Saturday, October 20, 2007

Retro mythology

Give me that old time delusion

Inside the Vatican magazine is a noisy advocate of the old Latin mass and all things from before Vatican II. In its quest to march the Roman Catholic Church back to the good old days, Inside the Vatican has unearthed the Baltimore Catechism and taken to publishing inspirational excerpts from its trove of old-fashioned didacticism. The Baltimore Catechism presents Church teachings in a Q&A fashion designed to be memorized. (I've discovered that some of the items are still embedded in my head forty-five years after I first learned them.)

The October 2007 issue of Inside the Vatican makes some curious choices in its selections from the old catechism. In particular, someone should have thought better than to present this:
75. Q. On what day was Christ born?

A. Christ was born on Christmas Day in a stable at Bethlehem, over nineteen hundred years ago.
Interesting “fact,” isn't it? Does the Church expect its acolytes to take this seriously? It's no coincidence that December 25 was selected for the observance of Christ's birth, but no one actually believes that Jesus was born near the winter solstice or on the Roman holiday known as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti.

I trust this statement about Christ's birth was not infallibly approved by the pope.

1 comment:

Saint Onan said...

Technically speaking, I think the delusionists are correct on this one. "Christmas Day" is whatever day the Christ was born, even if nowadays nobody knows the exact date. (Or if he ever was born, but that's a different debate).