I’m a big fan of ancient rituals and really got a kick out of following this papal conclave. I’m also happy that there is a new Pope.
The fact that he’s from our part of the world is revolutionary. A Jesuit who’s got a background in science and chemistry, should make for some interesting papers coming out of the Holy See for the next few year, but that’s for another time…
The practice of my Catholic faith is firmly rooted in family guilt, several crisis’s of conscious, and the paradox of being both part of an orthodox branch of the tree that has extreme liberal practices (for instance, one of my favorite priests was married with kids) coupled with ancient and conservative rites. Hell, even I can’t keep up sometimes…
A few years ago, I grew tired of constantly reading about the malfeasance of the Church, the stories of abuse, and of the pain that was inflicted upon innocent children. I reached a point where I didn’t think I could in good conscious, share this with my girls. I openly questioned my faith, and my faith in the leadership.
I reached out to an old friend who was able to help calm my nerves and talk me back from the ledge.
So on this momentous occasion, I wanted to share some of his words:
I think the problem that exists in the “Roman” Church is that it has so many “man made” laws that were really meant to be positive but over time has outlived its purpose such as mandatory celibacy and the like. The problem with the history of the church is that compared with most other denominations is that it has a long history and it had some growing pains and it has existed through some strange times. You have to take into account those times and the political environment in which things happened. Let’s face it, the split with England and Rome was over politics not religion. Henry VIII in his records at Hampton Court Palace recorded that he died a “good and faithful Catholic”. Like it or not politics have and do play a major role in our churches, listen to some of the sermons…
As a father I would suggest that you try to remind your daughters that faith is the most important element and prayer and belief in God and the Salvation that he offers us through his son. God uses the church to accomplish HIS mission. The problem is when the church decides to sidetrack and create their own mission. You are never wrong for questioning, you would only be wrong to sit idly by and be a drone.
Thank you Greg for the perspective and for the calm words. May we all find a few moments of quiet where peace will calm our restless souls.
And if possible, can I get a bit of that to go? I need to sprinkle a bit on a very active two year old….