Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Sweet smoking Jesus, Me and the Catholic Church
I've been going through a whole lot of change the past five months or so. Getting rid of a lot of stuff, both figurative and literal.
As it says in the sidebar, I'm a bit of a cultural Bastard - I'm neither fish nor foul when it comes to matters of religion.
My mother was raised in the Methodist Episcopal church - which has since been absorbed into the Methodist Church and that has since been used to create the United Methodist Church. My father, was a first generation American Jew.
I am not one for things that are metaphysical and spiritual. Organized religion for me is a thing created by society to control people.
To the Methodists, I was a curiosity. To the Jews, I was a problem. The Methodists saw me as the result of a flawed marriage. The Jews saw me as something that didn't count once took sides with my father over my mother in the divorce. That made me really, very angry. And it made me hate Judaism, even though my beef was with the congregation, not the faith.
Somehow, I ended up becoming Catholic because I was looking for something with the guilt that I knew from the Jewish side but something that would speak to this idea that if you admitted your faults and had structure, you could have redemption. And its worked because I like the structure of the mass, and I like the idea that I could pursue my own course in life because in my heart it was like.
Then a couple things happened.
The first thing was the election of Ratzinger as Pope. I don't recognized Ratzinger as the Pope, even though he is. So since he has sat on the throne of St. Peter, I am technically not in communion with the church, and therefore I haven't taken communion at services.
The second thing that has happened is the Catholic sex scandals involving children, and how the church has utterly failed by protecting the wrong side in this - the criminal Priests. Call me old fashioned but a child molester is a criminal and the child is the victim, not the other way around.
The THIRD and straw, I believe has been this outrage by the American Catholic hierarchy over birth-control and health-care plans. I have an issue with a church, headed by men who have gone to great lengths to protect and shield child molesters around the world, now coming down on the Presidents stance on providing access to birth control for employers whose employees are 51% non Catholic.
My outrage is that here are the protectors child molesters saying every life is sacred while failing to put this much energy into protecting those lives from Priests who are pedophiles.
So I am at a crossroad. I know that I have to take a stand with my Church, and a church that I have struggled with since I was pointed in that direction. Easier said than done.
Stay tuned: in the coming weeks I will need to write a letter to the Holy See and tell them what it looks like from here. I may need to toss the Catholics aside and start that spiritual journey anew.