"... and I'm not going to ratify it anymore."
Those words and more from Anna Quindlen, New York Times columnist and author as she describes why she left the Catholic Church... and Jennifer Fulwiler's wise response:
Author Anna Quindlen has been in the news lately, promoting a new book called Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. She recently spoke with NPR's Terry Gross about a wide range of topics she covers in the book, including her recent decision to leave the Catholic Church. She summarized this decision by telling Gross:
The pedophilia scandals, the church's reaction to them, and their constant obsession with gynecology -- taken together at a certain point, it was probably two or three years ago, I said, 'Enough.' Every time I sit in the pew I ratify this behavior, and I'm not going to ratify it anymore.
I'm sure that Quindlen's words resonated with many. She's a gifted writer, and has undoubtedly put words to what others have thought when they make the decision to leave the Catholic Church. Like Quindlen, many people who abandon their Catholic faith still believe in God and still strive to be good, moral people; they choose to leave because they think that they will find these things they desire -- God, freedom, equality -- outside the walls of the Church. Such a move certainly fits in with popular cultural beliefs. Common wisdom states that the Catholic Church is a corrupt organization that places oppressive, unnecessary rules on its members. The way to find freedom, the thinking goes, is to ditch the institution and create a spirituality and moral code that works for you.
To modern ears, this all sounds right. But is it true?
As someone whose faith journey has gone in the opposite direction, I would encourage Quindlen, as well anyone else who has followed her path or is thinking of following it, to consider the following five questions before abandoning the Catholic faith...
Or, before criticizing the Catholic Church thoughtlessly.
Good stuff, please read it all.
I can tell you why I left Catholicism and why I stayed away for 40 years.
It's really that simple.
It makes me think of this rather famous and apt Fulton Sheen quote:
"There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church. ....As a matter of fact, if we Catholics believed all of the untruths and lies which were said against the Church, we probably would hate the Church a thousand times more than they do."
I'm of the strong opinion that Anna Quindlen, and far too many like her, are leaving or criticizing something they think is the Catholic Church... when in reality, it ain't.