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Papist thoughts

I was raised Catholic. It was a reasonably lackadasical raising; my mom didn't insist us kids go to church unless Grandma was in town, which was over the summers, and if I remember correctly, Grandpa would go with us sometimes, but not often. My dad didn't attend church of any kind, and to this day I'm not sure what he was, although considering his German-Irish background, it was probably Catholic, but not a single member of his family that I ever met appeared to be at all religious, and North Platte, Nebraska, seems a very Midwestern Protestant place. Times we spent Christmas in Nebraska have in them no memory of any church-going at all.

In my teens I wandered a great deal. I dabbled in Buddism. I studied Judiasm. I briefly chucked it all and pretended for a while I was an atheist, but that didn't last. I do believe in a Greater Being. Can't help it. I read a lot on Christian Science. I started going to a Congregationalist Church because that's the church rahirah's mom goes to, and we often take her to church and stay for holiday services. I drifted back into Catholicism more from comforting familiarity than any great fondness for the dogma. I question too many things, and know too much history, to really get behind today's extremely rigid Church teachings. I know that both birth control and abortion are relatively new to the teachings; I know that at least one pope said any sex at all, unless specifically intended to procreate, was a sin, and even with the idea of procreation in mind, it was still at best a venal sin. That, of course, was changed. Goodness knows I hear the question all the time -- how can you be a Catholic and be gay? Well, I wouldn't be sinning if they'd let me get married, since it's the sex without marriage that's considered the "sin." And of course, I even question that.

Point of fact, there have been a whole lot of changes in the Church teachings over the years, which indicate that it can, indeed, change and be changed. I don't care what current bishops, cardinals, and the new pope think. It can be changed, and more to the point, it should change in many ways. That which will not bend is going to break, and the cracks have been showing in the Church for years now. In parts of Africa there ARE already married priests, because the culture in those places couldn't handle an unmarried man in such a position of authority. In places in Latin America, Evangelical churches are taking away many Catholics, and while Evangelical churches can be even more conservative on some issues, they do have married and female clergy members.

I'm somewhat muddled about Pope Benedict XVI. The election of Cardinal Ratzinger was not unexpected; there was really little hope that a progressive, forward-thinking pope would replace the fairly conservative JPII. I just find it hard to be very happy about a Pope who called homosexuals "intrinsically evil."

I don't expect the Catholic Church to march into the 21st Century any time soon. But I would like to think it could.

On the home front, I have a few reviews due on Friday, but I took Thursday and Friday off, so many I can actually get them done sometime. I was going to listen to the discs today, but somehow the whole day passed and I didn't stick a CD into the machine at all, even after I turned off the news (how much "there's a new pope!" can one radio station play?).


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 20th, 2005 05:49 am (UTC)
Marching Bravely into the 18th Century
As I say, Catholics are generally far in advance of their clerical heirarchy in social and cultural terms. Unfortunately, one thing you have to accept with Roman Catholicism is that the Holy See will be tremendously conservative. One of my beefs with the Pope & Co. is the directive against birth control which causes so much trouble through the spread of disease and overpopulation. Too bad disaffected RCs can't join together to create the Unorthodox Catholic church.

Apr. 20th, 2005 12:48 pm (UTC)
Re: Marching Bravely into the 18th Century
Well, they did. They're called Protestants. Or Lutherans, depending on which century. :)

I guess that's why the Apostle's Creed doesn't say "one Holy and Apostolic Church" anymore, just small-c catholic church.
Apr. 20th, 2005 11:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Marching Bravely into the 18th Century
I was thinking more of the Orthodox Catholics and Roman Catholics. Start the Unorthodox Catholic church, and you can elect your own pope and all that. ;-)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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