I Just Don’t Get Popemania

In 2002, I abandoned my Catholic faith, after a priest of the cloth in Falls Church used the pulpit to explain that women couldn’t properly understand the suffering of Christ.

Maybe it’s my mistrust of the Catholic Church after that incident that leads me to think that the Pope’s visit today is unimportant. Growing up, I had the chance to see His Holiness John Paul II at Laguna Seca raceway, except that our bus broke down on the way to collect us from my small California hometown. We were stranded without a way to get there. I remember being incredibly disappointed, though my disappointment paled in comparison to my mother’s. We watched on TV instead as the Holy Father took bread, blessed it and broke it, and distributed it to the tens of thousands who had gathered to hear him speak.

Sure, I understand what makes people Believe. Belief is a powerful thing, it gives us will when we might not have it otherwise, it gives us strength when we are weak, it gives us comfort when we are sad.

Perhaps if it were John Paul II again, I might understand the excitement. He reached out to the world and sought to make the faith more accessible to all. This Pope, though, has been more controversial, making changes to the mass to return it more closely to the obfuscated Latin origins, as well as with no new policy for dealing with the problem of abused children by people of trust in the Church, I think I will stay away a bit longer.

So, if you are a fan of His Holiness, by all means, get excited and worship in your faith today. Me? Just another day, only with more crowds, and more closed roads.

2 Comments so far

  1. Monica (monica) on April 17th, 2008 @ 10:19 am

    I was raised Catholic but left that religion more than a decade ago. Unlike most of my friends, who went and go to church to meditate, I learned the rules and laws of Catholicism and just didn’t believe they were relevant today. Not to mention the Church’s hypocrisy — love they neighbor as yourself but not if they’re homosexual or atheist or female.

    I appreciate that many people are excited to see this Pope. I declined the opportunity to go to Catholic University yesterday — figured someone who really wants to see him ought to use the ticket. I think even if this Pope were more like John Paul II, I’d feel much the same.

    In some communities the church does a lot to ease suffering for its Parishioners, but in general the Catholic Church does not do enough. And in some communities — Massachusetts and California spring to mind — Priests and the church do more harm than good.

  2. Max (mcook) on April 17th, 2008 @ 2:14 pm

    Me neither.

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