While most people don’t think about the weight of blessings in their daily life, the Vatican is proposing new regulations on when someone may ‘bless’. However, this has some people wondering if the letter of the law has gone too far. The reason? Because the new regulations are designed to lay out rules for when and how often you can bless someone when they sneeze. This may seem silly, but it has been taken very seriously. The rules are laid out as follows:
- Every person is allowed to bless a sneeze (no one is excluded)
- Each person is allowed to give one blessing per person who sneezes within hearing distance
- Each person may only bless a given person once every 15 minutes
- If someone sneezes more than once, follow-up sneezes are not to be blessed
We interviewed Father Jose Gonzalez* to see if he could explain their reasoning to us, here’s what he had to say.
“I know it seems strange, but there are actually good reasons for the new rules. People were faking sneezes, just to get extra blessings, and it was getting a little out of hand. At first we thought that maybe flu season was just hitting harder and faster than normal, but most people didn’t even need to blow their noses afterwards. I got even more suspicious when my teenage students would come in and sneeze a bunch right before big exams.” (See our other article on new method of cheating they should have used instead.)
One city actually banned blessing sneezes altogether due to their close proximity to a sneezing powder factory. “Every time the wind would blow, we’d end up blessing most of the city. One day it got really windy and I lost my voice trying to bless everyone, it was a real problem.” recounts Mayor Frank Holden*. “We’ve had a long proud history of blessing sneezes, but at a certain point you just have to say enough is enough.”
Do you think the new regulations will work? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.
* Name changed for anonymity