Friday, March 5th, 2010...9:30 am

Why I Am No Longer a Roman Catholic

Jump to Comments

I am the product of 20 years of Catholic education (grade school, prep school, college, seminary), of which I am proud and for which I am grateful. During the 1980s I was a Roman Catholic priest. Over 20 years ago, I left the priesthood and the Church. In the words of the Jewish Passover Seder hymn, Dayenu . . . “it would have been enough.”

It would have been enough . . . to leave because of the bishops’ collusion in shielding sexual abuser priests and preventing the victims from receiving their rightful pastoral care.

It would have been enough . . . to leave because of the bishops’ intractable denial of a rightful place for women in ministry and in positions of leadership, more recently evidenced in the Vatican’s New Inquisition of orders of women religious.

It would have been enough . . . to leave because of the Church’s single-minded campaign against the social equality of gay and lesbian people.

Today’s news includes salt on that wound. After the Washington, DC, government decided to recognize same-sex unions as marriages (with all the rights, privileges and duties pertaining thereunto), which included the provision of health benefits for spouses, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, led by Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl (“Oh, her!” I could tell you stories that I’d heard about that girlfriend years ago), has decided that henceforth they will not offer spousal benefits to any new heterosexual employees or to any new spouses of current heterosexual employees, in order not to give even the appearance of condoning same-sex marriages.

The former chief operating officer of the archiocesan Catholic Charities, Tim Sawina, has called upon the archdiocese to change its position. According to a report in the Washington Post:

“Some, including the archbishop, have argued that by providing health care to a gay or lesbian spouse we are somehow legitimizing gay marriage,” said Sawina, a former priest. “Providing health care to a gay or lesbian partner — a basic human right, according to Church teaching — is an end in itself and no more legitimizes that marriage than giving communion to a divorced person legitimizes divorce, or giving food or shelter to an alcoholic legitimizes alcoholism.”

The sound you hear is my shaking the dust off my sandals . . . again.

Leave a Reply