It's important to say why I'm leaving the Church before I start talking about finding a new church so that's what today's post will be about. The back story is I was baptized Episcopal and raised Catholic because my mother married a Catholic and converted. Personally I am a survivor of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. I ran into some Salvation Army folks one summer at a camp and they convinced me to accept Jesus as my Savior. That was backed up by my Evangelical grandmother who rescued me from my abusive home when I was 13. I went to Catholic school my whole childhood but refused my conformation and rather was confirmed at my grandmother's Evangelical church. I attended the Evangelical church until I left for my Wesleyan college. After college like many I quit going to church but I never quit God. I have always had a relationship with Him. All that information is well and good but the truth is GOD called me. He called me as a child and He's calling me still. He knew how desperately I needed Him and He called to me. I know it sounds corny and nutters but it's true. And I'm so thankful for it that I'm tearing up just writing the words.
I've seen first hand the destruction abuse of any kind leaves in its wake. I know and love people who can not get over the trauma of being abused, maybe I am able to be open about it because that's God's purpose in my life. I'm here to honestly tell you that the repercussions of abuse are life long and devastating. I wrestle my own demons from my past but am able to give my children a home free from the horrors that I experienced. Thank God.
Given my past you can only imagine the horror I felt when the first scandal broke here in the U.S.. To think that the church I loved could harbor known child rapists was obviously abhorrent to me. And as if that wasn't enough the Church wasn't all that torn up about it. Sure they said all the right things but they don't DO any of the right things. Here's a list from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Catholic_sex_abuse_cases_by_country. It's a world wide epidemic of priests abusing children. Here's another site for you http://www.bishop-accountability.org/member/index.jsp how utterly disgusting that that even has to exist. How many people haven't come forward because of shame or fear. And what does the Church do? It's says that those priests were very naughty and the next words out of their mouths is about how much money it's going to cost them to clean up the mess they made. I feel like puking. This acceptance and covering up of child rape goes all the way to the very top of the church http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/pope-directly-tied-to-abuse-scandals-in-u-s/legal-issues/2010/03/25/9138
I just can't make this shit up! And then I read something like this http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-202_162-6389019.html and even though I think it can't be done my mind is blown again! You can't divert my attention away from baby raper priests by singling out homosexuals as if they are somehow a worse type of sinner. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. I feel like punching some one. And the FACT that Catholics I know and love would choose to focus on gays instead of baby rapers makes me want to cry. Please read the following announcement....
****Gay men and women are attracted to gay men and women NOT children.****
So as if that's not enough to chap my hide I find out that because I didn't get married in the church I'm not able to receive Communion and that if I do so I am cursing my self. This is some nutty stuff right?!
Let me make it perfectly clear.
+A priest who has used his hands and body to rape a child can stand on the Altar and hold the precious Body and Blood of my King in his filthy hands and take it into his disgusting body but I can't.+
Are there even words to address that? I don't have them....
I've known for about 2 years that God was pointing me in a different direction. In fact I can recall the day I first realized I was going to leave the Church. My dear departed friend Dave Tomas had the misfortune of calling me that day and received the full force of my tears. Seriously I had to apologize to him later. (He was amazingly supportive by the way and he was a Catholic of good standing) I truly in my heart believe that the Catholic Church is the Church begun by Christ. I love it's rich traditions and beautiful history. I don't dismiss the reason Martin Luther split from the Church but I don't think that those reason's were as insurmountable as the obstacles we now face with the sex abuse and cover up's that are rampant in the Church. As an aside there's this http://news.yahoo.com/insight-vatican-bank-money-mystery-monsignors-100134961--finance.html because we should mention the FACT that the Church is a front for money laundering. Barf. The Church is too corrupt for me to stay. I can't support it any more...as of last week we have begun looking for a new church home. I will miss the Church. I've made sure my children have received their Sacraments just in case the Church ever cleans up it's act and they can return. I am holding out hope that that will happen in their life time. In the mean time we search....
My bestie Stef summed up how I feel in a recent facebook thread and I think I'll close with that....
Quite frankly what I find most disturbing (after the actual raping of children of course) is that the body of the church ignores the issue entirely. (Andra being the exception.) They never speak of it, never protest against it, never take any steps within their church to get rid of those committing and covering it up. Do you really think that you're going to stand before God one day and He's not going to question why you totally ignored the heinous corruption within the church?
We are Christ's hands and feet on this earth. It's our job to take back the church from that dirty, good ole boy network over there in vatican city. You need to take a page out of Jesus' book and drive out those corrupt and evil doers from the church because, quite frankly, they're turning it into a den of thieves.
Your loyalty should be to God not to a bunch of men who clearly care more about covering their butts and hiding scandal from the world than they do about God and the people in the church. Andra's right, if this were the protestant church, hand cuffs would be dangling off of wrists and cell doors would be slamming.
I have a friend who had a bit of similar scandal. Married church member had relations with a teenage girl. Pastor found out. Instead of calling the police, the pastor sent the man to some in-patient treatment center for therapy. Church members found out and guess what? They called the police, child abuser in jail, the pastor was removed from his position and faced his own criminal charges. The church has a new, Godly leader. Did the right thing and took back their church.
It's your church and it is in a desperate place. It's more corrupt than our government because as messed up as I feel Washington is, I pretty sure they're not covering for child abusers. If it were me, I'd be doing a little "table flipping" starting at the top and working my way down.
I believe it was Edmund Burke who said, "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing." True story.