It’s been another week of not great church news… Bishop being prosecuted, NOM papers from court explain a strategy of destruction, angry reaction from Cardinal Dolan to an activist who begs him to come meet the kids we help displace with our angry rhetoric. And then there was the mandatory lecture in MN where a priest played ‘let’s teach ‘em how to vote’ with the senior class, beginning with the need for marriage and ending abruptly when the kids stood their ground asking questions and sharing lgbt history. Politics, legal repercussions for the crazy ‘which rock is the pedophile priest under,’ and hurtful rhetoric are not the way to observe holy week.
I know my church wants to say all are loved. I know that. But the hierarchy seems so concerned about slippery slopes creating protected classes and retaining the legal right to treat our kids differently that the message of love is lost…long gone.
This is the holiest week of the year in my church. This is the week that I would usually spent many many hours in church… and yet I just can’t do it this year. I’m trying to convince myself it is a health issue. But I think it’s a gut issue, more emotional than physical.
On Tuesday I hosted the ministry group at our house, pre Chrism Mass. Our potluck space was being used, so we moved across the street. Beautiful souls… my friends in this ministry are folks who have been kicked around by the church, and yet they are faithful. They are able to ignore the bad…or write it off to the flawed human condition. And we revel in the wonder that is our way of celebration. Our rituals are life sustaining.
I’ve written often that I wonder weekly why I stay. Why am I still a Catholic. This week we are reminded that Jesus didn’t ‘appreciate’ the hierarchy either. And they called Him a heretic. And yet he continued to love, and to teach us to love.
There are many many historians in my church… ( who will tell us that we must live, pray, love a certain way because the HISTORY of our church says so) but there are not as many prophets. I hope to follow the prophets, NOT the historians. The future of our church lies in the hands of prophets.