Thursday, August 9, 2012

The whole "Catholic" thing...

I have been trying to keep up with Cardinal Dolan (while wondering about his invitations to certain dinner parties - not going to rant on that right now) and I ran across this article : Evangelizing Amid Sobering Statistics  Permit me to wonder aloud about a few things...

First, Cardinal Dolan doesn't really address the "lapsed Catholics" who still consider themselves "part of the family." I, however, need some answers. Can you explain this to me? I'm starting to feel like we need a "Catholic church Alumni Association". You know, for those people who don't really want to be part of the organization anymore but still like to bring it up in conversation sometimes. Heck, maybe they'll even go to "homecoming" every few years and make a donation once in a while. Those who, for whatever reason (do you have one?), don't want to follow the teaching but still want the Sacraments and want the freedom to label themselves "Catholic" when the situation presents itself.

I promise you, this is not a rant. I really, truly, would like to know why this is. I am a practicing Catholic. I fail at that...often. However, at the end of the day, I do think I try the very best I can to educate myself about my religion so that I can follow it to the best of my ability while also passing it on to my children. It's not easy. It's very often not fun. It's almost always counter-cultural. Why would you want to paint a target on your back (especially these days) if you're not going to get the full grace and benefit from walking the walk? There are sooooo many other religions out there. We won't make you stay if you really want to be elsewhere.

Second, this kind of astounds me:

"But I wonder if another group is most somber of all: this is the big percent that tell us they left the Church not so much because of any particular beef with Catholicism or because they found another congregation more tantalizing, but because they do not see the need for any religion at all!
These are the ones who claim that they believe but could care less about belonging. They’re 'spiritual' but not religious, they tell us."

So, let me work this through my tiny brain. These Catholics have left the Church, not for any specific reason (like pedophiles or women's ordination) , but because they aren't really religious at all. They don't want to belong. Wow. I would have liked to talk to some of the people who answered in this manner. You're telling me that you read the news every day and your best plan is to go it alone? Why are we so much about individualism in this culture? Why do we think we can solve all the problems by ourselves? Why are the incidence of depression and feelings of isolation so high when we all have 500 friends on Facebook? (please note the above comment...I'm not saying that everyone will choose to be Catholic but, goodness, don't you want a family somewhere?)

As you can see, I have no answers. It's just so troubling to me to think that society has changed so much and that so many people think it's better now. I look at my childhood and the society in which I am raising my children and I tend to disagree.

And now I'm off to bed to listen to the thunderstorm. Better than therapy and so much cheaper!

1 comment:

  1. I don't get it either. I tried the whole "I believe in God but don't need to go to a Church" formula. I wouldn't have called myself unhappy; I had the career, friends, house, car , vacations and relationships. But there was a hollowness or aimlessness, a "what now" or "is this it" in my life. I didn't find peace untill I came back to the Church and the rest of my life fell into order.