I was wide awake before dawn this morning, anticipating the Easter sunrise. I’ve never before had an Easter like this. I am lost.
When I was but a month old I was baptized a Catholic and ever since have said that I am a Catholic. My attendance at church has lapsed occasionally and I briefly explored other Christian churches but repeatedly returned to my comfortable Catholic roots. Catholicism felt like home. For a long time I have said that if Catholicism ever got in the way of my Christianity, that I would abandon Catholicism. That time is now. I have reached my own personal tipping point.
I am no longer proud to call myself a Catholic. I am embarrassed by the leadership of my church in the wake of clergy sex abuse scandals and the obvious cover-ups. I've tried regarding the church leadership as a group of flawed human beings and felt that my allegiance is to God, not to the church's leadership. But in recent weeks, I see photos of the pope, all white and shiny and pompous, and it makes me nauseous to read and hear his lame statements, his lack of accountability, his hiding behind the impenetrable, fearful veil of the papacy like the Wizard of Oz. I no longer trust the church leadership or believe what they say.
The leaders of the Catholic Church are spending more time and energy protecting themselves and weaving webs of deceit than they are teaching the faithful how to life good, moral, Christ-like lives. I think about the adage "What would Jesus do?" I think Jesus would throw the Pharisees out of the temple and he'd sit with the lepers and the sinners, teaching them about God, teaching them about humility and repentance and goodness. The church—my former church—has strayed far from the teachings of Jesus.
Happy Easter to all who believe in the risen Christ. Pray for me, that I find a church that understands how to practice true adherence to his teachings.