Erm, no Mr. Delingpole, I don’t think you could.

I could name you lots of decent, upstanding people who, every Sunday, take a sip of wine and believe they are drinking the blood of Christ which absolves them of their sins, for example.

So, we’re talking left footers here, transubstantiation.

Who don’t think that communion (whether of bread, wine, body or blood) wipes away sin. It’s confession that does that. Indeed, you’re rather supposed to go to confession before taking communion so as to be free of sin when you do so….

34 thoughts on “Erm, no Mr. Delingpole, I don’t think you could.”

  1. To be honest, what left-footers believe on this particular aspect of their religion is so improbable as to be a mystery to most of us.

  2. The worst part is if you’re near the back of the congregation. By the time you get to the chalice there are bound to be communion wafer floaters. I’m not sure if the doctrine of transubstantiation makes that better or worse.

  3. Bloke in spain – as Penelope Cruz said to Tom Cruise in “Star Stories”:

    “Tom, your religion sounds mental even to me. And I’m a Catholic!”

  4. On the bright side, they don’t go around blowing up trains or sawing the heads off schoolgirls though, unlike a particular religion favoured by the Left.

    I’ll take weird over violent fanaticism every day of the week.

  5. Curiously enough, way back one late 60s evening when it was pissing rain, freezing cold & any shelter from the storm attractive, I once sat through a Scientology presentation. They are seriously barking.
    Whatever. If you’re ever in the same position, never let them have a genuine address. They pursue with the tenacity of the more feral variety of debt collector.

  6. Talking about weird religions, does anyone else remember the Church of Process in Mount Street, Mayfair? F##k knows what their particular revelation was, but they did have a very nice coffee bar, excellent chocolate ice cream & a really swish address.
    If one must have religion, let’s have some style. Naff wine & crackers ain’t it.

  7. Bloke in spain – “If one must have religion, let’s have some style. Naff wine & crackers ain’t it”

    This is where Catholics scored a massive own goal in allowing the hippies to take over and change the aesthetics after Vatican 2.

    Old school Catholic liturgy was cool. Latin, incense, gothic architecture, and flickering candles are cool. Nuns that look like nuns rather than frumpy middle aged women in trouser suits are cool.

    There’s a reason so many horror films borrow old time Catholic imagery. It’s visually sumptuous and dramatic.

    Go into any Catholic church nowadays and you’ll probably be assailed by awful accoustic music from a smug “folk group” whose lack of technical ability would get them kicked out of a hippy drum circle. They may sing something about how much Jesus rocks. You will probably look around in vain for something sharp.

    The priest will roll up in awful polyester vestments and may well deliver a sermon that could be an Oxfam press release. Or say something about carbon footprints. Whatever he’s saying, it’ll probably be insipid.

    If the church building was erected in the latter half of the 20th century, it will probably look like a rather tatty municipal library.

    This is the sort of thing the 60’s-nostalgic geriatrics (both laypeople and clergy) running the Catholic Church think appeals to the young people.

  8. IIRC (I am a recent convert and didn’t have the advantages that come with being educated at Downside), the act of communion absolves from venial sin, but full penance and reconciliation is required to deal with mortal sin.

  9. @ Rob

    “On the bright side, they don’t go around blowing up trains or sawing the heads off schoolgirls though.”

    That’s true. And they’ve not blown up a shopping centre for a while either, which is nice. But the times they did are hardly ancient history. And it’s not like there aren’t a whole bunch of nutjobs (of assorted Christian ilks) doing seriously fucked up things all over bits of America.

    The difference between insane muslims and insane Christians is mainly about organisation and commitment.

  10. The Thought Gang – Nah.

    The difference is, one religion mainstreams hate and violence – or at least is unwilling to condemn it – while the other preaches against it.

    The difference between moderate and insane Christians is that if the latter were to attack you, the former would probably defend you.

    The difference between moderate and insane Muslims is that if the latter were to attack you, the former would be more likely to explain what you did to deserve it.

  11. There’s a reason so many horror films borrow old time Catholic imagery. It’s visually sumptuous and dramatic.

    Entirely agree. It’s always (somewhat mildly, admittedly) intrigued me that it is just as compelling to a cultural protestant like me. I suppose it taps into that whole protestant idea that the catholics are a sort of satanic cult, or something. But there’s something very aesthetically alluring about it.

    And of course, everyone who’s watched porn knows those attractive young nuns are wearing black lingerie under the hijabs…

  12. “Old school Catholic liturgy was cool. Latin, incense, gothic architecture, and flickering candles are cool.”
    Odd.
    Get a lot of in-your-faith Catholicism here & it seems to consist mostly of rowdy parades, roast pig & crumpet-to-die-for in flamenco dresses. Dark gothic arches & flickering candles, not so much.

  13. Ian B – “And of course, everyone who’s watched porn knows those attractive young nuns are wearing black lingerie under the hijabs…”

    Have you seen American Horror Story?

    It’s the most batshit insane programme on TV.

    They had one series set in a 1960’s mental asylum run by nuns. It had demonically possessed nuns in lingerie, a sadistic Nazi doctor played by the farmer from ‘Babe’, serial killers, evil axe-wielding Santa, lesbianism, zombies, and aliens. If a naked leprechaun riding a giant prehistoric dragonfly had appeared in the show, he’d have seemed tame in comparison.

    I bet none of that happens at boring Protestant institutions. They probably only have ghosts, or sparkly vampires, or something.

  14. Steve-

    I’m a big fan of the series. Jessica Lange is a fabulous actress and “Asylum” was an absolute tour de France. The scriptwriters tend to get too carried away though, and it fell to bits somewhat at the end of the season. Hoping that doesn’t happen with “Coven”, which actually come to think of it has been a bit patchy.

    But overall, it’s one of my “must steal from Usenet” shows, especially after Spartacus finished.

  15. Steve: The worst part is if you’re near the back of the congregation. By the time you get to the chalice there are bound to be communion wafer floaters. I’m not sure if the doctrine of transubstantiation makes that better or worse.

    Only the celebrant gets wine.

  16. Ralph Musgrave

    “It should be obvious that simply drinking wine won’t absolve you from your sins”

    I’ve always found if I drink enough it does.

  17. I speak as a reformed Left-footer.

    Only God can take away sins…

    The blood of Christ was shed to take away the sins of the world.

    Participating in the Holy Eucharist commemorates and joins with Christ.

    But in any case, Tim, whether Jimmy Jellybowl mistakes the belief that Communion brings absolution with it being the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ, is merely quibbling. Which is the better magic?

    His point is well made.

    Now go and say one Our Father, three Hail Marys and a Glory be.

  18. I find it hard to take an interest in exactly which bit of mumbo-jumbo by the juju men works such miracles.

  19. It’s all a bit naff. Those little crackers would be so much better with a dollop of creme fraiche and some caviare or maybe a smidgen of foie gras. It would help if you could get more than one. And the wine is usually some awful cheap red which is totally inappropriate for that early in the morning. A nice crisp Sancerre or a Pouilly-Fuissé would raise the tone no end.

  20. I seem to recall some experimental studies a while back that showed people behaving better (more honestly & tidier) in the presence of posters with eyes printed on them. Might explain why all religions have invisible but all-seeing blokes who’ll get really mad if you misbehave. Not a big step from posters+eyes to confession+wine.

  21. So Much For Subtlety

    The Thought Gang – “That’s true. And they’ve not blown up a shopping centre for a while either, which is nice. But the times they did are hardly ancient history.”

    Actually no. The only people who have been blowing up shopping centres lately have been Muslims and various assorted quasi-Marxists. Some of Catholic origin, but not actual Catholics. As can be seen by John Paul II’s comments when he went to Ireland in 1979. He did what no Muslim cleric has ever done. Read him.

    “And it’s not like there aren’t a whole bunch of nutjobs (of assorted Christian ilks) doing seriously fucked up things all over bits of America.”

    Really? Where? All I see Christians doing in America is running schools, hospitals, universities, tending to the sick, the dying, the old, running community centres and providing the rich tapestry that makes life in America so much nicer than, say, Somalia.

    “The difference between insane muslims and insane Christians is mainly about organisation and commitment.”

    A statement based on little more than bigotry from what I can see. You need to stop reading and watching the Leftist media.

  22. The only people who have been blowing up shopping centres lately have been Muslims and various assorted quasi-Marxists.

    Also, actual Marxists.

  23. So Much For Subtlety

    MattyJ – “Google is your friend. Here’s one to start you off”

    Thank you. But why do you think that even remotely comes close to what the Pope said?

    “And a no-true-Scotsman too! I’m sure that plenty of Muslims would say the same about suicide-bombers.”

    If they did they would be lying. It is not the no-true-Scotsman problem. Because membership of a Church requires a few things. Like actual membership of the Church – in the old days when the Church in Ireland was stronger joining the IRA, for any reason at all, meant automatic excommunication. None of the PIRA’s leadership is anything other than of Catholic origin. They do not describe themselves that way. Religion is not their motivation. In most cases they plainly do not believe – the whole Hunger Strike thing ought to be very convincing evidence of that.

    People are born Scottish. They can’t help it. They can help if they’re members of Blockbuster video. If their parents were members, and they used to watch videos from Blockbuster as children, but they have since let their membership lapse (and indeed now view watching videos with contempt) they are not longer members of Blockbuster.

    On the other hand if someone who was a member of Blockbuster blew up a shopping centre because they were members of Blockbuster and they did it to make sure Blockbuster would rule the world, we can say that Blockbuster motivates them. And if other members say otherwise, they are lying sacks of sh!t.

    Ian B – “Also, actual Marxists.”

    Yep them too.

  24. Meisson Bison beat me to it, but t’was my belief that the Tims don’t drink the wine. Only us CofE lot take communion in both kinds, and we don’t buy that transubstantiation lark.

    Mind you, that means Tim’s original proposition stands, Delingpole can’t name a load of decent people who ‘think they are drinking the blood of Christ’. Unless he’s friends with a load of kafflik priests and I somehow doubt that.

    PS the transubstantiation thing has caused no end of trouble over the years. There was a famous case when a dog managed to get into a church and ate the communion wafers, and then was sick, as dogs are wont to do. What to do with the result? Because under certain interpretations it was the actual body of Christ. I can’t remember how that one was resolved, although I was mostly amused by the conundrum.

  25. Oh dear. Mr Delingpole has a syntax problem. The blood of Christ absolves sins. But drinking it does not. Indeed, as Tim says, you are supposed to have been absolved of your sins before drinking the blood…..

    I was a Catholic too.

  26. When I see Communion under both kinds being offered at Mass, I must be seeing things.

    Delingpole’s scepticism is so twee, his tongue lodged so far in his cheek it must look like a rather nasty boil, it’s actually dreary.

  27. On the other hand if someone who was a member of Blockbuster blew up a shopping centre because they were members of Blockbuster and they did it to make sure Blockbuster would rule the world, we can say that Blockbuster motivates them. And if other members say otherwise, they are lying sacks of sh!t.

    Indeed. The amount of dissembling regarding this is astonishing. Especially when we consider that the rules of membership of Blockbuster include an obligation to blow up shopping centres for Blockbuster.

  28. Martin:

    When I see Communion under both kinds being offered at Mass, I must be seeing things. :

    I said “t’was my belief”. I didn’t say I knew, coz I ain’t never been in a Mass, see?

    Interested that it changed, though, because my wife went to a catholic school and it was certainly the case back then. When did that happen?

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