Sunday, September 2, 2012

I'm Still Here

I was standing in the kitchen this morning, buttering an English muffin, when I had the powerful sensation that I simply had to attend Mass today.  I haven't been to church since July 22, when the Mass I had offered for my friend Tara was said.  And then before that, I hadn't been to church in quite some time.

So I did.  I got showered and dressed and brushed the slight hangover out of my mouth and drove through the rain to that beautiful building.

At Mass, I discovered the priest who had been removed during Lent 2011 was back.  I had read in the National Catholic Reporter that he had been found suitable for return to the ministry.  And I was thinking of him pretty much through the entire hour.  How it must have been to be removed and know what people are thinking of you, and then to return, and wonder what people think of you now?  But I'd hazard to guess that even that pain isn't but a fraction of what the abused child has to endure.


I didn't put anything in the offering basket.  I'll probably send a check to the LCWR.  Is it wrong that part of me hopes for a fracture?  For a schism?  Why can't I have my catholic cake and eat it, too? 

I feel wrapped up in the birth control mandate, and the fortnight for freedom, and what I interpret to be a power grab aimed at women religious. 

My Church continues to make me cry.  Really, not most of its people, but its bureaucracy.  Save for one now deceased Jesuit Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, who, in his final dying interview, implored the Church to change, or risk losing more and more parishioners. 

A few choice quotes from that interview: 

-"The Church is 200 years out of date.  Why don't we rouse ourselves?  Are we afraid?"

-"Our culture has aged, our churches are big and empty and the church bureaucracy rises up, our rituals and our cassocks are pompous."

-"A woman is abandoned by her husband and finds a new companion to look after her and her children. A second love succeeds. If this family is discriminated against, not just the mother will be cut off but also her children."

-"The Church must admit its mistakes and begin a radical change, starting from the pope and the bishops. The paedophilia scandals oblige us to take a journey of transformation."

Sounds like a gracious man truly grappling with the role of the Church in the modern world.  I hope his voice continues to resonate.



Fran said...

It is complicated - and almost always painful. I am sorry about that.

I'm always glad to see you here, frequently or infrequently.

De said...

I've been following those Nuns on the Bus with great interest. At least they are going places. (ba-dum-bump.)

I haven't been to church in ages and I'm struggling with getting to confession about it, which is a different kind of issue, but maybe related: if I don't agree with the catechism/hierarchy on some things, where does that end?

The thing is, the practices are not consistent. My friend in the midwest has a civil marriage and her church won't let them take communion. My husband and i were also married by a jp, and our parish could not care less.