Dear Mom and Dad, I’m not a Catholic Anymore

Dear Mom and Dad,

I’m not Catholic anymore. I feel like I owe you an explanation, and I hope that if you’re somehow able to hear and react to me anymore, that you’ll understand.

Catholicism was a huge part of who you were. You worked so hard and sacrificed so much to send me to Catholic schools. You were so proud of me when I made my First Communion, and my Confirmation. Dad, I remember you leading us in the Rosary when we went on long trips. I remember going to Church every Sunday morning, and singing the hymns. Dad, I remember your deep voice booming a vibration I could actually feel, standing next to you.

Church was at the center of everything. Dad, I remember you being part of the men’s club of Ascension Parish – the Ascenders. And Mom, I remember you being president of the Mother’s club of our school.

All our friends were Catholic. All of them.

I wanted to be like you. I still want to be like you.

Until recently, I belonged to a great Catholic Church in Kansas City. The people there are great – wonderful, generous, admirable people. I even like the Priest – a sincere, thoughtful young man whom you both would love. I used to love going to the Masses there – I would kneel and I would sing the hymns and recite the same prayers that I used to recite while kneeling next to you. It felt so deep and so connected. I knew it echoed back to you kneeling next to your parents, and their parents, on back. it reached back into history, and I could participate in the beautiful church at Meyer and Holmes and it might as well be a church in Krakow or Tipperary generations ago.

But, mom and dad, I just don’t believe in the Church anymore. It doesn’t make any sense to me, and I don’t feel right anymore acting like it does. I can go through the motions and try to focus on just the stuff I like, but I feel like a hypocrite.

It’s so comfortable to act like it does still make sense. I miss my friends on Sunday mornings. I want to participate in parish festivals and fish fries. I like the camaraderie and the community. Like I said, it’s a great, great group of people.

But it’s a community that is based on a belief, a creed, that I cannot say in good faith.

I got pretty darned close to the Church. I’ve known Bishops, and I’ve participated in many meetings with them. I have heard them talk about the importance of the priesthood, and I’ve heard them talk about the importance of protecting children.

And I’ve seen them assert their superiority. I heard my Bishop claim that those of us who supported President Obama’s election should fear for our immortal souls. At the same time, he was willing to, at best, avoid investigating a pervert priest and allow him to have access to children. But he presumed to judge me.

Mom and Dad, the Church brought you so much richness and friendship. But, did you know that at the same time you were going to Mass every Sunday and tithing your salaries, the Church was actually castrating young men in the Netherlands who had homosexual leanings?

That’s what was really going on. At the same time, the Church was covering up rape of children in our parishes? Remember Fr. Christian, who hosted movies in the darkened cafeteria of Ascension School? He was raping children. He used those same hands to give us communion, and the Church helped hide his crimes. He never touched me, but a friend of mine was raped by a priest a few parishes over. All that was going on, while we were kneeling in the pews.

That’s all pretty obviously wrong, but the Church hurts others, in other ways. Someone we know and love was told that she could not get married in the Church because she was born with a birth defect that made her infertile. One of the most devout people I know was unable to get married in the Church because the man she married had been divorced, but they had not managed to get the prior marriage annulled in the Church. We didn’t go to her wedding, and you carried the cruelty a bit further by not even telling me it had happened. To you, the marriage hadn’t happened, because it wasn’t held in the Church. That is messed up, but you were doing what the Church expected of you.

I’m sick of it, and I can’t go along with it anymore. Fortunately, I was too weak of a Catholic to raise my children in the faith – I couldn’t make them profess a faith I was struggling with.

The Church does not represent good to me anymore.

It stands against gay marriage – not just in the passive way that it stands against divorced marriage or infertile marriage, but it is actually trying to stand in the way of allowing gay men and women from having marriages in their own churches, according to their own consciences. The thing is, Jesus didn’t preach against gays – in fact, he hung around 12 men and never saw fit to mention the topic. Hmmm. I honestly believe in my heart of hearts that the Church is clinging to a societal taboo that, someday, I hope, it will evolve to be deeply ashamed of, like the many other evils it has embraced.

Just like it is ashamed of its child rape now, but it just can’t quite get around to taking really seriously.

Dad, I remember how, when you were dying, you were planning to have a painful, long-shot surgery to extend your life for a few months at best, because you felt that failing to do so would amount to suicide, and bar you from heaven. I’m thankful that you died suddenly before that happened, and before you endured one last dose of massive pain for your understanding of what the Church expected.

And, Mom, much more positively, I remember how much comfort your faith brought you in your final months. You were ready to go see Dad and begin your afterlife, and you had no doubt that was the way it would be. That’s amazing faith, and I’m so glad you had it.

But I never really have. In my heart, I don’t think that all that stuff about heaven really goes on that way. I don’t necessarily believe that nothing happens; I just don’t know. But after 50 years of being pushed to believe that I will be with the Father God Almighty, etc., etc., it just hasn’t really grabbed me. And I wouldn’t bet my spiritual wealth on dubious propositions like the bread and wine really being flesh and blood, or that God, if there is one, is damning all those other religions to Hell, or that Mary really was a virgin, or that God will cure someone or change the result of a football game if enough of us pray a certain way. After 50 years of trying to believe all that stuff, I just don’t really believe it, and maybe it’s time to stop trying.

As far as theology goes, maybe (maybe not) there is some kind of energy afoot in the world that is beyond human understanding, but I don’t think that energy requires me to believe what a bunch of hypocritical, greedy old men want me to believe.

I know that I’m allowing my anger at the sons of bitches who control our Church to filter into my understanding of the whole shooting match. But, really, I look at how corrupt and just plain mean the Church itself is, despite the wonderful, kind, loving people who make up its congregations, convents and lower levels, and I don’t think that Jesus meant all that when he allegedly told Peter that he was a rock to build a Church on. If Jesus really wanted Peter to construct a power-hungry, wildly wealthy, secretive, strictly male and absolutely hierarchical international organization, he could have said that, but he didn’t.

Did you know that the Church is attacking nuns now, for spending too much time on social justice, and not enough time attacking people for abortion and homosexuality?

Mom, Dad – could you really support this? Too much time on social justice? Not enough focus on abortion and homosexuality? Would you really be a part of a group that thinks that way? It’s like they truly have never read the Bible. I have, and I know that Jesus would be listed as an enemy of this Church, after he ignored those issues to focus on social justice.

It’s crazy – absolutely insane, and I cannot take it anymore. I hope, if you were alive, you would join me in stepping aside from the writhing mess of hatred and hypocrisy that the Church has become. If you wouldn’t, I would understand, I suppose, because Catholicism was bred into your bones as you bred it into mine. It’s hard to step away from something that your parents, and their parents, and their parents believed so fervently, and that so many of your good friends continue to believe.

But I’m finished. I can’t take it anymore. I am not a Catholic. I’m truly sorry.


88 Responses to “Dear Mom and Dad, I’m not a Catholic Anymore”

  1. kcmeesha says:

    Wow! This must have been really hard to write, but probably made you feel better. Due to my own circumstances I’ve been given a shortcut to where you are at now, so I didn’t have to act and struggle and come to realization like you did. The only part of my tradition that I think I would enjoy is connecting back to the previous generations of my people, just like you mention in your essay. But it comes with so much other stuff that I don’t feel it’s a worthy exchange.

  2. Becky says:

    Thank you for this. Makes me feel not quite so alone in my “rebellion.” I still have a strong faith, but my faith is in the Lord (where it should be) and not in a church. Read the book of Revelation…..something tells me neither the Father nor the Son have much good to say to the church entity.

  3. Nuke says:

    What a personal post. I am sure it was difficult and I truly thank you for sharing with us.

  4. Cecil says:

    This may be the best thing you’ve ever written, Dan. I am proud of you for having the courage to say clearly and cogently what so many of us have thought for so many years. I was not raised a Catholic, but there are many churches that have their own problems, and inevitably, it seems to me, the answer to any concerns expressed is that old parental standby: Because I said so! So much of the Bible is allegory. Unfortunately, so many followers believe that an allegory is a large green reptile that lives in the Everglades. Carry on, my friend. Keep going mild.

  5. Dear Dan,
    I for one am proud of your brave articulation of the Emporer,s nakedness. If you were my son, I would wrap my arms around you and say, “Well done.”
    CC

  6. Keith Sader says:

    Dan, thanks for posting this. I feel that religion is a deeply personal thing that should guide the individual’s behavior. When the organization of religion starts to think that it should be that guide, then you get corruption and dissonance.

    When the church lies down with the government, it’s not the government that gets up stained…

  7. Betsy says:

    Dan, part of the issue is the large number of people employed directly or indirectly by the church. I retire in a year or two. In the meantime, there are truly subjects I am not allowed to discuss in my class. My answer, when asked by students why women can’t be priests or why homosexuals are objectively disordered is to painfully respond with the party line and follow it with an explanation of conscience and then tell them, ” I’m not allowed to discuss it”. I used to believe that was the proper way to handle it. No longer think so. A student asked me, ” if we are not allowed a voice, why do we stay?”. these children have always been allowed a voice in their families, in their friend groups. There is no silent acquiescence left. but I want them to know that for the world to continue, we must love God ( in whatever manner God reveals God’s self in our lives) and our neighbors as ourselves. and I want them to know that God is in all they encounter. Damn hard.

  8. I’ve always respected you Dan, but that respect shot up several orders of magnitude after reading this intensely personal and searingly honest essay.

    I wish more people could remove the blinders and take an honest, rational assessment of the things they’ve been taught to believe.

    I applaud you not just for having the courage to walk away from all of that, but for doing so publicly and laying out your reasons for doing so with such heartfelt eloquence.

    Well done, my friend. Very well done indeed.

  9. Nick says:

    I wondered why you had been so quiet throughout the Finn debacle; wasn’t sure whether you were wrestling with conscious, legal obligations or some combination thereof.

    Regardless, it’s obvious this was a wrenching decision; you should take no little pride in not only the fact that you made it but did so publicly – unlike many of us, you present yourself sans nom de innnernetz. Which means you’ve made a very personal commitment on a still conroversial subject that family, friends, business acquaintances, strangers, lurkers and lolcatz will all feel free to judge you by.

    You are to be commended.

    Those of us –like myself and M.V. – who had the scales ripped from our eyes early often underestimate the determination it takes to stand against a lifetime of indoctrination, choosing instead (speaking strictly for myself here) to condemn as lazy, scared or worse those who continue to follow the church, revelation after horrific revelation.

    We fail to remember the church’s harshest critics are those who were once its most faithful adherents.

    Again, well done.

  10. Kevin says:

    Well put Dan, very well put. I hope Tiger Dick and Dot would have listened if not agreed

  11. tacit says:

    What a fantastic post. I’m at least as frustrated as you are – my cousin was among those abused in the Star’s 3-part series “The alter boy’s secret” on priest sexual abuse a few months ago. Even more disturbing was the way the church attacked him personally for bringing it forward publicly. Having seen that, I’m not sure I would have had the same amount of courage, had the shoes been swapped.

    For my part, my son was treated to a letter in the mail asking him to consider priesthood as a professional endeavor, the same week as the child abuse scandal. Uhh. No, thanks.

  12. Rick says:

    Sometimes it is difficult to some people to understand the Catholic Church is one of the last religious institutions to actually stand for something. Sure, the abuse by a small minority of clergy is disturbing, but the church is taking action to clean up its mess. Lots of attorneys are funding groups attacking the church simply for the money.
    Maybe you should read the book “Rediscovering Catholicism” that highlights all the good things the church does every day around the world. You could have become a part of it and tried to make changes to it or simply bailed on your faith. Of course, bailing is a lot easier than working to change it.
    Are you going to join one of the those “fun” churches that offer religion lite? They are easy. You can call yourself a member and go once every five years. Heck, you don’t even really need to attend at all and can call yourself a member.
    Guess it is easier just to give up religion entirely. You can just focus on yourself more. Sleep in. Video games. Your needs. The world spins around YOU.
    Your parents would be ashamed of you. How important was the church in their time of need? You are turning your back on your faith and tradition in its time of need.
    You don’t need the Catholic faith? Good for you. In reality, the Catholic faith does not really need you. Peace.

  13. kate says:

    Dan,

    I learned that’s your name from the comments I read.

    And the other connections: I found this post on your blog from the Abuse Tracker, but I skim over most of them and clicked on yours.

    Why?

    My case about being raped by a priest is in Missouri even though it did not happen there. Religious orders are that way, with perp priests. Religious order priests go all over the place, and then the “case” is where they are based.

    And I have a letter to write to Mom and Dad but it probably won’t ever be written. Yours does the job for me.

    Thank you.

    Kate, a thousand miles away

  14. Praying for your soul says:

    You seem to have made the immortal error of seeking the acclaim of un-holy people by attacking the Mother Church and the holy men who lead it. If you are not excommunicated now, God offers you forgiveness, if you repent of this sin. If you do not repent, you deserve the Hell which awaits your eternal soul. The crys of the murdered unborn will haunt you forever and ever. You will also share the burden of the sin of Homosexuality by failing to speak out against that disgusting state of rebellion to the will of God. Beg our good and holy Bishop for forgiveness and publically recant this Satan-driven rant against the power of Jesus. Otherwise, I hope he drives you from our Church and the future of Heaven as the Satanic heretic that exposed yourself to be in this public statement.

  15. The “writhing mess of hatred and hypocracy it’s become” ? Become? What you missed The Crusades, Galileo, and the Spanish Inquisition?.Not to mention the Holocoust and the middle passage and slavery.
    I’m sorry it took you 50 years Dan and I’m sorry your sorry.
    Rejoice man, now your out here in the bull rushes with Jesus, Budha, and any body else who’s sane.. You made it.

  16. Concerned says:

    Oh my, Praying for your soul – what a load of guilt and fear you have to carry around. How much shame the Mother Church has managed to imbed in you. Are you really sure your Bishop is “good and holy” – a great many aren’t you know. Sounds like you have tried to build an impenetrable bulwark against whatever natural human impulses you have that have been defined as mortal sins by the church and denial and unquestioning belief are your bricks and mortar.

  17. Rick says is the perfect example of the Catholic production line. Damaged.

    He basicly says, ” don’t let the screen door hit you” etc.

    I always thought Christianity was supposed to be about kindness. Judge not etc. But I was wrong it’s not. It ’s about Heaven and Hell and Money and Judgement and Power and bulls**t. An Imaginary deity doing imaginary things like being absorbed ( is besotted a better word?) with you.

    Narcissus weeps. Rick should Say nothing.

  18. Terri says:

    Dan,

    THANK YOU! I am not a Catholic, but was raised in the Methodist Church and some of the same problems exist in that church as well. I could’ve written almost the same letter, but you said it much better. We do not need organized religion to mindlessly follow. We need to be the best person we can be and treat each other with equality and respect.

  19. Praying for your soul smells. I mean really smells. Is it incense or brimstone?

  20. Kay4Justice says:

    Dan, thank you so very much for this. I am a survivor, diocese of KC-St Jo, 1952. I once had to write a letter to my perp as a part of an anger management class. It was hard to write. Then I had to read it aloud in front of other people in the class. We were all recovering alcoholics and were in a forum sponsored by AA. I did read mine, and to my suprise three other people came to talk with me about their own abuse from about that same time frame. Wow, there was so much healing among us. Please just disregard the few negative comments you have received here. They come from people who are to be pitied because they remain brainwashed. Again, thank you for this, and know your parents are proud of you! Like you, my children were shielded from RC schools because I felt there was no other choice.

  21. les says:

    A difficult road, a strong journey; I can only say you’re not alone here, bro.

  22. Mo Rage says:

    Good for you. Any thinking person shouldn’t any longer stay in their pews while all this keeps going on. It’s been going on, sadly, surprisingly, tragically and shamefully for centuries, not just decades and it’s been going on all over the world. The sexual abuse of their chiildren needs to stop, obviously. Kudos. Now, good luck.

  23. Sue says:

    Dan. I can feel the pain in the words you have written and I know that this is a struggle you have been having for a long time. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church is only too human and, as such, has hurt a lot of people through the years. After reading some of the comments here, and as one who is still a member of the Church, please always remember how very much you are loved. Thank God we do not have to be judged by some of “our own”.

  24. JeannieGuzman says:

    Until my mother took her dying breath, my refusal to come back to the Catholic Church is a battle that we fought, constantly. My Mom often tried to open a conversation with me by telling me that she was embarrassed to die and meet Jesus, because she’d need to tell him why NONE of her children were Catholic. Well, that guilt trip didn’t work, maybe because I had seen it too many times before and I was sick of the scenery! She refused to understand that a relationship with Jesus Christ was more important than membership in a Church, which allowed the rape and sodomy of young children and teens. When she drew her last breath, I thought, “Now she will know the truth, and the truth will set her free!”

  25. Byron Funkhouser says:

    This was a very courageous thing to do. I’m surprised at the hatred coming your way. Until now, I thought only Evangelicals behaved like this. Welcome to the Age of Reason.

  26. A. Craig says:

    Your essay displays not only a true love of God but real courage and mature thought as well. I’ll always remember, at an early conference in New York on some of the abuse issues, back around 2004 or 2005, talking to a priest who had apparently been dispatched to present the company line. I asked him how we were supposed to take seriously a hierarchy that — decades after child rape reports had been made and investigated and a perpetrator priest finally found guilty — “punished” the priest by just defrocking him; a boys’ club that thought we should be impressed that the rapist was reduced to the same hierarchical level as, oh yes, his victims. The bishops and those priests who still silently do as they’re told — and nothing else — need to learn that, as a group, they have demonstrated themselves to be “above” virtually no one and below quite a few of us. My faith is in God, not in the fellows who now fraudulently occupy the vatican and so many of the executive offices of dioceses around the world. They do not represent the Church; rather, these pretenders represent the roman catholic corporation. The Church is the people who believe and practice what Jesus taught about love and compassion and hope and help. Rest easy. Now that your parents are with God, they can see the truth.

  27. Anonymous says:

    “Rick” and “Praying for your soul” are exactly the problem.

    If you ever need affirmation that you made the right choice, read those two comments.

    “Rick” proclaims “Your parents would be ashamed of you.”

    Do you know this “Rick”? Did he know your parents? This is exactly the sort of ad hominem judgementalism that taints The Church with the brush ignorance and intolerance.

    “Praying for your soul” screams “…you deserve the Hell which awaits your eternal soul. The crys of the murdered unborn will haunt you forever and ever. You will also share the burden of the sin of Homosexuality by failing to speak out against that disgusting state of rebellion to the will of God…I hope he drives you from our Church and the future of Heaven as the Satanic heretic that exposed yourself to be.”

    Wow. Seriously? What rational, intelligent person would want to be a part of a “community” that includes people like that?

    You made the right choice Dan.

  28. gonemild says:

    Thank you everyone who has commented – even those who have been critical. I struggled with whether to post this – I have lots of wonderful friends and relatives who are proudly Catholic, and I was afraid I would alienate them with my opinion. On the other hand, to remain in their good graces when I was really thinking what I wrote – well, that seemed deceptive, too.

    The ones who I value most – Sue, above, and a few others – have been more accepting than I would have dreamed.

    The reason I posted this instead of merely leaving it written but unposted was that I hoped I might help a few people think about where this differed and where it matched their thoughts. I have received some emails and a few of the above comments have affirmed that gut feeling.

  29. gonemild says:

    PS: If I ever figure it all out and have all the answers to the big spiritual questions, I’ll let you know. Until them, we are all kind of groping around on our own, and let’s try to be gentle with each other.

  30. sarah says:

    Dan – I’m a Catholic who hasn’t ignored the Finn case. One of the few I know, in fact, who hasn’t. I still believe, probably because of my time working with Catholic Workers, nuns, priests, the true rebels of our church, that there is much to be salvaged. However, I’m left with the question of, How? How do a bunch of hippie nuns and priests and lay people change a hierarchy that makes it a moral obligation to hold women in slavery to the patriarchy, and punish already marginalized LGBT persons? I don’t know. But that is faith. My God has given me so much comfort. I hope he’ll find his way to your heart so – even though you’ve made the decision to be done with the church – you don’t make the mistake of being done with him. I hope you always know the feeling of being guided by goodness and something larger than yourself. And I hope your kids get that too. I increasingly see the church as not intrinsic to that journey, but I still believe in its innate worth as tradition and identity. Where that identity is going, however, is becoming more and more disturbing. In short, I understand, I identify but I’m holding on for something — faith that my faith will be restored, I suppose. Blessings on your journey.

  31. craig says:

    Dan,
    That post took some courage. If you are looking for somethingto fill you spiritually, might I suggest Lutheran. I am biased because I was raised in the Lutheran faith, but I would also suggest ELCA as opposed to Missouri Synod. If you just want to find your spirituality on your own, I would understand that also.

    BTW, this reminds me of a joke.
    A man went to heaven and was greeted by St. Peter. While being shown around he sees one neighborhood and asks, St. Peter tells him it is the Protestants. He see another, St. Peter tells him it is the Jewish people. Another is the Muslums.
    Finally the man sees an area far away, when he asks St. Peter about he quickly says;
    “SSSHHHH, that is the Catholics, they dont know the rest of us are up here”

  32. Having a strong moral compass is not dependent upon faith in God. One doesn’t need to believe in supernatural forces to know right from wrong.

    Imagine a community of our Australopithecus ancestors. Hunters and gatherers all. Imagine one of them who is perfectly capable of hunting and gathering, but chooses not to. He decides that he can simply wait for the other hunters and gatherers to return with the fruit of their labor and steal it from them.

    The rest of the tribe, who have all been out struggling on the ragged edge of survival all day, grab the nearest ground sloth ribs and beat the lazy primate thief to a pulp. That establishes several “laws” around stealing, coveting, etc. The tribe witnesses this and passes it down as a lesson learned.

    A moral compass has been established. No supernatural beings, Golden Tablets or threats of eternal damnation needed.

    The Golden Rule and 10 Commandments are nothing more than common sense to a large number of people living in a confined space.

    The teachings attributed to Jesus to love one another and care for the least among us are extrapolations on those earlier learnings.

    Being good, honest, kind, caring and honorable individuals are inherently human (even primate) traits.

    Religion indoctrinates you to believe exactly the opposite. Religion trains you to believe that without strict adherence to repressive and restrictive dogma, without absolute submission to Religious Authority, the gravity of Evil will suck you down the slippery slope of sin and eternal damnation.

    That’s just not true. People are born good and pure. They have to be taught to hate and cheat and steal and hurt.

    Sadly, it is our religious and political institutions that are teaching them these lessons.

    Sorry, I know this is somewhat off topic vis a vis your personal struggle. If you choose not to post it I won’t take it personally.

    But you know it is a subject I’m quite passionate about.

  33. If you are a Christian, you can’t be a Catholic. It goes against the most important things that Jesus stood for.

    Would Jesus rape children?
    Move known rapists?
    Put more children in danger of the psychological horror of thinking they were raped by Christ on earth?
    Lie about it?
    Fight eh victims, all to save money?
    Keep the greatest riches in the world while 15,000 people die of starvation every day?

    God is making this easy – this isn’t God’s church, and anyone who follows its leaders will go where they go for eternity.

  34. gonemild says:

    Love the joke, Craig!

  35. GMN says:

    Dan,
    As you can see from my website I am ex-Catholic. My site is called:
    Ex-Catholic and saved by grace. You and many others today are denouncing the Roman hierarchy, if not the RCC itself,and some are even denouncing the Catholic pew-sitters for staying in the RCC. My point is that no one,including yourself will attain righteousness in the way you seek. It makes no sense whatsoever to disbelieve in the truth of God’s Word because of the perversion of it by the Roman church. And, most importantly, God’s Word is where we learn that homosexual acts are sinful; we don’t need the RCC for that either. Would you choose to be in hell for eternity with the same sinners you are accusing? You must believe what God says about you and your own sin. Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

  36. GMN says:

    Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ means believing He is God, He died on a cross for your sins and mine, He rose again to life and from heaven announced through the letters of Paul that we are reconciled to God by His work on the cross. We just BELIEVE!

  37. les says:

    Per GMN:
    “And, most importantly, God’s Word is where we learn that homosexual acts are sinful;”
    Citation needed.

  38. Mike says:

    Helluva post. Agree with the fed-up sentiment, just can’t (yet) bring myself to throw the baby out with the bath water. But there’s so damn MUCH bath water.

    Just Love Your Neighbor as Yourself – and look past the many micro-intellects in the flowing robes, goofy hats and incessant condemnation.

    The church has become the very thing that Jesus preached against – rigid, hierarchical, exclusive. They killed Him because He said to love the Samaritan and not obsess about ancient purity laws. So we hate the homosexual and squabble about whether Holy Communion is a wafer or a chunk. And our Church moves incompetents, promotes criminal bishops and covers for unspeakable behavior.

    God help us.

  39. Jack says:

    As a reformed Catholic by birth, 10+ years “sober,” if you will, I get this. I just could have never put it so well. Just an awesome write, regardless of where one stands…

  40. AF says:

    There are quite a few recovering Catholics in AA.. Just in reference to the comment above.. I’Ve read your poetry.. Your blog.. Your life, for many years now.. Thanks for reminding me why. I too believe religion is a personal choice.. A personal experience.. And a long road.. You did right by your children, your family .. And that’s really what matters in life.

  41. GMN says:

    les says:

    April 24, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Per GMN:
    “And, most importantly, God’s Word is where we learn that homosexual acts are sinful;”
    Citation needed.
    ___________________________________________________
    Certainly: Romans 1 is clear, and what happened at Sodom is also quite clear in the bible. But believers don’t practice finding fault with people claiming to be “gay.” The issue is some claiming to be “gay” want to foist their disbelief in God’s Word upon all of us and have their ways accepted as moral, changing the nature of marriage.

  42. Simply Simple says:

    Dear Dan:

    I can imagine this was really painful to write. I am not the great defender of the Catholic Church nor will I ever be. However if it helps you in anyways please know that what the US Catholic church is doing is far different than the rest of the world. Yes the Vatican has enormous progress to make but internationally you just dont see the hateful church that you see here at home. Most Catholic countries have universal healthcare, univeraal education, legalized same sex marriages, women have the right to choose and womens health is always protected. Likewise immigrants are cared for all the same regardless of atatus.

    There is a strong difference between Catholics like the Guadalupanos you see in Mexico & Latin America and The corrupt political bigots who use their status within th e US church who use religion as a way to opress and get rich.

    Be proud of being a Catholic. Just speak out against US leadership

  43. Brother from a Different Mother says:

    My friend,

    In many ways you see very, very clearly. But, you may be allowing the horrendous and consistent failings of men and women to blind you to the existence of God. I’m not a Catholic, so I’m not here to defend your former church. I don’t pretend to know the mind of God, but I would be surprised if He wasn’t furious about the sins committed in His name by the Catholic church and other churches and clergy. Seek to know God. The failings of mankind are nothing new and they don’t disprove God in any way. To the contrary, the weakness of mankind tends to show how much we need God. You have a good mind and I expect you know, deep down, that the failure of a church or the failure of clergy does not make God’s existence more or less likely.

    I’m sorry that some have condemned you. I don’t. By being honest and stripping away the facade of fake Catholicism, you may have opened yourself to encounter God in a real and meaningful way.

    Blessings and peace to you.

  44. Brother from a Different Mother says:

    Just to clarify my earlier post, I’m not calling Catholicism fake. I was referring to your decision to no longer be a fake Catholic by admitting you no longer believe that religion is true.

  45. gonemild says:

    Understood, and I agree with your original comment that whatever a Pope or Bishop does has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of God. But it does make me distrust traditional understandings of God.

    And, frankly, I’m not certain why I should care about God’s existence or non-existence.

  46. Brother from a Different Mother says:

    “And, frankly, I’m not certain why I should care about God’s existence or non-existence.”

    Well, one reason is that if He exists, and I am certain he does, God cares about your existence and even made it possible. Wouldn’t it be awesome and a bit humbling to begin to know your Creator, God Almighty? God is worth knowing because HE IS. I hope you get to know Him.

  47. Dan, I appreciate your sharing and certainly understand the logic behind your choice. But, if I may ask, why disregard and entire faith/institution over a few bad actors?

    As I am sure you are aware, the instances of sexual abuse in the public school system far exceed that in the Catholic Church. Should you not also advocate for the abandonment of such an institution?

    Here is a great article on the subject and it refers to a couple studies:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-215_162-1933687.html

    “Hofstra University researcher Charol Shakeshaft looked into the problem, and the first thing that came to her mind when Education Week reported on the study were the daily headlines about the Catholic Church.

    “[T]hink the Catholic Church has a problem?” she said. “The physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.”"

    “As the National Catholic Register’s reporter Wayne Laugesen points out, the federal report said 422,000 California public-school students would be victims before graduation — a number that dwarfs the state’s entire Catholic-school enrollment of 143,000.

    Yet, during the first half of 2002, the 61 largest newspapers in California ran nearly 2,000 stories about sexual abuse in Catholic institutions, mostly concerning past allegations. During the same period, those newspapers ran four stories about the federal government’s discovery of the much larger — and ongoing — abuse scandal in public schools.”

  48. gonemild says:

    Kansas Citian – wow, you took my breath away with your shocking cynicism. You honestly believe that the institution that claims to represent God’s voice on earth should be held to the moral standard of a local school board. That’s harsh.

    As for your attempt to shift focus, would you care to go back to that study you like so much and report on how many of those 422,000 will be molested at school? I think that will destroy your statistical moral equivalence.

    And, besides, have we really sunk to arguing that molestation is okay because others do it?

  49. Moe says:

    thanks for this, dan. i needed it.

  50. Michael says:

    I am 56 years old. Last spring it came out that I was molested by a priest when I was 9 and 10 years old. Every day has been hell since then. I have forgiven the priest. but I will never forgive the Catholic Church. I do not want to be a Catholic anymore. And I have declared that I am not a Catholic anymore.

Leave a Reply