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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Jello Salad

I often run informal polls. For example, years ago, during the 'real men don't eat quiche' crisis, I asked everyone I could find, given the choice of a plate of pasta or a steak, which they would prefer? Most of the women went for the pasta. All of the men went for the steak. On another occasion, I tried to find out if there were any people who hated Jell-o. I didn't find anyone who actually couldn't bear to eat Jell-o, but I did find several people who hated it's globby consistency.

Recently I asked everyone I could find who was not Catholic what were the tenets of their faith? What are the beliefs that separate the separated brethren? What makes a Baptist not a Congregationalist? etc.

Not one person had an answer for me. They all had answer for why they attended the church they attended, meaning that building with those people in it. But other than "Jesus Saved Me", they could not tell me what they believed.

I mention this today as a prelude to this question from yet another anonymous reader:

A couple of blogs ago someone mentioned that there is a big difference between the RCC & the Episcopal Church. Can you explain this in more detail? From what I've been studying, except for allegiance to the Pope, I really see no difference. Thanks!

Let's start with the biggest difference: in a nutshell, the Episcopal Church is the American version of the Angelican Church.

The Roman Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ while he was alive on earth.

The Angelican Church was founded by Henry the VIII because he was mad at the Pope when the Pope wouldn't grant him a divorce. (There's a difference for you. Divorce=okay.) Henry figured he could get away with it, because at the same time in Germany, Martin Luther was founding his own church, too. Wheeeeeeeeee!

So right there you've got to ask yourself, would you rather be a member of the church founded by Jesus Christ while he was alive on earth or the church founded by Henry the VIII? Decisions, decisions.....

After the divorce thing, and the no Pope thing, Henry seemed to have trouble coming up any more ideas for his new faith. That's why it seems so similar to you. That may continue to be the case until you go to 'mass' there and the bishop is a woman. A married woman at that.

"Episcopal," by the way, just refers to the fact that the church is run by a group of bishops. Most of us know what happens when things are run by committee. Think Medicare. Public School.

The Episcopal church believes in the 'Real Presence" in the Eucharist, meaning the Host is not just the symbolic Presence of Christ. But they don't believe in transubstantiation. I'm not sure how that works out to be not just symbolic...or what they think they are receiving, exactly.

No Purgatory, either. It's a pass/fail afterlife. You'll have to hope life is an "easy A".

And like all the separated brethren they just cannot seem to get it through their heads that Catholics do not pray TO the saints. So they think that they are different from the Catholic church since they don't pray to the saints. But Catholics don't pray to the saints. We ask the saints to pray for us. They are different from Catholics in that they pretty much ignore the saints, except to name churches after them.

They do go around asking other people to pray for them, but they don't ask Mary or the saints in heaven to pray for them. I need all the help I can get. Can you get into heaven with a B-minus?

There's more: sacraments, sins, women priests, divorce, married priests, saints, statues, rosaries or lack thereof.

You'll have better luck asking people what they like in their Jell-0. And as many answers as there are dominations. The Lutherans like shredded carrots.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful cmparison!

(I was raised US Anglican. Product of RCC schooling and education from my RCC hubby)

I especially liked your clarfication on praying *TO* the saints. Most non-RCCs don't understand this.

If you break the prayers down word-by-word it is so obvious you are asking the saints, etc. TO PRAY *FOR* YOU -- as seen in the most sacred and basic of holy prayer of the RCC (The Hail Mary):
"...PRAY FOR US sinners now, and at the hour of death."

Also got a chuckle on the medicare/public school analogy --priceless. :-D)

Anonymous said...

Dear Sr Mary Martha,

I love the blog, and wouldn't expect you to smile favourably on the Episcopal church, but just for clarity:

1. The Church of England has rather unfortunate ties to Henry VIII at its founding (though one might argue that the divorce is what made Henry catch up with what much of the church was already doing). However, not all Episcopal churches depend on the Church of England. The first American bishop was consecrated by the Scottish Bishops. The Scottish Episcopal Church evolved without any direct connection to the English King.

2. Episcopalians accept the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist without trying to explain the exact mechanics -- thus, presumably, in the same way that the whole church did before Aquinas offered a theory to satisfy the scholastics' questions? (and a beautiful theory it is too, so long as one accepts the Aristotelian world view it is based on.)

3. I suspect if you look closely at the average Episcopalian's view of the afterlife, you will find that purgatory is far less problematic than hell.

4. Many Episcopalians also ask the Saints to pray for us, honour Mary, and make use of the Rosary.

5. For American Episcopalians: cranberries, pecans and a layer of sour cream in Jello, please. For the British, the thought of jello salad is an even more bewildering than papal infallibility.

Anonymous said...

Back when I was an Episcopalian, I used to refer to the denomination as 'Catholic Lite: All the Ritual, Half the Guilt.'

Now I just tend to think of it as the difference between white bread and whole grain. Catholic being the whole grain, of course.

As for jello: Sugar free lime jello with sliced bananas and canned mandarin oranges, topped with Cool-Whip. Mmmm.

Anonymous said...

Sister, I wish you would write about why the church won't accept people who divorce and re-marry unless the first marriage is annulled. I can't get my wife to understand.

The problem is I want to become a Catholic and my wife was married before. She doesn't get why *she* has to do all this nosy paperwork when *I'm* the one who wants to be Catholic. She is happily Protestant. I might get her to convert someday too, but right now I can't even get myself into the church.

Thanks and have a nice day.

Andy Looney said...

The pass/fail thing.....

Are the people who went to hell for eating meat on Friday there for eternity?

Are they supplied with weiners and sticks?

cattiekit said...

Actually? The British have this thing called *aspic*.

As far as I can tell, they put everything and anything in it.

Looks like a Jell-O coating to me.

I personally favor a crushed pineapple mold, made from Knox Unflavored Gelatin and flavored with pineapple juice, sugar and so forth.

I inflict it on everybody at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Freddie? Maybe the marriage thing is because, like they always say, let not man put asunder what God hath joined together?

And andy looney - I suspect those in Hell *are* the wienies and you can imagine where the stick is placed. ;>)

radio45 said...

I believe that the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches believe that there is no point at which the change in substance occurs, but rather the bread and wine is consecrated at the moment it is intended to be used on the altar. One major difference between Episcopal and other Protestant churches is the fact that Episcopal priests can become RCC priests. I believe there is an unbroken line of succession in their priesthood which can be traced to the Roman church. This means that Father John can come to the RCC with wife and kids in tow and be a Catholic priest (yes, the church has them!). And from all reports it seems to be working quite nicely all around (lite editorial comment).

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sister, for answering my question so quickly & so eloquently. I am happy to stick to the Episcopal Church. And your answer helped clarify that decision.

buckeyepride said...

I'm SO glad we are finally covering topics with REAL substance here, albeit a shaking, shimmery, somewhat translucent substance. Lime jell-o with sliced bananas, please, just like Grandma Crawford used to make me every time I visited.

Jen Stewart, "sugar free" lime jell-o with sliced bananas and canned mandarin oranges (coated in sugar) and topped with Cool Whip (whipped, creamy sugar)? Do yourself a favor and go with the sugary jell-o. You're clearly not avoiding the sugar, and it's SO MUCH BETTER.

alex said...

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Anonymous said...

The Catholic Church orginated with Christ. So I'll stick with it. In meats class, in college, I learned where jello orginates from, I really haven't eaten much jello since.

Anonymous said...

Sister, I have some further questions about this topic if you have the time to answer:

1) Considering they "believe" in the saints, and name their churches "St._____," do they only believe in those who had been cannonized by the time the Anglican Church split from the RCC? Or, do they acknowledge the many saints that have been named by the RCC since, such as St. Kolbe? Does the Episcopal Church have their own process for cannonization?

2) I live in northern Louisiana, and I noticed many Baptist churches with names like "St. John, St. Elmo and St. Joseph." I asked a baptist friend why some churches were named "St._____" when they do not believe in the cannonization of saints. She noted that this was not the practice of "southern Baptists" but was seen only in predominately African American Baptist Churches. Other then her observation, she could not explain any further, nor could she answer what delineated some Baptists from others. Do you have any further information as to why this is the practice for some Baptist churches?


buckeyepride said...

I love that we have to ask a nun in order to find out what Baptists believe because the Baptists themselves don't know. HA!

Kasia said...

The Episcopal Church does in fact have its own canonization process. I understand Martin Luther King Jr. and C.S. Lewis have both been canonized in the Episcopal Church.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention that abortion is perfectly fine in the Episcopalian Church. That's a big difference. Birth control is okay, and homosexual unions can be blessed there. Apparently, if you leave your wife and kids for your homosexual lover, you can be a bishop. Cool!

Oh, and the presiding bishop recently said that Episcopalians are better educated than Catholics, and that they discourage people from having large families.

Anonymous said...

These are from the Episcopal catechism in the Book of Common Prayer. They seem, um ... true.

Q. What is the outward and visible sign in the Eucharist?
A. The outward and visible sign in the Eucharist is bread
and wine, given and received according to Christ’s command.

Q. What is the inward and spiritual grace given in the Eucharist?
A. The inward and spiritual grace in the Holy Communion
is the Body and Blood of Christ given to his people, and
received by faith.

Q. What do we mean by heaven and hell?
A. By heaven, we mean eternal life in our enjoyment of God;
by hell, we mean eternal death in our rejection of God.

Q. Why do we pray for the dead?
A. We pray for them, because we still hold them in our
love, and because we trust that in God’s presence those
who have chosen to serve him will grow in his love, until
they see him as he is.

Q. What do we mean by the last judgment?
A. We believe that Christ will come in glory and judge
the living and the dead.

Q. What do we mean by the resurrection of the body?
A. We mean that God will raise us from death in the
fullness of our being, that we may live with Christ in the
communion of the saints.

Q. What is the communion of saints?
A. The communion of saints is the whole family of God,
the living and the dead, those whom we love and those
whom we hurt, bound together in Christ by sacrament,
prayer, and praise.

Q. What do we mean by everlasting life?
A. By everlasting life, we mean a new existence, in which we
are united with all the people of God, in the joy of fully
knowing and loving God and each other.

Q. What, then, is our assurance as Christians?
A. Our assurance as Christians is that nothing, not even
death, shall separate us from the love of God which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

Nicotheconqueror said...

can you please write about the tragedy in Virginia, telling us why a boy can accumulate and exipate on schoolmates, so much rage and fury?

Anonymous said...

One great big difference b/t the Catholic Church and the Episcopal church is the acceptance of contraception and birth control.

In 1930 the Anglican church was the first Christian church to allow it for married couples and well we all know what has happened since.

Thank you Paul VI and JP2 for Humane Vitae and Theology of the Body!!!

Amy said...

I left the Episcopal church too... I couldn't seem to feel truly comfortable in a church founded by a man who died of syphilis....

Unknown said...

i couldn't resist ...
first of all, it's anglican, not angelican.
my understanding of the transubstantiation issue is that w/in the anglican religion you've got choice (doctrine as opposed to dogma). you can believe in transubstantiation. you can believe that the presence of christ is within the bread and wine. you can believe that it is purely symbolic.
we believe in the trinity. we celebrate eucharist - some churches have it weekly, some have it monthly. there is high church (smells and bells), low church (really protestant and spare), and in between (eucharist weekly and smells and bells only on holy days).
i'm thinkin' the church was founded by paul, not jesus. jesus said to his disciples go out and heal the sick and make people whole, not, create a huge, corrupt, bureaucratic institution. paul raised the funds for that.
another fundamental difference is that we have been requiring psychological screenings of all our candidates for the priesthood, thereby filtering out the pedophiles to a large extent.

Anonymous said...

strange-- my Dad was molested by an Anglican minister. Guess they missed that one.

Anonymous said...

jen goodnow: you should read michael rose's "Goodbye Goodmen" and then you'll know what happened with the Catholic priests.

By the way, the problem at hand is not pedophilia, but ebophilia (i.e. homosexuality). The majority of sex scandal cases are with post-pubescent boys.

Brother's Keeper: you probably wouldn't be surprised to know that non-Catholic churches have higher rates of sexual scandals, but it's not widely reported b/c a celibate priesthood is more fun to pick on than married preachers.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister,
I must write to you because I am the elusive person who cannot bear jell-o. It disgusts me totally. I cannot watch another person eat jell-o without becoming nauseous. I have thrown up just from the sight of another slurping away at this unholy slop.
Plus, I'm young and female, and, choosing between steak or pasta, I would have picked steak, with a side of more steak (but not on Friday).
PS, I love that you made fun of Anglicans, because they need to wake up, realize their religion is very silly, and join back up.
Thanks for the blog: the virtuous way to slack off at work!

Anonymous said...

Jen, I love you!

Anonymous said...

It's all about transubstantiation, the Incarnation, the meaning of which which has been lost in the "Baby Jesus" hype of Christmas, and finally, about the Catholic devotion to the Mother of God.
I was privileged,once, to have been present at the most powerful sermon I have ever heard, given by a trappist monk who had been seconded to our parish. He said that the Incarnation was the single most loving and powerful act of God.
Also, that he would not have wanted to have counted himself amongst the martyrs, if what they were dying for was merely "a symbol".
I see that Pope Benedict is calling for tabernacles to be re-instated front and centre. When we get back to the Tridentine Latin Mass, I might go too.......

Anonymous said...

PS - Jello??? here in Australia, we prefer our Aeroplane jelly with custard........
Although I do remember, a SONG entitled "Lime jello, cottage cheese marshmallow surprise..... "Cattiekit", aspic is not at all the same thing! My mother ,in the sixties, used to make a salmon and cucumber aspic mould - it was deelicious!

cattiekit said...

Australian Anon, I stand corrected! :>)

I've only heard it described, not seen it in person, and it sounded jellified to me. :>)

Heather said...

You mention committees; there's the joke that a camel is a horse designed by one.

God bless!

Anonymous said...

I sincerely disagree with the commenter above who said that abortion is ok in the Episcopal Church. It is not. We just respectfully choose not to judge others. Love everyone.

And I am all for making the Catholic Church look good, but don't lie about another church to do it.

Anonymous said...


as Sr. Mary Martha has many times said, we as Catholics are not fit to judge another person's soul. But it's certainly possible to judge whether or not another person's actions are sinful, and whether they are gravely so. But as to whether they undertake gravely sinful actions with full knowledge and free consent, or if they subsequently have perfect contrition, that we cannot know. And thus, we cannot say whether they are condemned or not.

Abortion is, without any doubt, gravely sinful.