Friday, February 11, 2011

Crisis of Faith

I was baptized and raised Catholic until just about 2007 when I threw in the towel and realized that the feeling like my puzzle piece just did not fit was not all in my head.  I went to several different parishes throughout my life and attended CCD classes for most of my school years.  I hung on dearly to the teachings of my mom who taught me that I was a Christian first and Catholicism was the religion we practiced.  I defended my beliefs and got indignant when the Catholic religion was ridiculed, but then one day I just couldn't do it anymore.

To say that I am not horrified by the allegations of the parish priests and Msgr. Lynn would be lying....but I knew it was coming at least for Lynn.  I belonged to St. Joe's Parish from the time we moved to Downingtown in 1994.  I tried to attend church regularly, but it was difficult if a priest that I did not like was serving mass.  Then in 2004 or 05 Msgr. McFadden left to become a Bishop and the parish got Msgr Lynn who seemed like a quiet mannered man.  Now my memories of the years up until a few years ago are foggy due to life circumstances, but I distinctly recall Msgr. Lynn giving the parishioners a mea culpa when serving for a late mass on a Sunday.  That to me was it...I was done.  I never felt welcomed at St. Joe's...too many parishioners appeared to be too caught up in the cliques of the church.  Prep as it was now called was going to cost me an arm and a leg for my boys to get additional religious education,  they wanted me to tithe 33% of my earnings (they got $5 a week from me) and then I was to look the other way when someone I was to confess my sins to and to turn to when I needed spiritual guidance had proven himself to be a sinner of the worst kind and had apparently guaranteed himself a place in hell?  I couldn't do it.   So I went looking for my spiritual being because she no longer existed at that church.  It took awhile and a few false starts, but I found my way and a church where I feel comfortable and welcomed.

But now I read the stories and the Grand Jury testimony about the alleged abusers and Msgr Lynn's part in it and I feel shaken and a bit betrayed.  Even though I no longer call myself Catholic and I would not go back I have always tried to show others who are less tolerant of the religion that it is not all that bad.  Now what do I say to them?  Can I really defend Catholic priests and the vow of celibacy and any other sacrament when it has happened in our own backyard?  I have been on my knees lately figuratively and literally trying to reconcile what this all means to me and I have not found and answer...tears come when I read or hear the stories and a sinking feeling in my heart.  So I will for the time being accept that a crisis of faith in times like this is not exactly bad if it keeps you on your knees.


  1. It obvious you were already dying for an excuse to bash Catholics. You couldn't be happier to be able to gloat and trash the entire religion because you didn't feel like you fit in with the cliques at St. Joe's.

    If you hate St. Joseph's and everyone in the parish - stay home. But, don't sit and type away on your blog and trash the entire church because of your issues.

  2. Whoa first of all back off whomever you are. If you had even read the blog you would have seen that I said I still defend anyone who practices the Catholic religion. It's obvious that you can't see the forrest for the trees as you sit in your high chair of mighty judgement. Wow you really have a chip on your shoulder.

    I did stay home because of people like yourself....and I did not in any way shape or form say I hated EVERYONE in the parish. But your reaction makes it abundantly clear why people are leaving the Catholic religion and St. Joe's in droves. It's the issues of the church deary and not mine.....I am not a leader in the church and I did not cover up not only a crime, but a mortal sin so go ride your high horse off into the sunset because you are part of the reason that people like me have to defend the religion.

  3. WOW, the first poster really needs to cool out.

    If Elaine was just waiting to bash Catholics there would have been tidbits of it in previous posts. You can always tell by the sum of the writing works when someone is waiting to pounce. Elaine has not mentioned Catholics in any of her previous posts. To say it was obvious is yet another false statement. I see no gloating in her post at all. I see someone hurt by the very church she tried to attend, that by your own writing is full of cliques. She mentioned nothing about HATE. The first time that word was used in this thread was by YOU!! She did not trash the entire church in her post. She explained HER crisis of faith.

    So are you an example of what I should expect upon visiting St. Joe’s ?? Are you an example of the standard of behavior in the church? Am I to draw an idea of what that church has to offer by the example of your writing? Are these valid questions? I do not know but maybe you should ask yourself these questions, BEFORE you lash out at someone else so quickly. Sounds to me that you made up your mind before you finished reading what Elaine really had to say. A very nicely thought out response without the venom would have given your post a lot of power. Sadly, it is now only looked at as nothing more then someone posting who has a big chip on the shoulder.

  4. Wow first poster woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

    Great writing Elaine! In no way are you bashing or hating as the first poster states. Ignore button please.