Feeling lost - looking for progressive, liberal type Catholics to connect with - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-08-2012, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am really feeling confused and lost lately.  I grew up Catholic and I was very devout as a child.  I had a traumatic childhood and my belief in God and Mary and the Saints really got me through some very hard times.  

 

Then, as an adult I fell away from the Church as I learned more about some of beliefs of the church.  All my adult life I've bounced from church to church looking for a good fit - Church of Christ, Lutheran church, and most recently a UU church.

 

I love the UU church, the people there are so wonderful and the UU church is mostly in line with what I believe as far as social justice goes.  The only problem is it doesn't feel like "church" to me, I don't feel spiritually fulfilled there at all.  I feel guilty about that, I WANT to feel settled and like I belong there, but it just isn't happening.

 

I keep going back and forth between going to a Catholic church and then back to the UU, and back again.  Generally, what happens is I feel comfortable and happy in the Catholic church until the topic of abortion or homosexuality come up somehow, and then I leave and swear never to go back.

 

To make matters more complicated, my husband is Pagan.  He's very supportive of me and wants me to go where I feel comfortable, but it's difficult to go to a church that feels that he is destined to Hell.  (I don't believe that.)  

 

Any thoughts?


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#2 of 14 Old 01-08-2012, 11:19 AM
 
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What makes you think he is destined for hell?  We cannot know the extent of God's love, it is too great.  One of my favorite homilies was about how we cannot choose or predict who will be "at the table" with Jesus.  It keeps me humble and focused on my own journey and brings me down when I start thinking maybe someone ought to rot in hell.  It is my feeling that the only people in hell really want to be there because they choose complete separation from God with full knowledge.  I'm certainly flawed and just so thankful for pergatory.  You might want to check out a Dignity mass and talk to some of those people about why they stay.  To me looking for a church that fits my current beliefs perfectly is as uninspiring as changing families all the time so you always have one that mirrors and doesn't challenge you.  There have always been loving, good Catholics who cherish the Church but disagree.  I have no answer for you on the abortion question I disagree with making it a legal issue but I don't see how a Catholic could justify thinking it a good choice.  

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#3 of 14 Old 01-08-2012, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to clarify that I do NOT think my husband is destined for Hell.   No, not at all!

 

What is a Dignity Mass?


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#4 of 14 Old 01-08-2012, 08:13 PM
 
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Of course. what I meant was what made you think the Church is damning him. Check out dignityusa.org
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#5 of 14 Old 01-09-2012, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Because it was what I was told/taught my entire life.  If it's an incorrect teaching I am very happy!

 

No Dignity chapter within hours of here, but I very much liked that website - thank you!


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#6 of 14 Old 01-15-2012, 07:04 PM
 
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I have been thinking about you and looking into your problem.  I have never heard instruction that said pagans were going to hell, Mother Teresa told an interviewer that she loved all religions but that she was IN LOVE with her own.  She's a Blessed now...  

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#7 of 14 Old 01-16-2012, 05:30 AM
 
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Have you considered the Episcopalian church?

 

I would ask myself a few hard questions.  Even if you find a group of liberal catholics, how are you going to feel about your financial contributions to the church helping to support things like Proposition 8 and efforts to limit women's access to reproductive health care?

 

Current Catholic teaching about the fate of non-Christians is murky at best.  See http://www.religioustolerance.org/rcc_salv.htm As someone also raised in the Catholic church, I would agree that the teaching used to be quite unambiguous about people who were aware of Catholicism and rejected it being destined for hell.  The church has toned it down somewhat, but I don't think they've fundamentally changed.

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#8 of 14 Old 01-16-2012, 05:59 PM
 
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What's the general tone of your diocese?


I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. 

 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 

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#9 of 14 Old 01-17-2012, 04:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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EFMom - excellent points.

 

Trigger - very conservative, we have a very conservative and outspoken bishop.

 

PoppyMama - I should clarify that my husband was raised Catholic, confirmed, and has "turned his back" on the Catholic church.  Also, another big issue was I was told by a priest that our marriage isn't recognized by the church and unless I get so it is we will be fornicating.  Not an option.  

 

I think I know the answer to this question, but I had to ask it to come to terms with it.  I don't think the Catholic church is for me, there is just too much I can't agree with.  Now I have to grieve that loss and move on.  Thank you for your input.


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#10 of 14 Old 01-17-2012, 08:16 AM
 
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I hope you find a place that you feel comfortable with.  My husband was raised Catholic and feels like an atheist now largely because of some bad experiences with members of the Church.  I guess I feel the Church is larger than the people in it.  Since my husband is not a member and I don't work outside the home right now I don't feel pressured to tithe.  I do give money to specific programs when I can.

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#11 of 14 Old 01-17-2012, 09:09 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Attila the Honey View Post

EFMom - excellent points.

 

Trigger - very conservative, we have a very conservative and outspoken bishop.

 

PoppyMama - I should clarify that my husband was raised Catholic, confirmed, and has "turned his back" on the Catholic church.  Also, another big issue was I was told by a priest that our marriage isn't recognized by the church and unless I get so it is we will be fornicating.  Not an option.  

 

I think I know the answer to this question, but I had to ask it to come to terms with it.  I don't think the Catholic church is for me, there is just too much I can't agree with.  Now I have to grieve that loss and move on.  Thank you for your input.


Those things are problematic, for sure; but even in very conservative dioceses (Phoenix is an example that comes immediately to mind) you will find liberal-thinking parishes, and plenty of Catholics who are willing to push back against teachings that have no sound theological basis.

 

Can you church-shop in your area, and get a feel for some of the individual parishes/pastors?  I am seeing someone who, like myself, is drawn deeply to the Catholic Church despite its many faults.  I am fortunate to know & worship with many like-minded individuals; and to have educational opportunities that involve more "outside the box" teaching & ideals.  Our bishop is known to be quite liberal; however, he's close to reitrement, and the buzz is that he may well be replaced with someone who is very conservative.  Either way, I'm staying put.  WE, the people of Christ, are the Church, and my personal allegiance will always be with Him over Rome.
 

 


I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. 

 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi 

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#12 of 14 Old 01-17-2012, 11:47 AM
 
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I was never able to see how it could be true that people who were not compassionate and did not work for good and put love first would go to heaven and people did would go to hell.   Teresa of Avila has a prayer...

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

I have been more impressed by some of the atheists I've known with their ability to do Christs work than I have of many of the christians.  I feel pretty confident that God is no fool and knows who is doing Christs work.  I also remember one of the messages from Our Lady of Medjugorie was for the woman to work harder to emulate a local Muslim woman who was a great example in the call to holiness.  I think it can be a mistake to get caught up in the details and forget the big picture which, to me, is the call to be Christs hands in the world.
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#13 of 14 Old 01-17-2012, 12:33 PM
 
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Just to echo an earlier comment - you may want to check out the Episcopal Church.  The services are very similar to a Catholic mass.  Each church is different, but in general there are some very welcoming communities and individuals are encouraged to be active in their spiritual journeys.  Here is a link to more info:  http://www.episcopalchurch.org/


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#14 of 14 Old 01-18-2012, 05:17 AM
 
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I've never really understood the idea that even though you disagree about substantial factors within the Catholic church, WE THE PEOPLE are the church.  While that sounds nice, "we the people" are systematically excluded from the power structure, in particular we the people who lack penises. 

 

I live in a very RC area, and many of my family are Catholic.  Parish after parish and Catholic school after school are being closed.  The people raised the money to build these churches, poured lives into them for many decades, yet  the people have absolutely no say on whether they continue.  Faithful members are just devastated about how this process is being conducted.

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