Saturday, November 24, 2007

After Viewing Sex Crimes and the Vatican...

I'm frankly stunned.

I was born and raised Catholic and feel that it rejected me in 1963 when a priest told me in confession to find a nice Catholic boy to love. That was the response to my plea that I loved the non-Catholic man who was later to become my husband of 33 years.

This was the same church that said I couldn't practice birth control. ME who got preggers when my husband even looked at me! That was the final cut of my Vatican cord.

It's not easy being a "fallen away Catholic" either especially when most of what's left of my family is still in the fold. My mom pretty much went to her grave praying for me to renounce my vow and tell the father of my children to take a hike.

I've never seen any part of ANY organized religion that appealed to me. I'm too brainwashed to be a Protestant and too redneck to be a Jew! I went to parochial school for the first six grades and I can't recall which grade it was now, but one day I was standing before the class at the blackboard trying to add a column of double digits. I couldn't do it. I couldn't of done it to save my life much less my immortal soul. The nun kept asking me "if I couldn't see it" [the answer I guess] and I kept saying "no, sister". She got so mad at me that she ended up slapping me in the face in front of the entire class.

I think I must of disassociated at the moment because I don't recall what happened next. I don't know if I cried or just continued to stand there in total humiliation. I don't remember what the nun did. I don't remember how I got out of it. I DO remember telling my mother and the usual feelings that it was all MY fault. I also remember hearing or rather overhearing that the nun had a nervous breakdown. I probably felt like I caused THAT too.

Poor, poor pitiful me. Alas this post is not about that. It's about ALL my other conflicted feelings about "The Church". We were taught from the first day to never, ever criticize the Church. Or the priest or the nuns or God forbid the Pope himself so I always feel a tad uncomfortable when I think or read about the sexual abuse that runs rampart and how nothing is done until forced to by the authorities and then they may or may not throw a sacrificial lamb in the guise of a defrocked priest on the fires.

I ran across this TV program that I think ought to be required viewing by Catholics, former Catholics and especially future Catholics. It was called Spotlight: Sex Crimes and the Vatican and on Link TV. I think it can be viewed online at BBC One.

The program points out that nothing is being done for the victims. The abuse is still going on and the Pope could put a stop to that if he wanted to. It's also about how a secret document "called Crimen Sollicitationis, was enforced for 20 years by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became the current Pope". That's heavy stuff, folks. My family would most likely think that even reading the document is a one way ticket to hell.

In my own mind I like to think that even widespread abuse by the clergy doesn't mean ALL of them are bad, but if the head of the organization is bad what does that make the rest? I dunno what to make of any of this.


Attila The Mom said...

Yikes. Just yikes. It's heartbreaking, isn't it?

lynne_10 said...

Just thought i would add in my 2 cents.

Nobody says you have to have a religion... i mean, if you feel you must, then thats fine. but i dont think you HAVE to. and about what the teacher did was absolutely horrible... and me just being me, i would have hit her back... prolly gotten in a lot of trouble, but it would have been worth it to me.

Sorry to barge in... im Jessica by the way. take care.

TxGoodie said...

ATM, hiya!

Jessica, hey, nice of you to stop by and comment. I was a good Catholic girl back then... wouldn't of dreamed of causing a scene. I spent a LOT of time sitting UNDER the nun's desk. They had open fronted desks and if you talked too much you were made to sit at their feet and contemplate those butt ugly black shoes until you learned the error of your ways. I never did learn to be quiet. The other thing they liked to do is make you write 500 times on the blackboard...something like "I will not talk in class" and I did that many a day. I'm thinking I had a learning disorder, but back then no one knew what THAT was. You were either bad or good. There was no gray.