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Old 11-28-2001, 09:02 PM   #1
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I'm angry to the point that...

...I'm considering leaving my religion, Roman Catholicism, permanently, after 21 years of being a part of it. The Pope has made one too many blitheringly narrow-minded and offensive homophobic statements finally, and I'm looking into other, more open-minded Christian sects. Roman Catholicism simply has so many lies and "misinformations" piled on top of each other that I am questioning whether I can even stay in it with good conscience.

I've lost all confidence that my native faith can change any longer. I was brought up in it to believe it was a fairly liberal and tolerant sect, and it has proven this in regards to social justice for the unfortunate and in reaching out to leaders of other religions, both Protestant and non-Christian.

However, the Vatican has simply proven over the last few years that it values faulty tradition over people. And now that the Pope has openly encouraged discrimination at the secular level against anyone who supposedly "threatens the traditional family," I am just angered beyond belief, particularly since the Pope also alluded to atrociously flawed "natural law" arguments, which find their root at the "Adam and Eve" garbage--which they discourage belief in anyway! I hope the old @#$% is very pleased with himself that I, once one of the most ardent supporters of the Catholic Church in public and on this forum, simply cannot stand to even think about the faith anymore without seething with internal revulsion and betrayal.

Maybe my emotions will change tomorrow, and I will take back what I have written, but, in the meantime, I am interested in knowing the other facets of Christianity. Just so you know, don't even suggest faiths that are either fundamentalist or homophobic, because I will not be interested.

It's only ironic yesterday that I mentioned that I would likely start my own denomination, had it not been for my Catholic background, which, generally, means that we are more reluctant to break off if we are unhappy. Perhaps this is the sign I was waiting for. Had it not been for Martin Luther, for instance, the Church would likely never have changed during Vatican II. What do you think?

And no smart ass comments, okay? I'm being both sincere and dead serious here. If this seems arrogant, so be it, and drop it.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 11-28-2001, 09:40 PM   #2
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Personally, I hate all the divisions of the Christian religion. You shouldn't give a rats ass what the Pope says. You are a Christian before you're a Catholic.

I've often wondered if I had a choice at birth, would I choose to be in the Catholic Church. I don't think I would. But, I wouldn't have wavered on my Christian beliefs.



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Old 11-28-2001, 09:44 PM   #3
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Like I've always said...I'm catholic but not by choice. Don't tell my parents though! I've always thought that the catholic church was just a money making regime and a crock of crap personally. I grew up with it and despised every moment of it. Sorry if this offends anyone but that's just how I feel.

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Old 11-28-2001, 09:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by clarityat3am:
Like I've always said...I'm catholic but not by choice. Don't tell my parents though! I've always thought that the catholic church was just a money making regime and a crock of crap personally. I grew up with it and despised every moment of it. Sorry if this offends anyone but that's just how I feel.

You dont' offend me.

A practicing Catholic,

CK
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Old 11-28-2001, 09:49 PM   #5
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If the Church can't save the world, can the world save the Church?

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Old 11-28-2001, 09:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheU2:
A practicing Catholic
So what do you believe in that differs from the official stances, if you don't mind me asking? And, if you do have these differences, how do you reconcile it to the degree that you remain a practicing Catholic?

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time

[This message has been edited by melon (edited 11-28-2001).]
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Old 11-28-2001, 09:56 PM   #7
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Melon, as a Roman Catholic myself, I do understand your anger and frustration.

Add to that being a female, and all that entails, w/ some of the Church's and The Pope's, views.

But just speaking for myself, NONE of this can shake the foundations of my faith, as it is the most important thing in my life.

I sincerely hope you do not 'leave' the faith. In my experience, it is the nature of life in the faith to constantly question and struggle w/ these issues. Leaving is 'giving up', isn't it? I say this only because of my struggles, both w/ The Church in general, and w/ the church I attend.

We need people like you who think so deeply about these issues. I commend you for your honesty.
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Old 11-28-2001, 10:01 PM   #8
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Melon,

I feel the same way you do. If I had enough ambition, I'd start my own denomination.

I just believe that if I live a good life and treat people well, I should be ok in the end.

Non-Practicing Catholic

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Old 11-28-2001, 10:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
So what do you believe in that differs from the official stances, if you don't mind me asking? And, if you do have these differences, how do you reconcile it to the degree that remain practicing?

Melon

Differences: I don't agree with the Catholic church regarding the ban on priests marrying. Sexual relations before marriage should be allowed if you're in a committed relationship. The average age of people who get married has steadily increased due to societal/economic pressure concerning education, career, etc. I have often wished that I could be married before God without the necessary societal/economic requirements regarding education, house, etc. in place.

I also think that the Church purposedly (sp) excludes some members of society who are committed followers of Christ.

How do I reconcile my differences to the degree that I remain practicing? I guess I should consider myself a practicing Christian who happens to belong to a Catholic Church.



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Old 11-28-2001, 10:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheU2:
I guess I should consider myself a practicing Christian who happens to belong to a Catholic Church.
Perhaps I am prodding here, but why remain Catholic knowing this? Why not, for instance, convert to a different Christian sect? Just curious...

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 11-28-2001, 10:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
Perhaps I am prodding here, but why remain Catholic knowing this? Why not, for instance, convert to a different Christian sect? Just curious...

Melon

Because the people in my church are great people. There is an awesome sense of community. And our basketball team is pretty good.



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Old 11-28-2001, 10:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheU2:
Because the people in my church are great people. There is an awesome sense of community.
You know, I think that's what really has bothered me more than anything. It's not what the Pope indiscriminately spouts off; it's really the fact that I don't feel like I fit in within Catholicism, and, increasingly, feel like I am a stranger within my own religion. It would be nice to rectify, but I wonder if it's even possible.

Thanks for your responses. They're appreciated.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 11-29-2001, 01:08 AM   #13
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melon, does your religion need a name? Thats a serious question too. I mean, is it really posible to find an organised religion that will not let you down in some way? No matter how subconcious it is, or how you do your best to look over it (which is definately not your style) By this I dont mean that organised religiopn WILL fail you, its just that i dont believe there is one that will fit all your ideals perfectly. if you do find one, congratulations and all the best, but I feel with your thirst for complete and total knowledge on such an issue will mean you may spend the rest of your life finding one to match what you believe is right and true.

Im simply curious to know why folks need a name or label for their beliefs. Does someone really need a building to pray in, or get closer to God? If not for you melon, perhaps you could consider going solo, at least you will know you will not let yourself down as you have the ability to adapt, and formulate your own ideas as you see fit.
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Old 11-29-2001, 01:55 AM   #14
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Damn, Angela, you do that a lot! Why do you always insist on writing my thoughts down before I get around to it??

So, what Angela said, and Melon - I'm surprised that you are so reluctant to cut the umbilical cord, as I have always felt that finding the truth was more important to you than being with people who think the same way as you do. Face it, Melon, you're lightyears ahead of most people when it comes to education and curiosity, and you can't expect everyone to keep up, least of all an old man like the Pope (no disrespect intended), so I'd give serious thought to "going solo" as Angela puts it.
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Old 11-29-2001, 04:30 AM   #15
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haha sorry Klod. To be honest though, Im sure the main purpose of melon's post was to get some suggestions on religons he might want to take a second look at, and Im sure all of what I said he has already considered.

That said, I'm being a tad too presumpotous here so I'll shut up and let melon speak for himself.
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Old 11-29-2001, 04:34 AM   #16
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Well, melon already knows where I stand on this one. I was raised Catholic and I have had serious issues with Catholicism and Christianity in general. I don't agree with alot of the things the Pope says either but in my quest for an alternative I found myself coming full circle back to Catholicism. I still have issues, but I guess I try to look for the truth behind the lies and sort of come up with my own version of what being a Catholic is for me. I try to take the parts that resonate with me and leave behind the parts that I disagree with. But, am I still even a Catholic then? I don't know.

My cousin has had similar issues with Catholicism and she has been considering switching over to the Greek Orthodox Church. But I sort of feel like I was raised Catholic and I can try to get away from it but it's inside of me and I'm not sure if it is possible to just leave. It's true that we shouldn't need labels for our beliefs but when you are traditional at heart like I am and your whole family is Catholic you tend to want make it work somehow. I think this is what melon has been trying to do up to now but at times the hypocrisy becomes too much to bear. I am not sure if there is an easy answer to this one.


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Cause I need it now"



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Old 11-29-2001, 04:57 AM   #17
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the only true religion=common sense.
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Old 11-29-2001, 08:09 AM   #18
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Melon;

Let me start off by saying that you're a man after my own heart.

Not only do your views epitomise what I have been feeling ever since I was old enough to realise that the Holy blood of Christ was in actual fact wine of very bad vintage, but at the age of fourteen, after somethign terrible occurred, I actually renounced God. No, not just the Roman Catholic CHurch, but its entirety including God. It took me less than a month to realise how arrogant such a motion was, and I did everything in my power to express how sorry I felt (I did not, however, go to confession, I still think the idea of talking to a complete stranger about your darkest and deepest secrets is a bit creepy, I'd much sooner talk to Hannibal Lecter about them). Four years on, I would like to think that God teaches and speaks to me through my everyday life; I am not a God-fearing, no, I'm a God-loving man. I have a very complicated system of belief, though, if you look at it from my point of view its dead simple.

I have no religion, I gave it all up in the name of logic, and I think that logic is taking me to God. I do pray, but I would rather call it meditation (though they are essentially the same thing). I do celebrate Christmas because it celebrates the life of a Great man who changed the world with his love, however, to me its not some excuse to feed an age-old religion. However, I don't fast (unless there is something unjust happening in MY life that I can change .ie - when one of my exes refused to talk to me, I fasted to the point I really couldn't walk. Sounds ludicrous, but it WAS a complicated situation). AS for the Pope, there is simply no one I disagree with more on the face of this planet, with the exception of Margaret Thatcher. The pope is, and always has been if you look back since the very beginning of Popery, a man who looks after the interests of the church, and nothing more. I always hated it how established religion always told the individual that THEY were God. That THEIR path was THE path of God. How THEY were the only ones capable of saving the world.

Unfortunately, as history tells us, this is nonsense. More often than not, the Catholic Church has destroyed the world, or, when it suited them, merely stayed on the fence and reaped in the benefits. This can be seen from its early stages in its passion for taking over new lands (The New World and its conquest was not merely motivated by Kings and Queens), indifference to the suffering during the Holocaust, support of Franco and other fascist regimes during the Spanish Civil War and its very VERY fascist views. Not only do they think contraception is morally wrong, they condem everyone who practices it. Not only is homosexuality wrong, but homosexuals are doomed to the pits of the sixth Hell, little knowing that Michaelangelo, the very man who painted the Sixteenth Chapel, was in fact a homosexual. And could I be as cynical as to point out that many and MANY priests of the Catholic Church are probably homosexual (not mere speculation, its just that there's been so many cases).

With such a bad record and such contrived policies, the hypocrisy of the church only matches the hypocrisy of politics; where do we go from here? Well, I'll tell you where I went - away from it.

I couldn't believe in a religion that dictated terms to me, that told me that God is this and God is that. To everyone who ever tells me what God is upto, I answer back; how do YOU know the will of God, are YOU God?

The moment people start thinking that they exclusively know the will of God, they should learn humility. And thats exactly what the Catholic Church (or any religious establishment, but particularly the CC)should learn, humility; the God I want to know will not be tainted by the dirt of politics, but be free of all that. I am sorry, but to me, the Catholic Church does not represent God, it represents itself, and all of the worst (and best) attributes that Mankind has to offer.

Melon, my advice to you is the same advice I read in Bernard Shaw's play 'Major Barbara'; 'if your religion is destroyed by the truth, no matter! Build another one tomorrow!'

Religions and faith can be rebuild, as History has proven. To tell you frankly, they are so flimsy and whimsy that the only thing that matters is the core of your existence; love. AS long as you have love, you won't need the other baggage.

Ant.
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Old 11-29-2001, 12:01 PM   #19
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there are a lot of interesting points here. like a lot of people, i, too, have had many issues with my catholic faith and the pope's views on many issues. however, one reason i choose to continue practicing my catholic faith is similar to what calluna said earlier - "I try to look for the truth behind the lies and sort of come up with my own version of what being a Catholic is for me. I try to take the parts that resonate with me and leave behind the parts that I disagree with." i also believe that a religion can only progress if the progressive people stick around. although at times is is extraordinarily frustrating because it seems like the church will never progress in some areas, i truly believe that even the most progressive and questioning catholics have a place. if nothing else, they serve as a conscience/progressive to those with opposing views.
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Old 11-29-2001, 05:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by sharky:
In the end, I'm a practicing Catholic but I know the church is wrong at times.

Same here.

The Catholic Church used to castrate young boys to prevent their vocal chords from fully developing so that they could remain in the choir. Today, looking back on that, we all recognize it was wrong, and you'd be hard pressed to find anybody in the Church who still thinks this was a good idea.

Regarding homosexuality, it is really an issue that has been brought to the forefront by the media, relatively recently. Pre-marital sex, while it has always existed, was not really a subject worthy of discussion decades ago. These, and other issues, point to the need of the Church to evolve with the times.

The reason I would not switch to a different sect of Christianity, is that I generally don't like the idea that if you don't like something, you should simply break away from it, and get rid of the tenets you abhor. I prefer an evolution of religion. In the same way Reform Judaism was introduced by Mendelsohn, the Second Vatican Council was important, in the context of the era. It is now time to proceed with further reforms. I feel the best way to deal with some of the Church issues (particularly things like birth control in Latin and South America) is in a progressive manner. Young Catholics need to get together and advocate a progression of ideas. Every revolution must come within, and I believe this holds true for Catholicism as well.

Hope that sort of helped.


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