i'm not really here

Epictetus was right.
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MARCH 29, 2010 6:32AM

Open Letter To The Church

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(I was taught to call you Mother.)

Mother, listen:

In my country there is a saying, no hay peor cuña que la del mismo palo, almost literally it means there is no better way to cut down a tree than using the same wood as leverage.  What it really means is that there is no worse criticism than one’s own.

I went to Mass this morning.  It is after all Palm Sunday.  The church is full to capacity.

It makes me wonder why are we all here.  Is it love that moves us? Faith?  Or is it fear?  Perhaps all? For there is always the fear that one must go to Mass for to not do so is a mortal sin.

In my case those Sundays have added up.

 I do not remember when was the last time I confessed.  If I ever do again, I kid with myself that I might just tell the priest, let’s settle for I have failed on the Ten Commandments and leave it at that?  Not that I have murdered, but Jesus said if you slander against someone it is just as if you’ve taken a knife at them.  I am pretty sure I must have gladly gossiped about someone one or two dozen times.  And no, come to think about it, I haven’t taken part of the Eucharist in a long time.  I feel I do not deserve to do so.

It sounds as if I have excommunicated myself.

But I went today for the sake of my children. My daughters have asked me to bring them to Mass.  My son had to tag along, though I know he’d rather stay home and play video games. They need something to believe in.  It is my duty to provide them with spiritual nourishment.  After all, I am a mother, too.

It is terrible to confess that it seems like too much work to go to church.  Slothfulness.  Another mortal sin.

Yet, I am a prodigal daughter.  I love you from afar.  I miss the feeling of the sacred.  The smell of lit candles, the offerings of the righteous.  The carved statues that adorn the walls.  The beauty of the ritual.  The bowing of the heads.

I have been plagued forever by my critical mind.  My mother, as my grandparents before her, believes without questioning.  A faith that has not turned brittle and damaged in the crucible of life.

My mother perhaps thinks that I do not believe.  She fears for my soul.  Fears that my education has made me wary of faith.  I do not answer the silent charges.  If I did, she would know that I believe even in spite of my deeply ingrained questionings.  A philosophy professor once said to me one cannot explain faith.  It cannot be substantiated, for faith and science are not synonyms.  One chooses to believe whether or not there is proof.

I have chosen to believe, Mother.  I will always return and hope my children are better believers than me, for believing in a critical manner is living with an open knife wound through one’s chest.  I cannot breathe without remembering the pain.  Yet, I must breathe.

But today my heart is full, and I cannot ignore the anguished whispers and cries.  The righteous anger that hits from all sides.

I have explained this away, telling myself and others that evil lurks everywhere, not just within my doorstep. 

I will not justify this anymore.  Because if I keep silent I am also guilty.

How can one pretend nothing is happening?

How can one ask for forgiveness but seek not to make amends, to redress, to make right?

Confession requires penance and the purpose to not stray from the path.

But the way I see it, our path is taking us straight to hell.

For you see, misguided Catholic that I am, perhaps a heretic for I do not believe half the dogma that I was spoon-fed while young, I am part of the Church.  Being Catholic, like I have agreed when an OS friend and I talk about this, is as much a part of me as the color of my skin, the shape of my eyes, the blood that flows through my veins.  I cannot stop being Catholic.  I will not.

And you, Mother, have no right to make me feel ashamed.

There is no right to ignore the evidence that points from all sides.  The thousands of children abused by criminals hiding in the folds of a Mother’s dress.

There is no right in protecting the Church from scandal by swallowing this rotten, putrid meal whole, pretending it has never happened. This is not nourishment, but the eating of poison. 

For the victims are part of the Church.  And Jesus said the stray sheep is as important as the rest of the herd.

And you’ve brutalized these children into strays.  For how will they believe in a God that allows this to happen?

There is no right in taking away the pure joy of those who believe as children believe.  For they are the true followers, the true disciples.  They teach by example.  These are the salt of the earth.  These are your mustard seeds, Mother.  I might be polluted by my questioning, I will not bear but bitter fruit.  Yet, the others deserve the fertile, fallow ground.  Plow the Church, Mother.  Weed it of evil.  Make it give three-hundred fold.

There is no right in sullying the cloth by allowing those who do not deserve it to wear it.  It is disrespectful, it is soul murder, to the thousands of priests and nuns who choose to lead an exemplary life.  Why should they feel that they have to apologize when they don on those clothes meant to herald light and faith?

Do you know the shame I feel when people think the cloth the uniform of pedophilia?

There is a place and a time for righteous anger.  This is not the moment to be meek.  For this meekness is cowardice, Mother. 

Jesus entered the Temple and upturned the tables.  He said money had no business in the House of the Father.

I beg you, Mother, show your righteous anger.  Take those that do not deserve your protection and cast them away from you.  Loving the sinner, abhorring the sin makes for no accountability.  These things they have done are not only sins, they are crimes that have to be punished by law.

Render unto Caesar, Mother. 

Do not show more misguided mercy on the victimizer and leave none for the victims.  If you do not do so, we all burn in the flames.

Let them not call us legion.

Awaiting,

Your daughter.

  

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beautiful letter. i am sorry that the church's refusal to deal with this horror hangs over it.
Dear Vanessa,
Your words give me chills. This is such a moving, powerful piece.
"I cannot stop being Catholic. I will not." You are an incredible woman._r
Courageously written and extremely well said.

I hope you will share this further.

Take good care.
If this doesn't make it to the cover, I will consider excommunicating myself. (From what, I don't know; I don't belong to anything). God I love you, woman. You are the Mother of wisdom with this post. You speak for the silenced. Brava.
This was excellent. How can the Pope not be guilty if he knew about it, and did nothing. I was not raised religiously, so I cannot know the feeling of being in this particular situation. I do know that I would be mad and sad at the same time.
Good.for.you.,Vanessa!!!

You're.always.welcome.here....;)

www.americanhumanistassociation.org
You're a gentle soul, far more so than I.
Yes. The Church is not those men in charge. The Church is us.
Vanessa, what a thought provoking and gut punch post you have written. Your intelligence and faith are displayed throughout. I, too, am a Catholic, only I attend Mass because I want to. (Is there a little fear "not to attend?" Of course, but I truly love going to Mass.) It also bothers me that there are sins within in the church...trust me. But for some reason, those sins do not alter or shake my Catholic Faith....the Faith that Jesus, Himself, started. I am also intelligent and educated (undergraduate and graduate degrees), but my studies in Theology, Philosophy and my won personal readings have reinforced the truth, love and beauty of the Catholic Church. No one ever said the Church was perfect or without sin. Remember, the Church was started by Jesus, who is perfect, but given to us, who are not perfect. Remember your studies? Jesus handed the "keys" to St. Peter (who also wasn't perfect....for one thing, he denied Jesus three times) to become our first Pope. Jesus, being God, had to have known that St.Peter and the later Popes, Bishops and Priests were going to mess up and sin. But He passed the keys on anyway. I believe there is a reason for everything, but because of my imperfections and finite intelligence I can not possibly understand most things here on earth. Some day, if I make it to heaven, it will all make sense. Good can sprout for evil. The Cross is a reminder of that. I will NOT ignore the evil and wrong doings in the Church, but I will NOT ignore the truth, good and beauty that lives in the Church either. Unfortunately, in this world, we cannot have one without the other. Evil and Good live side by side. I am doing my best to choose the Good.
It's Holy week, I'm going to be leaving for Mass in less than an hour, and will be attending Church more this week than normal. It brings me peace.
Please don't leave the Church because of the minority of those who are sick. You wouldn't leave any of your family members if they were sick. You would pray and take care of them.
I'm speechless before the power and poignancy of your words, Vanessa. I'd rather be an orphan. You write extremely well.
Rated.
Being a Catholic does not mean following blindly a path strewn with lies and heinous acts against children and women. I was born and raised a Catholic, but it's been years since I've referred to myself as such. Faith is more important than religion. Believing in something - anything - even if just in yourself, is what's important. Neither the pope or his henchmen will decide your fate when you die. If there is a God, that will be the ultimate one on one. I've often questioned how a supposed loving God could be so vengeful, but when the boys' club from the Vatican get to the pearly gates, I hope God is really pissed off.
R
Your piece moves me to the roots of my soul. "There is no right in taking away the pure joy of those who believe as children believe." Would that Benedict would read your piece and heed your call. What spiritual nourishment he might find in your words.
This is beautiful, even with the pain you express. I also miss the beauty of the rituals with which I grew up. I used to love this week, going to Mass each morning, and Good Friday in particular.
Profoundly eloquent, vanessa, especially as you use the words and stories that the Church professes to cherish to make your case. A great piece of persuasive writing, with a powerful appeal.
The most powerful appeal to an authority I can remember ever reading. Were I Catholic and of sane mind and sound body, I'd be strapping on the chainmail and sword and kneeling in supplication to join your legion. Yours is a voice so clear, yet so exquisitely cunning in its subtle power that were I a Vatican inquisitor you'd make my short list of candidates for "holy" immolation or at the least a significant round or two or three with the "blessed" potro. Were I Catholic - even a fallen one - I would share your sadness over what was promised and what has come to be.
As a man on a solitary quest for spiritual light, I grieve for those who trust and are betrayed. (r)
Hear, hear! Vatican, are you listening??
I mean this in the most sensitive way possible: you need to consider the possibility that the church is a racket, and you are a sucker for pretending otherwise. The reasons for your stubbornness on this point are design features of the institution itself, intended to keep you in the fold. Don't be a sheep. If you thirst for a connection with the sublime or ineffable or whatever---as most people do---perhaps you should look elsewhere.

The cognitive dissonance will not stop until you dispense with the notion that such a morally bankrupt body as the Catholic Church could be the only way to God.

Just because it's been around a long time doesn't mean it's worth a shit.
Vanessa, like others here, I am awe struck. This letter moved me to tears. Your faith, your humanity, your willingness to question and hold accountable the culture of your church is profound. How painful when we must do that. The very thing that has given us hope and joy now hurts us. As a Jew, I find your letter Talmudic. As Christ did, you are turning the tables in the temple. Bless you. xox
Simple words have so much weight. You did an excellent job with this expression of your faith.
Now can someone explain to me why this is not an EP, and some drivel about college basketball is?
This letter is powerful and beautiful. Besos.
i left organized religion decades ago and no longer believe. but if i did, i would pray that they hear you. one of the pieces of writing this site has ever seen, vanessa.
You move me to tears with this. So beautiful in its stark, honest, plea.
I was raised Christian, flirted with Catholicism, converted to Judaism 16 years ago. I am now a nonbeliever. So in spite of no faith now, I get this, every word of it.

Yours is an original, personal, haunting expression. The use of Mother is pitch perfect, as writing.

The betrayals, among which those decades of abuse deaf boys are the low and terrible exemplar, can and should transform the church and all of us of every faith/no faith.

It is time for nonbelievers to embrace the small community of support and valuable human rites that are the congregation experience, and for believers to set aside the superstitious idea that any human being is "sanctified" -- and thus above justice.

I loved this, Vanessa. Thank you.
so wonderfully written... so close to home.

and please add my voice to the others sighing at the fact that this isnt on the cover.... sheesh.
I listen to all of you. All of you. Thank you.
Sex, Lies, and Cover-UP, new movie based on the Catholic religion. Most organized religions practice abuse and go to great lengths to hide it. Shameful and disgusting. Your story here should be read by many. As you know I do not like any organized religion. You questioning your beliefs is unfounded, questioning their portrayal as the the church set them forth you are correct. Be well my friend.....o/e *****R*
should have been: "one of the finest pieces of writing ..."
Excellent...wonderful! There must be a full accounting here. Much love to you.
Having been raised Catholic, I tend to believe that some kind of religious schooling is good for the psychological development of First World children, but having no children, I cannot say for sure. After spending months in Italy in 2000, I continue to love the Church as the repository for the greatest collection of art the world has ever seen; paintings, sculpture and architecture that continues to inspire and which I hope will never be dismantled. But when it comes to dogma and her current scandals, the Church is in a crisis that will not be easily resolved.
I once loved the church. I converted, not for christ because I did not know if I believed in him, but the church, the safe haven, my mother's home of god. it was a lie. there is no church. there are only familiar and comfortable trappings.

while there are good men and women, the rot will kill it. it's dying now. it started dying with the denial of women, denial of what is right. and now we know it goes even deeper than that.
A letter of heartfelt conviction, respectfully expressed outrage and more truth than anyone should have to hear.
congratulations on a well deserved EP
I really like how you criticize the church from within, and call for it to stop being hypocritical and act according to its own principles.

The fact that there have been so many pedophilia scandals in the Catholic Church that it has become a cliche is absolutely shameful. The church has to stop protecting these vampires (as I metaphorically describe them to my children). They have to realize that besides it being the right thing to do, they look worse 40 years down the line for protecting them than they do for prosecuting them in the first place. The church has to get it through its head that sick people are using the institution to commit these atrocious acts, and not let itself be taken advantage of. A pedophiliac priest deserves no protection and should not be considered a priest; someone who repeatedly abuses children thinks only about his fetish and is a priest only secondarily, if he even gives a flying fig about God and religion. For more on that, check out this book: http://www.amazon.com/Conversations-Pedophile-Interest-our-Children/product-reviews/1569802475/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#R2LSE9JMPZ1Z12

Women especially must come out against these terrible acts. The church must act like a Mother who finds out about abuse in her house and chooses to protect her child, no matter what uncomfortable confrontations that might entail. I wish more people in the church would say the things you say, and hold these sickos accountable.

-Al Carbon
Dear Vanessa, your powerful, eloquent post has inspired me to write my own, and I am finding it extraordinarily painful to find my words and feelings. Congratulations on your EP.
I believe I understand the feelings that you have. As a former Catholic it is difficult for me on some levels to leave the church behind. I find too many things that cloud the message of Christ in this faith. It is too human, less spiritual, less G-d like. I am ashamed of the church, the pope and all of those who find it necessary to hurt children, they defile all those who have believed and have sacrified for the Mother Church.

I am seeing the church as I grow ever older as a rich group of men who demand their way and exist on the backs of real believers. Anger does not make tham change. If you pray, then perhaps. In the material world, it is money that makes change. Withholding your financial support from a morally collapsing institution, will force the church as we know it back to its beginnings and it is there that it might be reborn.

Do not keep your children from a spiritual home, but expose them to prayer and belief of many sincere religions, show them humanity, in my opinion, it does no good for them to be brought up to believe the prejudices and hatred of women and others in the church, the exploitation of children. Always some might argue with the truth of that last statement, but there are many indications on many levels that at best the church is male orientated and focused. They might ask you someday why you took them there, indulged them in the rituals of this strangely unChristlike place, especially if they are one day harmed in some way by someone who represents the church. Check out the website of SNAP http://www.snapnetwork.org/

I have personally met the leader of this group and other survivors. I have learned their stories and it is with great concern for all children that I realize this is an ongoing, never ending kind of story within the church.

Rated.
An open letter, but I hope that you sent it to the Vatican, and Benedict reads it.
R! Emphatically.
already commented,but came back to say YAYY! on the much deserved cover.
Just want to say that at 7:00 Central time yours is the top piece on the cover. So well deserved. This is such an important piece and truly wish it would reach Benedict himself.
I have reread all your comments, and I thank you for all of them.

I do hope those intended get to read them. The letter will be sent, though if I'm honest with you I find it hard to believe it will reach the Pope himself.

I know the fate of those who question. But I guess there is no other way.

If these words open hearts and minds then they have been blessed.

Thank you, all of you, for taking the time to read.
I came back to say congratulations on a most well deserved EP and cover. (Now I don't have to scream.)
What an exceptional post!
I too have catholicism running through my veins. You have put my feelings into such strong & beautiful words.
I especially love "For the victims are part of the Church. And Jesus said the stray sheep is as important as the rest of the herd. And you’ve brutalized these children into strays. For how will they believe in a God that allows this to happen?"
And "I beg you, Mother, show your righteous anger. "
Yes, yes, yes!
I'm glad you are going to send it. Thanks for writing it.
Why don't more people just face the reality of religion???
Given that the latest abuse victims were 200 deaf children, it is appropriate and compelling that your powerful words are attached to the silence of the printed page.

Congratulations on your cover position.
a strong, powerful letter, vanessa. you have put into words what many all over the world are feeling.

my heart keeps hearing: 'suffer the little children'. the way that has been corrupted is beyond cruel and arrogant. (r)
I left this mother long ago, even before these scandals became well-known, and I too sometimes love it from afar and long to return. I too am angry, and I weep, for what has happened to something that should be a source of love and joy. I hope you can make peace with your faith someday.
The most beautiful post I have ever read.

The Church's ledgermain can not hide my shame.

"And Jesus wept"
Vanessa your writing expresses such pain,wisdom and faith. I've never understood the Catholic faith. I believe in God and angels, but I was the kid who found inconsistency in the scriptures and the horrorific acts the church committed in God's name through the centuries in the history books and got kicked out of my mother's Catholic church at a young age for debating with the priests. The scandals have been going on for hundreds of years, in the old days, those who would speak out were murdered, even in the Vatican. Maybe now, with victims going to the police, the secrecy will end and the church will reform into the Mother you once knew. I doubt God will forgive them. I have a feeling when those creeps get to the Pearly Gates, St Peter is going to look at them and say "Sorry, you're not welcome here" and a trap door will open and they will fall into hell. I hope you find some peace through all the turmoil.
A beautiful prayer. So glad you mentioned the disgrace to those who have chosen a life of service. So many betrayals. So much cruel disregard for the victims. A shame and a horror.

This is a remarkable post. Bravo!
The Episcopalian Church might be a warm place to land right now.
congratulations on the cover this writing and subject deserve, vanessa.
Re: Comment by Vasu Murti

A very clever argument for the Jewish religion, however her argument is deeply flawed.

Here is an example: Her story about the Cananite woman whom she referred to as a dog, and that Jesus was not to give the children's bread to dogs.. but, she left out the following verses:
He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."

27"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."

28Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Clearly, Faith trumps the letter of the law - and shows that God's love is for all people, not matter their place in this world.
I am sorry for your struggle. I left faith behind at age 15 because of my own personal issues. I wish you the best, whatever that means for you.
The Church doesn't get the message. When a kid says he's been molested you call the police, not the Bishop. It's as simple as that.
I will post my full text of the letter I sent to the priests in my immediate vicinity, to Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, and to the Vatican in Rome. I have demanded written documents of excommunication.
For now, I have planned to go to Confession in as many churches as possible in the coming months and tell the man behind the screen to go screw. These bastards have to be told in no uncertain terms that they have no place to hide anymore.
Crucifixion was the single, unique punishment under codified Roman law for only one, single, crime: the second conviction for sedition.

Under Roman law it was sedition to deny that caesar, Pontifex Maximus, was G0d Almighty. The first conviction was punished by a specific number of lashes with a whip-of-cords.

Tens of thousands were crucified. Present day "Palastinians," (The "palastine"/ palatine was the "palace district," an admin unit under the Roman Empire, ruled by a "palast," or "baron") led by Maronite Roman Catholics, are, by DNA, simply Jews who, confronted by the threat of whipping and crucifixion, "changed their letters" to RC.

At Notre Dame University, more than a century ago, my grandfather, during his senior year, offended at the sight of the priest/professor's beating a student on the front row of the lecture hall for failure to perform properly in class, ran down the stairs, shouting "I'm not going to take this any more," and broke the priest's jaw to arrest his assault on his classmate.

That is the day he became fully American, born of a foreign culture recognized by the United States' Founder as "the real Anti-Christ,""an engine for enslaving mankind." While P.R. may be a twilight zone on things American, in your fervent pursuit of truth, consider reading Jefferson, Adams and Paine.

There is only one Creator of the universe...G-d.

May I commend to you America's Creed, the three mottoes on the Great Seal, as a truer lens through which to "see" G-d from the corner of your mind's eye?

Whigs founded America. "Whig" means "anti-Roman Catholic." Caesaropapism was the "default" social order before American Exceptionalism's Individual Sovereignty, by "Annuit Coeptis," alone.

Rome is "morally, ethically, and legally culpable of the Holocaust" (Viz. "A Moral Reckoning," Goldhagen).

Can any reasonable person not realize that "Gentleman of the Pope" Balducci was likely procuring male, homosexual prostitutes for any other than the transparently gay, Hitler Youth-alum Benedict?

Learn something new every day. The same families have lived on the same hills, in the same castles of Europe, for two and three thousand years. Descended of caesars and popes they are known as "The Black Aristocracy." Hitler worked for them. Rockefeller/Bush work for them. They control the largest cash-flow in history, and openly promote illegal immigration to America to "construct the Kingdom of G0d," and to restock their coffers depleted by "white" departure amidst the pedophile priest-induced bankruptcies.

Your "Mother" is Caesar. Hobbes' "Leviathan" expands on this truth.

There is but one G-d. Consider coming out of "Babylon," for the Beast's "Fifth Column" - having run the global slave trade for 2,000 years, financed Hitler and the Holocaust from its collection plates in the U.S., killed John and Martin to send 58,000 to die for the pope in Vietnam, and cheated Hitler's banker's draft-dodging, closet-queen grandson into the White House to commit 9/11 - is soon to be cast into the Pit by the American People. When that happens, Rome, and its pedophile, Babylonian priesthood, is "over."

Yet there is but one G-d, Creator of the universe. Find It within...your right, guaranteed by the Constitution...until the Roman Catholic bloc of the SCOTUS tries to repeal that, too.
Beautiful post - one of the best things I have ever read on OS. You should send this to the Pope.
Vanessa, you should be a priest, or better yet, pope.
I am not Catholic but I ask this Pope, "what did you know and when did you know it" because I believe he should not be above the law and probably should resign. This is true for every single person in the chain of knowledge.

The Church should modernize because even if they attack the symptoms instead of covering-up, the causes still remain and will happen time and time again.

However, there is more than just punishing the sex offenders. All religions should stay the hell out of secular matters and those who get involved should lose their tax free status. In this, I will happily cast the first stone. Here is a hint for the Catholic Church: Crime, Marriage, Public School, Government are all state controlled matters and the Church must remain silent else pay taxes.

Read Harv: http://TheHarvView.blogspot.com
As a traditionalist, I can say quite frankly that I never left the Church, it left me. The fruits of Vatican2 --- no pun intended --- are quite predictable: dogma has been replaced by protestantized personal judgment and the Mass by rubrics that try to appeal to every local fashion. When you have a Vatican hierarchy infested with Masons, one can expect nothing but more debasements. I suggest you explore the true faith: pre-Vatican2. If it was true for nearly two thousand years, the progressives or Modernists of Vatican2 cannot change it. Try reading some orthodox Catholicism that is untainted with Modernism like Garrigou-Lagrange. And, keep the faith.
Vanessa - Your letter illuminates your wisdom and your strength, and your enormous writing skill. I am deeply touched. Thank you!!! ~r!
Vanessa and my Catholic friends;
There are two simple issues here. Very simple.

1. Messiah died to bring us all into "RELATIONSHIP" with The Father (YHWH). He did not die to bring us into a church or organization.
You can not have a relationship with a Catholic or Protestant or Hebrew Church or Synagogue. Any questions?
God sent His Son to restore us all to Him.

2. Messiah already gave an answer for this huge problem, it is found in Matthew 18:15-18.
It is called discipline . People who continue to sin are dealt with and confronted, if after a number of times they will not repent, then give them the proverbial boot and have nothing to do with them.

This simply works. It is the leaders that need to bring sin into accountability. We just need to "DO" what our Messiah has already told us to do. Kick them out and then they are gone.

Love and Prayers
B
I appreciate this letter very much Vanessa. You are right, righteous anger does have its place. When we move through that, not around it, we can again return to the folds of love. Thank you.
Damn. I hate being late to something this good, but may I just say that it touched me deeply. Even though I was raised evangelical, I feel like I "get" this. And not just the fear of damnation part.

I wanted to point out something that struck me as important - especially if you send this to Mother.

You wrote: "Jesus said the stray sheep is as important as the rest of the herd. . . . And you’ve brutalized these children into strays."

I think it was even stronger:

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? Luke 15:4

Your open letter is challenging me to think about where I stand in relation to faith. I hate it when that happens, but I very much appreciate the eloquence and honesty and, dare I say, love with which you address this. If I were there, I would hug you.
I spent 12 years in catholic schools.
In the elementary school years, we, as little children, we forced to go to mass every morning before school; stations of the cross during lent...and lets not forget mass on Sundays.
Religion lessons daily, were part of the school's curriculum as well.
Does this remotely sound like brainwashing...and I haven't even begun to go into detail!
Out of elementary school, 4 boys in our small class (maybe 25 students) went off to seminary!
In high school, some of us started questioning what we were being taught.
And since the end of high school, most of my friends, to this day, don't attend or participate in the catholic church.
It isn't as if we no longer remember any of it...quite the opposite...it is all embedded in our minds..and we all turned 60 this year!
Last year, I suffered a heart attach and had by pass surgery...and before surgery, I asked for a priest!
Talk about the irony of life...but, one thing is or sure...it seems that the catholic religion is with you for life, no matter how much you try to avoid, ignore and try to escape it.
I guess my point is, that there is no reason to worry about the loosing your faith, it is still there.
Comments are true but not strong enough. The law must step in. You can't beg a molester to take action. What? The comments are monitored by a Catholic. I am sure there are other comments not being published and that is unacceptable. I know this won't be published. But what rubbish. Your minds are enslaved by What? X-or-cism is in order. Poor misguided things that you are. No one's going to burn in hell and what's this Mother stuff. Emotional blackmail is all your minds have been taught. How very sad that you actually thrive on such damaging beliefs. God is all. No some molester for God's sake.
Thank you all for your comments.

@Miss Clarity:

I think it would be proof enough that I do not delete nor "monitor" comments the fact that yours stands.
Thank you for your comment.
Awaiting is a very sweet place to be my friend. I think Mary would approve. She was the only perfect person after all. The rest of us -- just regular old people, popes, priests and all. We're just getting by. I am happy for your heartfelt letter and the fact that you haven't fallen away completely. I love the Sacraments and have slipped a bit lately in receiving them. But they provide me with powerful and mysterious grace. You're a doll Vanessa and you write so well. xox
Vanessa ,
I have no use for the church, no matter what religion. I can understand your pain about priests abusing children. There's no explaining away the horrible evil that pervades this Church; the guy who is supposed to be infallible is sweeping all this rubbish under the Vatican rug. Catholic writers blame the secular press for exposing this rot. I appreciate your courage in writing this piece.
Let religion go. Live your life to its fullest.

There probably is NO god. If there is, and he is the one of the Bible, he is a jerk. If there is, and he is NOT the one of the bible he will take you in no matter what as long as you are a good person. If there is NONE, which is most likely, you will be REMEMBERED by friends and family.

God is a product manufactured out of fear of the unknown, and imperfect human beings trying to say they know what no man does.

Live. Let go of it, and live. It is o.k. to believe in something bigger than you. Just walk outside on a clear night and look up. The Hubble Telescope's last image taken found 600,000 GALAXIES in one square inch of space.

A big hug for you. Now let go.
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