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Reply #11: The Church has had bad popes before in its 2,000 year history, and has survived... [View All]

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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-28-10 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. The Church has had bad popes before in its 2,000 year history, and has survived...
I was not raised Roman Catholic, but because of my grandmother became very interested in it in my teens. I explored it pretty thoroughly, but decided to to take that path because I couldn't get past their obduracy on a woman's right to control her own fertility (and mind you, this was long before Roe vs Wade). By now, I am SO glad I never joined and promised to obey their conscience and not my own.

That said, from my observation I think the average Catholic in America (and no doubt Europe) is very troubled, and they are voting at the collection plate. Many parish churches in the US are closing for lack of attendance and lack of funds for maintenance. Catholic numbers are increasing only in mission fields like Africa, where they offer a fresh (to the locals) alternative to harsh systems and corrupt and broken governments: the message of Jesus is, after all, very uplifting and compassionate when you strip away the culture of the Church as it has become in the West.

There are so few girls choosing to become nuns that traditional jobs such as teaching, social work, and nursing are going unfilled by nuns, and their average age is 70 years old. ) I went to an interfaith women's retreat several years ago (probably the lone Goddess-worshipper there ;-) ) and one of the RC nuns I got to know told me that she knew that the end of her life was likely to be fairly bleak in an understaffed nursing home, because there are no young nuns to take on the care of the oldest ones, as was traditionally done.

This is a deep spiritual and cultural dilemma for people reared as Catholics similar to those who find the Mormon and Baptist churches a bad fit (i.e. because they're gay, for instance). They feel "at home" in the Sunday services they grew up in, and the culture is "family" even if it's a dysfunctional family. They counted on their children being educated in Catholic morality and ethics (Seriously, when my mother left the Church she says she had to rethink everything because she actually agreed with the ethical construct, and she needed to figure out how to raise her children without hanging it all on Jesus and God. Not everyone is up to that kind of insight.)

I don't think there will be a one-time exodus, but I do think the steady decline will continue. You can only hang on to your dysfunctional and abusive family so long. The question is: where will they go?


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