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View Diary: And so it begins....Church lays down the law. (185 comments)

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  •  Pro-choice Catholic. (none)
    I have NO sympathy for someone who attends a church that is anti-women's rights. She (and EVERY person of strong conscience) has an obligation to vote with her feet to protest the Church's oppression of women, and its various attempts to deny womens' rights. Why pander to the patriarchs? Get your dithering butt OUT of that church and find one that respects your gender. THEY shouldn't have to throw you out - YOU should be eager to leave. They are not on your side. Take your beautiful voice and your Christian energy over to a congregation that doesn't disrespect you. What are you waiting for?
    •  This is much like saying. . . (4.00)
      . . .that someone who doesn't support Bush should "shut up or leave the country".

      Much like being Jewish, being Catholic is not about what building you go into for worship - it's deeply, deeply cultural.  

      I recently attended my kid sister's Church wedding. (I, myself, got married at a courthouse). I sang along with all the hymns and recited all the prayers. Even though I hadn't darkened a church door in more than a decade, it's still deep in my bones.

      You don't tell a Catholic to "quit being Catholic". We will be Catholic whether we want it or not. And many, many Catholics still hold out hope for the legacy of Vatican II, and want to effect change within the institution - it's happened before and it could happen again. And just like with America, it won't happen if the dissident faithful just cede the territory.

      I have, personally, given up on the Church, but it's not like I'm going to go join a different one. It is still - in the back of my head - the "one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church".

      When only the govemment lacks virtue, there remains a resource in the people's virtue; but when the people itself is corrupted, liberty is already lost.

      by Robespierrette on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 11:11:44 AM PST

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      •  Yup (none)
        At least, that's a better explanation than just plain laziness or inertia. The other reason we don't often switch is we'd feel guilty about it, along with every other thing wrong with the world.

        he's not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at

        by bopes on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 11:41:40 AM PST

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      •  If you support Vatican II, go Episcopalian (none)
        The Roman church will not reform.  Ever.  Until their pews are empty and (more importantly) their bank accounts are empty.  

        From my (admittedly protestant, non-Episcopalian) viewpoint if you want a Vatican II church, the Episcopalians offer your closest match. You may be able to find the occasional island of sanity in the RC church with the Paulists or Jesuits, but your offerings are still supporting JP II, Ratzinger, and the morally nihilistic American hierarchy.  You're far better off leaving.

        I'm in the United Church of Christ, and many of our folks are refugee Catholics, and we'd love to have you with us...but most of our churches don't offer weekly Communion, so lapsed Catholics are leaving a lot behind to join us.  If you are used to the Catholic worship style and culture, the Episcopalians are likely a better match.

        But the Roman church - please!  It's bankrupt spiritually, and in due course will be bankrupt in every other way if enough folks leave.

      •  changing religions (none)
        You are vastly over-stating how difficult it is to change religions. Queen Elizabeth the First once said, "There is but one God and one Jesus Christ - the rest is a quibble about details." Changing religion because yours is behaving immorally is not the equivalent of leaving a country because you don't like the president. It is more akin to changing political parties because you no longer like the direction that yours is taking. You only have one country, but there is a broad array of religions out there, and even variations within single sects. There is nothing magical about the Catholic Church, per se. And I cannot imagine why any sane person would tolerate the weekly aggravation of having to hear a pastor spout degrading nonsense about a woman's right to control her own fertility. Religion should bring a person peace - not indigestion.
        •  Ah, I think I see the confusion. . . (none)
          You say you can't understand why someone would stand the "weekly aggravation" of having to "hear a pastor spout degrading nonsense about a woman's right to control her own fertility".

          You could attend a Catholic Church for twenty years, and never hear WORD ONE about abortion from the pulpit.  Catholic preaching just isn't like that - at least not from any of the priests I've ever met.

          Weekly Catholic homilies are more likely to work in the last-minute goal scored in the high-school football game, or the weather, than they are to mention anything remotely controversial. The homily is supposed to be an illumination of the Gospel text for the week, and ya know, Jesus just didn't spend much of his ministry telling women not to have abortions.

          So there's a lot of opportunities for your typical Catholic to ignore the "big picture" of Catholic dogma, and what the Pope says about, oh, anything.  Most Catholics go to church every week where they hear about love, and peace, and helping your neighbor, and feeding the hungry. They go to the coffee and donut hour, and help prepare for the kids' Christmas Pageant. They listen to beautiful music, and look at beautiful stained glass. They listen to the readings, and hear about how God's grace helps you get through life.

          I've rarely met a Catholic who wasn't a "cafeteria Catholic", and some of them didn't even know what official Church teaching was, on a vast array of subjects.

          I personally fell afoul of doctrine (the first time), when I just couldn't buy that the Virgin Mary was conceived without sin, since that implies pre-destination, which to me is a Calvinist heresy. What meaning does her acceptance of the Angel's visit have, if she was the one and only "prepared vessel"? What if she'd exercised her free will and told him to go to Hell? Did they have a spare? Did they conceive a whole batch of them without sin, just in case?

          And, if I hadn't been going to a Catholic girls' school in Ireland, I probably wouldn't have ever heard that particular teaching, and certainly I never would have been asked to actually think about it.

          When only the govemment lacks virtue, there remains a resource in the people's virtue; but when the people itself is corrupted, liberty is already lost.

          by Robespierrette on Wed Nov 17, 2004 at 08:40:32 PM PST

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          •  Immaculate conception (none)
            Bravo! Your point is well taken and beautifully expressed! When I first began to read your reply, I was astonished that there WAS a lay Catholic out there who knew enough about Catholic fine print doctrine to dispute it. But of course, you are European! Anyway, I don't doubt that you are exactly right about the weekly sermons (that they tend to be on more neutral and uncontroversial subjects). But the fact that RIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTION the Catholic Church started making a big deal about how good Catholics should prefer the anti-choice candidate made me furious. It was all over the papers, and it probably hurt Kerry somewhat. Well, they're getting to be increasingly irrelevant over there at St. Peter's Square. Church attendance in Europe (including Italy) is down to the twenty-percent range. And the low birth-rate all over Catholic Europe shows just how forceful their pronouncements are. They are ignored. They should be.
            •  For sure, if I were ever to officially bail (none)
              on the RC church, it would be now. All this BS and political meddling from various bishops is beyond the pale. I am truly disgusted.

              he's not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at

              by bopes on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 06:58:23 AM PST

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              •  Bailing (none)
                If you don't think of it as a church, but as a business whose main purpose is to consolidate power and wealth, then you will have no trouble "bailing". Jesus would never have had anything to do with such an institution. The Pope's gold slippers would have outraged him. And as for the pedophilia.......
            •  I don't so much. . . (none)
              . . .blame the Vatican, on a lot of the more idiotic political stuff.

              The big "ooh, should Kerry be excommunicated" garbage was coming out of Americans - I believe the prime mover was one of those Neanderthal Catholics, who thinks Mel Gibson got it right. And out of almost 200 bishops, only a handful thought Catholic politicians should face some sort of punishment for the policies of the parties they belong to. But of course, which position got reported on? Hmmm.

              When Bush visited the Vatican, the Pope came right out and said that the Iraq War was immoral and should not be supported by Catholics, but our lap-dog press sort of ignored it. It pained me to see our "happy frat boy" president smirking away, while JP II denounced his positions. I guess W figured (correctly) that nobody has the patience to listen to an old man who is crippled, and can barely speak, when they can be snapping photos of the "Leader of the Free World". (ack)

              When only the govemment lacks virtue, there remains a resource in the people's virtue; but when the people itself is corrupted, liberty is already lost.

              by Robespierrette on Thu Nov 18, 2004 at 06:41:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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