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"Survivor's report" from a children's mass in Poland


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
25 Oct 2015 #1
The "survivor" thing is to be taken cum grano salis. No, I was not trambled by hundreds of screaming brats. But I did attend a children's mass by accident (at 10.30 AM) at the Dominican church in New Town (opposite "U Samsona" restaurant in Freta). All parishes have a children's mass on Sunday, but this one was almost exclusively attended by kids and their paretns -- wall-to-wall congregation peppered with numerous prams and strollers.

Some of the few-month-to-a-year-old generation slept through the whole thing in their prams. The 1.5 to 3 years olds were the liveliest, noisiest and most fidgety. But many of their elder siblings (5 and up) already knew how to behave. Yes, the crying and squealing was a bit distracting and it was hard to follow the sermon over the noise. but on balance it was an edifying sight to see so many young, well-groomed and wholesome-looking married couples (wedding bands told the story) exposing their progeny to their faith from an early age. Of course, we all know there are unchurched kids who spend Sunday mornings watching cartoon shows on the telly whilst their parents nurse their hangovers. There's no law against that, after all.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,113
25 Oct 2015 #2
Of course, we all know there are unchurched kids who spend Sunday mornings watching cartoon shows on the telly whilst their parents nurse their hangovers.

What a terribly sad life you must lead Polonius, if all you have to do with your time is post more of the same moralising sh1te.

But of course, all Catholics are paragons of virtue aren't they? Not a single Catholic would ever have a skinful the night before, and not take their kids to church, now would they?

It's a shame you post this rubbish because you are capable of producing interesting threads, but your bitterness and self righteousness is unfortunately too apparent on most of them these days.

This is not news as such, it's just another opportunity for you to force your vile opinions down everyone elses' throats.
Levi 12 | 450
25 Oct 2015 #3
"But of course, all Catholics are paragons of virtue aren't they?"

From a practicing catholic, the doctrine of the catholic religion never said that all catholics must be perfect and paragons of virtue.

Because this is impossible.

What they, or better, us, should do is to recognize and repent from our sins.

Said that, i really doubt that you are here for a real discussion about Catholicism, rather you are just another atheist that get crazy just because other people decided to keep their faith.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,113
25 Oct 2015 #4
i really doubt that you are here for a real discussion about Catholicism

The OP isn't here for a discussion about Catholicism either Levi, otherwise he wouldn't have added the bit about 'unchurched kids' at the end. That was his usual jibe to non Catholics or anyone non religious.

If he was genuinely pleased to see all those kids in church and nothing else, then why not just leave it at that, and people could comment accordingly? The jibe was unnecessary and provoking, but that was his real intention.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
25 Oct 2015 #5
I'm reminded of Jorge from Eco's The Name of the Rose.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
25 Oct 2015 #6
vile opinions

No, Catholics are not paragons of virtue, but the scene I described was heart-warming to me at least. To you taking kids to church to you may be vile. So be it. Be happy you live in a free country where you are free to express any view you like. When the PC dictatorship take over, that may no longer be the case.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,113
25 Oct 2015 #7
the scene I described was heart-warming to me at least.

I'm not saying it wasn't Polonius, but why do you constantly see fit to condemn others? There was no need for your last paragraph was there? What you were implying by that statement was that non church goers have lesser morals than those that do, which is ridiculous.

Plus what's with the 'wholesome looking married couples with wedding rings ' bit? Would the scene be less heart - warming to you if those couples weren't displaying wedding bands?

To you taking kids to church to you may be vile.

That's not what I said Polonius, so don't put words in my mouth please. What I object to is you forcing your opinions ( often vile btw ) onto others. Exactly who are you to sit in judgement?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
25 Oct 2015 #8
forcing your opinions

Yeah sure. I've got my own goon squad which I send out to enforce my views. Better watch out, they may be lurking in the shadows outside your window. Anyone who doesn't comply gets 40 lashes with a wet noodle.

Seriosuly, expressing an opinion isn't forcing it on anyone, it is exercising the right iof free speech. If you can lose your job, get demtoed or be otherwise harassed for opposing same-sex marriage, that is threat, blackmail and force.

Please keep on topic
Chemikiem 6 | 2,113
26 Oct 2015 #9
Of course you have a right to express your opinion Polonius, so would you mind explaining that opinion please and telling us why you think that non church goers are drunk on saturday evenings and feeling too ill to get their kids to church on sundays? Do you have any evidence to support your claims?

You still haven't answered my questions either. I repeat, who are you to sit in judgement of others? And would that heart warming scene you describe look any the less heart warming to you if the parents weren't wearing wedding rings? I am guessing yes, and you would be looking disapprovingly down your nose at those parents and their children because they don't conform to your ideals.

You posted those provocative statements to deliberately get a reaction, so now I have taken your 'bait', at least be honest enough to explain your actions, although I very much doubt I will get an answer.

What annoys me about you and other Christians on this forum, is just how unchristian and judgmental you actually are. Everything is black and white to you, there are never any shades of grey.

Just because a person may not go to church, doesn't mean that person isn't a good and decent human being Polonius, you should try being one, instead of posting unpleasant rubbish which only reinforces the fact that underneath it all, you are really not a very nice person.
Atch 17 | 2,913
26 Oct 2015 #10
To you taking kids to church to you may be vile

She didn't say that. It's not the people who go to church that she has an issue with. It's you dear, and your constant snide comments. What you do Polly, is this: you use a thread to ostensibly discuss a particular matter eg isn't it great to see children in church on Sunday, but in fact it's merely a prop for you to segue into your real reason for posting, which is to annoy and provoke other people.

What annoys me about you and other Christians on this forum

Can we make that 'some' other Christians Chemikiem. I'm a Catholic and I certainly don't display those attitudes. And bear in mind that being Irish and having been raised in a Catholic country I rarely encountered people with those views. There are some conservative, traditional Catholics certainly who might be a bit disapproving or genuinely worried about the state of religion in the country, but they lack the spite, the malice and the sneering attitude of Polonius. He is by no means a typical Catholic and his attitudes are more to do with his own personal view of the world than with Catholicism.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,113
26 Oct 2015 #11
Can we make that 'some' other Christians Chemikiem.

My apologies Atch, it wasn't you I had in mind when I said that, but you are right, 'some' other Christians would be more appropriate.

There are some conservative, traditional Catholics certainly who might be a bit disapproving or genuinely worried about the state of religion in the country, but they lack the spite, the malice and the sneering attitude of Polonius. He is by no means a typical Catholic and his attitudes are more to do with his own personal view of the world than with Catholicism.

This is what I have the issue with. Polonius very deliberately added that last paragraph and there was no need to do so.
I don't have an issue with anyone's religion, I have Christian and non Christian friends. I respect their views.
It's just a shame that Polonius doesn't appear to respect those of others.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
26 Oct 2015 #12
judgmental

People variously assess different people, places as things. On the basis of aesthetic, cultural, political, religious and other criteria they find some heart-warming and attractive and others less so or even downright turn-offish. Contrary to one of PC's top negative buzz-words "judgemental", in actuality (as indicated above) everything and everyone is subject to evaluation, assessment and judgement, because we all have a brain and some people actually use it.

I'm sure there are people who would be turned off by the general ambience of the children's mass referred to earlier and might well use such terms as relgious fanaticism, mediaeval mentality, superstituion and brainwashing to describe it. Such people might find the atmospehre of a pub, rock concert, "pride parade" or biker rally more to their liking. And -- yes! -- there are many shadings of likes and dislikes, penchants and aversions.

I personally like the practice and general ambiance of churchgoing families in line with the saying: "The family that prays together stays together." By and large that is true. Which is not to say that those who do not take their kids to church are all drunks of low-lifes. But please bear in mind I was not preparing a sociolgical dissertstion full of statistics and footnotes but simply sharing a handful of spot impressions.
Chemikiem 6 | 2,113
26 Oct 2015 #13
I personally like the practice and general ambiance of churchgoing families in line with the saying: "The family that prays together stays together."

There is nothing wrong with that, it's your personal view and I wouldn't mock you for having that opinion.

Which is not to say that those who do not take their kids to church are all drunks of low-lifes.

But this is exactly what you implied by your statement, it's a bit late to start backtracking now!
What I would appreciate though, is that instead of waffling on and trying to evade my questions, is that you answer them. Post number 9.
Atch 17 | 2,913
26 Oct 2015 #14
I have Christian and non Christian friends. I respect their views.

Of course you do pet, because you're normal! Himself is just being deliberately awkward so that he can have a good old row of some kind with somebody.

I'm sure there are people who would be turned off by the general ambience of the children's mass referred to earlier

But why are you even bothering to mention such people??

I personally like the practice and general ambiance of churchgoing families i

And good luck to you. So do I.
Now, what I'd be interested to hear, is what form the mass took, what was the sermon like? Did you feel it was child-centred? Did the priest engage directly with the children? What made it a childrens' mass apart from there being a lot of children present? What if any solution would you suggest for the screamers and squealers and fidgeters?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
26 Oct 2015 #15
mention such people

To illustrate pluralism. One man's pudding is another man's poison.
The sermon was general (with God all things are possible) and not directed to chidren. The intetnions were strictly children: maybe 20 tots in succession shouted in high-ptiched voices into the mike: I want to pray for mummy and daddy, granny and grandpa, and Auntie Zosia, Uncle Andrzej, and my sister Marysia and brother Tomek, etc., etc. some occasionally mentioning a pet as well.

One church I sometimes visit, the Franciscan Church has a side chapel separated form the main altar nave by a sound-proof glass wall which muffles the kid noise. But it's not big enough to accommodate all the noise-makers present at the Dominican church. Years ago at Our Saviour Church the priest with a cordless mike woukd wade into the congregation of 200 or 300 kids and throw questions at individual kids, tell jokes or otehrwise amuse the youngsters. As a teacher you surely know how difficult it is to keep kids' attention. In the States, where schools try to teach via fun and games, some parishes hold a clown ministry. What do you think of that approach?
Atch 17 | 2,913
26 Oct 2015 #16
In the States, where schools try to teach via fun and games, some parishes hold a clown ministry. What do you think of that approach?

Clowns are an abomination, full stop. They should have been forbidden in the Ten Commandments. Thou shalt not array oneself in oversized, garish clothing, nor adorn oneself with red noses, nor shall you cast upon the masses of the faithful buckets of tinsel........etc, etc and so on.

The sermon was general (with God all things are possible) and not directed to chidren.

Not good. Needs to be directed to the children in a manner they can understand, similar to how religion is taught in Catholic primary schools - and it needs to be brief, one simple point that they can take in and remember and no more than that.

The intetnions were strictly children: maybe 20 tots in succession

Nice idea, too many tots. People will suffer that kind of thing at a school concert but they shouldn't have to in church. Limit the numbers. Vary the ages, juniors, middles and seniors, three kids from each group, nine kids in total.

As a teacher you surely know how difficult it is to keep kids' attention.

Yes, it's a skill and there's an argument for having some kind of specialist training for priests in this area - ministry for children. Even teachers don't all have that skill of commanding and holding the attention of children, some have a natural gift but in general it's the years of experience that count. It is very difficult to engage with a large group of children who are complete strangers to you. If the congregation is well established and the same children attend week after week then it's somewhat easier.

In an infant school I taught in, we had a wonderful priest. He was probably about 60 years old and had been preparing children for First Communion for many years. His church was located directly across the road from the school. He started by just popping in when the children were in their first year at school and chatting with the class. When they were six he would say mass for the first time. He would robe himself for the mass in front of the children, explaining what each garment was and why he wore it, in very simple terms. He would then explain everything on the altar etc. He remained very chatty and informal throughout the mass, explaining the prayers and so on but in a completely appropriate manner (no clowning). But Polonius, I really wish you could have seen our Principal in action. She was a wonderful lady from Donegal, she never raised her voice, ever. She could command absolute attention from a school hall filled with nearly 300 children aged four to six years. I watched them listen to her give the story of St Brigid, the Irish female patron saint and the children were absolutely transfixed, so it can be done. She'd been teaching nearly forty years so, as I say, experience counts.

Just to finish I'd say that plenty of music and singing are very important in a childrens' mass.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
26 Oct 2015 #17
It sends a shiver down my spine to hear people discussing the best way to indoctrinate little children. Very creepy.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
26 Oct 2015 #18
Very creepy.

Don't you find it turn-offish and "creepy" to see how corporate brainwashers seek to indoctrinate kids with commercialist shopaholism, trendy toys, drawing-board idols, must-have fashions, cutting-edge e-gadgetry and later increasingly weird subcultures? One difference between ordinary people discussing ways to pass down their family's religious heritage and the corporate indoctrinators is that the latter are backed by multi-billion-dollar/pound/euro budgets. The main difference is that concerned famileĆ³ies are hoping their chidlren lead decent, virtuous lives -- the greed-driven capitlaist bloodsuckers are only out after their parents' credit cards.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
26 Oct 2015 #19
Yes. I agree.
Atch 17 | 2,913
26 Oct 2015 #20
Well now Roger, all sets of values which people pass on to their children are a form of indoctrination.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
26 Oct 2015 #21
It would be better to give them a good education first, and then let them decide what religion, if any, they want to follow. I wonder how many would say no thanks. I remember the terrified, tearful kids waiting to go into their first confession. In fact, I was one of them. And before Pol jumps in, you don't have a monopoly on morality. "Christian" morality was being taught thousands of years before Christ.
Atch 17 | 2,913
26 Oct 2015 #22
I remember the terrified, tearful kids waiting to go into their first confession. In fact, I was one of them.

Well you see this is it Roger. People tend to bring their own issues to the table of life. It's inevitable. We both went to First Confession, one of us was terrified, one of us wasn't. Now I actually don't agree with the sacrament of confession. You don't need a priest as an intermediary between yourself and God. He's your father, just tell him you're sorry. But some people find it comforting. By the way nowadays First Confession seems to be a very happy occasion. In the schools I taught in anyway, the kids actually look forward to it and they have a party afterwards.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
26 Oct 2015 #23
then let them decide what religion

Because of the ubiquitous, all-pervasive and high-powered brainwashing to which they are subjected, without relgious guidance they tend to "choose" the "relgion" of popculture commercialism and become victims of the greed machine. That religion's "cathedral" is the shopping mall, its liturgy -- advertising jingles and its high priests -- currently idolised celebs.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
26 Oct 2015 #24
I exaggerated. I wasn't terrified, just mystified as to what I could confess, but others were tearful. I suppose my point is that you can take a group of five-year-olds and turn them into devout anything. The Jesuits even provided a guarantee! You can even persuade some of them to kill people of a different religion. Let them make their own minds up.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
26 Oct 2015 #25
You don't need a priest as an intermediary

So you dismiss the Sacrament of Penance? I reckon then Jesus was talking rubbish when he said: "Whose sins you remit are remitted and whose sins you retain are retained." (St John 20-23)
Atch 17 | 2,913
26 Oct 2015 #26
without relgious guidance they tend to "choose" the "relgion" of popculture commercialism and become victims of the greed machine

That's not quite true either though. Look Polly I come from a Catholic country. Over eighty percent of Irish people consider themselves to be Catholic according to their census returns. But despite that Ireland is just as interested in celebrity gossip, i-phones and tablets, high fashion etc So they're very much a nation of consumers. Now of course they're also one of the most charitable nations in the world with a very high proportion people giving their personal time to volunteering. You can be religious and materialistic and even a bit shallow at the same time and many people are. Religion doesn't prevent people from being materialistic but it hopefully encourages you to spare a thought for those with less and to share what you have. The Quakers are a great example of that. However you can be brought up with no religion and still be raised to think of others and be a caring person.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
26 Oct 2015 #27
Pol, Jesus knew nothing of Roman Catholic priests. The sacraments came when the religion got organised.
Atch 17 | 2,913
26 Oct 2015 #28
So you dismiss the Sacrament of Penance? I reckon then Jesus was talking rubbish when he said: "Whose sins you remit are remitted and whose sins you retain are retained." (St John 20-23)

That quote like pretty much everything in the Bible is open to interpretation. This is a matter to debate with evangelical Christians perhaps? Johnny Reb could put you right on this one. However bear in mind that the communion of Anglican churches also doesn't have the sacrament of confession. It's not that big a deal Polly.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
26 Oct 2015 #29
not that big a deal

I can see how it's no big deal to "feel-good" or Cafeteria Catholics. In my view, you are either a Catholic or you're not. Sure you can pick and choose, but that's not Catholicism -- that's a trip to the corner shop.
johnny reb 18 | 3,756
26 Oct 2015 #30
he said: "Whose sins you remit are remitted and whose sins you retain are retained." (St John 20-23)

Pol may I ask you in what chapter of John are those verses found ?


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