Friday, March 26, 2010

Fall From Grace

I am not a proud Catholic. It cannot even be said I am a good Catholic. Though baptized and confirmed into the Roman Catholic Church, it has, at times, disillusioned and confounded me. I have questioned it, its history, and the decisions (or non-decisions) of Rome. While I believe in my heart that the teachings of Jesus are admirable, and have incorporated them in my own life, I am less enthused by the Church itself, still straining to operate a world far different than the one Jesus was born into two thousand years ago. While there are elements of the Church that show an ability to adapt to the times, the message of the Roman Catholic faith (and its many Christian offshoots) is still too mired in tired dogma of millennia past.

The saddest part of the modern Roman Catholic Church, has been the rash of incidents involving clergy and the sexual abuse of young children. It strains credibility to believe that Rome is unaware, but it is inconceivable that knowledge of such heinous acts has not stirred the Church into an encyclical frenzy. Apparently, these crimes are the product of Man, and the Church feels itself above true concern for those who are scarred, as it shows no penchant or inclination for defrocking those who perpetrate such awful acts. Too often, they are simply shuttled to a new parish, to begin the cycle again, or tucked away in some corner of the Church, unrepentant and untouched by the enormity of their monstrous work.

The Church would have me reject homosexuals as "abominations," abstain from the use of contraception, and promote an end to abortion; all these are social issues, that they have seen fit to delve into. Yet, how can I -- even if I believed in the Catholic view on these things (I do not) -- push for such things when the Church itself cannot deal with the demon in its midst? That The Vatican would have me attempt to promote their social agenda, even as they fail to address such heinous acts, is hypocrisy of a grand order. Jesus must be weeping to see how far his religion has fallen, given that the titular head of it brushed such thing sunder the rug.

Any priest, if he be a true and faithful Catholic, would know the stain that such abuse places on their soul. Though the Church preaches forgiveness and the absolution of sin, on the day of reckoning, we are to be held account for our works on Earth. No amount of absolution can wipe such a stain so easily from a man, especially when that man is a priest, charged with safeguarding the souls of his flock. It is as if the shepherd has fed some of his flock to the wolves, and expects us not to notice.

Children, once baptized into the Roman Catholic Church, are supposed to be cleansed of original sin; how despicable then that the youngest, most vulnerable of God's followers are then swallowed up by the sin of a priest, casting their soul into darkness. If The Vatican is truly intent on proving its divinity as guardians of the word of Jesus, and its infallibility, it will not shuffle such reprehensible examples of the Lord's shepherds around to pillage new flocks, but will excommunicate them, expelling their foul ichor from the body of Christ.

And once the Pope has done this, he then needs to ask the forgiveness of the members of the Church, for allowing such transgressions against Man and God to go unpunished for so long. As we are baptized into the Church and cleaned of sin, let the Church be baptized into a new age of humanity with a clean soul.

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