Hello all, it is I, HabemusFrancis. I yet again am having doubt about my faith and “Sticking with” the Church.
It is not the Churche’s teachings I really question all that much, unlike many cafeteria Catholics. Its more just the whole molestation thing and the institutional Church’s odd response to it.
The more I read, the more the Church reminds me of the old Britney Spears song “Toxic.”
It seems like an odd and toxic place, for willing to employ pedophile priests for such a long time,( the whole “moving around” response to abusive priests was the norm from NY, to Philly to Ireland, everywhere in Catholic world) and to have people like father Groeschel saying teens “come on to priests” and other things like that.
I just find the whole argument that bishops and other people years ago “just didn’t know” enough about pedophilia to make good judgements about priests not too credible. Im not sure I agree with that, or think its true at all. My own grandparents were about the same age as those bishops from a “different” generation and were quite sexually conservative. They thought couples living together before marriage was immoral, were deeply opposed and repulsed by homosexuality ( more so than they are now) and did not like the idea of telling dirty jokes or showing dirty movies to minors, never mind molesting them.
I just can’t help but think the whole response to the molestation thing was symptomatic of people with the same background all living together and thinking the same thing. None of the bishops who made these decisions had children or a serious relationship, and were most likely not close friends with people who were married with kids. They say empathy and understanding of people’s pain and suffering is shaped by having a “shared experience” with them and being able to identify with them. I think that could be hard to identify with a parent of a child if you have none yourself.
Idk, all in all the hierarchy and priesthood of the Catholic Church, while producing many good individuals, seems to have a toxic and dysfunctional side. I know some might tell me sin has been around the Church since its inception, but is it really right to call child molestaters sinners? Of course the action is a sin, but from what I have read, the priest and others who did (do) this are basically mentally ill and really cannot stop themselves from doing what they do. A Jesuit friend of my fathers takes part in “monitoring” and “counseling” pedophile ex-priests in Milwaukee and he has basically told my parents that the priests do not believe they really did anything wrong.
So what are some reasons I should stay? I am quite discouraged all in all…