I am a Catholic. I still believe in the virtues of the Catholic teachings. There are moments I have sin, but follow-up of trying to do something good. I believe in social justice, taxes, and the environment; but I don’t believe in divorces and abortion. I believe there are ghosts that surrounds us to choose our paths and each one of us decide without knowing.
The current events of child abuse, power and neglect, greed, and others would be perfect reasons to leave Catholicism. The problem with the Catholic Church isn’t the teachings or the interpretation of the teachings; it’s the people at top.
The people who use their power wanted totalitarianism. They want to enforce our beliefs to everyone, which you can’t do these days. You have to trust their judgment. If they make a bad decision, we help them set straight. Instead, they banish them because they made a mistake that is miniscule in the world.
I’ll be honest: I was hesitant to share my views in public because I wouldn’t justify what the people at the Vatican were doing. I find it to be a disgrace to our religion that this is happening and the worst might have come.
Another reason is my parents. As I’m approaching 30, I’m trying to find out my parents were devout Catholics to begin with. As I learned, they do believe in the religion, but in the narrowest view. They think that praying and giving money to the church is good enough and leads to luck, which doesn’t run that way. They think you have to dress up for every occasion, when in reality, you don’t need to. They act like little kids at a sex-ed class when they see someone having sex or watch something violent.
Don’t get me wrong; I still love my parents. I have their traits and genetics. The issue I have with my parents is they view the world as black or white, not grey. They don’t see the big picture. I still remember my conversation with my father who is worried about me attending events that he thought was predominantly black during inauguration or best friends with Jewish people. It’s either my parents really want to be a guy from the 50s or 60s sitcom. Although I’m close, I still feel disconnected because my parents want me to be the best Catholic and be like Dick Van Dyke? Good luck.
This leads me to my hope of Pope Francis. I was stunned to hear the conclave select Cardinal Jorge Bergoligo of Argentina because he was considered a long shot and the conclave was mostly dominated by Europeans. I was glad, they went outside of Europe and a Jesuit, no less.
There were some controversial stories about Pope Francis like the junta war or his stance on gay marriage, but the good outweighs the bad. Look what happened last week when the Pope washing the feet of men, women, and Muslims. You never see that and it goes to show he is rebuilding that bridge that was burned by the people before him.
For this Easter with Pope Francis at the helm, I’m a more confident Catholic. I don’t mind telling people about:
- Social Justice
- Fiscal Liberalism to help others who are in need (not war (like most assume), but money spent on schools, food, helping the needy, roads)
- You can love someone, whomever they are
- Abortion is still bad, but there legitimate reasons for having it. Of note, I still view myself as pro-life. Pro-choice, to me, means voluntary.
- Most of us are not bad people; we had bad leadership, but we’re trying to fix it.
Easter is the time for a renewal in faith after 40 grueling days (40+ to be fair) of sacrifice. Such perfect timing, as God intended to be.