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.
"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.
Dr. Anthony Levatino clinically goes through a procedure too many of us would rather ignore, too many of us think is far from a big deal, too many of us think is merely the exercise of a woman's constitutional right to privacy.
I dare you to listen to this entire video and not think about the horrific things that use to take place in Nazi death camps.
Poland demanded a “strong and clear response” from the U.S. after President Barack Obama’s mention of a “Polish death camp” while honoring a Pole who told the world about the Holocaust.
“We can’t accept such words in Poland, even if they are spoken by a leader of an allied country,” Prime Minister Donald Tusk told journalists in Warsaw today. “Saying Polish concentration camps is as if there was no German responsibility, no Hitler.”
Since, 2004 Poland has sought clarifications from several news outlets for the use of a phrase “Polish concentration camps” that were run by the Nazis during the country’s occupation in the World War II, according to the Foreign Ministry’s website. The government has convinced publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle to stop using the phrase.
“The president misspoke -- he was referring to Nazi death camps in German occupied Poland,” Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement. “We regret this misstatement.”
The text of Obama’s remarks on the White House website hasn’t been corrected as of today.
“The White House will apologize for this outrageous mistake,” Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski wrote on his Twitter Inc. account. “It’s a shame that such a momentous ceremony has been overshadowed by ignorance and incompetence.”
Ignorance and incompetence is about as accurate as you can get when describing this Presidency.
Was Bush ever similarly charged by a foreign leader? I'm curious...
Aaron Walker (aka Worthing) was arrested today in a Maryland courtroom. Several days ago, convicted bomber and perjurer Brett Kimberlin had obtained a “peace order” against Walker, and today Walker was arrested for violating the order. My information is that the judge claimed that Walker violated the provision against electronic communication with Kimberlin, because Aaron blogged about Kimberlin — thus “inciting” others to contact Kimberlin.
In other words, as best as I can tell, Aaron Walker was arrested today in the United States of America for blogging about a public figure.
This is, I had thought, the United States of America. I thought we had freedom of speech here.
It will take a few days to nail down with precision what happened. But if the account I have given here turns out to be correct — if the basis of the arrest today was that Aaron incited others by blogging about a public figure — I want all lovers of the First Amendment to stand tall and ride to Aaron’s defense.
Crossing at 8,200 feet and 190 knots with 35 knots on the tail feathers... Groundspeed about 225 knots.
Uhh... We might have a problem here.
Co-pilot- Wind check, please... KABQ Tower- zero nine zero at five knots... Co-pilot- Roger that, we have thirty on the tail over BIBQU Flaps and gear are extended before TECZA (outer marker or in today's vernacular, glideslope intercept altitude). Slow down to 140 knots indicated over TECZA and finish the landing checklist... Still thirty knots on the tail.
The co-pilot and I discuss the tailwind and decide to continue, thinking it will die out or swing away from the tail before too much longer. A few minutes ago another airliner landed on this runway and there was no mention of a tailwind on final.
1,000 feet... The wind is shifting left of the tail; component is about 26 knots. Groundspeed is 166 knots plus or minus a few.
500 feet... I can feel it coming... Tailwind component is hanging in there at 26-28 knots. Unbelievable! Even if the wind quits before touchdown, the airframe will have a lot of excess energy to shed on the runway. It is a risky maneuver to land with a 20-25 knot package of surplus energy, especially when the crew is tired.
300 feet... Cursing will not help matters, so I keep a lid on it. Ahead, the runway surface is being illuminated by two electric suns hanging out of our wings; inertial units are still showing 35 knots quartering tailwind... Maybe a 27 knot tail component. The ground is moving under our feet too fast for 140 knots indicated airspeed. My little red "uh-oh" warning light is flashing in the back of my brain... Better pay attention. It has never let me down before.
Me- This isn't gonna work... We are out of here. Co-Pilot- Yeah, I'm with you. Too much wind... Thrust levers to max power... The twin V2500 A-5 engines, already stable at 40%, accept the flood of Jet-A without a moment's hesitation. Acceleration forces mash everyone hard into their seats as I raise the nose, quickly, to 20 degrees above the horizon, then let it settle to 18 degrees.
Raise the flaps one notch for the get-out-of-Dodge maneuver... Positive climb rate and gear up. Lord O'Mercy, this thing is getting with the program... Watch the flap speeds el Cap-i-tan! KABQ Tower- ah... Turn left heading two seven zero and climb to seven thousand five hundred. Too much tail wind? Co-pilot- Roger that... Never saw less than two five knots on the tail. Thirty degree left bank, lower the nose, and pull the thrust back to climb power; all at the same time... We are blowing through 1,000 feet above the ground. The indicated airspeed is approaching flap speed limits for the current configuration. I ask the co-pilot to raise them to the next notch and we will keep that... No need to go bombing around the pattern with our hair on fire.
190 knots... Heading 270 degrees... Level at 7,500 feet... Auto-pilot number one ON... I pick up the PA and talk to the passengers in my 90% perfected Robert Stack Captain's Voice. While I am talking, I notice the right-seat is entering runway 21 into the nav computers and talking to tower. Gotta love this kind of co-pilot; they can read a captain's mind and take care of business without having to be told.
OK... Pax and cabin crew informed. I reach for the checklist and review it for anything I might have forgotten... Nope, looks good.
Tower clears us to reverse course for the visual approach to runway 21 which has no published instrument approach, so instead, Fi-Fi nav created a virtual five mile fix on final and recommends we cross it at 1,500 feet above the ground... Perfect!
More flaps... Slow to 170 knots... Descend to cross the five mile fix 1,500 feet above the ground Here we go for the second attempt at an ABQ runway....
Pardon the bluntness of that title folks but it's what came to mind when I came across this piece this morning.
Not quite three years ago, the wife and I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane as part of an anniversary gift to each other. Links are here, here and here to that chronicling. To call that an exhilarating day is to understate something about as understated-ly as you can. Neither of us at the time had celebrated our 50th birthday and both of us have talked about doing this again.
But after watching this then 80 year old (now 81 year old) experience what she experienced and remembering that my biggest fear was falling out of the harness once in the air, I'm not so sure. Call me a pollo all you want:
One of the things I most vividly remember about my jump is being under canopy and having my instructor adjust the harness to give us more room between us. There was this temporary slackness as that room was realized that scared the bejebuz out of me.
Seeing this poor old lady go through that in a much worse way is just flat out scary.
So yes, I had to check my drawers and I'm happy to report that all is well.
Nardelli has been the focus of quite the firestorm in Pennsylvania because the thing is that Jo Ann Nardelli isn't just another Democratic committeewoman. She's the president and founder of the Blair County Federation of Democratic Women, she was Vice President of the PA State Women’s Caucus, and was 1st Vice President of the PA State Federation of Democratic Women (she had been in line for the presidency of that organization in 2014). She met with Hillary Clinton, gave a rosary to Joe Biden, and appeared on the cover of US News and World Report going to Church with then Senate candidate Bob Casey Jr.
Nardelli has always been a pro-life Democrat and felt that there was always room for that position in the party. But she said that for the past few years she's felt that the party was drifting further and further away from her. She said she never shied away from speaking about her Catholic faith or her pro-life views as a Democrat.
She said that for years she hoped that she could change the party from within, make it more in line with traditional values. "I thought I could make a difference to change our party. It didn’t work," she said. "I noticed it that it’s been going more and more to the left. This is not my father’s party. I did not leave the party, the party left me."
In a letter of resignation to the Democratic party, Nardelli cited her Catholic faith.
“I respect all of you and all that I have achieved in the past. Due to personal matters and faith beliefs at this time, it is only fair to resign,” she wrote. “I will miss you all very much as you are all a part of my family; however, it is time to move forward with my life in a direction that is more in line with my faith.”
She announced her decision at a press conference at the courthouse in Hollidaysburg and standing next to her was Monsignor Anthony Little of the local parish of Saint Patrick's in Newry.
She said it started a few weeks ago, ironically as she and her husband were getting ready for Mass and watching Meet the Press when Joe Biden, a Catholic, cited his support for gay marriage.
This shocked her. She said she'd always related to Biden. She said he reminded her of her father. But this announcement shocked her. And then, shortly after, President Obama announced that he'd "evolved" into supporting gay "marriage."
And then as a Democratic committeewoman she received her agenda from the party espousing the same position. "To stand up and agree and sign off on this I couldn’t do it," she said. "So I talked to our priest."
While she didn't say what they talked about, she said Monsignor Little warned her that she would be the focus of much criticism.
His words have proved prophetic. Nardelli said she's heard from people saying she hates gays or that she's a bigot. It got so bad that she started screening her calls. And she didn't know who was calling to say something terrible or something nice to her. She said that even when Republicans call her, she's afraid to pick up simply because she doesn't know them.
"I’ve been a Democrat for over 40 years," she laughed. "I don't know any of the Republicans."
Here's to hoping there are many more who'll follow her lead.
Do us all the favor of passing this around. You're not going to be hearing much about it on the news.
At the heart of the whole U.S. nuns vs. the Vatican media storm is the April 18th “doctrinal assessment” in which the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith expresses it concerns about the theological orientation expressed by the leadership of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The report mentions a host of concerns about a decade or two of LCWR educational events, speeches, national conferences, etc.
Since this story is going to be around for some time, it’s important to note how many, if not most, mainstream reporters are framing the dispute.
Now, this is a story with two sides and there are articulate voices out there to quote representing the competing points of view. However, the actual Vatican document states many of the basic facts and, to my amazement, major news organizations have consistently been paraphrasing this document to say things that it does not, in fact, say.
That’s a problem. It’s hard to follow a debate when some of the key facts crucial to the contents of the debate have been twisted.
(Reuters) — In Washington, D.C., and Toledo, Ohio, in upstate New York and in south Texas, protesters have gathered in recent weeks with a simple message: Let the sisters be.
The vigils in cities across the United States are intended to express solidarity with American Roman Catholic nuns, who are struggling to formulate a response to a sharp rebuke from the Vatican.
The Vatican last month accused the leading organization of U.S. nuns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, of focusing too much on social-justice issues such as poverty and not enough on abortion, gay marriage and euthanasia. The Vatican also rapped the group for standing by as some nuns publicly challenged U.S. bishops on matters of church doctrine and public policy.
Readers who have followed this story closely will spot all kinds of familiar errors. For example, the story frames the conflict with the whole “let the sisters be” construct, backed with descriptions of the protests (with no factual material about the size of these efforts, other than a later reference to an online petition with 50,000 signatures) that are meant to “express solidarity with American Roman Catholic nuns.”
Yes, way down in the story, there are voices that try to focus on what the Vatican document actually says:
Mary Ann Walsh, a nun who serves as spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said some protesters might have misinterpreted the Vatican’s action. Church officials demanded reform of the nuns’ leadership group, she said, but did not intend to criticize all 57,000 nuns in the United States.
There’s a simple logic behind this argument by Walsh — the Vatican document goes out of its way to focus on the leadership of some of these orders, as opposed to the rank-and-file members of the orders, in general. Thus, here’s the crucial question for the editorial team behind the story: Where are the quotes from the actual document? More on this point in a moment.
However, the most important problem with the top of this story is its paraphrased quotation — or statement of fact — that the nuns are under Vatican attack for “focusing too much on social-justice issues such as poverty and not enough on abortion, gay marriage and euthanasia.” The problem is with the first half of this statement, because the Vatican document simply does not say this. Instead, it praises the nuns for their work with the poor and needy, praises them for their application of the church’s doctrines and teachings in these areas, and then questions why these same teachings have not been applied as rigorously to abortion, marriage, euthanasia, etc.
The critical issue is this: Where are reporters getting the statement that the Vatican thinks the nuns have focused “too much” on poverty and social justice? The document does criticize the leaders of some of these orders for ignoring or undercutting the church on some critical issues, but that is not the same as saying that they have spent too much time on the care of the sick and the needy.