Friday, June 01, 2007

Now that the immediate, squealing, excitement of deciding to go north has worn off, I'm left with something of a dilemma.
You see, most of the friends I'll be seeing don't know about my departure from the Roman Catholic Church. Now, that might not be a big deal, but I was a hopeless church nerd during my college and young adult days. I was active in Campus Ministry at Gannon, and thus most of my friends were, too. I was active in my parish in Pittsburgh, and most of my friends came from that experience.
It still might not be a big deal, but one of the activities planned is a Mass at the ol' alma mater. Questions, I'm afraid, may arise if I go to Mass but don't received communion. I have too much respect for the Eucharist to not respect the RCC's rules for reception. I wouldn't be the only one not receiving as at least one other person who will be there is Protestant, but unless there is something I don't know, I'll be the only one who used to be Roman Catholic. I suppose people could assume that I was in a state of grave sin, and hadn't gone to Confession (not that that is much better).
The really hard part is that I was on pace to do this whole...departure thing when I was first starting college. I fully assumed that I would start attending and become involved with either a Lutheran or Episcopal church up there. But, I got pulled into campus ministry, and felt, for the first time ever, that I had a place in the Roman Catholic Church.
So if the issue comes up, what do I say?
  • "I got tired of saying one thing publically in my teaching role within the church and believing something else privately"?
  • "I was deeply hurt by politics and hierarchy, and it was enough to send me searching"?
  • "I found that pretending to not mind the second-class status that lay women (especially single, lay women) are inflicted with to be very frustrating"?
  • "I woke up one morning and realized that those subtle differences in theology really make a buttload of difference when you add them all up, and I wound up on the side of Luther"?
  • "Life changed me. I grew, and prayed, and thought, and prayed, and worked, and prayed, and the Big Guy just lead me to where I am now"?

I may be playing the part of the cowardly lion, but I hope the issue doesn't come up. I'm not a different person. I never lost my faith (exactly), and I never lost touch with God. My understanding of the intellectual part of faith has changed, and I choose to practice in a slightly different way in a slightly different community. But I am still fundamentally the same person, if a little more damaged and a lot more spiritually fulfilled (that is, when I don't have to spend my whole blessed life at work),

1 comment:

tomzgrrl said...

Since many of those people might read your blog, it may not need to be asked.

But I won't ask -- wouldn't, anyway, if I didn't already know -- and beside the fact, if there's one thing the whole KH and GU experience was about -- to me, anyway, it was Christian community and understanding and respecting people's faith.

Please don't worry about it -- I could arrange for my kids to behave terribly and divert the attention, if you'd like!!!!!