November is the month where we focus on giving Thanks. Not only am I thankful for all of you, my readers for giving me inspiration to write, but I am also thankful for the gift of Faith, Hope, and Charity that comes from Our Wonderful Savior.
Over the next few Sundays, I would like to share with you Regina’s Journey… not her real name, but in her words (via email.) She’s given me permission to share her story with you and I give you permission to share with others. You never know where someone will be met on their journey, but remember… no matter who you meet, where you meet them, treat them with love and respect but do not deny the truth.
I’ve been following your blog for a while and I really respect your opinions and would love some advice.After my engagement, I began attending church because I had a vision of a “church” wedding. In turn, I fell back in with the Catholicism of my youth. I had gone to Catholic elementary school, but switched to public secondary in grade 8 after experiencing some serious questions about faith in general and Catholicism specifically. After a relatively amusing marriage prep class, my husband (baptized Anglican, but stopped going to church when he was quite young) and I started attending mass. I love attending mass at my local parish, I love singing hymns, and I find prayer to be a comfort. However, I still have some major issues with Catholicism – not in it’s essential truths, but in it’s sticky rules that most people tend to not care about. These issues are preventing my husband from joining RCIA and me from being confident in my faith.Now I have a baby girl, who is three and a half months old and we are in the process of arranging her baptism. I want to make sure I can stand up there and firmly make the baptismal promises with confidence. My main issues are with the restrictions against women in the priesthood (although I believe celibacy is important for priests, I have a problem with every argument I’ve read supporting the men-only side – I feel it is a historical construct imposed on the church rather than something inherent in Catholicism itself.). The other major problem I have is with the church’s attitude towards gays and lesbians. I am from Toronto, Canada, where gay marriage is legal and socially acceptable. Being in the arts (theatre specifically), many of my friends are gay. One of my most devout friends — who sang the psalms and hymns at our wedding — is gay. I find it hard to believe in a church that prohibits my friends from fully expressing themselves. For example, most schools in our area have Gay-Straight Alliances, which are designed to promote conversations and respect between Queer and Straight youth. Our (publicly funded, not private) Catholic high schools have banned these clubs. I have been praying that Church leaders may find a way to accept my friends.While I understand that you yourself might disapprove of homosexuality, and might produce some good doctrinal evidence that condemns it, I need to know that I can wholeheartedly promise to raise my child Catholic, while praying for change in how the Catholic church perceives women, gays and lesbians.Does any of that make sense? Is it wrong to doubt a whole faith based on one little rule?Anyway, sorry to rant all over you. I probably should talk to my priest about these things, but I’m so shy about it.PS – I just read the new Nicene creed and am disappointed in the “for us men (!) and for our salvation.” I feel like God is provoking me!