I was brought up in a very Catholic household and went to Church every Sunday and holy day up until the age of 19. Yet the last few years I have become disillusioned with the church and now only attend at Christmas time. Falling church attendance throughout Ireland would have me believe that I am not the only one who feels this way.
The recent scandals that have shaken Catholicism can most definitely be held accountable for my decline in the religion. While I would still consider myself a ‘Catholic’, and an active one at that, I do not practice the religion within an establishment. I cannot bring myself to be dictated by a devious and outdated organisation who clearly do not have the passion for humankind as they preach. Why should I be told what to do by those who cover up child pedophilia, encourage women to remain in abusive relationships and sit on hundreds of millions of euros in wealth whilst half the world is starving? You could say I believe in the religion but not the institution.
We cannot tarnish all priests as paedophiles but admittedly it is hard not to. However, a nice little antidotes which was related to me has restored a little of my original belief that the Catholic Church has some good left in it.
The past week saw a death in our family which was especially sad considering the communion of his only child taking place this week. Support for his family was not at the high level I would have imagined and hoped for. Those who you would expect to be there were not and those who were surprisingly came in the form of 6 priests from the local parish. They sat with the widow for hours upon end and provided support and comfort through loving words and well prepared food.
I don’t know why this story has stuck with me so much and brought a lump to my throat. I guess it has just restored by faith in human kind as well as the rapidly declining Catholic Church. In times of struggle and hardship, it is refreshing to know that there is still a sense of community which one can turn to.
Have you experienced anything similar? I would love to hear more positive aspects regarding the religion I was deeply entwined with as a child.