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I'm Pagan/UU and Dh Catholic-middle ground?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was raised Catholic and am now much more aligned with Paganism and have found the UU church to be a good fit. My husband is Catholic and we are trying to figure out our spiritual practice as a family with 3 kids. Any suggestions on a church that has the formality and ritual found in Catholocism but less patriarchal?
post #2 of 13

I'm pagan and my husband is Catholic.  We follow the teachings of the church.  I'm not Catholic so I simply don't receive communion and my husband answers the questions I can't (he has a philosophy degree).  We also celebrate all my holy days and spirituality which fits very snuggly into alot of the corresponding celebrations in the Catholic church.  What part of the Catholic church do you have issues with?  Perhaps a different community would be helpful?  If the issue is really that you're socially liberal perhaps a one of the reformed anglican or episcopal churches?  Maybe just take a hard look at the accurate teachings of the church if you think they're overly patriarchal.  As it is practiced in our home Catholicism is highly family oriented.  Good luck on your journey
 

post #3 of 13

Well, my spouse and I are both initiated in Haitian Vodou, so some might see us as Catholic and pagan at the same time. :) (Like most Vodouisants, we've had our daughter baptized in the Catholic Church; and she is also attending a Catholic music class program...)

 

I agree with Hebaume that many of the holy days / celebrations have a lot of overlap.

 

WRT following the teachings of the Church, that has been an ongoing struggle for me - one that I think a lot of American Catholics would be familiar with. Are there specific questions that have been troubling you?

post #4 of 13

Well, I guess it is something I am still figuring out. I see God as divinity within, not an entity separate from us.  And although it seems that the church has been evolving in this respect, I don't see God as being putative, counting sins.  I am not sure I even believe in sin at this point.

 

And I have a problem with the history of many Christian religions.  I feel like the divine feminine was cast away, that the teachings of Jesus have been misinterpreted, and that important documents such as the Gnostic gospels have been disregarded.  I am a doula and when patriarchal religions took over the goddess religions, midwives and and healers were persecuted.  And women were forced to have their babies without support, which brings us to the birth situation today, with fear ingrained in the process.

 

It is not my intention to speak ill of the Catholic church.  There are many aspects of it that are wonderful.  It isn't the right place for me right now, and I hope that my husband and I can find a spiritual practice that is fulfilling for both of us and our children.
 

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beats View Post

Well, I guess it is something I am still figuring out. I see God as divinity within, not an entity separate from us.  And although it seems that the church has been evolving in this respect, I don't see God as being putative, counting sins.  I am not sure I even believe in sin at this point.

And I have a problem with the history of many Christian religions.  I feel like the divine feminine was cast away, that the teachings of Jesus have been misinterpreted, and that important documents such as the Gnostic gospels have been disregarded.  I am a doula and when patriarchal religions took over the goddess religions, midwives and and healers were persecuted.  And women were forced to have their babies without support, which brings us to the birth situation today, with fear ingrained in the process.

It is not my intention to speak ill of the Catholic church.  There are many aspects of it that are wonderful.  It isn't the right place for me right now, and I hope that my husband and I can find a spiritual practice that is fulfilling for both of us and our children.

 
Sorry, this is actually my post, inwas logged in under a second account I have wink1.gif
post #6 of 13

First do you really need to believe everything the church says to go to church and support your husband if that is what he wants (which of course I haven't the foggiest).  History is history and obviously all people everywhere have done horrible horrible things in the past be they pagan, christian, islamic, or jew (speaking of sin).  The Church has very little to nothing to do with the current birth situation in America.  The laws enacted in the 1920's to 40's do.  Please read some history because the real story of the outlawing of midwifery in America is much more subtle and insidious than the burning times.  I am well aware that the inquisition was real and horrible but it was also five hundred years ago.  If you are looking for the divine feminine in a Christian church your best bets are by far the Catholic or Orthodox church.  JP II brought Mary to the forefront of the Catholic faith and in our church at least images of Mary out number all the men combined (including the stations of the cross). 

Of course I was going line by line through your response and have only now arrived at your decision to avoid the church.  Maybe try an orthodox or as I mentioned before episcopal.  Blended families are always interesting.  Good luck in your searching. 

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your response. Interesting question... I would go to a Catholic Church and support my husband in his Spirituality, but he will not attend church with me-UU being the best fit I have found for myself so far. I don't have to believe everything, but I would like to not feel uncomfortable with most things. Maybe this is more of a marital issue more than a religious issue, lol. Actually it came up in counseling, which is why i am searching for something that would be a good fit for us both. i am quite familiar with the history of midwifery and the medicaliation of birth, and IMO it stems from ideas, systems, and structures that were put in place during the burning times. Sure, the manner in which birth became male dominated was more subtle, but it stems from the same patriarchal ideas overtook feminine-centered spirituality so long ago. I have trouble with my children learning ideas that I disagree with if they are not also being exposed to a different point of view.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Btw thank you for sharing that in your church, images of Mary outnumber images of men.... It got me thinking, my husband is from Costa Rica and there, Mary is much more deeply venerated than in US churches I have attended. Maybe finding a church with a Latino community will be helpful., or one with Mary as its patron.
post #9 of 13

Btw thank you for sharing that in your church, images of Mary outnumber images of men.... It got me thinking, my husband is from Costa Rica and there, Mary is much more deeply venerated than in US churches I have attended. Maybe finding a church with a Latino community will be helpful., or one with Mary as its patron.

 

There are LOTS of images of feminine power in folk Catholicism - the "Black Madonna", St. Martha overcoming the dragon, St. Mary Magdalene, etc. etc.

The ones I've mentioned have counterparts in Vodou as well, if you're interested in hearing about them.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sure! I'm very interested! And I'm so sorry if I am stuck on being contra Catholocism... I really need to move through this. It's just I never heard of the black Madonna in my 12 years of Catholic school education. I came across that in reading about the blood mysteries through a pagan lens. I've never hears of nary Magdalene portrayed as a saint, or the story of St. Martha... Maybe I was in the wrong church for me. Thanks for letting me hash this out here, everyone...
post #11 of 13

Strangely enough traditional and older churches have more women in them.  Our church was built in 1912.  
 

post #12 of 13

Sure! I'm very interested! And I'm so sorry if I am stuck on being contra Catholocism... I really need to move through this. It's just I never heard of the black Madonna in my 12 years of Catholic school education. I came across that in reading about the blood mysteries through a pagan lens. I've never hears of nary Magdalene portrayed as a saint, or the story of St. Martha... Maybe I was in the wrong church for me. Thanks for letting me hash this out here, everyone.

 

Well, the Black Madonna is associated with Ezili Dantor, a very fierce, "hot", but extremely maternal and protective spirit. Dantor is especially helpful to single mothers, domestic violence survivors, and queer women. (Alternate images for Dantor are any icon of Mary where she's dressed in dark blue and/or red, and holding baby Jesus in her left arm - so, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, etc.)

 

St. Mary Magdalene, in our Vodou house, is associated with Maman Brijit, the "Mother of the Cemetery", who is also a tough lady - she drinks hard liquor and chain smokes. :) But she's also known for being extremely just - you can appeal to her when you feel you've been unjustly wronged. (You had better make sure you're right, though - she does NOT like hypocrites.) We use the image of Mary Magdalene with the skull, mourning the death of Christ, to represent Brijit. However, some other houses use St. Brigid of Ireland, so if you resonate more with that, it's fine too!

 

St. Martha with the dragon is used for the fiercer roads of La Sirene, the mermaid - this is not some pastel New Agey mermaid sitting around combing her hair, but instead a powerful magic user and seductress with all the mysteries of the deep sea behind her. (Interestingly, there is a Haitian immigrant community in the Dominican Republic that uses St. Martha to represent the "Mother of the Cemetery" I mentioned above - there are many local variances in Vodou!)

 

Hope this was of interest! (I can sit around and talk about Vodou all day... need to be reminded to shut up sometimes...) ;)

post #13 of 13

Hi Budwana Birth,

 

Thank you for sharing your story here. I am UU and the format of our service would be very familiar to most Christians. Has your husband attended? Something that draws many interfaith families to our congregation is the Children's Religious Education/Exploration program. Children learn about Unitarian Universalism but also explore many of the world's major religions in the hopes that they will chose for themselves what their spiritual path will be. I know other families actually alternate between two churches as a family.

 

Best of luck!

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