Monday, September 28, 2009

Here's a rather unique video of a visitor to a Roman Catholic service. Ah well, a Presbyterian church I passed by the other day was having a "bless your pet" day.


Paul Hoffer said...

Hello there,

Perhaps the priest was taking Mk. 16:15 and Rev. 5:13 a bit further than one is accustomed to seeing.

Seriously, as far as the dog at Mass, I do not believe that there is a provision in canon law about it, but there definitely is a question of propriety when it comes to letting an animal come and go into the sanctuary. Of course, if the animal were a seeing-eye dog or an assisted living animal (there are dogs, cats and capuchin monkies trained to do that), legally you can not bar such animals from being brought to church. Frankly, from what I have heard about the particular incident that the video is referencing, I am more offended that the priest used the Mass as an occasion to hawk dog shampoo to the faithful than anything the dog did.

I will relate something that I saw in my younger days. One cold Sunday during Advent, a stray cat had somehow found its way into the church at the very beginning of Mass. It walked up the aisle, dropped a mouse that it had caught into the collection basket at the foot of the steps leading up to the altar and then went over to the empty crib where Jesus would be placed for Christmas and climbed in and watched the rest of the Mass from a place of warmth. I found nothing objectionable in what the cat did or the fact that the priest did not attempt to have the animal removed. One may accuse me of anthromorphism, but it certainly appeared to me that the cat wanted to hear the Word of God. The school attached to the church later adopted the cat as a pet.

As far as "bless your pet" day, October 4 is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi who had no problem preaching the Word of God to all of God's creatures. I have had my pets blessed on that day for years.

God bless!

"Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Mk. 16:15

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out: "To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever." Rev. 5:13

James Swan said...

I love my siamese cat, but she'll never make it into a church to be blessed. Besides, Siamese are part demon.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Mr. Swan, I have had Siamese cats since I was 16. I know where you are coming from. My first Siamese, Stanley, was a stray that someone had taught to use the toilet to do his business and then flush-so no litter box mess! The problem was that he liked to watch the water go round and round and he would flush the darn thing all day if he could. He also knew how to turn door handles so there was no such thing as privacy in our home. And he loved to carry pingpong balls and drop them into the bath tub and then play tub hockey all night. He lived to the ripe old age of 20.

As for blessing the animals, we do that outside or in the school gym if the weather is bad.

BTW, I liked the picture of your cat. Too bad about your Luther book--my cats are more partial to destroying sacramentals (palms and rosaries) and drinking holy water out of the font at home.

fun fact- House cats are not mentioned in the Bible. I wonder why that is?