if I sounded defensive.

Tomorrow night, Friday - we should be home. If not I will leave them in the mailbox for you! And don't worry, the mailbox will not fall over if you open it - it just looks that way right now. We still haven't fully fixed it after the snow plow plowed it.