If you asked what religious denomination I was born into, I’d be somewhat weary to answer. You see I was once a devout Catholic who never ate meat on Fridays during Lent and attended mass every Sunday without fail. But one of the things which truly signifies our transition from child to adult is the ability to see the world through our own eyes – to not simply accept the ideas and beliefs we’ve been taught, but to question their meaning and their relevance in our lives.
Like many other Catholic’s I’ve spoken to, I’ve started to question my religious faith – feeling as though the church I once found comfort and solace in has let me down by, pardon the pun, failing to practice so much of what they preach.
Religion has been defined as “something one believes in and follows devotedly.” But it’s been difficult over the years to continue to do so when left with a sea of contradictions I’m not sure I understand or can fully support.
The Catholic church has adamantly and vocally denied homosexuals entrance into their community. Their argument continues to be based on passages in the Bible, which supposedly state that homosexuality is wrong and not an acceptable way of life. I guess I have trouble understanding this when ordained priests who have taken an oath to God have sexually abused hundreds of young boys and then tried to cover it up.
I don’t believe such criminal actions against young children are mentioned anywhere in the Bible, do you? And yet these priests have been defended and protected by the same church they serve, while young boys are left feeling dirty and traumatized at the hands of someone they trusted.
We can’t welcome and accept, with open arms, the homosexual community into the Catholic church, but we’ll allow homosexual behavior of an abusive nature to go on behind its doors?
These are some of the questions which continually go unanswered for this former Catholic, and I don’t doubt they’re on the minds of millions of others around the world. As I said, religion has been defined as “something one believes in and follows devotedly.” But cannot willingly continue to practice such a faith when it seems to go against everything Jesus stood for such as love and acceptance for all.
I doubt if he were alive today, he would deny homosexuals or any other member of society entrance into his church, and I know he would certainly not allow his representatives on earth to continue preaching his word after the crimes they’ve committed.
My wife once asked me if I’d ever go back to church again. If I found a religion who could understand and relate to the parishioners they serve and welcome every race and sexual orientation into their congregation, then maybe I would. But for now, I still believe in a higher power, perhaps even God himself, and pray nightly in my own personal faith. But I refuse to have my name associated with any organization or group that can’t fully practice what they preach.