My father’s mother was a Christian Scientist and his dad was a mainstream Protestant. The family was a little surprised when my dad converted to Catholicism when he returned home after World War II. When my dad explained his reasoning, though, they understood.
My father was a Ranger in the South Pacific. He and his squad often operated behind Japanese lines and made many rubber boat landings to get there. I believe he told me it was in New Guinea that they saw a tall Caucasian with a rifle, walking through an open field. Since his squad had just seen three or four Japanese soldiers walk by only a quarter of an hour before, my dad ran out from behind his cover to stop the man who was heading in the same direction as the Japanese. It turned out that this man was a Dutch Catholic priest. When he was told he was heading toward the Japanese soldiers, the priest told them that these soldiers had killed some of his native parishioners and he was going after the Japanese soldiers to insure that wouldn’t happen again. Dad told me that if a Catholic priest would risk his own life for his people, that was the church he wanted to belong to.
He and my mother converted, got married in the Church and raised me and my three sisters as Catholics. After 12 years of Catholic school, I am so grateful for the excellent education they provided, as well as providing the foundation for morality and Christianity. Strong families and religious teachings make for good citizens and a moral society.
After leaving the Catholic Church for a couple of years in my twenties, I returned after my first son was born, realizing that a belief in some higher order is innate in human DNA and is the basis of morality. Through the intervening years, it has become evident that if one doesn’t believe in God, that person finds something else to put their faith in, whether it is materialism, socialism, communism or egalitarianism.
I kept my Catholic faith through both the scandals, financial and pedophile, because I have seen the effect of these outrages on good priests and Church leaders. While some in the Church’s leadership covered up and hid corruption, most of the clergy favored openness. I have also seen the Church stand firm in its tenets, especially on the issue of abortion.
I now feel the way Ronald Reagan felt when he made the statement, “I didn’t leave the Democrat party, the Democrat party left me.” The Church’s once strong stand against abortion and homosexuality have become very weak. The leaders of Catholicism always used to state that they “hated the sin, but loved the sinner”. This showed that Catholics had compassion and forgiveness for those that committed sins, while still strongly condemning the sins themselves.
Pope Francis seems to have made a U-turn on many of the Catholic traditional tenets. He seems to equate capitalism with unrestrained materialism. Because of this intuition, he is not a friend of the United States, which he sees as more of a problem than a solution to the economic troubles of the world. (See Politico). Apparently, Pope Francis is oblivious to the fact that the capitalism practiced in our country has pulled a higher percentage of people out of poverty than any other economic system.
This Pope has turned the Church’s focus away from many of the social issue like abortion and traditional marriage and toward globalist economics. While he sometimes gives lip service to those subjects, that is not where his interests lie and he embraces politics and politicians who actively work for abortion and gay marriage.
The Catholic Church’s position for ages, has been that abortion is the murder of innocents and that marriage is between a man and a woman. It is so hypocritical, then, for a pope to meet with those that enable those millions of murders and the perversion of the word marriage. Pope Francis has met with Biden representatives who are ardently “pro choice”.
Joe Biden received a phone call from Pope Francis giving him “blessings and congratulations” after his 2020 election win over Donald Trump, the most pro-life President since the Roe v Wade decision. I cannot, in good conscience, continue to attend a church whose leader gives his “blessing and congratulations” to a man, who in essences states, “I am personally against murder, but I support the right of the murderers to commit it.”