CATHOLICS ARE REVOLTING
The Times They Are A-Changin' . . . Or Not
I've never quite understood why people wanted to be Catholics; I mean, remain part of the organized Church. The whole thing always seemed a bit strange to me, this vast edifice, this institution rooted so very far in the past. In America, so many of its' ways were so unlike our own. Even as a child in church and catechism, priests and nuns seemed weird and abusive to me.
As I grew older, these clerics' own personal attitudes towards sexuality began to seem pathological. Priests and nuns deliberately cut themselves off from the very well and fount of life itself, dealing with it God-knows-how (not real well, some of them), and then presumed to judge the rest of us, gay, straight or otherwise. All sex was bad, period.
Due to the necessity of having children, to keep those collection-plate dimes and dollars rolling in, sex was an unpleasant but necessary duty dumped on "the laiety," us breeder animals (HEY! Maybe THAT'S why they call us "lay people"!!!) : Not a joy, not a delight specially provided us by God in His infinite wisdom: Something nasty and dirty and shameful. This was the wrong message to send free, healthy young American boys and girls, post 1960. But then, these all-too-worldly and in-our-faces celibate church people were out of it on so many issues. They seemed more other-worldly than "unworldy," and not in a good, "E.T." way. More like "Aliens."
And it wasn't just me, I came to realize. Before abortion became an issue, before stem-cell research or any of that, the Church, or, rather, its' weird representatives here on Earth, had already alienated many. Of them, most left the Church. Those that stayed still felt strong social and spiritual ties, I guess. I didn't.
Now, with the priest-child-abuse scandals, ongoing and forever unresolved, there is a very real ferment, perhaps the beginning of a movement toward reform. For those who chose to stay, it's their church. They cough up the cash every week, they drag their kids to church and catechism, they ARE the church, not the weird aliens in the unisex robes.
The question is, can they remain Catholic? Can the Church remain Catholic, hierarchical, undemocratic, ruled by the Pope from Rome, and actively politically neanderthal? The original ultra-right wing were the Ultramontanists, the church officials in the upper far-right-hand-side bleachers in that tennis court at Versailles, as the French Revolution was exploding. They were against any and all change. Their blind, stubborn opposition, and seeming lack of awareness or concern for the plight of average French people resulted in an anti-clerical backlash that persists to this day, throughout Europe.
Plus ca change, plus c'est la same old shit. When the current Pope dies, what will happen to the Church? By choosing to take so blatantly political, and impolitic a stand on this election, the bishops may have laid the foundations for real change in the Church, which could end in their own demise. Or not.
"Catholic women activists protest Vatican's UN role"
"GLBT protest targets Catholic hierarchy"
"Catholics For A Free Choice"
"Working for equality and justice in the Church and society."
"TOWARD A CATHOLIC CONSTITUTION"
"New Groups Push for Change"
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