As a freshman at a progressive jesuit university, I had considered returning to my Catholic roots. Let me explain, my *father's* Catholic roots, as my mother would not actually allow us to join the Catholic Church. She instead prefered an anglican-German reformed church. I did NOT have a remotely good experience with this church, but nonetheless, that's another post! So, my dad continued to desire to be Catholic and the majority of my friends growing up were Catholic, by default culturally I was Catholic. My mother's church, due to personal reasons, was somewhere I postively loathed, and I wasn't allowed to be a practicing Catholic like all my friends. With the onset of puberity and my newfound freedom with unrestricted access to the internet, at the age of 11 I began practicing paganism. However, being young and without transportation, and probably more influenced by my parents' horror than I care to admit to myself: I quit practining *any* religion of any sort (also to their hororr). Upon entering university I hoped to find a community and the obvious source was the Church. I did my research, I liked how Catholicism worked in regard to Christianity. I respect the logical, systematic approach to theology that the Catholic Church gives, in the process and ideologically it's very fair.
However, after nearly four years at this lovely university, I have given much thought to my intial longing. While I admit I do wish to have a community, one which people in the United States usually gain through religious affliation, unfortunatly it will not be the Catholic Church.
The first two years of my university life were fairly liberal in their bias and my theology classes served me well. However, being stuck in a conservative midwestern city, with a conservative archbisop it was only a matter of time before the silencing trickeled down into my university - and shown me what I consider the reality of the Chruch.
First - the Rainbow Alliance during the 2004 election was denyed the right to state our opinions about gay marriage: which we did anyway and pointed out we were NOT allowed to say this. This fall, a student memeber of our organization was harrassed by a faculty member in the student center during Coming Out Week while sitting at our table quitely handing out information. The safe-zone program with sensativity training for all student life and housing staff began when I was a freshman has never been in action; why residence life still tells incoming freshman it's there is a mystery to me.
The Cardinal Newman Society
has succedded in spreading it's vial hatred and propaganada and the Vagina Monolouges was not preformed on campus this year - but it WAS preformed despite it all and I'm happy to say student activity money did indeed go to transporting students for free in vans to and from the performance. As student governement money went to pay for both a space to hold the preformance as well as transportation - and both nights sold out, a pure $7,000 was made to donate to the charities. Una, the feminist organization on campus, still faces discrimination by the university overall - as does the Rainbow Alliance.
The current Pope, while he may be a good philosopher and theologian has a stance that I cannot forgive on sexuality and Catholic tradition.
The Catholic Church itself, has been responsible for thousands of deaths of AIDS in Africa for responding to the HIV crisis with too little too late only recently making condoms "okay" for married couples with HIV to use during intercourse.
The Church oppresses people in third world countries constantly with their anti-birth control policies; large familes keep these countries in poverty but this benefits the church because it allows them control of more people.
At my university, I can count on both hands the number of female professors - and I am sure I know all but a few. This is NOT something my university feels it is necessary to change.
To top it all off, I experiences first hand the bougouris sexism and classism that is practiced by the Chruch officals and Brothers in this university and city. When I brought this problem to a factulty member I was simply told there was no problem with them: but it was my own lack of good Catholic faith that was my problem.
To top it all off - DESPITE being pro-life, this university has YET to have acutal help for students with children in the way of daycare on campus. However, they monthly organize protests outside Planned Parenthood.
Adding insult to injury here, my freshman year I was offered a pamphlet on how to avoid pregnancy - which turned out in reality to be about preventing fetal alcohol syndrome and the adivce this pamphlet gave? Of course - you're female, so you should not drink because you MAY become pregnate.
... I cannot say I would put my soul in the hands of this organization after seeing all of this - which I think is sad, because I have to admit I was almost hopeful. I do think it's rather disgraceful these days how this particular branch of the church parades piety and holiness around and cannot manage to step up to the plate within local affairs within it's own university: I guess this is why they focus so much on The School of Americas and Latin America - afterall, if you distract people they won't notice what happens here at home.
Tragic the Pixie @ 2/15/2007 10:46:00 PM