On Being Catholic

Readability

On Being Catholic

It’s tough being a Catholic these days.

Through­out the years, I have had an on-​again, off-​again rela­tion­ship with the church.

I blamed the church for the death of my mother when I was 13. She attended church almost every day, but her pas­tor aban­doned her when she needed his help.

As a jour­nal­ist, I often stood near Pope John Paul II dur­ing numer­ous events. I real­ized he was a good man, but I wasn’t so sure about his church.

After an auto­mo­bile acci­dent in 1990, my wife con­vinced me to rejoin the faith­ful. I agreed as long as I could present a detailed set of charges against the church to the pas­tor. He agreed to meet with me.

When we met, he said my com­plaints were valid.

Can we move on?” he asked. I wanted to dis­cuss my indict­ment in detail. But I real­ized that he was right. Liv­ing in the past did me no good.

The church and I have had some bumps along the way. My daughter’s teacher in a Catholic school thought it was all right to have fifth-​grade stu­dents write about cross dressers. Another parish to which we belonged decided it was fine to have a nun deliver the weekly homily.

In recent months, how­ever, it’s got­ten worse. I have endured the tri­fecta of a social war­rior as pope, a hier­ar­chy that pro­tected pedophiles, and a parish that wants to make itself into a sanc­tu­ary church.

The Holy Spirit must have taken a day off when the con­clave chose Pope Fran­cis. He is a deeply flawed leader who has divided rather than uni­fied the church. He doesn’t like cap­i­tal­ism. He thinks cli­mate change is real. He pro­tects pedophiles and his top aides who cov­ered up the issue.

But there’s also a prob­lem within the con­gre­ga­tions them­selves. It bog­gles the mind that Catholics sup­ported Hillary Clin­ton and other politi­cians who endorse abor­tion. Evan­gel­i­cals and Mor­mons did a much bet­ter job in sup­port­ing Don­ald Trump than Catholics did.

I’m not really sure what I can do about the prob­lems in the church. I have stopped going to Mass because of the lib­eral clap­trap spouted by the priests. I’ve looked for other parishes that are closer to my views, but I haven’t found one.

For now, I watch the Mass online, which is offered by the Pas­sion­ists. That’s far from a good solu­tion, but it’s what I have for now.

What­ever the case, I do take solace that the core beliefs of the faith remain true and can’t be tainted by the fail­ures of the church’s lead­er­ship, its cel­e­brants, or its followers.

It’s tough being a Catholic these days.

Throughout the years, I have had an on-again, off-again relationship with the church.

I blamed the church for the death of my mother when I was 13. She attended church almost every day, but her pastor abandoned her when she needed his help.

As a journalist, I often stood near Pope John Paul II during numerous events. I realized he was a good man, but I wasn’t so sure about his church.

After an automobile accident in 1990, my wife convinced me to rejoin the faithful. I agreed as long as I could present a detailed set of charges against the church to the pastor. He agreed to meet with me.

When we met, he said my complaints were valid.

“Can we move on?” he asked. I wanted to discuss my indictment in detail. But I realized that he was right. Living in the past did me no good.

The church and I have had some bumps along the way. My daughter’s teacher in a Catholic school thought it was all right to have fifth-grade students write about cross dressers. Another parish to which we belonged decided it was fine to have a nun deliver the weekly homily.

In recent months, however, it’s gotten worse. I have endured the trifecta of a social warrior as pope, a hierarchy that protected pedophiles, and a parish that wants to make itself into a sanctuary church.

The Holy Spirit must have taken a day off when the conclave chose Pope Francis. He is a deeply flawed leader who has divided rather than unified the church. He doesn’t like capitalism. He thinks climate change is real. He protects pedophiles and his top aides who covered up the issue.

But there’s also a problem within the congregations themselves. It boggles the mind that Catholics supported Hillary Clinton and other politicians who endorse abortion. Evangelicals and Mormons did a much better job in supporting Donald Trump than Catholics did.

I’m not really sure what I can do about the problems in the church. I have stopped going to Mass because of the liberal claptrap spouted by the priests. I’ve looked for other parishes that are closer to my views, but I haven’t found one.

For now, I watch the Mass online, which is offered by the Passionists. That’s far from a good solution, but it’s what I have for now.

Whatever the case, I do take solace that the core beliefs of the faith remain true and can’t be tainted by the failures of the church’s leadership, its celebrants, or its followers.