Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Roman Catholic Church: A Respect

My mother was never an Angry Ex-Catholic. we have all met angry Ex-Catholics who like to focus on everything that the church does wrong, how they have been hurt by priests. My mom wasn't like that, not that she doesn't carry wounds but neither does she have what could be called convert zeal. You know the type of people who move from one of the major branches of the church to one of the others, like Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodoxy to Protestantism or the reverse. they talk about how everyone in the church they left is not really christian and everyone should join their particular branch. That was not how my mom acted.

This is not to say that she didn't point out the faults. which is one of the reasons I don't think I could ever be RC (Roman Catholic Church). she told me a story about how in her childhood she saw a woman who loved the church be deigned Communion because she had gotten a divorce; even though the divorce had happened because her husband had committed Adultery. 

But growing up one of the things I do remember (and this may have become more prevalent when we moved to Buffalo because there is a large RC presents there) that she always said that there are good Born-Again Priests. that just because someone is RC doesn't mean that they are evil heretics who are bound for hell. So I never judged the priests and nuns I would see as anything more then people who had dedicated their lives to the service of God. I have met and heard enough stories about bad ministers in the protestant church so it at the time it seemed to me that everywhere in the church (meaning the entirety of the body of Christ) that there were good pastors; priests; bishops; deacons; deaconesses; nuns; monks; and popes, and there were bad ones.  though i think that in my mind because I knew that the priest and nuns in the RC had to be celibate in order to serve God made me see them as something different and almost other. 
There also was an  important conversation that my mom and I had when I was in high school. It was about the saints. It started with talking about how the Roman Catholics don't worship the saints, and that yeah some times people misinterpret what they are supposed to do and things are misinterpreted but really they just hold up the saints as examples for us to live by. Interestingly we both agreed that it was a shame that our church didn't have any teaching about the saints because they where our history. At least the Roman Catholics know their history. 

There are probably some other influences here, but they are fairly minor. For example I don't feel the need to force everyone to abstain from Alcohol.

1 comment:

Michael McCaffery said...

As a Catholic I appreciate this. Also, I think it is good to remember that different denominations can learn from each other: for example Catholics can certainly benefit from the protestant love of the bible, and non-Catholics can certainly benefit from the artistic and philosophical tradition of the Catholic Church.

That was one of the nice things about college. I feel like most Catholics went to protestant bible studies and small groups and protestants I knew who were serious about studying theology would end up reading Thomas Aquinas, and such.

Anyway, thanks again for a nice post.