Due to my niece getting baptised yesterday, I had to attend mass before her baptism at a Catholic centre in Brum yesterday. Now I'm talking from the viewpoint of someone with no religious beliefs whatsoever, but the pomp and ceremony that goes with Catholicism just seemed incredible. The vicar/father/priest/reverend (sorry, I don't know his correct title) that wouldn't hold his book, but had to get a small child to stand in front of him and hold it. The bell ringing. The indecipherable mumbling from the crowd at certain points. They obviously knew what they were saying, but I didn't have a clue. The bloke in charge kissing the book, the plinth in front of him, the cup. And, the numbers of people that were hanging on his every word and obviously put a lot of stock in their faith. And that is without going in to the baptismal rites...
Wouldn't they reach a bigger number of people if they did away with the ceremony, and proved that those in charge are just people too? The whole thing was so ridiculously overblown that I can see why church numbers (and in this case Catholic church numbers) are not as high as they once were.
None of this is meant with any offence to any Catholics out there, it is just the view of someone that wouldn't normally be in the audience. Any thoughts?