The golden age of humanity was the era of the Antonines, especially that of Marcus Aurelius the second Antonine emperor. He admired the changelessness of the Roman Church.
In my daily paper The Island of March 30, I read a piece which by far was the most Interesting news for me. It was the stand taken by Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith against the Fundamentalists, whom he accused of forcible conversions and urged the government to pass laws to prevent such conversions.
Before Vatican II (1962-1965) donations for the maintenance of the priests, sacred vessels, sacerdotal vestments and church buildings were voluntary. For example, while the Roman rite was celebrated the sacristan will come with a closed alms box for voluntary donations. Even this harmless act roused violent passions resulting in riots, in the parish of Hughenden, the parish of Prime Minister Disraeli, between partisans of the offertory made in a plate and those who would only admit a closed alms box.
If a large donation was required, the priest approached a group of families. Under no circumstances did the priest burden the poor, the halt and the blind, but was there to help them if his services were required.
After Vatican II donations turned compulsory, collected through what is called a family book, parish priests arbitrarily deciding the amount each family has to pay, to finance the earthly benefits given to them after the Council. What those benefits are it is not necessary for me to itemize, only to assert they border on the luxury and financing them was a burden, specifically on the lower middle class and the poor.
The teenager was a drug addict, and was rushed to a private infirmary in an unconscious state, where the doctors warned the parents that the chances of recovery are slim. The parents had then contacted the parish priest with a request for the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, the ritual for the dying of the Catholic Church. The priest turned down the request because the family was behind in their payments on the family book. A group of Fundamentalists hearing about the plight of the family had rushed and mounted a 24 hr non-stop vigil, with prayers and hymns. The boy recovered and today with his parents, brothers and sisters are in the bosom of the Fundamentalists.
Carl Gustav Jung in his “Psychological Commentary” on The Tibetan Book of the Dead claimed we are hopelessly cooped up in an exclusively psychic world.