A reader writes:
It's this very thing that sent me into the arms of the Anglicans. I added premature twins to my family of two other children. My mother was unable to come help me, and suggested I ask the church for help. I was sure they wouldn't help me, but she called, and they said they couldn't help. She then called the long distance operator and explained her plight, and they helped her connect with a home-help service to send a nice woman to help me until I got back on my feet. She got more help in a crisis concerning newborn babies from the PHONE COMPANY than from the Catholic Church.
Then when I took all my children to mass, the priest would go on and on about the sanctity of life and choosing life, even though when I needed someone to help me after choosing life, they weren't there. I'd sit in the pew steaming, thinking that this man, who had no idea what it was like to give birth to and take care of one, never mind two, new babies, could tell me what I should do, and then go home to the quiet house, bigger than mine, which I helped pay for, and get an uninterrupted night's sleep, while I was awakened every two hours by my "Gifts from God."
Make no mistake, I'm deeply grateful for my darling twins and all my children, but when you tell a woman who hasn't had a good night's sleep in months or years, that she should "just choose life", and then go home to a quiet, empty rectory, well, rage is a good word. My husband suggested that if I was just going to go to church and steam in the pew every week, that maybe this wasn't the best plan. Going to Protestant churches with married and female ministers who have actually dealt with the difficulties of raising children, instead of the romantic "Choose life and it will all work out", gave me the support I needed to do a good job with my darling children, and I bolted.
Incidentally, that priest had to leave the priesthood. The young man he was dallying with was (barely) over 18, so he didn't go to prison, like the other priest from the same parish, whose chosen one was younger.