Yesterday at Mass, I was reminded why I decided to become a Catholic – the discord.
I was born Baptist and then migrated to Methodist when I was in my teens. I was baptized Methodist but I never felt like I had found a home. Throughout my high school and college years, I explored other churches and even took a few religion classes that explored Eastern religions as well. Throughout my little journey, I kept an open mind and enjoyed the process immensely.
As an example, I met with Jehovah’s Witnesses every Tuesday afternoon for a year and a half. I never went to their church and I never believed their beliefs, but I did enjoy discussing it with them and trying to figure out why they believed what they believed. I think I wore them out, but it was fun!
Then I met Holly. She was a “cradle Catholic,” also the Music Director at Christ The King and she invited me to hear something that her Choir had worked on. Up until then, I bought into a lot of the stereotypes. You know, that Catholics have a lot of kids, don’t practice birth control, belonged an antiquated church structure and everyone does whatever the Pope says. I hadn’t really been to many Catholic churches and didn’t know much about them, so I went to learn more.
What I discovered was that the Church was constantly changing and evolving and the most surprising thing was that not everyone agrees on everything! Case in point: did you know that there is a group called Catholics For A Free Choice? That’s right, a Catholic organization that believes that a woman should have a choice about abortion. Granted, they aren’t endorsed by the Pope, but they are Catholics and they are expressing their disagreement with the Bishops of Rome and they’ve been doing it for 25 years. I love it!
Of course this shouldn’t surprise me, because many of the Protestant religions were started out of the Protestant Reformation. Basically, people got fed up with the Catholic church and broke away to create their own religions, but what most people forget about is that there were a lot of people that disagreed with the Pope and stayed in the Church to try and make a change. As a result, there are many different factions within the Church and they all don’t agree on everything.
What I love about this is that it keeps you on your toes. I personally feel it’s good to get poked with a stick every once in awhile so that you don’t get stuck in a rut. It’s too easy to get complacent and take your faith for granted. To show up to Church on Sunday, sit there for an hour (I’m Catholic remember? 😛 ) and think that you’re done.
I’m lucky that I go to St. Edwards because Father Breen feels the same way and yesterday he got out his big stick. His sermon was based on the current events in the news and he used that opportunity to cover some topics that he feels strongly about. He expressed that he felt that Priests should be allowed to marry (due to there is a critical shortage of priests) and that birth control is a good idea just to name a few. His most “shocking” comment had to be that he felt that the Bishops are nothing but puppets of Rome and that Rome is out of touch with reality. I had a grin from ear-to-ear. It’s one thing for a layman to rail against the Bishops, but it’s quite another when a Priest does it. You know this is going to get back to his bosses. Granted, Father Breen is in his 70’s and I don’t think his position is in jeopardy, but it’s nice when you see an established Priest rocking the boat.
I’m sure there were a few “blue hairs” that wanted to cover their ears and flee from the church, but at that age you can’t move very fast. 😉 Ahhh, the wonderful sound of discord – it’s music to my ears.