Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thoughts Behind Recovering Catholics

I'm really bothered by the first comment I received on the last post...I guess I didn't set up the Recovering Catholic post that well... Let's try this... "In Roman Catholicism, a lapsed Catholic is a Catholic who has ceased practicing the Catholic religion. Such a person is said to have lapsed from the faith."

SO even if you were once Catholic (like me) or never were but are protestant, or if you a completely nonreligious person, we are all recovering Catholics (granted i'm speaking to the Christians in our midst, although one can make the case for Jews and Muslims as well, but for simplicity's sake, we'll stick in the Christian framework).

Why? Well if you're protestant, you then are PROTESTING the Roman Catholic church (note the ROMAN, this is CATHOLIC with a big "C" not the body of Christ "catholic=universal" with the small "c". Your ancestors were living in response to the Roman Catholics and the denomination your in has some baggage left over from the 'ye ol' reformation' times.

If you're a nonreligious person, odds are you're reacting to litergy or the "tradition." By tradition I mean lives of saints, the idea that all "heroes" in the bible are inherently good people, or something in the church structure. Depending on what that particular item of trouble is for you, odds are it comes from the Roman Catholic tradition. you don't think so? well, let's talk about it! if you have a complaint against Christianity, i'd love to hear it and see if it can be tied back to Catholicism... i'd like to know if you're a recovering catholic as well!

Now i may come off cross or too tongue-in-cheek and may offend some catholic readers out there (like i did in the Part 1:Our Stories post) but that is to be expected from a jilted lover... when one is dissed from the very thing one loves, one will be a tad jaded. so all appologies if i offend, please tell me about it, and i'd love to hear your story on why you're still with the Roman Catholic Church


Brad said...

"Now i may come off cross or too tongue-in-cheek and may offend some catholic readers out there..."

Luke! Am I rubbing off on you?


Good stuff.

Luke said...

maybe just a little :-)

Sam said...

Offend all the Catholics you want, Luke; I've got your back.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Hey, Hey!!!
we ain't all bad!Everyone had to start somewhere. And if you are any kind of thinker, you will improve from where you began. Think music. we build on stuff, like walking up steps. we don't just get Beethovan first try. Things build cause folks seek. don't dis the beginning.
the ma

Anonymous said...

I have a weird relationship with Catholicism - I don't really mind the ideas and teachings so much - sometimes they are a little weird but as long as they can help promote morality in society and help people with their personal issues - kudo's to them.

My people (First Nations in Canada) have a disgusting history with Catholicism in Canada...due to residential schools. I am not sure I could ever be Catholic because of the damage that church helped create in communities across Canada (Aboriginal communities). Residential schools were extremely cruel and ruined many First Nations kids lives - for me that is a tough one to overlook...even if the Catholic church could prove they were one and only church. They have such a bad history where I am from...I'd call it hypocrisy on their parts (those priests and nuns involved) - what was supposed to be good and humane turned out to be the opposite.

Like I said - it's a weird relationship.

Luke said...

hey SVS, thanks for adding to the convo! the catholics have a checkered past in Canada and the Maine/New Hampshire/Vermont/ Connecticut area... back in the early days of the colonies and when Canada was largely French trappers and fur traders, the Catholics came with them.

the first Catholics were the franciscans and dominicans, who were pretty liberal at the time. they adopted a live and let live policy towards the native religions. so things were going pretty good and there was no real big deal in Canada vs. the natives at the time... then came the Jesuits.

Jesuits at the time were very strict and evangelisitic. they implimented a 'colonial' plan of replacing the heathen native religion with the Holy Mother Church.. and it's gone down hill from there...

however, because of the first catholic priests and monks who trapped and traded and be-friended the natives, there have been some benefits. see most priests at the time kept excellent journals, so lands and rituals and customs have been rediscovered by the ancestors of these native tribes.. the biggest came in the story of the Mashantucket Pequot in Connecticut.

The Pequot reservation was created by Connecticut Colony in 1666. Over time it had been reduced to less than an acre. Due to this (plus other abuses and neglect and open genocide), the Pequot population reached its lowpoint of 20 or 30. After a successful lawsuit initiated in 1976 which contested the illegal appropriation of reservation lands by the state of Connecticut through the journals of priests who traded with the Pequot before and attested to their peacefulness and priest who visited the reservation during the oppression, the Mashantucket Pequot expanded their reservation, and placed repurchased lands into trust with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

so when you say "I have a weird relationship with Catholicism" i completely and utterly understand... with a history like that! geez oh pete!

(i knew that class in Native History would pay off one day ;-))