I am shaking very hard. It is difficult to type.
I spent a long time - years
, really - searching for the "true" religion.
In the 8th grade, I was confirmed in the Lutheran church. During my interview with the pastor, I was asked why it was necessary to attend church services.
My answer? "It isn't."
I then explained that according to the religion as I understood it - as I had been taught by Sunday School teachers since before I entered kindergarten - what mattered was a person's personal relationship with Christ. That, to me, meant that there was no need, no requirement for a Christian (or, at least, one identifying as Lutheran) to attend services.
Given the pastor's reaction to my answer ("Of course you need to attend church! Because....um....."), I thought that perhaps I'd better go looking for a religion that made some sense.
From ninth grade through my junior year of college, I studied churches and religions. Read about them, attended services offered by a variety of denominations. And then I studied some more.
After this time, after reading about the Reformation and the (many) reasons for it, I still came to the conclusion that the Catholic church was, truly, The Church Christ Established. The papacy was founded by Christ and Peter was the first Pope; all the moral laws, guidelines, requirements were in place for a reason. Granted, I personally might not understand the reasons: yet I was okay with that.
Again, to my way of thinking: as a parent, I tell my kids not to play in the street. It's a rule, and one I expect them to follow. When they get old enough, they'll understand why, the reason - but until they do, I simply expect them to obey the rule because I KNOW BETTER.
God is my Father; therefore, I will listen to him, even if I disagree with the rule. Which is overly simplified, but was the way I felt about God's authority.
And as I believe(d) that the Catholic church and its administration - the Pope, the Vatican, the bishops - were the true representatives, the human face of Christ on Earth, I obeyed their teachings. Even if one (or several, or many) of the Church's priests and bishops were wrong, or did wrong, or covered up for their brethren who did wrong, I still felt the institution itself - the Church - was right. That it was the "highest earthly authority in matters of faith, morality and Church governance."
I attended Mass. Matter of fact, I was at Mass on Friday (First Friday devotions, you know.) I work at a Catholic school. I send my three children to Catholic school.
And now there is this: A senior Vatican cleric has defended the excommunication of the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old girl who had an abortion in Brazil after being raped [by her stepfather].
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, head of the Catholic church's Congregation for Bishops, told the daily La Stampa on Saturday that the twins the girl had been carrying had a right to live.
I can barely express how this makes me feel. Sick, physically sick. Hurt. Embarrassed. Stupid. Wrong. Betrayed. Violated.
Oh, and angry. Very, very angry.
How can I go to work tomorrow? How can I continue to send my babies to a school that is governed by these kinds of people?
How can I call myself Catholic anymore? And why - please, God, tell me why - would I want