Maybe it will help you understand your question if I quote one of my posts in another thread. I have a number of other such stories, about indiference on the part of clergy, harrasment by the same, etc, etc. Please note that mine is simply in the “spirit” of exposition. I certainly have had very good experiences in the Church, but in the end, despite much effort and prayer on my part, I found a much more comprehensive way and excused myself from its embrace. I don’t condone hatred of the Church or anything or one, but looking at our history from the outside, there can be cause for disappointment, at least.
Here is my quote, in answer to a Catholic who was quite convinced that most adults are damned. It is a fraction of why I left the Church:
"My Dad was a wonderful man. He attended more than the required masses, did charitable work, gave to the poor, supported his family, worked in soup kitchens, etc, etc, and much of this at great physical expense, as he in his later years had gouty artheritis in much of his body. When I sorted through his things after he passed I found stacks of awards and notes of appreciation from churches, institutions, officials, and many other people thanking him for the wonderful work he did or for the contributions he made.
This man of exemplary goodness lay screaming on his death bed wanting to be resucitated again and again, despite agonizing pain, because he feared the judgement of god.* My Mother, though she doesn’t have the string of paper acknowledgements that my Dad did, nevertheless deserves to have her name on them as well, as she did her own version of the same work or supported him in his. She is now declining, and her greatest fear is judgement from god.*
Is this what the faith has to offer to good people after eighty odd years of loving devotion to a church, a savior, and a god? Is this how your god welcomes his children back to his arms? Is this how we are to meet our fate, trembling and screaming, already in hell from the fear of judgement? Is this how you would treat your own children, having had a good Catholic upbringing? Is this the net mesaage that we are to glean from our years of guilt ridden practice of avoiding the alleged venial an mortal pitfalls of loving life for its own sake and doing good?
I see my Mom lying in bed, a shadow of her former vigorous, active self, yet shining with joy and gratitude at every leaf, at every bird, at every kind gesture, at every small thing in her life and in the glory of God’s creation, having given her life and love and resources to all who knew her. And yet, she is terrified to die because of the legacy of guilt and fear that she has been given as her portion by the church, the representative of god’s love on Earth.
For my part, Distracted, I can see a new and glorified Catholic Church that is capable of transmitting a valid and useful gospel. Yet, despite this vision, I see all around me my contemporaries who are Catholic living in fear of meeting their loving god. Where in this is Goodness, where in this is Love, where in this are all the virtues? And how is it that the god that is to be met, who offered his own son to a bloody tortuous death, is less merciful in the anticipated judgement than the poor wretches who fear his embrace?
In the face of this, are you surprised that you find the stories that are on here? Are you surprised that a comedian can say that people are leaving their churches every day to find God? Are you surprised that Mark Twain said “Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion - several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven.?” Are you surprised that Adolph Hitler said “It is great luck for leaders that men don’t think?” I’m not.
The Catholic Church has done great and wonderful things, as have many of its members. I have nothing but respect and admiration for that. I am a grateful recipient of some of that myself. But there is a darker element that creeps in as false piety that is aided and abbeted by many clergy and by those such as preach and fear the wrath of a judgemental god. Fie on you all who are so. You are the ruination of souls by complicity to fear and separation. That is hell, and one need not die to experience it. One need only subscribe to any religion which has distorted the Love of the Father into dogmatized, ritualized, fearmongering about punishment, instead of elevating the Risen Christ into His place as the exemplar and giver of every good and perfect gift, and the giver of the Life blood of the Sacred Heart which pours out unto all who will have it.
If there is a Satan, he and his minions preach fear and separation. If Lucifer, the Light Bearer, fell, it is because he fell for his illusion of separation. Are you so arrogant as well to attribute the power to a mortal to “banish God?” Not even the damned see their own suffering but for the light of God, and if they suffer it is because the do not comprehend their never broken
at-one-ment with their Creator. The God we worship is Love and Light, and we support the glorification of his children as transparent in act to His goodness. What self induced fate awaits those who would decieve God’s children into fearing their own Source rather that edifying their potential as Good?"
*I have used lower case in some instances here deliberately to signify that in that context “god” etc. are manufactured illusions.