I am not taking myself out of the Church. The Catholic Church is my faith family of origin, and like my biological family has its own degree of dysfunction. I maintain ties with and membership in my biological family despite differences of opinion and life-choices, despite criminal behavior by some close relatives, despite personal grievances and emotional pain. So also, I maintain membership in my faith family despite the very same issues! I love my family; I love my church. I have struggled to help heal my family; I continue to struggle to help heal my church — not its power structure but its people. I was once cut off (excommunicated?) from my family but I continued to pray for them and pursue the truth. If I were ever excommunicated by Catholic authorities I would continue to pray for the Church and pursue the truth–and I would still consider myself Catholic.

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