Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bless me Father for I have sinned

The Church of England Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, says that flying away on vacation is a "symptom of sin". On the one hand this is just silliness because surely there are all sorts of consumer choices that we make that could be called 'sins'. Is it more 'sinful' to fly to the south of Spain (or wherever) than it is to drive 250 miles with your wife and child for your vacation? Which is a greater waste of natural resources?

What I find interesting, however, is the obvious divide between Catholics and Protestants on this. The Protestant Bishop calls flying on a holiday a sin, while the Catholic Church actively works to organize tours to Lourdes, etc.

I guess I'm happy to be Catholic in this instance because I don't feel any need to add extra categories I need to cover when I'm examining my conscience, but if the Catholic Church went along with the Church of England on this it would provide little kids with an extra sin they could confess to. It can be daunting for the 7-10 year-old Catholic to try and think of something other than "I used a bad word" or "I disobeyed my parents" when in the confessional. Imagine how happy a kid will be to be able to add that he "failed to walk lightly upon the Earth" because he went to Spain with his family.