Bill Donohue of the Catholic League has a new book out — Why Catholicism Matters — and Bill Keller of the New York Times agrees with him (!!!) when it comes to how to handle the Catholics who don’t buy into everything the Church hierarchy dictates: Let them go:
Donohue notes that roughly a quarter of Americans identify themselves as Catholic. He reckons maybe half of those, the more conservative half, attend church regularly and contribute. “They’re the ones who pay the bills,” he said. “Can we afford to ignore the other half? I think we can.” And as for the unsettled religious orders, the nuns and priests who vowed allegiance and now preach dissent, why should the church put up with insubordination?
Much as I wish I could encourage the discontented, the Catholics of open minds and open hearts, to stay put and fight the good fight, this is a lost cause. Donohue is right. Summon your fortitude, and just go. If you are not getting the spiritual sustenance you need, if you are uneasy being part of an institution out of step with your conscience — then go. The restive nuns who are planning a field trip to Rome for a bit of dialogue? Be assured, unless you plan to grovel, no one will be listening. Sisters, just go. Bill Donohue will hold the door for you.
I agree completely. The Catholic Church isn’t flexible when it comes to social issues and people who go against their doctrine. If you support gay marriage, if you believe women ought to be in control of their own bodies, if you don’t think the wafer and wine literally turn into the body and blood of Christ, they don’t consider you a true Catholic, anyway. Why do you keep supporting them when you disagree with so much of what they say and do? If you left, you’d be doing yourself (and the rest of us) a huge favor.
Keller’s column echoes the FFRF’s proclamation for “nominal” Catholics to leave the Church, though Keller doesn’t urge anyone to give up god altogether.