This thread is being opened to address a topic that came up in the thread about “don’t read the Bible”. forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=136888
Johnboyfl said that his mother had undergone an enforced separation for 6 weeks before she was ‘churched’ and was ‘kept from the Mass’.
Well, that had never been the experience of my parents or anybody I knew. And when I did a Google search, the sites that talked about treating women as though they were impure and dirty, and ‘enforcing isolation’, were sites like infidel.org.
Johnboyfl did give me some sites. Womenpriests, of course, is not reliable. But fisheaters is a site I know, so I looked there. This is what fisheaters said:
(the Church permits women to stay home, without culpability, from church for 6 weeks after giving birth) and after baby has been baptized.
Well, the words are ‘permits’ and ‘without culpability’, not ‘enforced.’ Further, the topic specifically says that, at least from the 1800s on pretty constantly, as opposed to more sporadically before, the whole ceremony is one of ‘thankfulness’ and has nothing to do with ‘ritual purification’.
Remember, even the Blessed Virgin, at the time that the Jewish purification law taught that childbirth made a woman ‘impure’ (according to their culture and standards which were held by virtually every previous and contemporary historical culture), underwent the ceremony *knowing * that she herself was pure. It is only relatively recently that as our society has grown and has advanced in various learning and reason that we have better understood St. Paul’s words that, in Christ, there is neither male nor female, slave or free. . . and made those words into literal as well as figurative truth.
As I said, it is possible that some priests, even in the 1950s, took to themselves a personal interpretation of church teachings, customs, and ceremonies that was not in line with what the church teaches. That is sad.
But one of the reasons that places like these forums exist is to help ‘set right’ various misconceptions about the Catholic faith. And yes, misconceptions are not necessarily the ‘fault’ of one who has indeed experienced something done by anyone who professes himself/herself a Catholic yet does not correctly say or do any or all of the teachings of the Church.