Having grown up “culturally Catholic” and gone through Catholic grammar school and received all of the initiatory Sacraments , I had rather been given the impression initially that the RCC was the “only way”. By my early teen years however, truth be told, my Catholicism , my Christianity let’s say, took on more and more the unhealthy form of a neurosis, as opposed to a truly spiritually beneficial relationship with the religion. I had , what a psychiatrist at the time had aptly termed, a “Crucifix-fixation”. I had to make the sign of the cross, to myself , not always outwardly, but in my head, over and over. I had to find the shape of the cross in everything, tiles at school for example, and repeat this internal “ritual” of the sign of the cross over and over again, to feel a sense of well-being or calm or “inner peace”. I had to say a certain made-up (but long and tedious) type of rote prayer every night before bed, on my knees, or I felt that something bad would be about to happen. The God I believed in as a boy was a tyrant, the same as the God of the militant Islamists and the radical extremist Jews. A solitary reclusive eccentric, murderously jealous of “competition”, a fierce bearded misogynistic desert despot, demanding kneeling and prostration, and bloody atonement. And then the idea that they gave us when we were young that this God was actually at one time both himself *and * his own “son”, and then proceeded to allow himself / “son” to be killed , on a Roman cross, so that the whole world would be “saved” (which clearly it has not been), was and is really just a totally incomprehensible mystery. I mean really when you type it out like that and see it in print it looks like something a patient in a psych ward might come up with. In any case it was something that I don’t think I ever truly “digested” or fully accepted either. And the “holy spirit” ?? I don’t know…as a boy, just a dove I think. That’s all they showed us at least. It seemed like nobody really knew. And indeed how could they?
Ironically I have found that , today, in my 30’s, the view of God which I finally ended up with resembles more than anything else the kind of view which might be held by some liberal-minded Reform Jews. That’s about the closest thing , at least in strictly “Judeo-Christian” terms, that I can find. I believe in *a * “God” (clearly there’s got to be something “behind” it all), but I think of It ( I dislike the traditional gender preference of “Him” ) as probably basically “impersonal”. Possibly indifferent to us. But One. Unique and abstract and beyond our wildest dreams, but One. Never having had any “children” or “mothers” or “spirits” or any of that.
I know however that I am no longer Christian, much less Roman Catholic, because I can now say openly to anyone who asks that I flat-out deny the divinity of the man upon whom all of the Christian mythology is based (whoever the real “Jesus” was). He was just an ancient Jewish holy man, in my estimation. And he would have, I believe, wanted Jews to remain thoroughly Jewish and pagans to … either convert to Judaism (perhaps) or just … continue on their way without molesting his fellow Jews any further. The Roman-led Church which I see today , however, the one that developed over the ages, I think would be seen as an abomination to that ancient Palestinian Jew, whoever he was. It certainly would not be “recognized” by him that’s for sure. Literally, it would be something alien and unrecognizable to the man. That is my deepest and truest conviction on the issue. I have discussed it (even only very recently) with two different priests from the very Church where I grew up and we have just gone around and around and they have told me that what it all boils down to is I either have to accept the actual divinity of Jesus Christ, on blind faith, or no longer bother even to go to Mass (not even just to sit and “ponder” , as I had been given to occasionally doing in past weeks) because I am not in truth any kind of Christian.
I recently signed my membership in a nearby Unitarian Universalist church, finding that their overall principles are nearly a perfect match for my own. I wonder am I (technically) considered still a RC ?? What can I do to ensure that I am not, in the event say of an accident or something unforeseen occurring , waked and funeraled by my survivors in a RC manner ?? Is “requesting excommunication” and receiving the appropriate documentation literally necessary, as some websites suggest , or ??