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Buddha Belly

A guy on As It Happens tonight was talking about the Orthodox direction the Catholic church is likely to take under the direction of its new Pope.

The interviewer asked him if he was concerned about the appointment of the new Pope alienating members of the Church in Western countries. He said, essentially, no. That the job of the Church is to stick to its absolutes, and not be swayed by current society's opinion. (I'm mangling his exact words, but the idea is there.)

The point is -- he's right. The job of the Church is to say what they think. You either agree, or you don't. The world is full of Catholics who "sort of agree" with the doctrine of the Church, and listening to this guy I realized that he is right -- if you don't agree with the Church you should leave. And that's why I'm not a Catholic.

I have a lot of lovely memories that have to do with the Church, and I identify strongly with lots of its imagery and ritual, and I have a great respect for how the Church has influenced and affected my family, but I can say with confidence that I disagree with their doctrine. I do agree with many of their core values (faith, hope, love), but the truth is that I can find those values reflected in many religions.

I realize I'm not saying anything new, but I only just realized this for myself tonight. I'm not a Catholic, and I'm fine with that.

I think the real value of the Church -- and the reason why so many "sort of" Catholics belong to a church -- is community. There is value in surrounding yourself with a like-minded community. But hey - I have the Internet.

Posted April 19, 2005 11:29 PM | On This Day: 2004 2003 2002



Dropped by your blog for the first time in almost a year. Just saying hi from Canada.

I like your post on why you are not a Catholic. Faith, hope and love and a sense of community is why many people go to church. The Catholic church doesn't have a monopoly on any or all of the above.

I agree with you completely. In so many ways the Catholic church feels like home to me. But it can never be home because it wholly rejects me, as a female, and a person in a same-gendered relationship. You and I disagree slightly because I do believe that the church has an obligation to evolve in order to serve its people. The church is so full of contradictions, it should come as no surprise that the new pope was a member of 'Hitler Youth' in his teens. So the church is capable of flexibility and openness around his transgressions but they are unable to embrace women as equal and powerful in the context of their values and teachings. They're ok with a former Nazi for a pope and they can shuffle priests under the carpet to avoid any scrutiny relative to the sex scandals, and they elect a conservative pope who promises to follow the letter of Catholic law so they can condemn birth control, condemn gays and exclude women. Do they really do any service to the doctrine by just towing the line and refusing to a) look within and b) evolve in line with the needs of their people? I personally think they're just coasting along trying to maintain as much power and wealth as they've always known without making waves that could jeopardize either of those things. My problem with that is -- these were the people that taught me that Jesus was all loving and all forgiving and inclusive. They didn't promise me that faith would be easy, and I'm ok with that. But they did paint Jesus as a man of the people. It makes me never want to go home again.

OH YES! that is right the hitler youth was a completely voluntary service wasnt it! just like joining the German army! Thanks for that awsome history lesson! propaganda is fun!

to add my $0.02 in, I have an issue with the money involved with organized religion, I just did a meeting in a Local Church for work (I have an issue with a Church renting is space to companies as well) and they have spent approxametly $1 million in AV. probably more, they did a minor upgrade in the last year in which they spent $50,000 like it was nothing. This church has on Staff 3 Full time AV Guys, a Full Time Kitchen Staff, Full Time Receptionists.. I think these were the money changers Jesus threw out of the church.