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Yvonne

Cutting My Catholic Ties

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I was baptized a Roman Catholic and spent most of my life as a practicing Catholic. In the recent years, I found myself at odds with the church. The two main contributing factors to my disillusionment are my progressive and liberal philosophy and Pope Benedict XVI (its a toss-up as to which contributed the most.) Anyway, the only times I've attended a mass lately have been for funerals. I was completely unaware of the changes in the mass until I attended a funeral yesterday.

 

Like I said, I don't consider myself Catholic anymore, I certainly don't attend mass regularly. Yet, when I encountered the changes, I was utterly grief-stricken. It bothered me so much I actually dreamed about it. I feel like something I cherished has died. I wish wholeheartedly that the changes were “good”, but they seem to be regressive, driving yet another wedge between the laity and the ordained. Way to go Pope Benedict. Why on earth would the word “consubstantial” even but used by a congregation? I'd bet most of the laity can't even say it, let alone know what it means.

 

I wonder how many disaffected Catholics will run now? What's more, there has been a push to call Catholics back. If any decide to return and find the mass has changed, I wonder if they stay?

 

If I sound angry, I am. I feel hurt and angry and somehow betrayed, despite my own withdrawal. I guess I'm going through stages of grief. Something that has been "always there" since childhood is gone. Perhaps this is what I needed to finally “cut the cord” and go my own way. No, I can no longer define myself as Catholic. Even if I could – at least peripherally – claim it before, I certainly will not now. Thanks Pope Benedict, for driving the final nail in the coffin.

 

I am so very thankful for this forum as a place to find solace.

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There is, I think, a deep and poigniant grief and sorrow about coming to a time of 'finality' in one's relationship with something or someone, when even though at some level, we already knew it was over, there must have been some lingering embers, hopes that there was still something that could be rekindled in at least some small measure of what once was there for us. I think we can experience that in many things, on many levels...the ending of a childhood dream, long term relationship, or any thing in which we've felt a deep sense of something or someone else being actually a part of us, of who we are. Accepting the once embers are now dead, grown cold, the finality, is a deep sorrow....at once we are freed, but at once also do we feel slain...something in us has died.

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB

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I, too, am sorry for you, Yvonne. Though I grew up Protestant, I always thought that Catholicism was a beautiful religion and I especially respected Pope John Paul II for his humanitarian and ecumenical efforts. It is indeed painful to watch our religion fall to pieces before our eyes or for us to reach a point where we see it as empty, hollow, vain. And I think it is especially difficult when we feel like an outsider to a group that used to give us a sense of identity, comfort, and meaning. I know that feeling, so I am sorry for your loss.

 

And yet, perhaps there is still something in your life that has always been there that is ready to break forth or be born into new life? Many religions, and many of the teachings found in our own, say that there is something in us that needs to die in order for something else to be born. As someone once said, "Die before you die." ^_^ Sounds like a contradiction, doesn't it? Or as the apostle Paul put it, "I have been crucified with Christ, I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." Perhaps, in an odd turn of events, Pope Benedict has done you a favor, not in the pain he has caused you, but in, as you say, driving the last nail in your coffin or in rolling a stone in front of your tomb to keep you in. But you are more than what your religion or the Pope says you are, my friend. The Spirit cannot be sealed in a coffin or kept in a tomb. True life and love will always find a way to be born...again. And again. And again.

 

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Yvonne.

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Yvonne,

 

It seems a good thing to me that you are truly experiencing that anger. Every breakthrough is not found by denying our feelings but rather by experiencing them fully as you seem to be. In my experience, the source of the anger is always found within ourselves as a related judgement of some sort or a position we have attached ourselves to on how we think things should be with that which is beyond our control. In other words, an internal resistance to what is.

 

Being raised a Catholic myself, i do not see it now as a loss but rather a gift that was instrumental in my awakening.

 

Thanks for being you,

Joseph

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Yvonne I feel you didn't cut the ties, the Catholic Church cut them with a rigid sword that doesn't bend. You are outside the church like the stars shinning your light on everything and everyone that sees you. If the Catholic Church closes a window that is their choice. I hope they open it someday because the people inside are the ones missing out.

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See, this is exactly why I love this forum. Thanks for helping me see things in a better light.

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Yvonne,

 

Oh my dear, I so know how you feel! I only joined this forum yesterday so I am late in replying. I hope you read this.

 

I too, was a practicing Roman Catholic all my life and left within the last decade largely due to the postive influence of TCPC, Bishop Spong and others as well as the negative influence of Pope Benedict and the corrupt Vatican institution.

 

The changes in the language of the Mass became mandated in 2007 or 2008 to become effective on November 27, 2011. I knew back then in 2007 that I wouldn't be able to pray like that or worship without great anger when that happened. I was of course very angry already about many things, including the return of the Tridentine Latin mass and Benedict's other policies. I stopped going to Mass ahead of time. I watched how my family (still RC's) dealt with these mass changes and indeed they are also grief-stricken. One of my dearest friends is a Catholic priest and he is so utterly devastated by this since he has no choice now but to pray that way when he celebrates mass. It has been very sad and even though I haven't gone to Mass yet to hear it in person, I know how awful it is from reading the comments of many others on various sites. Sooner or later I will have a funeral or wedding to attend and then I will hear for myself.

 

I am very angry with the Bishops of the United States and Canada for not refusing to comply with this. A few of them wanted to, but the majority just rubber-stamped it as they always do whatever the Vatican wants. The people in the pews be damned as far as they are concerned. I am betting the RCC will lose many more people to add to the 30 million that have already left (you and I being just two of them). Their lack of compassion and the level of corruption there is mind-boggling.

 

Amy

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Thanks for replying Amy.

 

I'm over the anger. I have since moved on. I will stll attend the obligatory mass when family events require it. I will pray my own way, silently if need be.

 

I have moved past Roman Catholicism. I am now a member of the Universal Anglican Church, working on my MDiv, and have applied for ordination. I feel so free! And I found a community that I can truly connect with - very PC.

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