The Influence Of The Catholic Church In Angela's Ashes

Decent Essays
The Catholic Church heavily influences most, if not all, of Ireland’s people. Angela's Ashes is a memoir of Frank McCourt's life, in which he describes the influence of the church on his life as he grows up. Through the use multiple characters from the book, Frank portrays the Catholic Church as a bad influence because it leaves the children uneducated, leading them to be misguided and fearful of committing sins.
Sex is something every person learns about before their adulthood, but the Catholic Church doesn’t teach Frank about sex, forcing him to learn on his own. When Frank goes to learn about the saints and virgin martyrs, he has to look up what the definition of multiple words, that relate to sex, saying how he's, “too weary going from
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An example of this would be when Mickey tells Frank how he's “doomed” (254) to go to libido because his mother and father had sex before marriage. This shows how the Catholic Church promotes spread of fear because the church never taught Frank, and since he’s talking to the “expert”(253) of sex he believes what he’s told. Additionally, Mickey exaggerates and puts more fear into Frank saying there's nothing he can do, even though Frank has no control over the actions of his parents. Furthermore, Frank is not the only one that is scared, other kids, such as Scrawby Luby, are also scared to commit sin (315). When Scrawby goes to deliver a telegram and the old widow tries to have sex with him, he runs to go confess. He’s so scared that he doesn’t even deliver the telegram. Additionally, Frank is fearful that he sent Theresa to hell because she died while having sex with him. He feels guilty for how he “sent her to hell” and says that every time he passes by the graveyard, he feels “the sin growing in me like an abscess” (329). All this fear put into Frank by the church only leads him to his breaking point where he almost gives up his faith because St. Francis “didn’t give a fiddler’s fart about” (341) him. He confesses all his sins to the priest hoping that he isn't doomed to go to …show more content…
When Frank goes to confess the “dirty things” he’s done, the priest asks him the types of “dirty things”(293) he did. Asking him if it was with himself, someone else, or “with some class of beast” (293). This opens up new doors to Frank because he never really knew that it was possible to do such things with animals. Frank is easily persuaded at this age and just the fact that the priest wasn’t surprised by his sins tells Frank that what he did wasn’t a major sin, contradicting the church's teachings. Furthermore, Frank tries to baptize Mrs. Harrington because she’s a Protestant. He does this to help Mrs. Harrington go to heaven because the “Priest said, Outside the church there is no salvation” (327). He is only following the teachings of the church. Frank does this because he tries to balance out the sins he committed by doing what he considers “good”. He thinks just by doing good by the church will cancel out the sins he’s committed but his actions go against morality. Additionally, when Frank confesses all the sins he’s committed, all the priest says that “god forgives all those who repent” (342). This tells Frank that no matter the severity of the sin, as long as one confesses they will be forgiven. This is further supported when the priest tells Frank that Theresa did not go to hell, saying that “she is surely in heaven” (343). These examples show how the Catholic Church not fully

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