[Note to bishops and underlings...this is what you've done. Well, part of what you've done, anyway.]
As a 42 year old "Cradle Catholic" I've found myself having to re-educate, or perhaps self-educate over the last 10 years. Having children (now 13/16)and an adult convert wife, we have spent a lot of time in RCIA, communion, and confirmation classes. While participating in those programs I came to realize that I was a cultural Catholic. What I wanted to be was an educated and faithful Catholic with a fuller understanding of "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic."
It has been, and continues to be a joyous journey.
Our new trials almost defy explanation. We have sexual predators in Roman collars, an openly active homosexual community in some seminaries, and an American leadership apparently looking the other way.
Jesus told Peter that "...the gates of Hell will not prevail..." against His Church, but it sure seems like
someone's on the other side of those gates and is pushing like crazy!
I listen to talk radio in Dallas Texas. We have a Christian (evangelical) talk station, and several secular stations. As you can imagine, the Catholic
Church is a regular topic of conversation. Now I can appreciate an honest conversation about a controversial issue...but now that it is open season on Our Church, every nut-job is coming out of the woodwork telling second and third hand stories about baby skeletons in convent attics, wholesale raping of nuns by priests, and other garbage that makes "Maria Monk" read like the singing nun!
The thing that just makes me nuts, is that we are in a damned if you do, damned if you don't environment. If you don't respond and condemn you are callous and
uncaring. If you object to unsubstantiated charges,then you are simply a blind defender of an obviously corrupt church!
This is what our bishops have wrought... I hang my head in shame and embarrassment while listening to the world beat up my Church.
Evangelicals, whose solution to administrative problems or corruption is to go build a new mega-church look at me like I have a third eye when I try to explain I
won't leave the Real Presence in the Church founded 2,000 years ago by Jesus Christ, entrusted to Peter and his successor Popes.
My therapy (Reparation?) is to say Hail Marys and scream at the radio while driving the Dallas Tollway.