Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

Churching.

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

A ceremony of the Catholic Church which is performed over the mother after the birth of a child. It is not compulsory but customary. Catholic writers now call it a voluntary service of thanksgiving on the part of the mother; but since she has to remain "at the church door" (ad fores ecclesiae, the ritual says) - in other words, outside a consecrated place - until the priest blesses her, it is clearly an archaic relic of the ascetic superstition about sex even in marriage. The Jews were more outspoken. A mother was "unclean seven days" - fourteen if Jahveh had sent her a girl - and had to make "atonement" for "sin" (Levit., xii, 1-7). Catholic ladies, even of superior education, keep up the custom.
     

 



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Scanning, HTML Rae West. First upload 98-02-08