I grew up in a French Catholic home. Religion was a big part of our heritage and a big part of our daily life. I left the church many years ago because I could no longer be a part of it. At first I put my religion in the background, as my husband at the time had become negative and disrespectful towards it. I felt he was doing our children more harm than I was doing them good, by having religion in our lives. Then, when I left my husband, I left the church completely because the powers that be frowned on divorce and I refused to be frowned upon for getting myself and my children out of a terrible and dangerous situation. I did the right thing, and to this day, I know what I did was the right thing.
I am hardly the only person who had legitimate reasons for leaving the church. There has been every type of abuse by clergy in the church and many who used their authority to support it and conceal it. There is no denying this and there is no excusing it. Victims need to be compensated and supported and abusers and their supporters need to be held accountable.
It would seem that organized religion, especially the Catholic Church is a floundering institution which, at some point, will permanently drift into obscurity. A lot of people would like to see this happen. I am not one of them. Although I do wonder if it is beyond saving, I do feel that it is an institution that has always been worth saving and it grieves me that it probably will not happen.
Growing up, the Catholic Church was an important institution. I didn’t believe that it was ever infallible but I felt it was important in my life.
– We were fortunate to have dedicated priests and nuns serving our parish. I remember many of them today. They were a valued and respected part of our community and our lives.
– We were fortunate that we were taught basic morals and values – that we were taught rules that have helped us live good lives, rules that we could pass on to our children so they can live good lives.
– We were fortunate to have a strong sense of community. We celebrated births and we mourned deaths, together. We made time to gather every Sunday and many times in between. Our priest opened the church hall up to all of the teenagers in our small town (and surrounding areas). During the week we shot pool, played shuffleboard or table tennis, and practiced singing for our glee club. On weekends, we had dances which featured local aspiring bands. Father L’Heureux was our sole chaperone. I can only remember one incident. One young guy thought he would sneak in a mickey of alcohol. Father L’Heureux stepped in to escort him out and took a punch to the face. There was no blood but the good priest was not happy about having his cigar crushed. 😂
– We were fortunate to have many women (nuns) who devoted their lives to taking care of the sick and the elderly in homes and hospitals. These facilities were anticeptic, brilliantly, CLEAN. The food was nourishing and healing. The nursing was strict but compassionate . I spent a month in a public hospital a few years ago. I could not believe how we now treat our sick and suffering. The place was disgustingly dirty. The food was just plain disgusting. It was in no way edible, much less nourishing. Other than my cardiac specialist, who was amazing in every way, care and compassion was pretty much non-existent.
– We were fortunate to have a place to gather with others to experience a living faith. It was a moving and uplifting experience.
There were, and are, many positive contributions that religion, and specifically the Catholic Church made to society. There were a lot of truly dedicated and devoted clergy in the church who spent their lives serving others. I am so sorry that their lives and good deeds have been lost in the noise of the corruption that has rocked the church over the past few years. I am sorry for all that we have lost, especially since we have nothing of comparable value with which to replace it with.