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In Horace Boothroyd's Diary  Catholic Molestation Scandal:  They Were Worse in the Past, Words In Action said:

More Catholics should be taking "recent" events as cause to migrate to other religions or form their own new one. I can't imagine what more they need to abandon this shameful, destructive institution.
That makes perfect sense from outside.  Below the orange angel perch, please find one woman's perspective.

I grew up Catholic in Chicago.  My spiritual practice now is Buddhism, in which I am an initiate.  I also practice with the Bhagavad Gita, teach Reiki, and make up my own spiritual practices.  I almost never pray Catholic anymore.    

Even so, one thing binds me forever to the Catholic Church:  Catholicism has a lot to do with ancestor worship, and a profound tradition of women in unity consciousness.

On the one hand, the institution Catholicism couldn't be more vile.  Understood.  It's the epitome of patriarchal, abusive, hypocritical self-service.  It's even uglier when you see it right up close, like how nuns are basically servants of priests, who must also be self-sufficient financially, then meet their community obligations.

On the other hand, run of the mill Catholics are all about worship of the feminine; it's about the collective unconscious, communion with angels and saints (aka channeling), prayer and active meditation.   The difference between a novena and a candle spell is semantic.  

Both sides of the coin are present in Catholicism.  Like everywhere else in the world, the patriarchy still wins.  Most Catholics don't take the hierarchy seriously at all.  It's just another manifestation of the 1% world we live in.  We ignore them as much as possible and do our thing.  

For almost all of the practicing Catholics I know -- and I know a pile of them -- Catholicism is about schools, neighborhood organizing, and safety net.  The fact that there's this disgusting pile of old white men riding everybody else's misery, well what else is new?

Just as I have a sacred heart tattoo on my back, behind my own heart, I can still feel the Virgin Mary.  That's why people see her on toast and in water stains.  We feel her.  

When I focus, I can feel the prayers of all of the women on both sides of my lineage going back I don't know how many years.  They prayed for me centuries before I was born.  This is a subtle thing, and I'm sure many Catholics never notice it; for most, Catholicism is, as I said, about keeping the neighborhood functioning.  But once you do notice the underlayment, it's incredible.  It abides.

The house I bought in Chicago was set back a little off the street.  Passersby often perceived an invitation to chuck their trash over my fence into that "empty" spot called my tiny yard.  I stopped that shit cold by putting a statue of the Virgin Mary there with a white rose bush on either side.  The "screeching halt" was amazing, because bottom line, no Mexican or Pole is going to throw trash at her, period.

My namesake, Teresa of Avila, was a master of the collective unconscious.  Despite her complicated maneuvering through the Inquisition, she is still a role model of resistance, for me anyway.  She's my patron saint -- and no, we don't update that to matron saint, go figure.  Anyway, I automatically leverage the "Teresa" crew going back a millenium or so, as did my namesake grandmother.  It's a little difficult to articulate what I get from that sorority.  It's in the ethers.


Originally posted to Xavier Onassis EMT-P on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:56 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sluts, Community Spotlight, and Street Prophets .

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Comment Preferences

  •  For fun, the Catholics used to press (25+ / 0-)

    people to death to push the devil out of them. They set back the growth of civilization for 500 years by inflicting the Dark Ages on millions of innocents. They invaded and destroyed entire tribes and civilizations. They enslaved and tortured indigenous peoples - simply because they were there. They started wars, crusades they called them, to threaten peoples far more advanced and civilized than they. They accused entire towns of harboring witches, causing the torture and death of most of the female populations.

    Here in the colonies, even before we politely asked the brits to go away, catholic policies led to death and destruction. Luckily, the church's power began to ebb. Having concentrated most of their attention and torture on females, they eventually sought to even the score. In the 1960s, the first wave of sexual child abuse began. Using lies, deceit, blackmail, and underhanded pressure on parents, they survived that horror intact. They repeated the abuse in the 1980s, and again used tricks, deceit and out and out lies to defend themselves. It worked, just not anywhere as well as the first round. Then in the late 90s and early 2000s, the third wave of abuse became known. Finally, the church began to reap the fruits of its labor, with millions in damages, jail time, and a a world wide condemnation of their abuse.

    It is an evil institution, pure and simple.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:20:17 AM PDT

    •  I was thinking the diarist was describing a path (19+ / 0-)

      more than a destination.

      It matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever. Henry David Thoreau, in Civil Disobedience

      by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:50:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  As bad as it is, the Catholic Church (24+ / 0-)

      did not invent evil practices and is NOT responsible for every evil in this world ... The Church was not responsible for the Fall of Rome and the subsequent chaos that ensued.  In many cases, the Roman Church was the sole source of scholarship and succor in Western Europe during the times following the Fall of Rome, that are often referred to as the Dark Ages.

      And the practice of pressing people to death was not done for fun by the Roman Church... pressing people to death was done long before the Christian Era ... and in the colonial US it was done by the New England crowd which were not Catholic bunch

      Yes, the Roman Church has many sins to answer for and the worst sins are that it has not been faithful to Christ its founder.

      Many of the things you accuse the Roman Church of are also practices of other religions and groups throughout history ... the Roman Church has no monopoly on them...
      The excesses of the French Revolution were done by people who claimed to be Rationalist..worshippers of Reason ...
      Most of our Founding Fathers were complicit of racist practices, not only slavery, but in their dealings with the Native Americans

      it seems that from the time of written history, every civilization has practiced things we consider evil .. slavery, war, racism, oppression of the other...
      The biggest sin of the Roman Church (and other religions and philosophies also) is that the core beliefs of these institutions are supposed to bring antidotes to such horrible practices, but all have failed ...
      and these institutions have allowed the exploiters to have more influence than the devout believers

      Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

      by moonbatlulu on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 05:34:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  good points about the scholarship in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mookins, Onomastic

        the Middle Ages BUT the Church was also very anti science even then and it stifled intellectual growth and inquiry.

        They tried to preserve ancient learning but largely to serve their goals.  Real scientists were considered heretics

        •  Yeah (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mookins, Onomastic, kyril

          One thing that kept sticking out for me in Western Civ class when I learned about the history of the church was how well Sarah Palin et al. would've fit in back then.  Rabidly anti-science and pro everything I hate.

          •  whether she fit in or not, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Onomastic, GDbot, kyril

            Sarah Palin would have had no way to be an influential being in the Middle Ages ... unless she had been born to royalty .. and even then she would have just been a pawn in marriage game - she hasn't demonstrated that she has the intelligence to have been any kind of influential person ...
            Most of the influential women were nuns, like Catherine of Siena and Saint Teresa of Avila or Clare of assisi ...or the Abbesses who presided over coed convents through the Middle ages

            maybe Sarah could have been a Saint Joan, although I don't see Sarah sticking with the call ;-)  

            And as for the Church being rabidly anti-science, it is important to read all the facts regarding these debates ...
            the controversy over a helio centric world vs a geocentric one was more over the philosophical problems that would be presented that over the science ...

            Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

            by moonbatlulu on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:11:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  but it is always that way.... (8+ / 0-)

          anyone or anything threatening the status quo  (and new scientific discoveries are one of the biggest threats)  are always greeted with hostility ... and it wasn't just the Catholic Church that behaved this way toward new ideas

          but the fact is that the Church kept literacy alive in Western Europe

          Whenever people live in fearsome and unstable times, they react to newness with fear ... in many places the Church was the only stable force ... that was why it became politically powerful .. and in the process forgot its primary goals and concentrated on keeping the rules for their own sake...

          and many institutions before,during, and since have done the same ...

          Protestant, Enlightment England was not really thrilled with Jefferson's new idea that the right to govern rested with the consent of the governed...
          (except in the cases of females, and people of color, and possibly non-land owning white males)

          Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

          by moonbatlulu on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:51:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  the catholic church is almost solely responsible (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          OIL GUY, lcj98

          for modern science

        •  I don't understand this comment-- (0+ / 0-)

          Who are the "real scientists" that you refer to?  I don't think anything that we would call "science" existed in the Middle Ages -- and definitely not anything that they called science at the time.  There was alchemy and astrology, and a little botany here and there.  There was some study of Aristotle, which the Church usually supported, and when any innovation took place in the study of physics or optics, as with Jan Buridan or Roger Bacon, it was sponsored and supported under Church auspices.

          It's true that in the 1600s, the Church threatened and condemned Galileo, but we cannot project that particular conflict back into earlier times a places where it didn't happen.

          We might take issue with the dogmatism and traditionalism of the Catholic Church, but there were long stretches of time where if you were interested in any intellectual inquiry at all, your best bet was to join monastery, a convent, or a cathedral school.

      •  Stalin and Mao and Hitler and Pol Pot (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        old possum

        were all materialists and rationalists. (Hitler made reference to God in public, but in his recorded and transcribed private "Table Talk" made it explicit that he regarded that as complete shit and religionists, especially Catholics, as morons.)

        Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

        by Jim P on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:21:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •'re agreeing with the diarist, then? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Words In Action, Debby
      On the one hand, the institution Catholicism couldn't be more vile.  Understood.  It's the epitome of patriarchal, abusive, hypocritical self-service.  It's even uglier when you see it right up close, like how nuns are basically servants of priests, who must also be self-sufficient financially, then meet their community obligations.
  •  I understand. And don't understand. (17+ / 0-)

    First of all, I really like your spirituality--you are a kind of a mystic, I think!

    I understand why people "stick" with the catholic church, for reasons you stated.

    But then I don't understand why people stay catholic. I mean, the catholic church teaches that bishops are the "successors" of the apostles, and I say, "really ? I don't think the apostles were such hypocrites!".

    So how can you stay catholic when the so-called leadership is so vile ? Do you just accept the part of catholic that you like ? And if so, is there integrity in that ?

    Anyway, thanks for your diary!

  •  Worship of the feminine (21+ / 0-)

    Recently finished an intriguing novel The Seven Perfumes of Sacrifice, which proposes that honor killings in the middle east, and other patriarchal religions, are a means of continuing to stamp out the first matriarchal religions which worshipped the divine feminine.

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:55:48 AM PDT

  •  I loved the story of the statue of Our Lady (22+ / 0-)

    in the yard to prevent trash being thrown there. What a wonderful way to handle that. Inspiring, actually. Thanks for a very interesting and spiritual diary.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat

    by commonmass on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:12:54 AM PDT

  •  Re:"Most Catholics don't... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, Marie, Glinda

    ... take the hierarchy seriously at all."

    While a majority of Catholics may disagree with the hierarchies stand on use of contraception this does not in itself ,IMO, translate into not taking
    the hierarchy seriously.

    Can you cite study reference(s) to support
    your contention or is the  not taking seriously just your opinion?  

  •  Also in Chicago (24+ / 0-)

    and this part of your diary couldn't be more true, in my experience:

    Catholicism is about schools, neighborhood organizing, and safety net.

    As a sort of fallen away Catholic, there are aspects of the Church that left an indelible  impression on me:  the commitment to social justice (mostly historical now, sadly) and the sacred music.  I think we take what we like and leave the rest, as with so many other flawed institutions.

    Enjoyed the diary!  Much to ponder in it, especially about the sacred feminine!

    Voting is like driving. Choose (R) to move backward. Choose (D) to move forward.

    by JAM11 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:29:29 AM PDT

  •  Why opt for yet more delusion? (7+ / 0-)

    Science paints the universe as a marvel of miracles which surround us every day.  e.g., We can see in color!!  Isn't that INCREDIBLE? That and every boring thing you can dismiss about the truth of existing in this universe is INCREDIBLE!  Humans, however, come to accept everything as normal and eventually boring. Yeah, another damned incredible sunset, wake me when it's over. Seen it once, we can ignore it.
       Why do we need to find whole fantastic systems of bogus belief to subscribe to?  Just read a book on quantum mechanics and there you'll find enough bizarre mind-bending stuff to keep you busy for a lifetime.
       As anti-Catholic and anti-any-religion as I am, I'm even more fervently anti-Reiki.  Here you claim to push invisible energy around, optionally surrounding your victim with inert crystals, and the trick is to get others to believe you're actually doing something.  This confidence game was invented in 1922, and now charges $10,000 to become a "Reiki Master."  Funny how the money rolls thru these schemes, like in scientology. From wikipedia:

    "The American Cancer Society and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine have also found that there is no clinical or scientific evidence supporting claims that Reiki is effective in the treatment of any illness."
      This is just another guise of animism come back to life to enthrall yet another generation of unsophisticated believers who want desperately to believe in some crap somebody just made up.  I'll never quite understand the motivations of the human species.  What a sad waste.
        Amazing also is the professed ability to "feel" the Virgin Mary. And "feel" all the prayers of all your ancestors. Fantastic. Literally, Fantastic. And simply unbelievable.
       Hey, I just jumped off a mountain and god placed me back in my bed just before I woke up. Really. I believe this. Believing it doesn't make the delusion true.  Any of the many available delusions.  Stick to real reality, more filling, less bogus.  And much less dangerous to those who may be susceptible to being misled.
    •  Well (16+ / 0-)

      Your concept of what I do with Reiki, or what I charge for it, bears no resemblance to my reality.  

      The good news is, I don't proselytize.  I'm not chasing you or anyone else around looking for your money or asking you for a damned thing.  Don't believe in Buddhism, Reiki, or whatever?  OK by me.

      I'm also a student of quantum mechanics, but that wasn't the point of this diary either.

      Amazing also is the professed ability to "feel" the Virgin Mary. And "feel" all the prayers of all your ancestors. Fantastic. Literally, Fantastic. And simply unbelievable.
      Why would you give a shit how someone else feels about anything personal like this, and why should they care if you believe in it or not?
      •  As a scientist, I was very skeptical about Reiki (6+ / 0-)

        Until I met a practitioner who felt that she could connect with me. Yeah, right, I figured, but as an empiricist, I thought, why not check it out. I closed my eyes so that I would not be able to see where her hands were. The electrical-like force that coursed through me was unmistakable.

        Whether it could cure my cervical spine arthritis I will never know, but there is surely "something" going on that linked to the practitioner.

        Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

        by cassandracarolina on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 04:39:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The awesome power of self-delusion. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm very familiar with the capacity of people to unknowingly engineer their own responses.  I've watched myself do this.
             The basic truth in your perceptions is that they are YOUR PERCEPTIONS.  Your own version of reality.  You are the controller.  You will untimately perceive what you expect to perceive, filtered through what is in your personal range of experience.
             As a scientist, you will understand that to believe something, at least you have to have a blinded result, like someone will have to send (or have sent into your future, and they can do that, you know, just ask them) a Reiki blast that you feel and record, and then correlate results with the sender who mailed this last week to arrive today.  Now THAT'S science you can believe in.
             The claims for Reiki are spectacular.  I really liked the time-projection stuff.  And the stuff about "Lemuria." L.Ron Hubbard could scarcely do better.

          From the website (go look! it's fun!):

          Lemurian’s were both physical and etheric beings and thus the energy of their time is of a higher vibration than the Atlantean’s and ancient Egyptian’s.  As we work with (Reiki) and other high frequency healing technologies, our vibration raises and we are able to tap into the crystal temples of Atlantis, and the rainbow crystalline energy of the Lemurian temples and chambers.

          In Lemuria telepathic abilities were very highly developed among the leaders and the power of group energy was truly understood.  It was through a group of Lemurian’s who had highly evolved telepathic abilities, holding a common vision, and channeling specific frequencies of energy; that buildings, temples, pyramids, etc. were constructed.  The Lemurian’s manifested what they needed using prayer, focused intention, collective vision and energy.

          Holy crap, Batman!!!  I think my vibration just raised! This is certainly well-supported science, just look at the range of references cited and original source material they can offer!!  No bias excluded.
             Please go read more about Lemuria. There are actually "adults" who believe this crap.  And what, maybe 80% of "adults" in the USA believe that angels are real.

          Yeah, we're on solid ground here.  Well supported, critical thinking.  And people ask why I "give a shit" about what other's personal beliefs are.  Maybe this dollop of insanity gives you an indication of why I care: I have to live here, too.

          •  A few things are clear (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Leftcandid, marykk

            from your posts here.

            First, you don't get what Reiki is.  It's more like a spiritual form of Anonymous than what you reference; the person who registered "" doesn't own Reiki, nor do they speak for all Reiki practitioners.

            Even the originator of the practice, Mr. Usui, had a much more limited understanding of how it would be used than what is present now, not at all unlike the expansion of the internet.

            Your use of the word "victims" before was utterly bizarre.  

            Not everyone in the world is going to use critical thinking 100% of the time.  Learn to live with it.  Lots of us enjoy using our imaginations and seeing how they affect our feelings.  Many of us, like me, find that this can be practiced as an art (oh shit, art is sometimes not purely logical as well!   ATTACK ALL ARTISTS!!!) and have a greatly improved life experience.

            The fact that you're tripping about this is about you.  Seriously.  Who the fuck are you again?  My feelings about my ancestors don't pass your inspection?  What about my sexual fantasies, am I masturbating correctly?  Am I humming logically enough for you while I do the dishes?

            Get a grip on yourself.

    •  exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayRaye, marykk, Words In Action
      I'm also a student of quantum mechanics, but that wasn't the point of this diary either.
      Here is Nicholas Kristof's take on how and why religion and spirituality might work to make our society better...all very scientific of course ;-)

      "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

      by northsylvania on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:42:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I rec'd both your diary and HB3's. (11+ / 0-)

    I am more with HB3's as I also do not understand why anyone would remain as a part of any organization with a sexist, anti-gay hierarchy which has engaged in a criminal conspiracy over many decades. Remember the cover-up of a crime is also a crime.

    However, diaries like this help to explain the other point of view. Many Catholics do find the love of Christ within the mass and within Catholic worship.

    I know others who were deeply hurt within the Catholic Church, and were happy to be free of the Church and its hierarchy.

    Important to let the discussion continue.

    Weaving cloth with bayonets is hard to do. -Joe Hill

    by JayRaye on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:02:11 AM PDT

    •  The discussion is very valuable to me. (12+ / 0-)

      I love what the diarist wrote about the generation love and the thinking ahead to the next generations.  The feminine why these practices happen and the Church is full of them whether they want to admit it or not.  Joining with the feminine of the past and future is a great comfort to me.  I am looking to leave the Church soon because the wonder of what I like can't get past the evil that is.  My thoughts have been that they will not chase me out but lately looking for the Divine in a place full of obvious evil isn't working for me.

      And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

      by tobendaro on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:11:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (10+ / 0-)

        For sharing that.

        I think more people have that same experience than you know.  I certainly did.  It seems like the people who stay with the church forever are either the crazy wingnut jerks who do support the institution, or the people who never actually approach it from a spiritual vantage point.  

        It seems like the decent people who are committed Catholics are almost all probably closer to atheists, like they never talk about Jesus or Mary except as ideals, like in an abstract way.  The people who immediately come to mind find their spiritual expression in their connection to other human beings, and living in service to the world.  I doubt any of them experience the things I wrote about in this diary.  

        Think of Father Pfleger, his work, and the people who are devoted to him.  A lot of his supporters are there for the social justice, plain and simple.

        If I may give you a suggested stepping off point:

        There is only one life, all sentient beings share it.

        •  I don't think it matters if I stay (7+ / 0-)

          or not.  I don't think staying shows any support for the sin the hierarchy has and is perpetrating.  It is very true what you said about people staying for other reasons.  It is ok for one to just ignore the leader's evil and carry on with their immediate concerns because worship and spirituality is about community and God. It isn't about the Church.  Those people are pretty far removed from my parish and what happens.  We are small and get lots done in our area to alleviate poverty etc.  If the Church shut down tomorrow we would continue as a community and that is the essence of the Church not the hierarchy.  For me, I know what I know and I cannot in good conscience continue to be in communion with it.  I can't hide behind my own selfish motives anymore.  It just isn't working and the grief and anxiety that I feel because I may be contributing is too much for me.  

          And she's good at appearing sane, I just want you to know. Winwood/Capaldi

          by tobendaro on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 12:30:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I could not do that. (8+ / 0-)
            It is ok for one to just ignore the leader's evil and carry on with their immediate concerns because worship and spirituality is about community and God. It isn't about the Church.
            My sense of integrity would be violated if I stayed in a group that had evil/hypocritical leaders to such a public
            degree that Catholic bishops have.

            But that is just where I am at, others have different opinions, obviously.

            •  Though as someone points out below (16+ / 0-)

              we could make an interesting analogy with citizenship.   Most of us specifically profess a sense of loyalty and affection to the USA, despite knowledge that many, many crimes have been committed by it, and on a grand scale too.   Secret wars and puppet dictators and disaster capitalism ad nauseum.  

              Yet we are able to deplore those evils while fixing our thoughts on certain goods which also exist.  And it mainly our familiarity, our belongness, our heritage, our TRIBAL affiliation which tips the balance and allows us to keep that rosy view.  

              I'm not a believer in any church.  But I think it's an interesting debate.

              "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

              by lgmcp on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 05:32:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Good point about the energy of your ancestors. (10+ / 0-)

    I have thought about that one, but you express the point quite effectively.

    just because man invented God, does not mean that God does not exist

    by MikeMcShea on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:13:58 AM PDT

  •  I get what you're saying, I do. (9+ / 0-)

    But I am more and more convinced that the bureaucracy of the Catholic Church has lost sight of the spiritualism of which you speak.

    I'm not sure when they lost sight of it, it may have been a long, long time ago.  Maybe they never got it.

    Individuals within the bureaucracy have understood on their own, but collectively, that's gone.

    The Church as it stands needs to be gone, too.

    I know there are people who disagree, but the damage is too widespread and deep, the coverup is too disgusting.  They have lost the moral compass.

    Something better can rise up in its ashes.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 04:46:08 PM PDT

  •  Maryolatry. (10+ / 0-)

    I'm down with that.   Queen of Heaven, hell yeah.  

    I claim the parts of my Catholic heritage that mean something to me, and discard the rest.   They can disqualify me from the official club, but they can't stop me.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 04:58:34 PM PDT

  •  Long before the sex scandals (8+ / 0-)

    My first real revulsion with the Catholic Church occurred when I was serving in the Peace Corps in Ecuador.  One day I entered the Iglesia de la Compania in Quito, an old Jesuit church.

    In the pews I saw barefoot indigenous women kneeling in prayer, dirt poor.

    The church itself looks like this:

    Gold leaf everywhere...The Church glorified itself, and did little to nothing for the poverty stricken that pray there...except extract their 20% along with the State.

    "By your late thirties the ground has begun to grow hard. It grows harder and harder until the day that it admits you.” Thomas McGuane, Nobody's Angel

    by Keith930 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 04:59:27 PM PDT

  •  Chance of a Catholic reformer showing up (8+ / 0-)

    And cleaning house?  Slim to none?  Damned shame, because Lord knows there's a lot of cleaning, reforming, and transcending that needs to be done.

    •  there was a Brazilian Bishop (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xavier Onassis EMTP

      in the late 1800's I think, who took a Poor diocese and started selling off the cathedral contents and church properties to feed the poor.  The rich complained to Rome, and announced eventually his "excommunication ".
      The poor followed him, in some way sensing that Rome had made a terrible error.  He established a separate branch of the church,  I Suppose thought of as apostate, but theologically valid, by the church careerists.  
      Hope someone who is a member of that branch of the church will correct my inaccuracies.
      One of my heroes, an a True Catholic by almost any measure.

  •  religiousness (4+ / 0-)

    I just can't relate to religion in any form but particularly when it is decreed from on-high. I grew up on the liberal end of the protestant tradition and spent time in a Quaker community (now there's a group which is all about community, local and global and has NO hierarchy to apologize for), but in the end I could see no evidence for an omnipotent deity, particularly a benevolent one. I tend to agree with those who say god was created by man rather than vice versa. So, it is very hard for me to understand why anyone could stay part of a church with such a self serving hierarchy. But, each of us sees the world somewhat differently. To me, it has been a release and a relief to let go of what I finally came to view as myths.

  •  We have a small grotto to the Virgin (8+ / 0-)

    outside our gate.  Some friends who are very devout Catholics  (and lesbian adoptive parents, long story) studied it with puzzlement.   Knowing we are basically secular humanists, they asked us point-blank WHY we had it.   I replied that it helped me connect with the infinite divine if I conceptualized it as female, and that Mary was the best-known face of the Goddess.   "Yeah, thought that was probably it" was all they said.   I still wonder what they really thought of that, deep down.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 05:18:03 PM PDT

  •  Your logic is sound. (14+ / 0-)

    An analogy would be in being a U.S. citizen. Whether we know it or not, the institutional head of this nation (the government) is guilty of some pretty bad stuff.

    While it is physically easier to leave the Catholic Church than renounce US citizenship, I'll bet it can be difficult in other ways. The US government would have to do some pretty horrific things squared before I headed north.

    Still, if I were a Catholic, I would be saying some words about the parts of the institution that allowed so much evil. Same with the government.

    •  I was raised Protestant. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I loved the community of a small neighborhood church.

      But when the people, who equate staying in a religion with staying in our country, do nothing to change the problems with their church, it is not the same thing.

      We on this site are working to elect better people to office. We can and do call the bad people out and rant and scream.

      Why do we not hear much from average Catholic people about getting better leaders? I think it should be loud and ongoing, but the attitude seems to be 'nothing's perfect, oh well.'

    •  I'd say is closer to being a Republican. (0+ / 0-)

      It's a heckuva lot easier to leave a church or a political party than a country...

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:51:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  easier to leave a church than a country? (4+ / 0-)

        Its easier to renounce your understanding of the divine than it is to emigrate? I've changed nationalities three times but never changed my religious identity. I think it'd be far easier to do the former than the latter.

        Please don't answer if this is an excessively personal question, but have you ever renounced a religion that you believed in as an adult? It seems like that would be a process that would require some real redefinition of your own core identity.

        "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

        by efraker on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:59:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your experience is hardly common. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You have to admit that people leave/change organized religions far more frequently than they do nationalities.

          This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

          by Words In Action on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:18:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I don't admit that at all? (0+ / 0-)

            In my experience most people do stick with the source of spiritual truth they were raised in for the same reasons as the diarist and I have... but we're just comparing meaningless anecdotes here. I don't know which is more common and I'm not interested in looking to see if there are meaningful statistics on this.

            I actually think it doesn't really matter. Maybe you're saying that you think it would be easy for someone to leave Catholicism... but what would you be basing that on? Do you think that your personal attachment to a faith can be generalized across all people? That things that are easy for you are easy for everyone? That things you don't value are things that no-one else 'really' values, either?

            If that is what you're saying, then I think a lot of Catholics would disagree with you on how easy it is to stop being Catholic.

            "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

            by efraker on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:27:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We are quibbling over the difference between (0+ / 0-)

              easy and easier.

              You suggested that one can experience dissonance with one's religious affilation as with one's government or national affiliation.

              I said, essentially, that one could remedy dissonance with a religious institution, as with a political institution, much more easily than with one's country of origin.

              Regardless of whether a majority of people stick with the religion or political party of their birth than leave it, certainly more do leave their religion or political party than the country of there birth.

              THAT is what I have been saying. Whether it is "easy" or not is no the point. Simply that, as demonstrated by reality, one occurs much more frequently,

              This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

              by Words In Action on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:53:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  no, we aren't (0+ / 0-)

                We're quibbling over this: "as demonstrated by reality, one occurs much more frequently,"

                I am not sure reality demonstrates that - I reserve judgment, and believe that no course of action can be recommended. You are certain that you're right, though you have no facts, just anecdotes, and you recommend that millions of people disassociate themselves from the Catholic church based on that.

                "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                by efraker on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:20:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  anyway - I've made my point (0+ / 0-)

                  I know you get what I'm saying, though you may disagree, and I get what you're saying, though I think that what works for you may not work for others.

                  Thanks for taking the time to respond to me with courtesy and intelligence.

                  "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                  by efraker on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:27:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  One can leave an organized religion without (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          renouncing one's understanding of the divine. In fact, the point of leaving an organized religion is generally done in order to better honor one's understanding of the divine.

          This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

          by Words In Action on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:19:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Facts demonstrate otherwise. More people leave (0+ / 0-)

          an organized religion than a nationality behind.

          Heck, there are religious institutions like the Unitarian Universalists which are basically collection points for religious transferees.

          I would venture that virtually any religious institution of any size has at least one if not many members who previously attended a church of a different institution.

          This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

          by Words In Action on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:25:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  facts? (0+ / 0-)

            Can you point me to facts about how many human beings change their religion, and how many change their nationality? So far it seems like we're just talking about anecdotes.

            "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

            by efraker on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:30:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Obviously we are living on two different (0+ / 0-)

              planets if you actually need data to acknowledge the obvious truth of my statement.

              I can't tell you how many marsupials there are, but I'll bet everything I own that there are more mammals.

              Ditto for expatriots vs. people who have left a religious denomination.

              This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

              by Words In Action on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:42:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  certainty that you're right doesn't make it so (0+ / 0-)

                You're deriving a course of action for millions of human beings ("I'm willing to say, unequivocally, it's better for all of us if people leave [the Catholic Church]") based on simple faith that you're right without any facts to back that up.

                This seems ironic.

                "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

                by efraker on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:18:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Tautological and lazy. n/t (0+ / 0-)

                I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

                by itsjim on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 04:41:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  It's reall not that easy (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        efraker, JAM11, marykk, donaurora, martini

        to leave the church.  It's tribal.

        •  Maybe, but it's also incredibly common, at (0+ / 0-)

          least as compared to changing nationalities, which was my point. It's not that it's necessarily easy, but that it is easier.

          This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

          by Words In Action on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:21:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't know. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm very skittish on deciding exactly how someone else's evolutionary trajectory should go.  What was easy for me may be impossible for someone else, and vice versa.  I can see that 9 out of 10 people who have felt what I feel about it would not be able to leave.  

            For example my foster parents.  They can't leave "Catholic" behind any more than they can leave "Mexican" behind, though they live in Chicago and speak English, etc.

            I'm in no way ambivalent, though.  It seems a lot of people can't relate to what I'm describing.  I'm not loyal to the church and never was.

            •  I'm understanding better what you are (0+ / 0-)

              describing as we converse...

              As a Utahn living amongst enormous multigenerational families and communities engaged in large part through very engaged Mormon and Mormon-related institutions. Even GLBTs struggle mightily with it, despite the obvious insult and injury to their identities, because doing so frequently means be shunned by everyone they've known and loved since they were born. But I do believe that they should do it, that not doing it not only hurts themselves but everyone else, not only other GLBT's, but everyone, because everyone will be better in a GLBT-supportive world. I hold the same as true for Republicans and Catholics, who need to leave in order take the oxygen out of those harmful organizations.

              This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

              by Words In Action on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:39:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I still think (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                That's not a fair judgment for you to make.  You're not living that person's life, you just can't know how it is for them.

                I once taught a class on consciousness development at the community college.  A woman took the class who was in her 60s and HAD NEVER HAD SEX.  Why?  Because she was gay and a devout Mormon.  She had left the church in her 40s, I think, moved to a galaxy far, far away, and was an organizer for NOW and other good causes.  

                But the concepts and ideas I presented in the class were so far out of her comfort zone that she at one point mentioned feeling assaulted by me asserting them.  For example when I suggested she stop believing in accidents, mistakes or coincidences, instead considering such occurrences "unconscious choices," she said she felt like I had kicked her in the stomach.

                So she has her own row to hoe, and she's going to have to do it at her own pace and in her own order.

                •  Well, fair or not, (0+ / 0-)

                  since the conseequences are significant to us all, I'm willing to make that judgment, based on what I know about the influence of the Catholic Church and the Republican Party. I'm willing to say, unequivocally, it's better for all of us if people leave those organizations.

                  This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

                  by Words In Action on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:56:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  It is if you do it early enough. (0+ / 0-)

          I've been an atheist all my life, and out of every church entirely by seventh grade. I guess that's part of why I have such a keen sense of the difference between family and tribe, and why my loyalties are with the latter. But that's just me.

          into the blue again, after the money's gone

          by Prof Haley on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:22:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  ^^^THIS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xavier Onassis EMTP, marykk

      I find it counterproductive in the extreme to leave a cultural institution of which one is a part because of that institution's flaws.

      Stay and change it.  Leaving it greatly reduces one's power to speak up against the injustices one laments.

      That I can say, "As a Catholic, ..." when speaking against the sins of the Church gives me the critical power I wouldn't otherwise have.  And it doesn't matter if the bishops don't care what I say; if enough of us say it, they will end up caring, even if the Church is not a democratic institution.  Eventually the bottom filters up, in the Church as well as our government, otherwise Vatican II would never have happened.

      Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

      by Leftcandid on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 09:28:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Spirituality practice not religion. More Americans (3+ / 0-)

    are seeking to base their life on experiencing the life of the spirit, which comes through a practice, not loyalty to an institution or a belief system.

  •  The two most progressive people I ever met (13+ / 0-)

    were 2 Catholic nuns who helped set up a Catholic Worker house in Chicago.  It was set up to assist victims of torture in Central America who were seeking asylum in the US.

    I love Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 05:24:00 PM PDT

  •  Mormons just stopped by. (8+ / 0-)

    It went from their introducing themselves to where within about 5 minutes I was playing Message in a Bottle for them with my guitar on my front porch.  They left soon after and may have forgotten for a moment why they were there.

  •  granfalloon: noun (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Words In Action

    a false karass; i.e., a group of people who imagine they have a connection that does not really exist.

    dog bless kurt vonnegut

    Never forget that the Republican War on Women originated with religion; the GOP is but theocracy's handmaiden.

    by Cedwyn on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 05:38:03 PM PDT

  •  The male hierarchy of the RCC (8+ / 0-)

    fear and loathe women.

    Before I continue, I must disclose that I was reared in a very, VERY traditional Irish Catholic Family.

    That being said...

    The male hierarchy fear and loathe women.  Why?  Because of their power to create and give birth to life.  God blessed a woman, Mary, to give birth to the Savior.  Of a woman was born the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.  No man could have done this.  And the guys in dresses just can't deal with it.

    Women are creators, nurturers, mothers.  This has pissed insecure little men for millennia.

    We need men to create another life.  But only women can give birth to life; make the hope a reality  Men can't do that.  And this has pissed off the RCC patriarchy since forever.

    Jealous fucks, each and every one of them.

    And if they can't do it, by G-d, they will punish those who can, for as the old adage goes, misery loves company.

    I have rejected the RCC and its misogynistic ways.  The reason they demean women is because they can not do what our Creator has designed us to do:  to be givers of life.

    Fuck all of you silly men and your insecurities.  The problem lies with you, not me.  I will not be subject to your hatred and insecurities because you can not accept what you do not have.   am woman.  I am strong.  I am at peace with myself.

    Fucking deal with it.

    "Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught will we realize we cannot eat money." --Cree proverb

    by TigerMom on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 05:38:35 PM PDT

  •  I can't remember who said it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xavier Onassis EMTP, martini

    perhaps a character in "Peanuts"

    I love mankind, it's people I can't stand
    Well for many cultural Catholics, it's something like that.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 05:42:17 PM PDT

  •  Your diary reminds me of (6+ / 0-)

    two quotes about Catholicism.  The first was C. S. Lewis:

    When Catholicism goes bad it becomes the religion of amulets and holy places and priestcraft: Protestantism, in its corresponding decay, becomes a vague mist of ethical platitudes.
    The point, I believe, is that Catholicism still has some of the trappings of the pagan and animist religions that preceded it, and which it subsumed.  Hence the comparison between a Novena and a candle spell.

    Second is the sentiment of the Catholic commentator Garry Wills.  I will never be able to find the specific quote, but the idea was that the Catholic Church is the laity, not the old men in robes.  The laity are free to ignore the dictates of the robed ones, because the real power, ultimately, lies with the laity.  Frankly, given recent events, it's hard to imagine the time when the tyranny and corruption of the old men in robes will be overthrown, or at least moderated.  But one must recall that the Church has suffered far greater crises than this one in its past.

    -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

    by gizmo59 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 05:42:45 PM PDT

  •  What is more 'evil', Catholic church or the US? (3+ / 0-)

    Its very easy to point to the list of atrocities committed by people associated with the Catholic church and even under the direction of it. Its very easy to say "why associate with something with such a record?"

    Its very easy to point to the list of atrocities committed by people associated with the US government and even under the direction of it. Its very easy to say "why associate with something with such a record?"

    If you can understand why someone would choose to remain an American despite everything that has been done to uphold that institution, then how can you not understand why some would choose to remain likewise a Catholic?

    "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

    by efraker on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 05:52:56 PM PDT

  •  Thank You ... (4+ / 0-)

    scheduled to be republished on Street Prophets.


    "Upward, not Northward" - Flatland, by EA Abbott

    by linkage on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 05:58:17 PM PDT

  •  partly agree with the diarist, but there's more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, martini

    For me the part that was hard with leaving the church was the fear instilled in you from the time you are born.  Fear that anything you do outside the church's teaching (especially leaving the church) binds you on a quick path to a very real and horrendous eternity in hell.

    I think down deep that keeps a lot of folks showing up or treating any repulsive issues created by the hierarchy with blinders.  

  •  Sense (0+ / 0-)
    That makes perfect sense from outside.
    It should make perfect sense from the inside, too.

    We're all just monkeys burning in hell.

    by smokeymonkey on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 06:07:23 PM PDT

  •  and by ignoring the bad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the catholics allow the bad to continue.  by still paying tithes, they implicitly support priests who either molest children or hide those that do.  turning their backs on the hideous allows the religious hierarchy to continue their abuse of nuns, children, and whoever else they decide deserves it.  the catholic church can continue to do these things because people still support it, call themselves catholic, and resign themselves to the bad.

    •  tithes, taxes? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      714day, marykk, martini

      Some proportion of your taxes (and mine) paid for the gun Sgt.  Robert Bales used to shoot those bullets (that I helped pay for) into civilians in Afghanistan.

      Agents of the US government are enabled to do these things by the implicit support of US taxpayers to the same degree that agents of the Catholic church are enabled by those who tithe to it.

      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

      by efraker on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 06:27:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's the law to pay taxes (0+ / 0-)

        it is not the law to tithe.  and sgt. robert bales is being brought to justice--through that tax money you just poo-poohed.  how many of those child-molesting priests have faced trial?  how many of them, instead, were shuffled around by the catholic church so they could molest again?  how many were hidden with the money received by tithes?

        •  so morality is superseded by legality? (0+ / 0-)

          So whether or not you and I and all other US citizens helped Sgt. Robert Bales massacre to occur through our tax dollars is mitigated, you believe, by the fact that we were required to support this act by the law?

          Does law always trump morality to you, or just in funding the massacre of women and children?

          You're right that some priests were protected from the consequences of their actions through the use of tithes and the Catholic hierarchy (though not all were) - its also true that agents of the US government have committed war crimes and been protected by the tax dollars we pay.

          So you think everyone who funds an institution shares collective responsibility? I believe otherwise, that we should hold individuals responsible for their actions. That war criminals and child-molesting priests should pay for their crimes, along with the people who conceal them.

          If you believe that Catholics are responsible for the actions of those who benefit from their tithes... then by extension, if your babysitter molests your child, you are personally responsible for your child being molested for having paid that babysitter in the past.

          "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

          by efraker on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:49:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  no.... (0+ / 0-)

            paying the babysitter does not enable them to commit crimes--if they did so, they chose to do so.  what i am saying is that, for the majority of catholic pedophile priests, the catholic church used tithe money to cover up the crimes.  my "paying the babysitter" is not covering up the crime, and if i were told about it, you damn well bet the babysitter would be arrested for that crime--NOT HIDDEN AWAY TO MOLEST AGAIN.  

            you're right--agents of the us government have done bad things.  but a lot of those bad things have been uncovered, and people are fighting to change how the government does things to ensure that the future is better than the past--including electing officials who are willing to fight against those bad things.  do you see the catholic hierarchy fighting to change their stance on child molestation?  no, they fight to cover it up.  

    •  psst (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xavier Onassis EMTP, Ahianne

      Catholics don't tithe.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 03:35:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Need help unerstanding a Catholic policy thing. (0+ / 0-)

    Do Catholic hospitals get federal money?  if they felt a moral obligation to not provide insurance that covers birth control, what are the reasoned and sane arguments against that notion?


    •  1) yes; and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      2) it's a very long story, going back to the thirties and en encyclical called Casti Connubi, and then the post Vatican II discussions prior to Humanae Vitae.  The "reasoned" part has to do with "but if we said we were wrong, what about all those people we sent to hell?"  I make no defense of it, nor of a claim to sanity.  It's a theological "angels on the head of a pin" problem.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 06:40:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes, they do receive federal money (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Most Catholic hospitals do perform procedures they find morally objectionable, but it hasn't always been an easy road.

      In '72 it took an injunction by a U.S. District Court to require a Catholic hospital to permit a physician to perform a tubal ligation.

      Private hospitals are protected from being compelled to perform abortions if they choose not to under the Church Amendment.

      Most private hospitals and pharmacies which will not provide birth control/abortions/sterilization will provide a referral to someone who will. If FOCA is reintroduced and becomes law, this would be mandatory.

      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange ... including a public option" President Obama, 7.18.09

      by efraker on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 06:44:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Simple answer (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      To almost any Catholic policy question:

      Special dispensation.  My friend (let's call her Vickie, not her name) Vickie's uncle was a priest.  He was constantly being invited to fancy restaurants, receiving lavish gifts, etc., because everybody wants to have a priest on speed dial when they need permission to break a rule.

      When Vickie's dad dumped her mom for his secretary they had been married I think at least 30 years and had two kids.  Vickie's mom -- who was a professional astrologer doing a really unique sort of mystical astrology -- got an annulment through her brother.  Of course consummating a marriage is one of the deal-breakers for that.  That's why special dispensation is so popular.

      In other words, the men in dresses make up rules as they go along.

      •  My wording was off, but your answer (0+ / 0-)

        is helpful!

        Let me try again ... what are the sane arguments AGAINST the catholic hospital desire to deny birth control to employees?  One is federal money they take in.  Are there any other arguments?


  •  Tribal (5+ / 0-)

    I very much enjoyed your diary.  I myself am as lapsed as one can be, and genuinely horrified at the downward moral slide of my home parish and the Council of Bishops since my childhood.  The moment they started telling me how to vote, which was when I was 19, and simultaneously made a break with what I considered our tribal political roots, they lost me forever.  It was no longer a church that I felt I could belong in.

    At the same time, I can never see myself becoming involved with another Christian church, especially a mainline Protestant(The Over-tribe) one.  It would make me feel ill.  Old prejudices, or rather the reactions to them, die hard.

    I marched in our city's recent St. Patrick's Day parade with our esteemed Democratic Congressman.  He received at least polite and very often enthusiastic reactions as we walked.  But there was one fool standing with his wife screaming above the crowd over and over that you couldn't be Catholic and vote for a Democrat.  Nobody paid much attention to him really, and people nearby thought he was a kook.  I shouldn't have, but just couldn't resist, saluting him for his efforts, which were surely backfiring.  Odds are he was not a Catholic himself at all.  Gotta love the evangelical paternalism.

    Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs?

    by Carlo on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 06:50:47 PM PDT

    •  I quit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LSophia, marykk

      going to a Catholic church more than twenty years ago. I never thought I would go to some other church, partly because I wasn't interested but also largely because of what the diarist talks about, as a betrayal of my tribe. It's not quite been a year that I've been attending a UU church. I enjoy the hell out of it and we still do some standing and sitting though no kneeling. I haven't signed the member book and that is still a stumbling block for me. I don't know if I want to be a joiner, I don't know if I want to commit to this long term. It is endlessly fascinating to me, though, to be peeking in on the Protestants! Of course, UU, I seldom think of them as that but some of the congregants do and when they bring it up, it amuses me. I was brought up SO Catholic, I really didn't have much knowledge of other denominations so it's very interesting to me to compare and contrast. I hope if you feel at some point that you want a spiritual home, you'll be able to find one.

      Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. Throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. --Mark Twain

      by Debby on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:57:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Catholic Church (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xavier Onassis EMTP

    When it comes to wealth it is hard to compete with the Catholic church.  They own a third of most latin american countries as well as Manhattan and God knows what else, so I'm told.  Anyway if you study the Catholic Church model of acquiring wealth you realize how well it has worked for centuries. Scare the shit out of widows make them sign up and you inherit the real estate, simple.  Make sure they fell guilty all the time and make sure that you are strong by being well fed and rested all the time. a table with 12 cookies. The CEO takes 11 and says to the Tea Partier: "Keep an eye on that union guy, he wants your cookie." Ari Paul 'The US: Waking up to class politics' Al Jazeera

    by weltshmertz on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 06:59:34 PM PDT

    •  The priests (0+ / 0-)

      In order to amass wealth beat the shit out of the new priests about spiritualism and promote them only by materialism: they will catch on after a while. a table with 12 cookies. The CEO takes 11 and says to the Tea Partier: "Keep an eye on that union guy, he wants your cookie." Ari Paul 'The US: Waking up to class politics' Al Jazeera

      by weltshmertz on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:06:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe the Virgin Mary is the White Tara and (4+ / 0-)

    that is why you've always "felt" her, and bear the tattoo behind your heart.
    Surely you know that when she was admonished by those in the know to be reborn as a man so she could really pack some influence, she promised to always return as a woman until all sentient beings , by reaching enlightenment, could understand that their was no difference between, he and she, or you and I. Only delusion permitted such distinctions.
    Interesting diary. Thanks for offering it.

    •  There is a lot (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LSophia, 714day, martini

      of talk about Tara particularly among Reiki practitioners.  At least the ones I know.  I was attuned to Reiki at a Buddhist monastery.  A number of the monks are attuned to it as well, I believe, but don't quote me.

      But yes.  Tara and the Virgin Mary have parallel stories of strength in compassion, like the archetype for that quality.


  •  I'm not Catholic and all of my religious/holy (5+ / 0-)

    experiences, epiphanies & encounters with "the divine" have been in natural history museums, at the small end of a telescope, near flowing water or at Kennedy Space Center EXCEPT for one time I wandered into a small chapel at a Catholic University.  The sense of being somewhere deserving of immense reverence at the same time as providing great comfort almost knocked me off my feet.  Literally.  I almost fell over.  I could have tried to analyze how the various forms of symbology tap into and affect the psyche/consciousness blahblahblah but...  Suffice to say I sorta get why folks stick with The Church.

    those first two guys who thought superman was a bird or a plane, what were they so excited about?

    by bnasley on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:05:17 PM PDT

    •  Thank you for sharing that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley, donaurora, martini

      Today I had an experience of divinity while sitting by my koi pond looking at the plants in my yard.  I know just what you mean about science, too.  I felt that way the day I grasped the periodic table.

      This reminded me, the day after I became a Reiki practitioner I was sitting at a restaurant.  I was just getting used to the new sensitivity to energy, like my hands would get real hot all of a sudden, I'd feel these sort of power surges zipping through me, etc.  Weird thing is, I've always had these sensations, just not as intense, and I never quite put a finger on them before, never noticed that hey, I just had that sensation.  Hard to describe.

      So I'm sitting there and suddenly I had this amazing energy burst; it wasn't a thermal sensation, but I felt like some giant cloud of warm air had sort of lifted me up, so I was sitting lighter in my seat or something.  I felt it in my heart, like I felt especially unafraid.  This is very hard to articulate, but it was an undeniable and incredible sensation, turned my Reiki on full blast, and I sat there for several seconds basking in it.  Then I heard a sound behind me, and it suddenly stopped.

      Turned around to look, and there was a table of maybe 15 or 20 Orthodox Christians including a couple of priests, they had all just prayed their grace before eating.

  •  I'm not having a good night with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrWebster, Tom Anderson

    the Catholic spouse.  IMHO, the Catholic Church has done more to royally fuck up the good minds of otherwise thinking people.  Frankly, I've had quite enough of this shit.  I've been respectful, even somewhat accommodating of that mythological bullshit. I'm done.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:05:44 PM PDT

    •  Quite right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the church has screwed up many minds, shamefully and immorally.   It is like a rite of passage, that by thinking as a true Catholic, you learn and realize that the Church careerists are frequently hypocritical and wrong, wrong, wrong ( especially when it comes to sexuality) . Once the spiritual Odyssey is complete it makes (I hope) a better person.
      I sympathize with you, an undeserving victim.

  •  Worship of the feminine? The War on Women? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm sorry but the arguments I hear justifying personal involvement in the Catholic Church simply do not reconcile the overarching social and political influence of the church.

    As I added in another remark in the diary to which you refer:

    ...being a Catholic at this point seems like being a female, black or gay Republican. The church leadership does not represent liberal values. Period.

    I say this as someone who was raised as a Catholic and has visited Vatican City three times...

    This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

    by Words In Action on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 07:21:32 PM PDT

    •  Yes (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      efraker, Debby, marykk, martini

      I don't know how to be any clearer about it.  I'm not a practicing Catholic.  It not only doesn't fit me politically, but I've mostly outgrown it spiritually as well.  I'm a Buddhist now.  I don't attend Catholic church except maybe once or twice a decade as a social outing, and I don't give them money.

      Are you saying I should denounce and reject my culture?  How would I do that?  Scrub my DNA?  Practice hating all of my grandmothers?

      •  I don't think we are disagreeing. As we have (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        now acknowledged elsewhere.

        Our only point of difference, as I understant it now, is that you wouldn't presume to know what others should do in this case but I would. I have no qualms about saying involvement in this Church is socially and politically harmful and should be avoided, as personally painful as that might be. The same would go for the Republican Party, the Ku Klux Klan and the Tea Party, for that matter.

        This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

        by Words In Action on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:05:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting diary. Thanks for your perspective. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xavier Onassis EMTP, martini

    If you do not believe that there is an ongoing war on women, then you aren't paying attention. h/t The Pootie Potentate

    by glorificus on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 08:10:59 PM PDT

  •  Tipped and recc'd for the importance of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xavier Onassis EMTP, marykk, martini

    topic and the nuance with which the diarist handles it.

    I admit I did read it entirely correctly, but I was able to understand it more thoroughly through the comment thread.

    This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

    by Words In Action on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:09:41 PM PDT

  •  I was raised in a devout Catholic home (3+ / 0-)

    and many of my friends and family still practice the faith.
    I understand your "tribally Catholic" vibe perfectly, X.

    I absolutely hate the Hierarchy. "Vile" is far too kind.
    One of the child molesters who was shuffled from parish to parish and diocese to diocese by fatuous, morally deficient geezers in funny hats, was assigned to the parish I grew up in. He molested kids from my neighborhood, kids I played baseball with, kids I went fishing with, kids who were my friends.  

    Had I been a few years younger, he might have molested me. Puberty hit me early and hard. (My voice broke when I was eleven). If I had been just a bit more youthful and chirpy, I might have been "ministered' to.

    When I grew up and left home, I drifted away from the Church. Even though I no longer practiced the faith, when people criticized the church, I would defend her. I didn't know then that the slobbering nincompoop who confirmed me had facilitated the crimes of several other perverts as well.

    Now I have to bite back on my anger every time I see a priest. I recently attended the funeral of an old friend and fellow blueshirt. The priest who officiated was all but a caricature of the effete, overfed, overpaid, over-privileged motherfuckers who run that whorehouse. He had the gall to include the anti-female, birth-control-is-immoral talking points in his homily. Only my respect for my old brother-in-arms kept me in my seat, seething.

    I've spent a lot of time poring over Francis of Assisi, Gandhi & MLK.
    I understand how nonviolent activism is supposed to work. I know I should respect and protect all my fellow creatures. I have done my best to put that knowledge into practice and see the face of Christ in everyone I meet.

    When I see a roman collar, all that knowledge goes out the window. If I saw a man punch a bishop or priest, I would be torn between walking away laughing or jumping in to take a couple shots of my own. Perhaps this loathing I nurse is a tragic flaw, a festering sore on my soul. So be it. I'll grant that there were one or two good men who wore a bishop's miter and died for it. Perhaps there's a decent priest left. If he's out there, let him stand up and prove it. Until he winds his whip of cords and cleanses the temple, his cute little collar will only get scorn and bile from me.

    This rant has grow rather long and if I were to truly let loose and dive in to my bottomless pit of hate for popes, bishops and priests, I would be banned from Dkos for life. If anyone wants to HR me for advocating violence, I have earned your donuts honestly.

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 09:13:36 PM PDT

  •  Love this! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am an Episcopalian, but have also become frustrated with the lack of role or recognition for laypeople, as well as what I call "the church of the checkbook" mentality.  

    I don't plan to renounce the church or throw a hissy fit (although I do plan to answer an online survey very pointedly), but I have grown increasingly draw to Tibetan Buddhism.  It seems gentler, more empowering and to make more sense.

    Thanks so much for writing this.

  •  As a woman with 16 years of Catholic school (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... from a rabidly Catholic family ... with two Franciscan priest uncles, one cloistered nun first cousin once removed, and a sister still in the fold in Boston giving hell to the Diocese ... and me sworn to stay far far away from Catholicism until women, married individuals, and gays and lesbians (and all of the obvious and multiple overlap in those categories) are embraced as full people and priests ... [breath] ...

    As that woman I've described above with decades of religious instruction which, when in high school and college, was pretty damned impressive from an Aristotelian perspective, I don't really recognize your description of Catholicism at all.  "Ancestor worship" is far from accurate.  And there are too many other tautologies in this diary that are grossly inaccurate.

    But if the gist is that Catholicism as espoused by the current Catholic hierarchy has collapsed in the modern world under the weight of its own prejudices and power grabs, I can wholeheartedly agree.

    "Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry."

    by Glinda on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:11:25 PM PDT

    •  i had 13 years catholic school (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and yeah there is a bit of things that are inaccurate. Ancestor worship definitelyl isn't there. They might prey to Mary or saints to intercede for us (put in a good word to god) but they never prey to worship anyone but god. I'd agree also that most people don't really care about the structure or heirarchy of the church and never much pay attention when the pope says anything..

      I've never known nuns  to be a priests servant and far from it. I've never known a nun that takes shit from anyone. Every single one is tough as nails.

    •  As always (0+ / 0-)

      YMMV.  Thanks for commenting.

    •  I thought about this some more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And some of the other comments below.

      It occurs to me that the more steeped in the doctrine one is, i.e., Catholic university, decades of actual instruction, etc., the less they can relate to my experience. And that makes perfect sense; I really got very little indoctrination.

      It's entirely possible that the way Mexican Indians who move to Chicago practice Catholicism is virtually unrecognizable from the mainstream.  I never even sent to Sunday school, couldn't get a priest's attention if I was on fire, and got bullied by the nuns for being chesty and abused/neglected at home.

      So my Catholicism was formed by deeply humble women who spoke broken English and took care of neglected neighbor children because that's what the Virgin Mary would do.

      And of course, YMMV, always.

      •  You certainly don't any Catholic doctrine (0+ / 0-)

        In fact, you certainly do not know much about mainstream Catholicism.  I may have been "indoctrinated" in your view ... I would just say I was educated about the Catholic religion ... but I became profoundly disillusioned by the time I was 20 year old and haven't been to a mass (other than for family weddings and funerals) for more than 30 years. My daughter is a blissful agnostic.  My religious philosophy would probably be described as deism.

        My devoutest relative, a niece who is the daughter of my husband's non-practicing Catholic sister and her Jewish husband (yep, that wasn't a misprint), cannot abide any criticism of the Catholic Church.  But she has 0 years of religious schooling, no deep knowledge of Catholic teaching and philosophy,  and she only started going to mass regularly when she met her Catholic husband.  Strangely he isn't as "devout" as she is.

        Unfortunately your diary collapses because you don't really know the deal with Catholics at all and you assume that the more knowledge a person has about the Catholic faith makes them "indoctrinated".  That doesn't fly.

        "Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry."

        by Glinda on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 09:21:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Protestants tend to see themselves (3+ / 0-)

    as members of denominations. If one doesn't fit, try on another. Roman Catholicism, however, is very much a form of Christian practice. Any former Catholic, including this diarist (a wise person indeed) can tell you that it is very difficult to replicate this practice outside the institutional Church. So yes indeed, Catholics go on practicing their faith despite their hierarchy. & leaving the Church because one feels unwelcome can be a wrenching, heartbreaking experience. I know Catholics who have stayed & Catholics who have left. Listen to them,  listen to their stories.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 10:37:20 PM PDT

  •  I've always assumed there was something (3+ / 0-)

    that I, as an outsider, was missing that would explain why anyone would stay with a organization that systematically enabled the rape of their children. I think you've given me some idea of the power that the Church holds. I can understand not being willing to leave one's tribe. I can understand a devotion to the spirituality. But if it were me, I would make damn sure that the power structure didn't get a penny of my money or a moment of my time. I would be fighting for change. I would probably drive the priests crazy, but I would be proud of that.

    That's what I want from those who are still in the Church. Stay if you want, but fight to fix the wrongs.

    "The Democrats are the lesser evil and that has to count for something. Good and evil aren't binary states. All of us are both good and evil. Being less evil is the trajectory of morality." --SC

    by tb92 on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:00:30 PM PDT

  •  The "raised as Catholic" imprint, which I've (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    anime1973, marykk, donaurora, martini

    observed in myself and so many others, to the point I can identify people raised as Catholics from the "center-of-gravity" of their concerns....

    ... every moral dilemma centers of the issue of "Free Will." Wrestle in private with one's conscience mightily and for long, and we so raised always come around to the issue of Free Will and if we use it for good or ill or empty.

    I don't think, say, Muslims, or Buddhists, or even other Christian traditions come around unfailingly to that point. And I'm someone who has plunged into other traditions, in authentic ways and degrees according to people born into them. It always comes back to "free will" for Catholics.

    Today, if you exist... that's already suspicious.

    by Jim P on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:16:37 PM PDT

  •  A generous nun was the agent of my revelation. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xavier Onassis EMTP, martini

    So there I was in the cloak room in the third grade.  I just served Mass as an altar boy and giving away my age, at that time the prayers were still in Latin.

    So Mother Superior of the school is laying one hell of slap session on me in the cloak room.  She is interrogating me on what my brother did with the "mission money" he stole.  He was in the 10th grade and broke into the school the previous night and got drunk with the money.

    For some reason, I refused to tell even though I was trying to be the best little Catholic boy and do things like love the Church instead of my parents as the nuns taught.

    I don't know Sister I replied, and then she grabs my hair and jerks me as hard as he can to the side.  Follows up with pinching my ears so hard I almost cry.

    But at the moment, I lost all fear.  I no longer feared sin, eternal punishment, didn't fear the future beatings I would get from the nuns.  I was empty.  Fucking Jesus H. Christ left the room, and the room finally felt clean.  I stopped being a Catholic at that moment.  And only 9 years old.

    Luckily for generations of mostly boys, the nuns stopped teaching and those Catholic schools had to go to lay teaches who did not channel the Marquis de Sade as a patron saint as did the nuns in oh so many schools here in the states and abroad.

    What the pedophile scandals have covered up is how much violence the nuns of all sorts inflected on mostly boys; violence which would merit prison terms in these times.  Nor have Catholics asked, which they should have, where were the nuns when little boys were being raped--priests nd nuns live so close to each other on Church grounds.

    Women are in strange position in the Church.  No diocease  would survive without women maintaining the churches and holding up the very walls if they have to.

    Women in the Church are the pillars on which the entire ediface stands.  If women left the Church it would be no more.  And yet women in the Church are also victims and abusers.

    By the way all of this was in the Chicago area.

    Thank you Mother Superior for liberating me spiritually with your violence.

    •  my knuckles still hurt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xavier Onassis EMTP, MrWebster

      from first grade. Nun would bend a metal ruler back and slap your knuckles if you held your pencil wrong.

    •  I'm sorry such a thing happened to you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Xavier Onassis EMTP, MrWebster

      my experience was different.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 03:40:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for sharing that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      martini, MrWebster

      The nuns at my school were, almost without exception, bitter, brutal women.  I'm sorry that it had to be that way for you, but glad that it helped you find your own voice.

      It's so interesting for me to see the difference between my experiences and other Catholics, and the similarities.

      For me, it was different in that there was no turning away; they never got me to sign on in the first place.  I remember being in maybe 4th or 5th grade, the nun told us something that I couldn't wrap my head around.  I asked her about it.  She said, "That's one of those questions you'll have to wait and ask God when you get to heaven."  I was like, OK, you can't answer a child's questions?  FAIL!

      That said they were vicious against girls, too.  I developed very early.  I got teased and humiliated, labeled as a whore and I hadn't done anything with anyone except sprout tits early and go to school.

      The nuns used to walk up behind me while I was at my desk working, and run their fingers down my back to make sure I was wearing a bra.  This would not only make me jump out of my skin and totally break my concentration, but made all my classmates laugh and taunt me later.

      There were other incidents so totally out of control about their hatred of beautiful young girls who weren't enslaved and would be off to have sex soon.  They were really racist, too, one kid got bullied by nuns for being black.  I grasped all of this before I graduated 8th grade.

      Anyway it wasn't just you, and it wasn't just men.  There are a lot of us.

      Thanks for showing up.

  •  It all stems from unhealthy attitudes toward sex (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xavier Onassis EMTP, martini

    IMHO. Instilling guilt about a natural appetite, one of God's greatest gifts, turning making love into a source of shame is useful to control the masses and encourage penitentiary contributions of cash, but it messes up the perpetrators as well.

    The insistence on a celibate clergy naturally attracts people who are troubled by their sexuality. Whether this is simple gayness (shouldn't be a problem, IMO), or something that is an actual problem like pedophilia or necrophilia, people hope that by devoting themselves to a religious vocation, God will have mercy on them.

    God doesn't make this sort of deal. Deep-seated desires can't be ignored or prayed away. Therapy, or simply accepting it's OK to be gay have a better chance of success.

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 03:59:24 AM PDT

  •  Tribal, spirtual, cultural connection (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xavier Onassis EMTP, martini

    to Catholicism but not the Catholic Church. The diarist beautifully expresses the mystical and familial connection that I too experience in my personal spirituality.
     (Mother) Mary is a beacon of light and Mary Magdalene is an inspiration. There are countless female and male saints that I find bring comfort and peace.

     My family has been raised Catholic for as far back a I can trace on both my maternal and paternal lineage . I find the sacraments, the pageantry, and the simple beauty of  the teachings in the New Testament are interconnected with  my faith and family.

    I do not make excuses for the "church".  I have not raised my daughter Catholic. In fact, I am the first generation in hundreds of years along with my brothers and sisters to reject the Catholic doctrine for our children. I have shared my Catholic cultural and spiritual beliefs carefully with my daughter and we have explored, debated, and embraced and rejected the teachings of the church.

    There remains the collective fabric that goes far beyond the walls of a church to identify place. It is difficult to describe. I found this diary gave  voice  to the personal  hold of the Catholic faith that I find as well.

  •  For me, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xavier Onassis EMTP, martini, marykk

    the lasting lesson of 12 years of Catholic education was that one had a conscience that had to be sharpened and fed by experience and compassion and knowledge.   The nuns in my gradeschool all made this clear. as did many of the priests in high school.  The rule is that no matter who says what, Conscience rules.  
    The hierarchy is window dressing, pomp without circumstance.

    But Mary, well I always thought it was rude to discuss her sex life.

    Now I am a functional atheist, but ever a Catholic.

    I liked your diary very much.  It is hard to explain to people that Catholicism is  a huge group of individuals separated from a discredited ceremonial caste which has given up on thinking, and is lacking in judgement and knowledge.

  •  Nice Diary. I was once there too but then (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xavier Onassis EMTP

    realized I don't need the 1% (within the church or without).  To me, simply ignoring is the same as tacitly approving.  I also discovered that once you leave and come back (even briefly), you realize there is alot to ignore since you are no longer tuned-out....

    I didn't go to Buddism but something tells me I'd probably like it.

  •  Rereading, this struck me: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Xavier Onassis EMTP

    "They prayed for me centuries before I was born." -- I didn't catch this the first time through, but it absolutely resonates.

    The diary that keeps on giving...

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