Sunday, May 08, 2005


I'm sick of meeting ex-Catholics.

I saw the headline yesterday on the front page of the Baltimore Sun, while leaving CVS, and I didn't stop to read it because I knew it would make me mad.

So I waited until today, until I was done having a truly lovely weekend and needed to actually get down to the business of working, to check on it. And the headline, it seems, was right. As the New York Times, in their incontrovertible New York Times way, put it, "Vatican is said to force Jesuit off magazine."

And, yes, okay, maybe they didn't force him off, maybe they just politely said, "Hey, you should move on to other things now," and yes, being a priest means obedience, it means going where someone tells you to go, in the hopes that it's also where Some One tells you to go.

But still, it makes me mad and it makes me scared. The story, in brief, concerns Father Thomas Reese, SJ who was the editor of America magazine (which I'm only familiar with because I liked to roam around the periodical room of my college library. It was under "A," so I found it easily.) Father Reese apparently published articles with pro- and con- positions about things like gay priests and giving communion to politicians who were pro-choice. And now he's not the editor there anymore.


I'm sick of meeting ex-Catholics.

I'm sick of people like Jack Miles who go from writing really fascinating books on theology to writing snide and smug essays about how lame the church is and how glad they are they've left it. I'm sick of conversations like the one I had last night with an intelligent, articulate young woman about how meaningful she found the Catholic church when she was younger but now she's grown up and realized it's wrong and harmful and is so glad she left.

There is such a need in this country and in the world for smart, passionate people (especially clergy and involved laypeople) to debate, discuss, and argue these issues. To press for change while holding on to what is holy. And, if (and I know it's an IF) someone who was doing these things as a priest, is getting censured, I don't know what else to do but be mad.

I'm so sick of meeting ex-Catholics.

No comments: