The People Speak Out

Local voices connecting globally

This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.  (Pope Francis)

Canon Law 212 calls upon the laity to speak up:

2 - The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. - According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

I was baptized at two weeks old, had very devout relatives ( a sister among them), and attended Catholic school up until college. Stayed a loyal Catholic through college and beyond, finally finding a wonderful church family at 40. It was a place that had been resurrected from years of neglect through the vision of a holy archbishop and a ” get it done” pastor who was a humble leader. This pastor was followed by an even humbler, holy shepherd and the parish grew and became a place of wonderful worship. I participated in many ministries and knew the entire staff. Attended years of classes that were offered to us, and learned many more insights into the person of Jesus. All of this was extraordinary

because this place was founded on the basis of ministry to the broken and marginalized. Lots of gays, lots of divorced, and, like me, lots of singles. There were homeless and very rich people there. I felt like it was truly the Body of Christ.

When the archbishop retired he was replaced with a militant by the rules anti gay guy who liked to be among the movers and the shakers. He replaced the pastor with a person of the same ilk. They got into public shaming of women at abortion clinics, total abandonment of all the great ecumenical work that had been done, championing Leave it to Beaver family life, trying to have more pre Vatican II type liturgies; in other words, the broken and the ones who did not fit the perfect pattern just were no longer welcome. There was no discussing anything. I wrote a letter to the archbishop once and pretty much got a condescending letter reminding me that he was the boss. This once vibrant parish is in total disarray and in a terrible financial hole. I lasted as long as I could, but I just could not take the patriarchal know it all attitude any longer. Everything was about them. The final straw was when the pastor lied about an important staff member whom I cared about deeply. I went to Mass one more time and just never went back. At that point the pews were mostly empty, anyway.

I really have no idea where another loving place is. I have no family, and I fit no mold. I had long been disenchanted with the Church, especially its preoccupation with sex. The oxymoronic stance of anti abortion anti birth control never made sense. Women are less than second class. Gold chalices are more important than homelessness. Despite tax exempt status the hierarchy promotes Republican candidates. One person in my acquaintance was told she committed a grave sin by voting for President Obama! The new language being used is abysmal. My gay friends have been called intrinsically disordered.

I stayed while I had a home. It is no more, and the warts I see in the Church are coming to the forefront. At 60 years old I am weary and can no longer defend the misogyny, homophobia, sex obsessed church. I want to be Jesus centered. I want compassion. I want to be accepted. I want a home, and the legalistic men in charge want power. I do not see this changing in my lifetime.

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