Why Stay Catholic?
A woman and a convert explains her stance:
I happen to think this is a great and important time to be Catholic. Really. No joke. How often do we get to be right smack in the middle of an opportunity for radical Christ-based, Holy Spirit-generated change and know it? The challenge is, of course, believing that such change is possible, that we can indeed “all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” I actively, consciously choose to walk by faith and not by fright.
As a sociologist, I tend to view each crisis du jour within a larger framework. From this perspective, I’m able to see the Roman church as a man-made social institution rotting under layers of historical grime; one that seems stuck in its self-perpetuating narrative. This sociological perspective also allows me to realize that change is not only possible, it’s inevitable. Thanks be to God and I mean that quite literally.
Yes, I sometimes find myself praying, “Dear God, in your infinite mercy, please grant that I may be kicked out so I don’t have to leave.” During Advent, I even hinted around that excommunication might be a nice Christmas gift. (Everyone thought I was kidding.) Still, I choose to stay. Why?
I choose to stay because “the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus” is indeed the goal toward which I’m called to press on. I know the institutional church is simply an artifact that needs excavation and transformation. I choose to stay because I know God is bigger and the Holy Spirit more powerful than anything humans might muck up. I choose to be a participant observer. I choose to stay because having been raised Jewish, I know things could always be worse. Indeed, they already have been.