Are You Leaving The Catholic Church Over A Nasty Experience?

I remember years ago going on radio and elsewhere arguing with others that they shouldn’t leave the Catholic Church over the actions and nastiness of a few clergy and laity. I still think my argument retains it’s validity however lately I’ve had a hard time swallowing my very own pill.

I just can’t seem to integrate into any parish at all. I can’t seem to like any of the priests, the people they hire or some of the laity. In the beginning I noticed that when I was single, my prayer life was stronger and as a result taking insults and enduring the worst of Catholic priests and theologians was easy. When I got married however, my prayer life decreased and as a result I reverted much to my worldly ways.

Even though my intellect still retained the idea that we shouldn’t allow the nasty actions of some to determine the church we attend, it was impossible to think this way. I snapped one day when I emailed or called the local priest about baptizing my first born Christian. He gave me a number to call and every day I called it but it just rang out. No mobile phone number no nothing. I became frustrated and so I called up Fr.Serge from the Greek Catholic church and he agreed to baptize them.

Those of us who leave the church or avoid it based on a bad experience is to be understood simply from the perspective that we’ve been brought up in a society that makes decision based on our emotions rather than eternal truths. For example abortions often occur because of anxiety, fear and pressure rather than the eternal truth that this is an innocent human life. Getting rid of this conditioning is not the answer understanding it for it’s true worth is better.

As I said earlier about understanding that leaving the church based on my emotions isn’t good yet everyday I suffer a deluge of attacks and temptations to indulge in those emotions and walk out the door. I almost did, I began attending the Orthodox Church for a while and even came out on this blog and spoke about my apparent conversion to the Orthodox church.

Isn’t that strange? What, you mean you know that it’s wrong to leave the church because of how others treat you yet….you want to leave the church because of the way others treat you? My answer is yes as St.Paul said himself he often knows its wrong but still finds himself doing it. It’s the human condition and living with it isn’t easy.

When we leave a church it’s often because the actions of a few have really hurt us. We tend to go where we feel loved because the world told us that we need to feel loved in order to be happy even though that’s nonsense. It’s important to love others not be loved by them. When we are not being loved and accepted by others there is nothing but unrest and anxiety.

It seems like an impossible task and it kind of is which is why at least understanding that the need to be loved by others is ridiculous is better than total blindness to it altogether.

It’s not fair to lay all the blame on the people though. When dealing with worldly people who are still fragile in the faith and don’t really have a grasp of the eternal truths I have to show the utmost compassion to them. They’re victims but they’re salvation isn’t determined whether they get the spiritual life or not either. The decisions we make and how we treat others will not go unpunished by the Lord unless we repent of them.

As Catholics we have to be careful about how we treat the person who knocks on our door. This person might be considering the Catholic church or looking for some comfort. He may have a disability we don’t know about and have suicidal thoughts and when he knocks on the door of a Catholic Church perhaps just as someone looking for a few pound or other and we are nasty to him, that can have an effect on him.

He won’t show it to you but he’ll walk away and it will add to the stress of his day. It could be his tipping point never to darken the doorstep of a church again and whose soul do you think will be set on fire for such an outcome…his? not at all.

If you’re a person who has been considering leaving the Catholic church because of a bad experience you’ve had, welcome to the club because everyday I wake up and think it’s a miracle I’m still here.

I don’t like Catholics at all, I’ve been to youth 2000 retreats, sat with clergy, went to bible groups, rosary groups but I just can’t deal with these people and I get much better treatment and conversations from atheists, secularists, agnostics, prostitutes, drug dealers and petty thieves.

This is why I distanced myself as of late from the church. Over the past 8 years I’ve built for myself my own spirituality that is still in full compliance with the church. I go to mass every Sunday even though it’s a chore and I don’t enjoy it because of what it’s become. I have my icon wall at home which I sit in front of and the saints keep me company especially Saint Mary and Saint Paul. I pray daily and have my own devotions.

I go to confession once a week and have become immune now to ”it’s not a sin my child” and ”here’s a link to meditations by richard rohr” and I just endure it to get the benefit of the Sacrament. I’ve already broken my hand writing letters to bishops of complaint and not receiving replies to the point where I just say ”It’s your hands now Lord, I’ve done my bit and sure we all know the end of the story…you win”.

Whenever someone knocks on my door with an invitation to go to church meeting or retreat, my answer is always a resounding no. I could honestly do without that headache.

If ever you do see me at one you know my wife has dragged me kicking and screaming.

So if you think you’re having a hard time staying put in the Catholic Church come on around to my house and have a chat with me. Why do I stay? because I’m very difficult person to get rid of which is why I’m such a successful sales man hahahaha. I’m extremely loyal person too. When my girlfriends mother in Scotland told me I had to leave her house, she thought I’d go home to Ireland and leave her pregnant daughter and they’d be in peace and so she could get her to have an abortion because I was standing in the way of all of that.

One day I walked past her with a tent under my arm and she was speaking with the local vicar. Her face went red as a cherry when she asked ”and where are you going?” ”I’m going to pitch this tent in the wilderness some miles outside the village and I will walk 8 miles into work every day.” She was so ashamed and she pleaded with me to at least rent a room from her posh friend but I refused for months.

People came to dissuade me from living in a tent and that the harsh winter would come and flush me out of it. But I didn’t move. eventually I came back to the village though.

So once I pitch my tent I’m not easily moved and I’ve pitched a tent in the Catholic Church and even though I don’t mingle with Catholics I stay for Christ sake and because my conscience just wont allow me to go anywhere else just now. Jesus said those who endure to the end will be saved and I intend on doing just that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Are You Leaving The Catholic Church Over A Nasty Experience?

  1. I find your posts bizarre and most confusing. Sometimes you’re a Catholic, sometimes you’re some Eastern version of Catholicism and today you’re Catholic on your own terms!
    With respect, if I were questioning the faith you’re the last person I’d ask as you seem to have a severe identity crisis regarding religion.
    I do hope you find what you’re looking for.

    • Catholic on my own terms? I didn’t say I’m catholic on my own terms. I said I’ve got my own spirituality in which I attend mass and the sacraments. I don’t have to become involved in the church further than that and there’s thousands of other Catholics who do the same as me there’s nothing bizzare about it. My theology is eastern and it remains to be that way, what’s wrong with that? I’m not perfect, this is what my post is about, none of us are perfect, we all live a Crisis of some sort. We all have a Cross we carry and I think my post here is not confusing but very honest one. I’m saying hey look I have problems too but I’m staying where I am for now. I hope you find the perfect mystic or guru you’re lookng for Phillip because you won’t get it here.

      • First of all I’m certainly not looking for a guru or mystic!
        Second my comments was more about the wavering theme of your post over several months.
        Third do you think “enduring” confession to “get the benefit” is really how it works?
        I think I’d enjoy a debate over a pint with you!

      • I’m not talking about enduring the sacrament of confession, I am talking about enduring the priests rubbish advice. The wavering theme of what? I am an ordinary person and my blog is my thoughts out loud. God would much rather we be honest about our confusion but the truth is I’m not really confused. I know where I need to be, but my wavering antics and constant moaning is my honest anger at God. He knows that I know where I need to be. He knows that like I throw tantrums. Unlike people who read my blog he knows me better than anyone. I use this blog for lots of stuff and one of them is whining. I’m not alone, read the psalms, read about Jonah and Job. everyone whines to God. If you don’t like the whining, too bad because there’s more to come.

      • Yes I’m familiar with Job and Jonah, maybe more than you expect!
        I don’t really get how you could “endure” confession but ignore the priest!
        I feel like I’m up against a brick wall here so I’ll leave you to your whining and good luck with it.
        Peace!

      • No Phillip, I endure the priests rubbish advice. that’s what I endure. I don’t ignore the priest I ignore his rubbish advice or lack of if I even get any. I simply get the sacrament and go home. It’s not all doom and gloom sometimes I do get good advice from Holy priests if I come across one. If I have such rubbish advice that you’d never consider why do you follow my blog? Why not go and find some perfect creature whom you can get good advice from?

      • Curiosity more than anything else.
        I think I started when you used regularly comment on The Journal.ie

      • And are you Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant or other?

      • Roman Catholic.

      • Ah I see. Are you of the intellectual type who wears cheenos and talks with a few marbles in his mouth and likes to debate over a glass of brandy? Curious are ye ? You’ve been following this blog for few years now never mind months. Curiosity is when you stick your head in the door and then leave. You’ve obviously stayed for some other reason. In any case your welcome here. Please pray for me have a good night.

      • An answer for everything, patronising and ‘holier than thou’! But never mind, if it works for you.
        Time to find how to unsubscribe from this!

      • Yeah a good old spirit test reveals you’re no different than the rest of them. Nobody is holier than anyone you’require the one who came in here and claimed you know more than me when it comes to the bible and prophets. Your better off unsubscrime from this blog as it’s not for the pharasaical choir who like to come here and best their breasts. Go find a blog that isn’t as honest as this one might suit your requirements.

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