The past week or so has been difficult.
I’ve been subjected to a barrage of comments from Catholic trolls over on Twitter, and they haven’t been nice. They’ve been accusing me of sodomy which, for the record, I’ve never committed or wanted to. They’ve been demanding I repent of whatever they think my sins are. I’ve been informed I’m having an affair with some mysterious woman. My husband has been mocked for having a “gay wife.” They tell me that God rejoices that I can’t go to Mass. They make fun of my weight because of course they do, PCOS is hilarious. They demand the details of my sex life and speculate about it. Someone even fantasized about whipping me and claimed it’s what Jesus did to “unrepentant sinners.”
I feel like I’ve been subjected to watching the same pornographic film on a loop for the past several days, and that film is the filthy imaginations of my fellow Catholics.
Their excuse, the past few days, is that I’m bisexual. And because I’ve been asked and accused of so many things, I’ll explain exactly what I mean by bisexual: I’m married to a man and totally monogamous. We got married in the “Traditional” Catholic church with the Communion rail. I wore a white veil. I was a virgin on my wedding night and it hurt a lot. We left my bouquet at the shrine of Our Lady of Consolation to thank the Virgin Mary. We used Creighton model NFP and when it didn’t work and I found two lines on the stick, I was very happy. I named my daughter Adrienne Rose after Mary the Rose of Sharon and had her baptized by the Monsignor in that same awful tacky Traditional church I got married in. I would do anything for more children but I’m infertile due to poly-cystic ovary syndrome. God has blessed me with the ability to see both men and women as beautiful. Practically everybody I’ve met is beautiful. Some of the people I’ve met are sexy, and whether a person is male or female has nothing to do with whether I find them sexy, it’s just a certain type. I try not to sexually objectify people I find sexy because I think that’s wrong. Back before my religious trauma got so severe I couldn’t be alone in a confessional with a priest, I went to confession if I slipped up and had an impure thought. It’s important for me to identify publicly as bisexual because it’s wrong when LGBTQ people are abused and hurt for who they are. Nobody is excluded from the love of God.
But I really shouldn’t bother to say any of that, because that’s not why the trolls doing it. They did this every so often when I was closeted as well. I’ve been subject to disgusting internet pile-ons every several months for as long as I’ve been a writer. They did it because I said that Donald Trump was obviously a bad person who was only using Christians to get into power. They did it because I pointed out that Frank Pavone was exploiting the same few corpses for media appearances. They did it because I called out Abby Johnson’s racism. They did it when I quoted the Catechism about the Church’s teaching on preferential treatment for the poor and on war and on weapons of mass destruction. They did it because I talked about my rape. They did it because they didn’t like that I wear scarves. They always do this. This is how they treat people. When I was a little girl I got bullied by Catholic teachers and students at school and then I went home and got it there. Then I went to Franciscan University and I’m not going to even go into what I went through. Now they do it online. Catholics are bullies.
And I know full well that if I just walked away from the Catholic Church right now, those selfsame people would high five each other for serving Jesus by kicking me out. And then the gaslighting would begin. They’d claim I left because I didn’t appreciate the Eucharist. This happens whenever a Catholic leaves. You’ve surely seen it; they say things like “Once you know the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist you can never really leave. She never truly believed in the Eucharist. Poor woman, pray for her, when she is burning in hell she will hunger for the Eucharist. Pray for her poor daughter deprived of the Eucharist.”
I believe in the Eucharist.
I used to love receiving the Eucharist.
It’s been months since my panic attacks have allowed me to receive the Eucharist.
At this moment, I can’t imagine even setting foot in a Catholic church again.
I suppose my most fervent prayer is that if God is real, God meets me where I am.
If there is a God, let Him meet me where I am. Wherever this is.
That’s all I have today.
Mary Pezzulo is the author of Meditations on the Way of the Cross, The Sorrows and Joys of Mary, and Stumbling into Grace: How We Meet God in Tiny Works of Mercy