March 18, 2019

Several months ago, I announced that I was no longer able to worship in the Catholic Church. This has prompted several people to ask, quite reasonably, why I am still blogging for the Catholic channel. They deserve an answer. When The Field Hospital Isn’t Safe First, it’s important to understand that I haven’t rejected Catholicism. I’m currently working out how I feel and think in the aftermath of an abusive marriage, and there is a strong relationship between that marriage… Read more

March 6, 2019

It was after the birth of my sixth child, my family had taken my other children so that I could rest and recover with the baby, and my husband was binge drinking. For days he raged about the house while I tried to take care of a newborn. When he was closer to sober, he wanted to argue about Church sexual teaching. When he was drunk enough the pretext of theological discussion fell away and he stated his demands simply:… Read more

March 3, 2019

“No wonder she hates NFP so much,” the woman wrote. “NFP won’t work with an alcoholic.” In all of the years that I practiced and researched natural family planning – in all of the articles and studies that I read – do you know how many times I encountered this piece of invaluable wisdom? None. Of course now that I’ve seen it laid out, simply, in print, I can see that it’s obvious. Alcoholism involves an inability to take responsibility… Read more

February 26, 2019

One of the things that made it difficult for me to end my relationship with my alcoholic husband was a feeling that I was being unfair to him. After all, if alcoholism is an illness and drinking is a symptom of the disease then how can you hold someone responsible? If it’s not a voluntary thing, then it seems that the person isn’t really culpable for their behaviour. Certainly he didn’t seem to think that he was free to stop… Read more

February 25, 2019

One of the commenters on my previous post suggested that I should make my next blog post one where I acknowledge my own culpability and look at how I might have harmed my marriage. She recommended Retrouvaille and suggested that my friendship with another man might have caused my husband to numb himself with alcohol. Ahem. So, I want to talk about this, because there is a sense in which it represents a typical Catholic approach to marital conflict –… Read more

February 12, 2019

About a year and a half ago, my older children came to me and told me that something had to change. Their father had been abusing alcohol for most of our married life, and his alcoholism had reached a point where it was having serious negative effects on the rest of the family. My kids were dealing with mental health problems, they felt isolated and controlled, and they needed me to do something to stop the chaos and abuse that… Read more

October 27, 2018

This is not a defence of relativism. It is a challenge to the concept of “objectivity,” and in particular to the way in which claims of objectivity are weaponized in discussions about truth. We’ve all been in this conversations: someone makes an assertion that is contradicted by your experience. So you share your story and you’re instantly accused of arguing from emotion or of projecting your own experience onto reality. Your interlocutor, of course, is not swayed by such considerations…. Read more

October 19, 2018

Simcha Fisher recently published an article comparing dissenting from the Catholic church’s position on things like women in the priesthood and contraception to sexual assault. Basically, her premise is that the church has said “No” and “No means no.” Therefore it is wrong to try to pressure the church into changing its position on these things. What Fisher misses is that there is a difference between rules and boundaries. “No means no” is only valid in an absolute sense when… Read more

October 12, 2018

Apparently my old friend Austin Ruse has joined the chorus of people who think that I left the Catholic church because I’m obsessed with power. It’s a standard reply to feminists who want power-sharing in the church. “If you think the gospel is about power, you’ve got it wrong.” So, I want to talk briefly about the difference between power-lust and empowerment. They both concern power, that’s true, but they don’t both involve grasping after power. It’s kind of like… Read more

October 12, 2018

In the past two days, I received correspondence from two different Catholic priests reacting to the news that I was leaving the Roman Catholic church. One drew me closer to the church, made me more receptive to the idea that one day I might want to return. The other solidified my suspicions that members of the hierarchy use abuse tactics to secure compliance from the faithful. The second letter was a variety of correspondence that I’ve only ever received from… Read more

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