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Oh....Otter gonna burn for eternity......
Or, he would if he believed in burning for eternity. Personally, I think that when we die, we're done. And I'm ok with that. After all, I'll be dead. I don't see what the fascination with an after life is all about. Yes, it would be nice to live in paradise for all eternity. But, do you have any idea of how long eternity is? Look back on your life. It seems like you've been around a long time, right? Well, as far as your awareness is concerned, you have been alive forever. For as long as you can remember things, you've been alive. You don't have a memory from 200 years ago, right?
And your eternity is just a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the Earths history. And that's not to mention the Universe's history. Here's a visualization for you:
Stretch out your arms to your sides as far as they go. Now, imagine the very tip of your left middle finger as being the moment when the Earth was formed. Now, move along your arm and across your chest and along your other arm until you get to the start of your right wrist. That point is the beginning of the Cambrian era. That's when complex life first appeared. Now let' talk about humans. As in Homo sapiens. We're at the very tip of your middle finger on the right hand. And all of human history, from the time when we were primitive humans wandering about without fire, still trying to figure out how to hunt and what plants wouldn't kill us, until now.....
One stroke of an emory board across your fingernail would wipe us out. All of human history.
So, your idea of eternity is probably nothing like what eternity really is. Forever is so long that there's no real way for the human mind to comprehend it. Just like it's almost impossible for the human mind to visualize large numbers. We can say a large number and know it's big, but do you really know what a large number looks like? Can you visualize a million? How about a thousand?
Here's another visualization for you; On a clear night, go out into the countryside. Far enough away from any cities or towns so that light pollution doesn't affect your view. Now, look up. See the stars? Look from horizon to horizon. See all those stars? How many can you see? If you're looking with just your naked eye, anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000. Bet you thought it was more than that.
Bet you thought this post was going to be about something other than a lecture on how much the average person doesn't understand the really large numbers.
Well, I suppose I can fulfill your wishes. I did start off talking about priests, didn't I? I might as well continue on with that subject. Now let me think for a moment. (90 seconds later...) What could I tell you about priests that could be considered odd....
Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy. That means no sexy time for them. But that's ok because they also aren't allowed to get married.
But that's not entirely true. The Eastern Catholic Church, (not to be confused with Eastern Orthodox Church), don't take the same vows as Roman Catholics. They have never been out of communion with the latin church, so they are still considered catholics. And they can get married.
Also, if a person who is ordained by another faith, say the Church of England, and has chosen to get married, if they then convert to catholicism, they can remain married. They can't become a Bishop, though. But a catholic priest can be married.
What's that you say? You've never heard of the Eastern Catholic Church? They are made up of several groups that are catholic, and fall under the dominion of the Cardinal of Rome, (the Pope, duh...), but don't follow the exact same rites as the latin, (Roman), church. A good example of an Eastern Catholic Church would be the Maronite Church.
The Maronites are based in the Levenant, (roughly the area that used to be Mesopotamia), and are named after a Syrian saint. When the Latin Church became strong, the Maronites realized they agreed with the Latin church about 99.9997%. It's the small difference that led them to not be a part of the Roman Church.
Most Eastern Catholic Churches are based on ethnoreligious groups. That is, groups that share a doctrine with other groups but because of ethnicity are separate. For example, Armenian Catholics believe the same as Croatian Catholics, but because of the history between the two countries, they decided to be in separate branches of the Eastern Catholic Church to avoid any trouble. (Armenians use the Armenian Rites and the Croatians use the Byzantine Rites).
I have only scratched the surface of the Eastern Catholic Church. And I only did it to explain the difference between the Easter and the Roman Catholics. But there is a lot more to the story. I just don't feel like going into it now. Because that's not the oddity. Married Priests were the oddity, remember?