August 13th, 2012

Religion, ebooks and genealogy

I wouldn't say I _like_ all of these topics, only that I'm obsessive about them. And today, I stumbled across something that is all of them in one. Sort of. But first, a teeny, tiny bit of background.

Once upon a time, someone invented a better way of making books. In this instance, movable type. Around the same time, a reform effort got underway in the same culture. Catholics never move quickly, so it took a while for them to figure out how to officially respond, in the form of the Council of Trent (and the Council itself dragged on. And on. And on. I didn't really fully appreciate that until just now).

Yesterday, I ran across something about the Council of Trent at Amsterdam's Stadsarchief, http://stadsarchief.amsterdam.nl/english/archives_database/genealogy/begraafregisters_voor_1811/manual/

"Regulations for keeping accurate records of baptisms and marriages were adopted at the Council of Trent (1545-1563)"

Aha! Thought I. I had speculated, given the time frame that you can start finding birth/marriage records around Europe, that it had something to do with the Reformation. Here is the answer! Yay!

Today, I ran across this, which is what I'm really blogging about, because it cracks me up:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2012/08/though-more-priests-are-using-ipads-vatican-insists-only-books-are-proper-for-mass/

Basically, priests ARE humans and, like all of us, think it's pretty cool to ditch the unwieldy paper form for reference in favor of the e-form. And their bosses ARE assholes, like bad bosses everywhere, and saying Not During Mass You Don't.

"The liturgy, he explained, is “the bastion of resistance” against the separation of the written word from the ink on the page. “The page remains the ‘body’ of a text,” he underscored."

If you have _any sliver of understanding of the Reformation_, _any at all_, you will recognize this as inherently Protestant. Just fucking amazing. The Catholic church was supposed to be about how it's all in the lineage of the priests and the continuity of the body of believers and blah blah bleeping blah and the Reformers were all about let's ditch all these accretive customs and traditions and Get Back to the Holy Writ.

Awe-inspiring. Really really amazing.

R. says the Council of Trent is a good indication of the general timeline of response of Catholics to any new development. I have no reason to disagree with him.