Word of the day

Ken writes: My friend Niall told me of an interesting word yesterday: ‘Bejesuit’, which is a verb meaning ‘To initiate in Jesuitism; to work upon by, or subject to, Jesuits.’ (OED). He and his girlfriend were bejesuited recently because they want to get married, but not in a Catholic ceremony, which would involve pledging loyalty to the Catholic church. They were having a meeting with a Jesuit priest to find out if there was any way their marriage would be recognised by the Catholic church. His mother is a committed Catholic, who would worry about them ‘living in sin’ so they have to be married in a way recognised as marriage by the Catholic church. Unfortunately, it turns out that, because he is a baptised Catholic, he has to be married in a Catholic ceremony (or else renounce the church -not a mother-pleasing option). Interestingly, the Catholic church would recognise Dot’s and my Church of England marriage, even though the Church of England is merely an ‘ecclesial community’ according to Benedict the 16th (I’ve also heard that it is possible to be a married Roman Catholic priest, if you were married first as an Anglican priest and subsequently convert to Catholicism).

Catholicism is like the Apple Computer company. They both sell a complete package and you have to buy the in-house options and can’t customise. And they both have their passionate adherents!

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7 thoughts on “Word of the day

  1. Hmmm, tricky one. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t: from the Catholic point of view, abjuring your faith – apostasy – sends you straight to Hell; as does living in sin; leaving you with the dubious possibilities of some sort of sham (and, again, being Hellbound).
    For two sound atheists, one possibility might be to undergo a Catholic marriage (with conversion of one of the parties, as needs be). In that if one doesn’t believe, and indeed if there is no God, then it doesn’t matter.
    And good results, as a mother is made happy. (I for one definitely believe in human happiness and unhappiness, and a duty of care to fellow human beings, especially The Aged.)
    This only works if the Catholic party makes a convincing return to the fold, and if the other party makes a convincing conversion. Public declarations of religious renunciation beforehand, and discussions with Jesuits, might be a bit of a hindrance.
    That slight hitch aside, this is actually a rather Jesuitical solution. Those who care about such things are happy with the “Catholic” marriage. Those who don’t should have no issue with saying things they don’t believe, because these things are not – in their belief, or rather, non-belief system – true. Those who are suspicious cannot prove anything one way or t’other – if the couple have been sufficiently convincing, this will have to be concluded to be a matter between each individual and God.
    The gamble: this kind of concerted action might make The Couple stronger or pull them apart. Particularly if the Catholice party becomes squqamish: Any niggling doubts about saying things one thought one didn’t believe – and a fear of divine retribution – suggests one might not be as fully lapsed as one thought … leading one back to Mother Church’s tender embrace as a repentant sinner.
    Beyond Pascal’s wager, this is a win-win for the Church.

  2. Some of our friends were surprised to learn that their civil marriage in New York was not recognised by the Catholic Church, necessitating a full marriage ceremony rather than the mere blessing they sought.

    As an unreconstructed disrespecter of all sacrednesses dearly held, I say they should lie like dogs, get married under the auspices of the Church, then repudiate the whole mess before God and all his yeomen. This would offend the sensibilities of the Church and the Mother and deeply pad the tally of reason and logic.

    Or rudeness. Or both.

  3. kenanddot

    I expect they will probably get married in a civil ceremony and then work on his mother’s issues with a civil wedding later. That might formalise their commitment to each other enough to reassure his mother that they are not just `living in sin’. Probably an old-fashioned, which is not to say `wrong’, attitude to the moral issues is responsible for some of his mother’s concerns.

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