I was baptized at two weeks old, had very devout relatives ( a sister among them), and attended Catholic school up until college. Stayed a loyal Catholic through college and beyond, finally finding a wonderful church family at 40. It was a place that had been resurrected from years of neglect through the vision of a holy archbishop and a ” get it done” pastor who was a humble leader. This pastor was followed by an even humbler, holy shepherd and the parish grew and became a place of wonderful worship. I participated in many ministries and knew the entire staff. Attended years of classes that were offered to us, and learned many more insights into the person of Jesus. All of this was extraordinary
Nothing happened to me personally. The churches narrow bigoted stand on LBGT, on the equality of women, on the cover up and the cover up of the sex scandal willing to put the church before vulnerable children, not speaking up on the environment and the poor until now and even at this moment there is skepticism over these issues among the ranks of the hierarchy put in place over the years. I also believe that all forms of worship should be equally respected no one has sole ownership of God if there even is one.
I left because there was so much exclusion if you did not believe this, that or the other. What would bring me back is the whole lifting of barriers, equality in every sense, and not such a male dominated institution. The church has no right to dictate who goes to Communion or not – it is the Lord. You can kill someone and be forgiven, but to make a mistake in marriage (which I haven’t actually done) you are a criminal.
It is with sadness that I have left the Catholic Church because it does not serve spiritual needs but rather operates to control and hold back. The whole thing came to a head when our new parish priest decided to banish the homeless who had found safety in the covered courtyard from nighttime attacks in the town and instead put large chains on the gates to prevent entrance. Previously, a seat was provided, hot drinks given and much distress prevented through access to friendship from the community. Previously, the assistant priest and deacon openly offered support and friendship to the homeless on the church premises. Not only that, the new priest decided dismiss the assistant saying he prefered to live alone, take away the deacon’s responsibilities to himself and to shut the church during the day to the prayerful church members, going against a tradition of an open door. He was heard to swear on the altar and seen to jump about in frustration, all the time declaring that he was our guide. When I tried to talk to him about his frequent angry outbursts he said he hoped he would never need to speak to me again – this was in front of the chair of our Parish Council.
Come ex Teologo cattolico, continuo a vivere nelle comunità cattoliche in quanto Battezzato (cresimato), e se è vero che esso è INDELEBILE, neanche il Papa può cancellarlo. Comunque sia, io sto sperimentando l’Ecumenismo.