I’m not going to say negative things about the late pope, but I will say, as I was telling Karsten, that he’s the reason I’m not Catholic anymore.
I was raised in a devoutly Catholic household, and I was an active member of the family’s church as I grew up. When I was a teen, I became an activist for women’s ordination. In fact, had women been allowed to become priests, I might well have taken that path.
But in 1994, when Pope John Paul II issued his notorious “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis,” he told me I was no longer a Catholic. He said “…I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”
I was at college when it happened, and my father called me that day, knowing I’d be upset. I remember him telling me that this was the strongest proclamation he’d ever heard a pope make in his lifetime, and I remember telling him how much it hurt me that it had to be over an issue like this.
I stopped going to church immediately. And soon thereafter, I realized I didn’t believe in a god anyway. I would’ve left the church sooner or later, but maybe not out of anger.
But it all fell apart May 22, 1994, and the end started with this pope.
Anyway, I’m glad for the good he did do in the world, and I hope the next pope brings a degree of enlightenment with him, but I’m not holding my breath. And it’s no longer really my concern anyway.
2 thoughts on “The passing of the pope”
Ironically, my religious “moment of truth” was the same year, though since I’m older than you, somewhat later in my life. For me it was someone representing my openly “tolerant and accepting of all orientations” church telling me that the entire board had met and decided that my minister wasn’t allowed to perform my commitment ceremony with my second partner, whether in the church or elsewhere. I decided that if that was the most “tolerant and accepting” Christianity was going to get, then I wasn’t going to be a Christian anymore. And later that year, when they went after my minister in a good old-fashioned witch hunt, found out he was poly too, and had him both fired and defrocked, I knew I’d made the right decision.
I haven’t really thought much about what I do and don’t believe since then. I know I’m not an atheist, but uncertainty overpowers everything beyond that. I do know, though, that I’d never want to be associated with a religion that’s that intolerant. Not to mention everything else it’s been associated with in the past ten years or so. I’ve never looked back.
I hope for the sake of my sweetie that a similar occurance dosen’t happen to him with the new pope. I know his Catholic identity is very important to him.