Tuesday, March 07, 2006

From Pew to Phew!

When I was a kid down South, RC was a cola, and not a particularly good one at that. Many of us liked the simultaneously sweeter and spicier Dr. Pepper.

Regardless, I am decidedly different here, perhaps both extremely advantaged and very disadvantaged in not growing up as Roman Catholic, either Irish or Italian flavored.

Following waiting-for-the-hat almost-Cardinal Sean O'Malley's latest, the local Catholics, lapsed and ex-Catholics, and others have been a twitter with various truth and wisdom. One need go for farther than the 24 pages of reader responses to Joan Vennochi's tortured column on it.

She never adds the column of figures up correctly, but this issue has struck people like tuning forks. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

The responses don't speak too well for the alleged intellectual capital of New (for damned sure) England. All too predictably, they fall in a few classes:
  • Hey, the Pope is always right. If you don't like it, join another church.
  • Letting hard-to-place kids go unadopted to spite homosexuals is immoral and unchristian.
  • I left the Church because of this kind of hypocrisy.
  • The social services arm of the Church isn't really a social services arm. It's really the Church. So they don't have to obey any laws.
So, when I thought I had been around that track and seen all the signs plenty of times, my Cape Ann, Welsh-American, ex-Catholic, pinko chum tacked up another view.

As many self-described lapsed Catholics say of themselves, they remain cultural Catholics. Yet, Uncle thinks the politicking and cold-heartedness call for a cleansing. As he puts it:
It truly is time to pack up the sentimental memories and hack away any emotional ties one ever had to this institution. It doesn't care. Walk away, shed a tear, and find another centre for your life. In the long run, the betrayal of people of compassion by the catholic institution may be the best thing that has ever happened.
I don't come from there. So, I don't have to migrate with the RC folk. Yet, I watch with interest and concern.

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