10 May 2007

Cringing about Catholicism, AGAIN

Hi, my name is Lucy and I'm a recovering Catholic. For those who are unaware, I was raised Catholic but am currently agnostic, leaning towards atheism.

I'm supremely embarrassed by the fact that I identify as a former Catholic today, as I heard on the Beeb yesterday that the current Pope (someone I dislike, but more on that later) has made the first step in canonizing the guy who was Pope during WWII, Pious the Twelfth. Pious turned a supreme blind eye to the Nazi goings-on in Europe, and history has yet to completely judge whether he collaborated or not, but the fact that he ignored the deportation and murder of Jews during the time when he was, oh, I don't know, THE LEADER OF THE ENTIRE CHRISTIAN WORLD, is enough for me to wash my hands of him completely. Seems to me that Pious forgot the cardinal rule of Christianity, where the bible says, "The least that you do unto my people, you do unto me." (Paraphrased from Matthew 25:40) Or perhaps you haven't heard of the Golden Rule?

I was astonished to hear that the former pope, Pope John Paul II, had kind of advocated canonizing all recent popes, creating more than 1200 new blesseds and saints during his tenure as Pope. That seems a trivialization of canonization to me. Which I guess begs the question, if I'm an agnostic, why the hell do I care? Habit, I suppose. You don't toss almost 30 years of indoctrination and conditioning aside so easily.

I can't even explain to a non-Catholic what sainthood is all about. My in-laws, bless them, told me when I was still a practicing Catholic and getting ready to marry their son, that Catholics are idol-worshipers. I laughed outright, telling them that "We don't worship the saints!" But if you asked me to explain the function of the saints, I'd be searching for the right words. For pretty long time. Hey, I never said I was good at being Catholic. I'm just a recovering one.

The former Cardinal Ratzinger is in Brazil for his first visit as Pope, which is why this is even newsworthy, I doubt it would be getting as much attention if the pontiff was in the Vatican. As part of the same report which talked about the beatification of Pious XII, the Beeb reported about a bit of Benedict's history that I somehow missed when he was elected Pope; he was a member of a Nazi youth group. Ugh. Gross, disgusting, and WTF? How did he get elected Pope with that little detail on his "permanent record"?

I wasn't impressed when he was elected Pope entirely due to his views on birth control and his ultra-conservative brand of Catholicism, which ensures that women will continue to not have a say in how the Church is governed for the length of his life, at the very least. (Popes, you see, must die to be replaced. Stepping down is rare.) I would love to see changes made during my lifetime that make the Church a better place for women, but I ain't holding my breath.

The Church is so out of step with the times. Is it any wonder that the number of people taking holy orders is down over 60% since the1960s? Or that the Church is losing believers to other branches of Christianity? Not to me it isn't.

I know I said I'd be offline the rest of this week, but it is 4:30 in the morning and I'm waiting for my ride to the airport. I should be back Tuesday. Cheers until then.


Anonymous said...

awww, Lucy... I hope that you find the spark again that refreshes your faith! when the higher ups here on earth fall away, that may be cause for concern, but don't follow in their footsteps! about the catholic church, it's strange... the signs echo what I remember in revelation about the great whore sitting on the many waters: decked with gold and jewels, and wearing purple and scarlet garments.
in any case, it's Christ that matters and doing what God asks. the only custom they had back in the old days was the breaking of bread in the Way in remembrance of Jesus... again, try not to be discouraged about all of it! but keep the faith! there are reasons we believe!

miladydewinter said...

Oh you linked me I only just noticed.

I like your Blog. I used to be a Catholic once. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! I wasn't just a Catholic either - I was very nearly a nun!

Lucy Arin said...

Hi Anon-

yep, the Church is man's creation, and that's my #1 problem with it. But as I've told a friend/correspondent who is an evangelical, seems to me that no Christian faith is without its own hotbed of patricarchial crap.

But my lack of faith stems from many other things that have happened in my life and honestly? I don't miss it.


Welcome! I love your blog, thanks so much for visiting mine. I didn't know you were 'recovering' too. Ahh, the follies of youth, eh?

All the best,