I awoke on Friday morning to a BBC news broadcast (I use my TV as an alarm as it frustrates me in to leaving my room) about a young boy, Denum, with Down’s Syndrome who was refused his First Holy Communion on the grounds that he was ill prepared to undertake the ceremony. This left me with an odd feeling – for once in my adult life I agreed with the Catholic Church. Here’s what the Diocese of Leeds had to say:
While he [Denum] is unable to make preparations this year to the first sacrament he may be able to do in the future when his understanding is better placed.
It would seem to be that the Diocese of Leeds believes that Denum lacks an understanding of what the First Communion involves and what it means with regards to him joining the Church willingly as an adult – or confirming his belief in the Catholic version of God, if you prefer.
The point may seem rather moot, and it is indeed quite hypocritical, as children are indoctrinated into the Church near enough as soon as they’re born. Asking if they give themselves willingly over to Christ at such a tender age, when the mind is so easily swayed to believe in falsehoods, is really no contest. The brainwashed child will not understand that there is no need for them to give themselves over to the cult.
My point is this: a child raised to believe in God will do as their elders tell them and believe in God without any understanding of what the implications are.
I had my First Communion at age 10 – the normal age was 8 but it can vary from 7 to 14 – and I didn’t have a clue. I was told I believed in God, so I thought I believed in God. My mind was too young, I was too interested in kiss-chase and digging worms out of the mud to apply any thought to what it meant to confirm my allegiance to Catholocism.
Religions must come to realise that such a young and malleable mind, retarded or otherwise, cannot possibly understand the contract they are entering.
But I am being naive. Of course the Church knows that 8 is too young an age to understand what’s going on. That’s really why First Communion is held at such a young age. Get ’em young, like the tobacco industry.
I’m glad Denum has been refused the First Communion. I wish the age for the process was raised to 19 or 20. The Bible is a complicated, controversial, nonsensical, contradictory text and a person should really know what they’re doing when getting in to bed with one of the largest corrupting organisations in the world.