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#340726 - 09/24/10 10:42 AM Religion, Sexuality, Abuse, Ethics
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 728
Loc: United States
I'm not sure where this post goes because it covers some territory.
  • I was raised Catholic and my parents were very devout.
  • I was educated in Catholic Schools and even institutionalized in a Catholic Boy's Home.
  • I was sexually abused while at the boy's home by a Catholic Brother.
  • I haven't considered myself a Catholic for about 20 years.
  • I didn't realize the significance of what had happened to me until my late twenties.
  • I came out to my Mum and she asked if I'd been abused at the same time.
  • The hierarchy of the Catholic Church continues to hide the pedophiles in their midst.
  • The church's focus is avoiding or mitigating their legal risk and evading responsibility, even creating the fiction that priests are "independent contractors" that the church can't be held accountable for.
  • The Pope is personally complicit in covering up abuse both in his previous roles, and as the current Pontiff of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
  • The Catholic Church is continuing their millennia long battle against gay men and lesbians, but instead of torturing and killing us as in the past, now the church opposes every move to treat us as equal under civil law.
  • The church says that they don't have a pedophile problem, they have a gay problem.
  • The church has been instrumental in political action stripping away marriage and other civil rights for gays and lesbians.
  • The church has helped create an atmosphere where discriminating against gays and lesbians and constantly voting on their rights is not just okay, but it's now an expectation - a right - that they want protected.
  • Gay, lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender kids are killing themselves at unprecedented rates above straight kids because society, the church, and especially their schools are so toxic and filled with cruelty.
  • I am still counted by the Catholic Church as Catholic.
As a gay man and a survivor of abuse in the Catholic Church I find this intolerable. Now I am grappling with the idea of defecting from the Catholic Church and severing all ties. The process means that they note in the Church records that you are no longer a Catholic. Ethically, I just can't be a part of an organization whose actions are so... evil.

The problem is that the Catholic Laity is in a different place to the church. Of all mainstream religions rank-and-file Catholics have a strong sense of social justice are the most supportive of equal treatment for Gays and Lesbians. They need support and encouragement.

My dilemma is this: Do I stay, or do I go?

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#340730 - 09/24/10 11:00 AM Re: Religion, Sexuality, Abuse, Ethics [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11053
Loc: Denver, CO
Quote:
My dilemma is this: Do I stay, or do I go?


Mark, I have no idea what "level" your faith is nor am I here to gage that, but I suppose the answer to that question may depend on where one's faith is at. I have no doubt in my mind there is many good God-fearing catholic folks out there. They still believe and trust in God regardless of the trials they are facing.

One of my perps was a church counselor back in the 80s (not a catholic church). Although he did evil toward myself and others, it didn't shake my faith any. What it did do was make me realize that regardless of what church one joins themself to, there will be people among the ranks with the wrong motives, wearing their masks.

Andy



Edited by FormerTexan (09/24/10 11:08 AM)
_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#340731 - 09/24/10 11:39 AM Re: Religion, Sexuality, Abuse, Ethics [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
EvanCan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/09/10
Posts: 170
Dear EFM,
In my humble opinion, you will find peace and joy when you "sever ties" with ANY religion. Instead, seek to enhance your "tie" with your Father God. Make God your object of loyalty, and not the Catholic church (or any organized body of religion).
Spend a few years at a non-denominational church, spend a few years attending a Methodist church, etc., all the while focusing your devotion to God and not any church. Then, who knows, you may "end up" back at a Catholic church again. But with a fresh perspective, without so much baggage, and with a wonderful relationship with God (your personal relationship) that no organized church can give you.
That's my "two cents."
Peace to you as you search.

_________________________
Hope Springs 2010 WoR Alumnus
"I'm here, and I'm on the mend."


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#340732 - 09/24/10 12:11 PM Re: Religion, Sexuality, Abuse, Ethics [Re: FormerTexan]
NDbiker Offline


Registered: 07/27/10
Posts: 37
Loc: North Dakota
First and foremost I am Lutheran. My views are probably skewed based on the fact we stepped away from Catholocism for a whole different set of reasons.

The piece that I was wondering about is, can you say "I'm Catholic" and not have to go into a lengthy explanation as to why?

I agree that most catholics, I know, have a great deal of common sense, but the voice that is followed comes from the top down. I can't fathom how the church sees what they are doing, as being the easiest or better path. They've moved these individuals around because there are a lack of priests? Of course there would be a lack of enthusiasm from the congregations! Who wants to step into a profession where they are immediately suspected of being a pedophile because of the protection the church will afford them?

FormerTexan is absolutely correct in the fact that evil exists in any religion. Leadership creates power and it will draw individuals looking to usurp it. The biggest difference with Catholocism, is they have a very public and goal oriented stance. This stance is against you. Is that extra wieght on your shoulders going to breed resentment between you and God? Do you feel your life is best served educating your fellow Catholics from the bottom up? What action is best for you as an individual?...as a member of the gay community? Are you prepared to wait for religion to change and meet your needs? Are you better off by making changing you to meet your needs?


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#340783 - 09/25/10 11:22 AM Re: Religion, Sexuality, Abuse, Ethics [Re: NDbiker]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 728
Loc: United States
I considered that I'd severed all ties with Catholicism decades ago. I'd say I was raised Catholic, but that I have no religion and am considered an apostate. Defecting from the church (being noted as a defector and no longer being Catholic) is something I didn't realize I could do until very recently. I thought I'd done all I could do. Apparently not.

With all the actions the church is taking to vilify and discriminate against gay men and lesbians in politics and civil law, blaming their pedophile problems on gay men, etc. I feel that as a gay man and a survivor I'm being blamed for my own abuse. If my name remains on roll of Catholics then I'm still part of a group that has systematically tortured and murdered gay men and lesbians throughout the millennia. It's become excruciating and intolerable.

Now that I know there is another step I can take to disconnect myself from Catholicism, it's harder than I expected to do.

I have no problem with belief in the divine, but I believe that religion is man's attempt to control the personal relationship someone can have with the divine, and that organized religion ultimately corrupts that relationship and it's principals and values.

My experience with religion has made it very difficult to believe that there is any God. I'd have to say that in general I feel pretty agnostic these days, but I'm beginning to be convinced more and more that there is no God in the way the Abrahamic faiths depict it. In my experience, the actions of religions are the best case against the existence of a God.

The idea of God isn't part of this decision at all. It doesn't signify in my life.

I wonder if this isn't about the cultural component of growing up Catholic, or about the questions of identity that this raises. I'm adopted so I know little about where I came from. I have a fairly undocumented life in many ways and instead of learning more about who I am and where I came from I feel like I'm having to discard pieces of my identity. Being unmade.

There is also a sense that I would be abandoning the good people in the Catholic laity who are generally not aligned with the church's doctrine on many key social and social justice issues. And I also wonder if I lose some of the right to critique the church from that "Catholic" perspective if I'm no longer a member.

I've e-mailed a pastor at my local Catholic church asking for time to talk. Once I've done that, I'll hopefully be ready to make this decision.

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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