Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
With the Catholic Church so much in the news these days, we have a real opportunity to explain the Church to those unfamiliar. Problem is, most people don't have a frame of reference for understanding the Church. But I think I can solve that problem. I have developed this handy guide to explain Catholic terms to non-Catholics in with a frame of reference that everyone can understand.
Think of the Church as a Car Company. Here is a glossary of common terms.
Confession: The repair department. For the measly price of a few 'Our Fathers', 'Haily Marys', and repentance you can have your car returned to factory condition.
Protestant: 500 years ago, mistaking the owners manual for the manufacturer, created their own breakaway companies convinced they could build a better car. After years of trying and many other spinoff companies, they successfully created thousands of mopeds. Shockingly, sales plummeted.
Rad-Trad: Can tell you the exact timing on every model for the last 2,000 years and which options are available with each model. Yet for all this knowledge and affection, he rarely takes it out for a spin.
Progressive: Demands to see some modern improvements to the latest model. Wants to remove the engine, windshield, two wheels, and the steering column. When you explain to them that all that would be left would be the same mopeds that the protestants created and that nobody wants, their eyes gloss over and they just keep repeating, "Shiny, my shiny!"
Jesuits: Used to be our best salesmen, but in the 60's they started smoking dope and became Buddhists. Now they charge top dollar to teach our young people to smoke dope and become Buddhists.
Magisterium: Together, they are responsible for making sure that any new feature, option, or model is 100% compatible with the original model. Think of this as the quality control department.
Liturgist: He is that guy who insists on being the driver of the car even though he has no sense of direction and really bad taste in music. Yeah, that guy.
Nuns: They are our manufacturing base and our drivers-ed teachers rolled into one. They are the workhorses of the operation. However, some went to take a Pilates class over lunch break and never came back. We are now steadily replacing them with fresh-faced new workers who don't care much for Pilates.
Priest: By virtue of his position as proxy for the Chairman, he delivers the Chairman's continuous fuel, already bought and paid for, to help make sure that your car has the best chance possible to make it to your final destination.
Communion of Saints: The ultimate drivers support group. Like totally On*Star on steroids.
Concupiscence: The tendency of all people to drive off the road while fiddling with the radio.
Titular See: Ask your mother.
Atheist: A guy who rides his bicycle in a circle while repeating to himself that he "doesn't need a stupid car because there is no place worth going anyway."
Iconoclasm: A heresy cooked up by people with ugly cars jealous of how awesome our cars look, they demand that all cars should be ugly.
Mortal Sin: See Volkswagen Cabriolet.
National Catholic Reporter: The owners manual for a car that will never be built and wouldn't work even if it was. Think of this as car magazine written by hair-dressers. Worthless.
Hope this helps!