A reader writes:
I am a Deacon in the Catholic Church and in so many ways, like you, I feel the Church has left me. I continue to hang in there and give witness against the intolerance as often as I can, as I feel that if I leave many others will lose heart and give up all hope.
Sadly, I see the Church leadership turning into Pharisees trying to bind its people via rules and laws. It is the same mindset that has led the Church to attempt to reduce abortions by concentrating on getting Roe vs Wade overturned rather than realizing that the solution does not lie in the legal realm but is a question of conversion of the heart which is never accomplished by law and is always accomplished by love and mercy.
It's the last two words in your post. The "current hierarchy" is the problem with the Catholic church. I didn't renounce my American citizenship when George W. Bush and Tom Delay pushed every button I had. I continued to believe in the American values that I always cherished. I also began to long for "1.20.09", as the bumper sticker read.
There will be a "1.20.09" for American Catholics. It might be a longer wait, but it will come.
At the end of the day it boiled down to this for me: To continue to be actively involved in the Catholic Church at any level seriously compromises my credibility with my kids. As a family, we'd have had nothing to do with any club or organization that was intolerant of gays, who denied women the right to participate and serve in authoritative positions, discouraged the use of contraceptives and the practice of safe sex , all the while knowingly subjecting millions of children to active, known pedophiles and protecting them from legal prosecution. As a mother, how could I possibly continue to choose this organization as the anchor for my family's spirituality?
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