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جوري
04-11-2010, 03:18 AM
An old friend of mine recently posted the following sentence on his Facebook page: "I know this is totally not a PC thing to say, but can someone please explain to me why anyone is still Catholic?" Get the new
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It's a fair question. And my Politics Daily colleague, Melinda Henneberger, has one answer. In an honest and moving piece she wrote a few days back, Melinda tells us that she's as put off as the next person by the current sex abuse scandal roiling the Catholic Church, as well as by the Vatican's latest attempts to play the victim and point fingers. At the end of the day, though, Melinda is going to hang in there with this church, because being Catholic is integral to who she is. "In the end," she writes,"it is not about them."

Melinda's argument is a variant on one that many of my pro-choice Catholic friends use when defending their choice to remain in a church even when its hierarchy (and -- it must be said -- most of its adherents) condemn a practice that my friends find perfectly legal and justifiable. They are somehow able to separate their personal beliefs on this issue from official church doctrine, and can carry on as practicing Catholics because they buy into other church teachings.

In both versions, these arguments imply that the messenger doesn't matter. If you yourself can find solace and meaning in embracing Catholicism at its "base," it doesn't really matter what the hierarchy says or does.

I respect the views of all concerned and I strongly believe that everyone has to find his or her own way toward religious practice. Lord knows I do. But personally, I'm not convinced by this idea that we're free to ignore the pope. I'm currently contemplating becoming part of a faith -- Judaism -- which has its own issues. (Among others, it's not at all clear that they'd be willing to take me.) But even if I were contemplating re-entering Christianity, I doubt that I could stomach becoming a Catholic right now, despite being raised in an observant Catholic family. And while the sex abuse scandal wouldn't be the only factor, it would certainly weigh heavily in my thinking.

This point was driven home to me this past weekend, when an old friend from the States came to visit us at our home in London. She's a practicing Catholic who would very much like to raise her children in the Catholic Church. But she's increasingly troubled by the sex abuse scandal, and has refused to give the church any money since the scandal first broke in America back in 2002. Her husband, an attorney who was raised as a Baptist but -- other than the scandal -- is reasonably comfortable with Catholicism, wonders whether his wife would be willing to continue to be a member of any other institution where all of this was going on inside it.

He's got a point. You certainly wouldn't keep sending your kids to a school whose management tacitly condoned pedophilia or looked the other way. Nor would you work for a business that did so. I doubt anyone would even join a gym with this track record, no matter how much they liked the equipment and the staff.

Nor is it clear to me that it is just a management problem. As the writer and former Catholic priest James Carroll noted recently, the sex abuse scandal isn't just about the current pope. It's about an institution that systematically undervalues women, champions obedience and authority over self-expression and democracy, and actively suppresses normal (by which I mean any) sexual impulses through its chastity vow.

My friend who just visited me is actively reconsidering whether she wants to remain in the Catholic Church. Apparently, many of her friends back home have been encouraging her for years to join the Episcopal Church, often described as "Catholicism without the pope." While she was here in London, she attended an Easter service at a local Church of England parish and felt quite comfortable there. What's holding her back -- as I suspect holds many Catholics back right now -- is the cultural betrayal she feels for her Catholic grandparents who've passed away but instilled in her the service-oriented aspects of Catholicism that most resonated.

The American Episcopal Church has already fragmented over such issues as homosexuality and the ordination of women, and now seems headed for a definitive schism with the broader Anglican Communion. Maybe the Catholic Church will do the same. Or maybe change will come from within. That's certainly Carroll's view. He thinks that a revolution is already afoot at the base of the Catholic Church and that it's only a matter of time before the church hierarchy is forced to follow suit. Others are less sanguine.

Personally, I think the Catholic Church would have a lot of takers if it undertook true, bottom-up reform or developed a free-standing liberal wing.

And who knows? Even someone as conflicted as I am over religion might decide to show up.

http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/04/08/why-i-could-no-longer-be-a-catholic/?icid=main|htmlws-main-w|dl6|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politicsdaily.com%2F2 010%2F04%2F08%2Fwhy-i-could-no-longer-be-a-catholic%2F
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Amanda
04-11-2010, 05:41 AM
Interesting read... I understand how someone can disagree with the hierarchy or things done in the name of a religion, but still believe the fundamental beliefs. I don't agree with the actions of every single person who calls themselves Muslims, but that doesn't shake my belief in Allah and the truth of Islam. Every religion has people that act in ways that go against the core values of the religion, and we can disagree with that but still have faith in the religion itself.
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Amadeus85
04-11-2010, 12:08 PM
After the Vaticanum Secundo Council there was and still is some mess in Church. The decisions made during this Council were compromise between liberals and conservatives, but they were initiated by liberals and radical liberals. Fortunately liberal theologians like Hans Kung were forced to leave church institutions. Nowadays Benedict XVI sees the mistakes of the "council spirit" and he makes reforms to fight with those mistakes, for example - allowing the so called lefebvrists to come back to Church and allow to perform the trident latin mass.
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Supreme
04-11-2010, 12:17 PM
The Catholic Church is the religious equivalent of a joke right now. It needs to revise its ridiculous policy on making its priests become celibate, as it's no coincidence that some of its priests turn to little children to gratify their sexual needs. I honestly don't know why anyone is still Catholic either. It's the largest organization in the world, with over a billion adherents (1 in every 6 people is Catholic), and yet it's lost any moral high ground. It prefers its own reputation over the wellbeing of children. I just cannot describe how annoyed I am right now at the Catholic Church. I even know many Catholics who have considered converting after these revelations. This post doesn't make a lot of sense, I know, but when the Church is supposed to represent God and everything good about humanity, and most Christians are Catholics, it's hard not to be annoyed.
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freethinking
04-11-2010, 12:48 PM
I agree that enforced celebacy for priests is unscriptural and the catholic Chich is one of the few Christian Churches which practises this.
As imperfect humans it is impravcal as we are not perfect, The surprise is that it is not even more widesread, there are a lot more victims than perpetrators of child abuse and it is a minority of catholics when one puts this in persective however I Do agree that the leaders should hae acted to address this long ago

The only mitigating factor is that Christianity is about Forgivenss and that it is for God to judge us not man.
However those priests should not be put in the way of temptation and need healing or exorcisms to be free from these sins.

I don't agree with liberlism on Gods laws but the first person Jesus appeared to on his ressurection was a woman.
I do not know of scripture which tells that diciples cannot marry nor be female and I therefoe do not regard that as liberal.

The4 Bible4 is clear that homosexual;ity is wrong in both the new and old Testaments but that does not mean we should bar them from Church rather support them to be free of this belief that they have no choice about their"sexuality" Until they are free of this scripture is clear that they cannt be leaders of a church however and thta make sense to me.

If I was a member of an organisation that had issues of which I disagredd or viewed as wrong I would not necessarily leave but try to improve it from within by joining together with like minded people within the church to campaign and pray for change.
However I stopped being a catholic when I was young and felt that it was too ritualisitc and Spiritually poor.
I am much more at home now in real Spiritual Churches which give beutiful worship and powerful seromos as well as being full of Gods Glorious Holy Spirit

God Bless you all
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Amadeus85
04-11-2010, 08:43 PM
Originally Posted by Supreme
The Catholic Church is the religious equivalent of a joke right now. It needs to revise its ridiculous policy on making its priests become celibate, as it's no coincidence that some of its priests turn to little children to gratify their sexual needs. I honestly don't know why anyone is still Catholic either. It's the largest organization in the world, with over a billion adherents (1 in every 6 people is Catholic), and yet it's lost any moral high ground. It prefers its own reputation over the wellbeing of children. I just cannot describe how annoyed I am right now at the Catholic Church. I even know many Catholics who have considered converting after these revelations. This post doesn't make a lot of sense, I know, but when the Church is supposed to represent God and everything good about humanity, and most Christians are Catholics, it's hard not to be annoyed.

According to Charol Shakeshaft and her raport for american departament of education teachers commit sexual crimes on children 100 times more often than catholic priests. Shakeshaft's raport was complretely ignored by mainstream media.
Nowadays media come out with sexual abuse cases in 60's and 80's not only because they want to protect children but also because they hate Church, the only Church which doesnt allow people to be changed, but want to change the people.
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