- The Rev. Frank St. Amour, III
The Cat Sat on the Mat
How would the Church deal with "the cat sat on the mat" if it appeared in the Bible?
The Methodists would state that “cat” and “mat” had different meanings in those days and the phrase is not to be taken literally.
The Southern Baptists would say that a Felix Domesticus did physically place its whole body on a floor covering which is on the floor but not of the floor. The expression "on the floor but not of the floor" would be explained in a leaflet.
The Roman Catholics would declare the Feast of the Sedentation of the Blessed Cat teaching that the cat was white, long-haired, and reclined on a mat of gold thread. This is commemorated by the singing of the Magnifi-cat (sic), lighting three candles, and ringing a bell five times.
The Eastern Orthodox Church would insist that Holy Cats Day (two weeks later) be marked by lighting six candles and ringing the bell four times while chanting a litany (response – Me-ow).
The Lutherans would issue a 210-page statement on the Doctrine of the Feline Sedentation with appropriate footnotes and appendices.
The Episcopal House of Bishops would urge the owning of cats so that the man or woman in the pew might form a personal pastoral understanding of what the phrase might mean.
But, the Episcopal clergy, in keeping with the finest traditions of Anglican inclusivity, would teach and practice all of the above in accord with churchmanship and personal piety.
The cats, of course, won’t care.