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 Post subject: SNUFFED OUT: EXCOMMUNICATION RITUAL OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:58 am 
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If any of you are Catholics, or not, perhaps you'd like to comment? I got this in an email from a lady who is a member of a parapsychology group. She did not provide a link to her information.

Snuffed Out

Feel like being labeled a heretic or a witch? Book, Bell, and Candle refers to the excommunication ritual of the Roman Catholic Church. While we may scoff at the implications now, during the Middle Ages this could mean social shunning and dire consequences to one's standing in the community. The phrase, "Bell, Book and Candle" may bring you fond memories of a cute comedy film from 1958 starring Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart, but during the Middle Ages, this was a curse.

From "The Devil's Dictionary" by Ambrose Bierce.
EXCOMMUNICATION, n.
This "excommunication" is a word
In speech ecclesiastical oft heard,
And means the damning, with bell, book and candle,
Some sinner whose opinions are a scandal --
A rite permitting Satan to enslave him
Forever, and forbidding Christ to save him.

This very serious form of excommunication was called "anathema" and found ("apostasy, heresy, or schism,") in the Roman Pontifical canon of 1364. So what was Bell, Book and Candle? It's unclear if the church still does this, but a bishop performs the rite with a bell, holy book and candle upon the altar. Twelve priests with lighted candles attend and the following is said:

'We separate him, together with his accomplices and abettors, from the precious body and blood of the Lord and from the society of all Christians; we exclude him from our holy mother the church in heaven and on earth; we declare him excommunicate and anathema; we judge him damned, with the devil and his angels and all the reprobate, to eternal fire until he shall recover himself from the toils of the devil and return to amendment and to penitence."

The priests answer, "So be it!" The bell is rung to symbolize a death toll, the book is shut, and the candles are blown out and dashed to the ground to indicate the sinners soul being cast out of the church and away from the sight of God. Who says there is no magic in the church?


You can read more on excommunication here.

For more on Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary, go here

Catherine

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:56 pm 
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They probably still perform the ritual and just don't advertize it. After all they still excommunicate and that is the ritual portion of the church's excommunication procedure. It's the ceremony of the Bell,Book,and Candle that actually excommunicates by the dogma. The rest is just the book-keeping side, making it official and known that a person has been excommunicated.

Even in the middle ages the power of excommunication was limited to those with little social standing or power in themselves. Consider, the pope excommunicated William the Conquerer and it didn't do a damned bit of good. He made fun of the Church over it and denied that they had any authority over them and since he was a ruler they couldn't do anything about it.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:28 pm 
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Quote:
On 17 December 1538, the Pope announced to the Christian world that Henry VIII had been excommunicated from the Catholic church.

Henry now had nothing to lose and he closed down the rest of the monasteries and nunneries in England, Wales and Ireland. All told. Henry closed down over 850 monastic houses between 1536 and 1540. Those monks and nuns who did not oppose Henry's policies were granted pensions. However, these pensions did not allow for the rapid inflation that was taking place in England at that time and within a few years most monks and nuns were in a state of extreme poverty.


Old Henry VIII didn't care to thumb his nose at the Pope, either. He just took the church's riches for himself.

Read More Here

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:51 am 
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Yep old Henry really knew how to stick it to the Pope and his lackeys. Not only did he substitute his own version of Christianity and his own church for theirs after that, he seized all their assets in the country and killed a bunch of their clergy too.

Next best thing to sacking the Vatican, we really missed an opportunity during WW2. Rome open and unguarded for the taking and what did we do, made nice! We should've taken the old whore Rome for all she was worth and brought it back to America. Think of all the stuff in just the Vatican itself, not counting anything else in that ancient and beautiful city just sitting there waiting for someone to come along and carry it off! :lol:

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