Seventy-five percent of Catholics who say they disagree with the Church’s traditional teachings on birth control, divorce and homosexuality said they aren’t exactly sure why they want to remain members of the Church, but they aren’t leaving, according to a new poll.
“I guess I could officially renounce my Catholicism,” said Bert Tucker, a computer sales manager and usher at Church of the Good Shepherd in Tampa. “But where am I going to go? To one of those evangelical wingbat churches where the beliefs are actually enforced? No thanks.”
Athough she thinks the Church is behind the times on most issues, including priestly celibacy and women’s ordination, Mary McFadden is proud of her role as RCIA instructor at the Church. “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t Catholic. All my relatives are Catholic. You know, I just want other people to experience that, you know, experience or whatever.”
Her husband Bill, who is a Eucharistic minister, said he rejects the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence, among other things, and it has caused him a lot of problems. “It really bugs me when people call me a liberal or a heretic or whatever. I’m just glad we don’t live back in the days
when people really were excommunicated for holding different views. Yeah, I don’t agree with the church
on 99 percent of what it teaches, but you can’t make me leave. I’ve been told the Church isn’t a democracy,but most polls show Catholics don’t agree with that.”
Other dissenters seem wistful. “I just identify with so much of Catholic culture, even if I don’t agree with the teachings,” said Krista Luntz, a sophomore studying literature at the University of Seattle, and who is opposed to the Church’s teaching on birth control. “There’s the music, the art, the architecture,” she said while motioning to the St. Ignatius Chapel behind her. “Well, on second thought, maybe I don’t really know why I am Catholic.”