Sunday, February 20, 2011

Reason Number 437

I've written my views on religion before, I won't go rehashing them here.  I didn't go into as much detail as I could have about my thoughts on Catholicism. 

I could probably write a book just on that subject.

If it wasn't for the fact that I very much so will probably always associate myself with the Catholic church, I would just convert to something else.  Or consider myself to be non-religious and separate myself from the church altogether. 

But I don't. 

As I've said before, I am a self-confessed hypocrite in this department.  I struggle with so many things about the church, and yet I send my children to religious education.  My oldest daughter is set to make her first communion in a few weeks. 

My biggest pet peeve with the church right now is the inconsistency in parishes and the adherence to rules that some person created then forced onto other people.  There is a very valid reason we moved our wedding from one church to another here in town.

Now, I've been to a lot of Catholic funerals in my day, and the one for my father was beautiful.  But it wasn't at all what he wanted, or what we wanted for him.  It was, all of it, dictated to us by the sort of people who pat you on the head and condescend to you.  I don't do well with that.

The women from the church completely took over the rosary services, though we told them we had someone set to do it already.  She spoke about Dad's life, omitting many key details, screwing up others, even calling me by the wrong name.  Why go to such great lengths to pretend to know someone you've never met?  Just because you are supposedly providing a service for which we are expected to be grateful for?  That we didn't want or need?

Then she cut short the time given for people to come and speak.

The funeral wasn't any better.  We were not permitted to select the readings.  We weren't permitted to choose the songs.  "They" knew what was best, pat, pat, pat. 

We were told presenting roses to my father's urn would disrupt the service too much, by yet another of the church ladies...who felt the best time to present that information was when both my mother and I were crying after the rosary.   Again, I've been to a lot of Catholic funerals in my day, presented roses to the deceased before, never once did it interrupt anything.

Every other funeral mass I have been to, including the one that I have personally delivered a eulogy at before, there was nothing said about any sort of time limits on the speech. This time, at the funeral for my father, I was told I could speak for no more than 3 minutes, as if some divine hook would come from the side of the altar and pull me off at the end of that time. 

None of the rigidity here was the result of church teachings.  None of it written in any bible. 

It came from people. 

People who condescend and control things they don't need to.  People who are so wrapped up in their own "service" that they can't see how it only creates distance between them and the people they need to keep coming.  Without butts in the seats, there is no church.  It's just a building full of ego.

This is only one of the things that is hurting the Catholic church. 

Reason number 437...

1 comment:

  1. Dearest Kelly, I had a feeling you were experiencing these things (I could tell at the Rosary service), for I experience the same type at the hands of the very same people. Truly. I wish my apologies for these frail human beings was enough. Ernest and I married each other at a Catholic Church in San Diego that let us do all the things, you mentioned (as far as Catholic Masses go; i.e.: readings, etc.) Thankfully, it is God I believe in, not finite humans. We humans fail, make a great many mistakes and hurt each other quite badly at times. It is not fair when these things happen at times in our lives when we wish we could just have things go "right" and have a bit of peace in our shattered world. I think I expect people in the Catholic Church to be and do everything, well, almost everything, perfect. Why? Because it is THE Catholic Church. Yet, that is really irrational expectations for me to impose on people. I can expect perfection from God and know it will be so. I could write numerous books on my experiences within the Church. I went to a really good Catholic university, it was. Still, it was full of human beings who fail time and again. Yes, there was a lot of good, great and wonderful experiences and people that I would not trade for the world. I went on to be a Catholic sister for six years and a cloistered nun for another six. I was sent home after the last six because I had chronic migraines and it “seemed” God wanted me elsewhere. Traumatic as it was, I asked God for peace and He gave it. I asked God to help me figure out my life and rise above all the torment I felt. God did not cause the torment, He allowed it. We have been given this crazy gift of free-will. I know, from my own experiences, the people you mentioned, think they are helping and doing good. I must accuse myself of the very same thing. Usually, I do not know I have been the cause of hurt to others until after the fact. Kelly, if you ever want to talk, I am here to listen. Until then, I keep you in my heart of prayer.


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