I can't remember the catholic church using alot of incense . On a typical sunday service things are not that pomp actually . You can usually here a pin drop it's so quiet . The priest usually does an hour presentation of some sort then people go to light candels for the dead or approach an alter to pray . I can't say I know how they do things today but just recollections of about 30 yrs ago . They do have confessions which is something different than most religions and is scriptural but I don't think the priest can determine the correct number of our fathers and hail marys to absolve sin . I think forgiveness is dependent on ones sincerity not on the number of times one repeats a prayer using the same words over and over . I think in order to confess you have to be sincere to begin with .
That's the first I've heard of the pope being against the war in Iraq , the church does believe in "just war" but I guess the only one that determines what is "just war " is the pope . In a democracy that is something the people decide through representation . I disagree with the way GW went about doing what he did without consent of the people . I'm telling ya the US is in danger of losing it's democracy and the voice of the people .