Monday, April 22, 2002

A Catholic Crisis Of Conscience

Over the past few years, the challenge of being a Catholic has been an extraordinary challenge for me. Criticism has been leveled against the Church (and rightly so) for their failure to properly address the problems of sexual abuse by clergy, and it has been difficult for me to explain to critics about why I have chosen to remain a Catholic.

At a very young age, I was radicalized by Catholicism. I learned it was my duty to speak out against injustice, assist the disenfranchised and to try to use my life's work to make the world a better place. I like to think of myself as a good Catholic.

I stopped participating in Catholic religious practices in the 1970s because I heartily disagreed with the Vatican's position on the rights of women, the vailidity of homosexual relationships, and birth control. I still disagree. When I returned to the church in the late 1980s, it was with the resolve that, as a Catholic it was my duty to speak-up within the Catholic community in a effort to effect change. I realized I could not change the Church as an outsider.

Today, my heart is heavy to the point of tears over an atrocity at St. Patrick's Cathedral yesterday. While filling-in for Cardinal Egan at yesterday's mass, Msgr. Eugene Clark used the pulpit to deliver a homily that blames the Church's current sex abuse problems on homosexuality.

As a Catholic I must speak up and say that I know pederasty and sexual abuse has nothing to do with homosexuality and I hope you know that, too. To blame homosexuals (an already disenfranchised segement of the population) for the scandal created by criminal neglect by Church autorities is wholly un-Christian, innacurate and sinful.