The Catholics for a long time have tried to dominate the religious scene. The church has its own laws for the behavior of its children in its schools and for the adults attending their Churches. These behavioral laws/rules the boys and girls are taught early in life.
Modern day Priests of the Catholic Church are like serfs or feudal land barons. The priests maintain the Church land and buildings through the money they get each week that is partly earmarked for them and part for the Bishop with the leftover for the Pope. They ask the people that their contributions each week to the church be 25% of their monthly income. These are rules that the Bishop of the Diocese sets up or the Pope does.
The Catholic Church has its own laws called the Canon Law. That Law, the church must obey because it is what the Church uses to discipline and manage each and every Priest and Nun (ie. Sister).. The Pope is the Supreme Ruler of the Catholic Church.
In each country there is one or maybe more Cardinals for that Country. Some of the Priests and Sisters are not American Citizens nor do some of them have a name that is their birth name. They always change it to another name as they are Blessed after the Novitiate as a Sister. The priests sometimes take on a moniker name which they retain normally for the rest of their life even if they leave the Priesthood.
The physical makeup of the Church ceremonies is such that a Mass and how it is done is hard to relate to the Non-Catholic or a member of several of the religious sects that occur in our Country this day and age. There is a Celebrant (Priest), Deacon, one or two Altar Servers.
These people at the beginning of the Mass walk down the aisle with the reader or Lector leading the way with the Good Book at which the Mass scriptural readings will be read. They go through a celebratory scheme or ritual which I can't stand to write about at this junction or turn on my road of Life.
Priests today aren't what they use to be either. Priests in today's church have a home (Rectory) with their own private living area, a Cook, Housekeeper and a slightly high cost automobile for each priest in the Parish to use for their own business. They drink smoke, play cards at night in dark rooms and talk about their escapade the next morning as their Homily.
When I was young, the priests the Priests were different. They had a small room to read,, pray, and write with a cook to make their meals and supervise the Church Office. The Priests then had a stipend from the Diocese for $70 to spend on their needs.. These priests would always be praying in the Church in the early morning before Sunrise Mass at about 6:00 and also in the afternoon and evening.
Finally, Catholicism has changed to a big disorganized mess with a consumer price list for the services that the Priest performs. I'll bet that they even have a price for the saying of a Mass. It is more of a Socio- Religious business which stresses prayer and religion for a weekly rate.
Garden Grove, California
August 5, 2008