Being the gadfly that I am, I often comment on news stories posted on the Religion News Service. That they haven’t banned me [yet] is a marvel and a credit to their impartiality.
Last week I left my mark once again on a story about a priest who was fired by the Catholic Church for refusing to say a revised form of the Mass prayer. I had protested that the Catholic cult is quick to fire him, but seems to have difficulty firing their child raping shaman. I pondered how Catholics can stand by and be silent participants in the shamefulness the Church represents.
I received this response from a reader claiming to be a Franciscan:
“Speaking as a Catholic who loves my faith, but is offended by the abuse scandals and the cover-up, I respond: I remain in the church because it is my home. Because it is my faith. Because I will not be run out of my home by politics, legalism, or other sundry aspects of this admittedly dysfunctional family. … There is a world of difference between a shaman and a priest…and between a cult and a church for that matter, your feigned outrage and inflammatory language notwithstanding”. - Thomas Rooney OFS
And my reply:
My outrage is not feigned. It’s quite real. Oh, not about the fired priest…one less priest is a good thing.
If your faith is predicated on managing a women’s uterus for her; or objecting to the happy union of gays; or condemning third world peoples to massive over population on one hand, or death by AIDS on the other through demonization of condoms… none of which are teachings of Jesus … then perhaps your faith is simply part of the problem, and an obstruction to a solution.
A world of difference between a shaman and a priest? Really?
Shaman: “A member of certain tribal societies who acts as a medium between the visible world and an invisible spirit world and who practices magic or sorcery for purposes of healing, divination, and control over natural events.” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/shaman
The catholic priest is certainly a medium between the natural world and the spirit world. He practices magic in the form of prayers and incantations to a make believe deity, and encourages others to pray to sway natural events through supernatural means.
But in another sense you’re correct: the Catholic Church also venerates/reveres dead body parts of beatified corpses … something many Shaman would find repulsive.
As for there being a world of difference between cult and religion? Hmmm… not in the dictionaries I’ve accessed:
Cult: “A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.” http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cult
One man’s cult is another’s religion. The early Roman’s saw Xtianity as a cult (“The Christians as the Romans Saw Them” Robt. Wilken). Little separates cult and religion except perhaps as it relates to accumulation of wealth. A religion is a cult with a large treasury. In that respect, perhaps Catholicism isn’t a cult. In all other respects it is. The Pope is the charismatic figure, and you all live not as thinking 21st century purveyors of reason and reality, but in the unconventional manner of medieval credulous peasants.
Now, let’s get back to the child molesting priests and the hierarchy that covered it up. How many were promoted, reassigned, and handed a nice retirement package? How many were fired, or excommunicated like the nun in
That you are still a member of a church steeped in hypocrisy, delusion, corruption, sexual obsession and patently evil precepts makes you an enabler and as much a part of the problem as the dysfunctional church itself.
As for it being your “home.”: When a home becomes a source of abuse people with a grasp on reality, courage, and self respect find another.
The truth hurts. I’m thinking my days commenting there are numbered.