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A Sign From Above?

 
Posted April 27th, 2014 @ 8:31am

Hi, my name is Mike and I'm a Recovering Catholic.

"Hi Mike."

Some background to begin.  I was raised a Catholic (technically the word was "Roman Catholic" but you get the idea).

For many years, my family and I attended Sunday Mass.  I also did my time with Sunday School classes and one year at a Catholic School.

After my father Sam passed when I was 13, I continued to attend Mass every Sunday with my mother Marie.  I still believed in God and all He stood for, but something started to change.

I started asking myself the same questions over and over;

"Why is it important I have to attend every week?  Doesn't God know I feel the same the other six days of the week?"

"Why do we have to say the exact same words week after week?  Doesn't God want some original thoughts and feelings?"

"If God is everywhere, can't he hear me talking to him in my living room, or my car, or my back porch?"

So while I remained (and remain to this day, though even stronger) a very spiritual person, I truthfully gave up on the idea of "formalized religion."

It seemed as I was growing up, a number of people were agreeing with me; attendance was down, the congregation continued to get greyer, and then there was that sticky problem with the priests.

Without going into details, I still consider myself a God fearing Christian, and try to be a good person, or at least a better person every day.

I also take time out at the end of the day for prayers, my little daily conversation with God bringing him up to speed on everything going on in my life (He is busy after all)

In my heart, though, I've always felt the Catholic Church had to do, well, something, to get the crowds back and get new blood flowing.

But doing so meant "wiping the slate clean", or at the very least make adjustments for past (and many will say antiquated) beliefs/rules.

Then along comes Pope Francis.

Little by little, he's done or said things that some can say "are shaking the Church to the ground".

While others, like myself, say, "It's about damn time!"

The latest being when the Pope called a woman in Argentina, saying essentially that, even though her husband had been divorced in an earlier marriage, she's free to take Communion.

Holy Crap!

Brief story about my mom. Before she met my dad, she was in a previous marriage and got divorced, because of the laws of the church, she was never able to take Communion again.

I thought it was wrong then, I think it's wrong now.

Despite the fact she was divorced, my mom was always a God fearing Christian, she did no wrong (with the exception of the divorce thing, she was told), but if you (along with God and The Church) knew the circumstances of why she divorced, let's just say you would have thought it OK that she divorce earlier than she did!

I have all the faith in the world she is in Heaven today, with my dad, with the man she married after my dad passed, and quite possibly, with Ex Husband # 1!

Lastly, I echoed these words on my personal Facebook page the other day, and overall I got positive response, with one exception, a friend of mine from the Midwest who is VERY devout Christian -he wrote, and I quote...

"My only beef with something like this is, is he following God's word? Whether Catholic, Baptist, or whatever, if God says it's not OK and a priest, pastor, pope, determine that they feel it's OK then they are treading on dangerous ground. Thankfully I'm not the one who'll have to stand before Him one day and answer for it."

Everyone has their thoughts and beliefs, and I salute this person for his, but I have to ask, if the Pope gets on the hot seat for trying to make The Church a better place, is there a bigger problem with that concept than a woman married to a divorced man taking Communion?

So will I go back to The Church on a regular basis?  Perhaps...let's see what happens once the first female priest gets in first!

Mike Patrick
mike@wgy.com

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