Actually, let me clarify my title. It should really be, “THIS is One of the Reasons Why I Left” but that’s a bit long and cumbersome. So I took some liberties with my own title. I can do that.
Why I left where? The Catholic church. I have long been disillusioned by the Catholic church and its stance on many social issues. About a year ago, I decided to make my break from the church official.
What is “THIS” in reference to? Gay marriage/civil unions. Let me start by saying I have no issues whatsoever with the Catholic church not performing gay marriages. I don’t even have an issue with the Catholic church taking the stance that it officially disapproves of gay marriage. It is clearly a religious organization, so the Church can makes its stance and the members of the Church can decide for themselves how they feel and act accordingly. So I did not ever leave the Church because it is against gay marriage.
People talk about what a progressive thinker Pope Francis is, and I won’t deny that he certainly has a very different and often refreshing view. That seemed apparent when I first saw the headline for this article: “Pope Francis wants church to study civil unions, Cardinal Dolan says.” How open-minded of him! I appreciate that he even has a desire to learn and understand, because it is learning and understanding that lead to acceptance. This is a positive step.
Then I read this:
“When asked for his own views on same-sex marriage, Dolan said he is concerned it could ‘water down’ the sanctity of traditional marriage.
‘It’s not something that’s just a religious, sacramental concern,’ Dolan said. ‘It’s also the building block of society and culture. So it belongs to culture. And if we water down that sacred meaning of marriage in any way, I worry that not only the church would suffer, I worry that culture and society would.’ “
THIS is where I lose it. I can’t abide that it’s just not enough to take a stand against it. It also has to be the absolute breakdown of culture and society as well. Why can’t the Church just stay out of our bedrooms? Does the Catholic church have any idea what goes on in the beds of married people? I doubt it because I’m betting the Church would predict the downfall of civilization based on common sex acts that occur. Guess what, Church, some people have sex for reasons other than procreation (like PLEASURE), and there are LOTS of other ways to make sex feel good other than the missionary position. Look out! The world is spinning off its axis!!!!!!!!!
Now, I am fully aware that Pope Francis did NOT say these words, BUT someone who is speaking on behalf of the Catholic church DID say these words. If his attitude is not the prevailing attitude of the Catholic church, then maybe the Pope needs to correct the Cardinal and set the world straight publicly.
Until then, I’m going to assume that the Catholic church has broadly adopted this unnecessarily calamitous view of homosexuality and gay marriage, and that is something I simply cannot tolerate. It is narrow and hateful and prejudicial and uninformed and callous.
The Church – and religions in general really – are VERY slow moving organizations who are, some would say, ‘intolerantly’ resistant to change. I’m trying to think of previous issues in which the Church remained steadfastly as stubborn on in which they eventually changed their minds. The idea of “limbo” comes to mind but that pales in comparison to homosexuality.
I can honestly see this being a topic that has potential to bring down the Catholic church as we know it. As time goes on and homosexuality becomes more and more accepted in society – not just in state-wide referendums in the US but worldwide – millions and millions of followers will do exactly what you’re doing.
Perhaps this Pope is laying the groundwork for eventual acceptance (or at the very least, sanctioned tolerance) in the eyes of the Church.
(And funny you should post this – I was just starting to put something together on a book I’m reading about the lost Gospel of Mary)
I certainly hope this Pope is laying some groundwork. Everyone has such high hopes for his progressive thinking, but I’m still not impressed. The Catholic church is so large that it must often feel like herding cats to get all the leaders on the same chapter because I can’t see how they can all be on the same page. I know that there are outliers in everything, the Catholic church included, but there are too many people speaking on behalf of the Church is such intolerant and — in my opinion — un-Christian ways about homosexuality that I can’t see Pope Francis’s progressivism among all the clutter.
Baby steps. It’s all we can expect at this point. Yet when the day is done, the flock will follow the proverbial sheppard. Besides, when the money spigot begins to slow or, more importantly, their power begins to fade – the backpedaling will commence. (Then again, my opinions are from an American point of view. Maybe the rest of the world remains truly devout.)
It may not be in our lifetimes, but I think eventually the Church will have little choice but to reverse course on this issue… Exactly how they’ll do it remains to be seen. The whole “man shall not lay with another man” Bible verse will have to be re-interpreted, that’s for sure.