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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Say what? Catholic women deciding for themselves?

Some days ago I had a very interesting conversation with a friend who asked me about this blog, which sparkled a very intense discussion about what I criticized about religions and what she perceived in them. I don’t know if we got to an agreements or just got bored of discussing with each other, but I got to understand something kind of interesting about her: she, a catholic, did not give so much importance to the institution (this is, the Catholic Church), but to what she interpreted and made her feel good, which doesn’t include despising homosexuals, denying the effectiveness of contraceptives and surely many other things. This, to my eyes (and I’m sure, to the Catholic Church’s eyes) make her bad catholic. But I also see her as a very nice person who, with the qualities and defects every person has, lives her life without bothering others and never despising anyone for being different.

In other words, she could be defined as a “liberal catholic” who feels good by believing some catholic ideas and discarding those with which she does not agree, wheteher because they seem morally incorrect to her or are just nonsensical

Maybe the same happens to the women from the group Catolicas por el Derecho a Decidir (Catholics for the right to chose)

“We are catholics who chose to use contraceptive methods”
To say sexuality and Catholic Chruch in the same phrase, usually, represents conflict, moreover if it’s women we are talking about, in which case we talk about sin and guilt. Eliana Cano is a representative of Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir, women who, without leaving their faith, question church policies.

We have to admit that one needs courage to question the policies of their own church,, a church that since the beginning convince its followers, specially if these are young, that it is the true path to God, to salvation, to being good, etc. That’s even worse when the person is a woman in a world and church dominated by men. But yet, even having the strength to say “this is wrong” to their church, these women are still there.

The Catholic Church is all of us who consider ourselves Catholics. The church hierarchy, the Vatican is, let’s say, the “officers”. But inside the church there are many voices, including our. It’s true that for the “officers” everything related to reproductive regulation and living sexuality is a questionable field: it’s sin. There are some of us who consider us Catholics, who have grown up in this and who use contraceptive method, because we want it that way.

It’s interesting the sentence with which the paragraph starts. Is it true that catholic is that one who just “feels” that way If it were like that, the rites, the customs and all the paraphernalia associated with that wouldn’t be necessary. Can a person really call him or herself a catholic without being baptized, receiving the communion, being confirmed, married by the church or, worse, dissobeying the church commandments? I don’t think the “officers” would be too happy about that. The idea of democratic catholic church is very nice and very comfortable, but, sadly, it’s not that way. The catholic church demands obedience to its pastors, in a chain of command very similar to that of the military, in which the Pope has the final word and the power do say something and declare it “infallible”, supposedly through the use of the holy spirit. Being so, hand having the Pope clearly expressed his views about contraceptives, to go against his word must be near heresy.

Of course, to the people who keep their reason, to agree with the nonsensical posture the Pope has against contraceptives, must be horribly hard.

Isn’t it easier to forget the church? No. It’s just that the Catholic Church is not only church hierarchy. The are some who break off, but they do so with resentment and anger. But I had other encounters in my faith, simple things in life, nothing theoretical, nor complicated, nor corporate. Because of that I thought that it would be better to stay in this side of the river and propose an alternative. And we find ourselves with many men and women who think alike, but don’t have the position or the courage to talk about it openly.

It’s just natural to move away from the catholic church (just like from any other cult) with some animadversion after realizing what kind of institution it is, after noticing how absurd, megalomaniacal, extravagant and perverted it as, and seeing that was the flag we have been carrying all the way. To me it’s hard to understand how a group of well-meaning people can still be carrying the label of an institution that looks at them as sinners and, if they keep doing so even though it’s a rational and practical posture, they won’t achieve salvation.

To forget the church is never easy, to forget the beliefs with which one grew up, to forget the rites usually associated with good memories and warm feelings is in no way easy. But to realize in what kind of team one has being signed in most part of one’s life not only helps, but gives us a moral burden that requires for us to make a choice, choice that will definitively affect one’s destiny.


  1. I've always found it funny that the pope needs so much protection. One would think that bad popes would be easily assassinated while good popes would be protected by god.

  2. ...or even that death is like the ultimate reward for someone who has been such an excellent person whilst alive.

  3. It's like "no you can't protect your life by using a condom, if you do, you'll go to hell. But I'm too important for not to take care of my security." That, my friend, is pride, and it's a deadly sin. Go figure how these people's mind work.


Blasfema libremente

"Que esté permitido a cada uno pensar como quiera; pero que nunca le esté permitido perjudicar por su manera de pensar" Barón D'Holbach
"Let everyone be permitted to think as he pleases; but never let him be permitted to injure others for their manner of thinking" Barón D'Holbach