Friday, July 13, 2007

Truth Imitating Fiction?

From John Allen's column in NCR Cafe, on Catholic Identity cards:
Anyone who regards the statement, "I'm a card-carrying Catholic" as a mere metaphor clearly has never met Marian Mulhall.

An advertising and communications executive in Dublin, Ireland, Mulhall decided in 2005 to combine her professional skills with her commitment to the church. Her aim is to develop programs to support priests, but first she had to come up with a product that would generate revenue. Thus she began pitching what she calls the "Catholic Identity Card." For $44 individually, or $173 for a "family pack" of five, a Catholic can obtain a credit-card sized piece of plastic bearing the holder's name, a picture of Pope Benedict XVI, a holographic icon showing the hands of a priest breaking the Eucharistic host, and a phrase in bold letters stating: "I am a Catholic. In the event of an accident or emergency, please contact a priest."

Mulhall explains the appeal this way: "It should be carried with you always. In doing so it makes a clear statement that you are a Catholic, that you make no apologies for being a Catholic, and that in fact you are proud to be a Catholic."...

(And she has a website with the card in all its glory: here.)

One year ago, from yours truly, a pseudo-news piece on...Catholic identity cards...

"Super Catholic" ID Card Could Solve Catholic Identity Issues

A former Department of Homeland Security official and RBCU* alumnus suggested a novel solution to ongoing "Catholic identity" issues debated at RBCU at a campus forum yesterday: the "Super Catholic" identification card.

Instead of engaging the draining battles against the typical culprits--whether the Administration will allow The Vagina Monologues on campus, sponsoring special interest groups that may or may not agree with Catholic teaching, or how many credits in Theology are in the general education curriculum--Brandon Well says that complexity can be put to a halt with a simple punch card I.D. "The beauty is in the simplicity of it all. When a student registers into the university, he or she gets this snazzy 'RBCU Super Catholic' card with the student's face and name. It can be used on one edge for adding money for the school cafe, bookstore, etc., or as a door key to dorms. The other edge gets a raised nub--a dent put in with a stylus--every time that student attends Mass, prays through Campus Ministry, participates in a sacrament, or wears a WWJD wristband," Well argued. When the card is "nubbed out," the student could receive another one, although he or she may wish to keep the other as a mark of distinction in Catholic observance....
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

And Marian Mulhall, if you got the idea from me, I want a cut in your earnings.

(HT to Ray for the Allen article.)


Jeff Miller said...

I once did a parody post on Catholic Identity Theft.

John said...

That could be handy. Seriously.

At the hospital where I'm doing CPE, we often get request for a priest, usually when our resident priest on staff is off-duty. A local parish is willing to send a priest over, but only if the patient is in danger of dying but will not die before the priest can arrive.

The Ironic Catholic said...

Thanks for the tip, Jeff!

Given the shortage of priests and how overworked they are, I have *some* sympathy for the parish...a single Catholic priest often has primary responsibility for his parish of 1000 families. But... it sounds pretty ghoulish the way that parish has it set up.

I had friends doing CPE--in the processes for Prot. ordination--and they said that the insistence of Catholic patients on speaking to a Catholic priest really frustrated them. Are you experiencing any of that at your CPE spot?