A few years ago, after being divorced for several years, I filed for an annulment in the Roman Catholic Church. I wrote about this recently in Where do I belong? Some of you reading may be aware that I moved my original website after purchasing my own domain. Over time I have moved some older articles back, editing and updating as I go. Also, adding some new articles. I will republish my article on annulment, but not yet. I mention this because in part, making that choice has brought me to where I am today.
I saw one fellow socially for almost two years beginning several months to a year after my divorce (funny how those details no longer seem important). It was someone I knew who moved out-of-state, kept their home here. I had socialized with his sister and even one of his best friends. That “romance” fell dead to the ground in a chilling way, when I was informed his out of state (upper crust?) family would not accept me because they are strict Catholics and I was a divorcee with three kids.
Thank you God for saving me from that sort of fellow & family. God – had other plans.
The short version of this portion is with a bit of a shove from a friend, I filed for an annulment of marriage in the Roman Catholic church. I was afraid of my ex-husband, for very good reasons that came up even during the process, but there was something inside of me driving me to go through with this. I am not sure why I felt I needed validation from the church – but I did. I never felt that my marriage was blessed by God. I wanted to be in the position to marry in the church in the future, if God would bless me with a loving relationship of this type. I wanted the option. I wanted to be free to date – and the ability to feel free to teach & participate more fully in my church again.
Almost two years later my annulment was granted. I had made a promise that I would teach again if my annulment was granted, because I took that in part as a sign that this was also what God wanted me to do. Annulment granted, I offered to teach. I was to begin teaching again when classes resumed that coming fall. That summer a neighboring Parish offered a summer retreat on Catholicism. Every other Sunday afternoon from 1-5pm. Okay, what better way to get re-involved and learn more about my religion? Grow my faith?
Then something unexpected happened. I learned things I had not known. I learned I disagree with and hit me at my core. Along with watching our weekly DVD’s of Father (now Bishop) Baron, we had a lot of discussion. The group was led by a fellow who attended Seminary for two years before dropping out and later marrying. His son, as well as one of his sons friends from St.s Private Catholic High School were assisting. Both were now 20-21 years old. Right around the age of my youngest son.
Young Michael we learned was discerning the Priesthood. By the second class he was comfortable enough to broach the subject with participants all but myself it seemed were employed as directors of religious ed at various parishes in our archdiocese. Here, I learned there are married men with families who are Roman Catholic Priests, here in my state and across the country. I was not the only one in the room who was dumbfounded. If he was looking for support there, he was not finding it with the exception of two elderly Latin ladies. The rest of us being mothers of young men, and a another father present.
It is not that we do not support clergy. It is, generally speaking a married clergy would be widely accepted. It is what Jesus taught, and the structure of the church – from it’s very foundation. More on this in upcoming writings.
We learned that men who were clergy in Angelian churches were welcome to convert to Roman Catholicism, become Roman Catholic Priests. Men who have/had wives and children. This became allowed supposedly because of the extreme shortage of Roman Catholic Priests.
Honestly, I never put a lot of thought into the life of a Priest before this. It was something I didn’t understand but – it wasn’t my life. The truth is, it is part of the life of every single Roman Catholic and it is something that needs to be looked at and should be corrected. In past writings I have discussed how Jesus Christ chose a married clergy for His church. Men changed that. Men cannot take away the gifts of our loving Father. We have a shortage largely because of the inability of the church to make corrections, change and grow.
That fall, I also met a Brother from a neighboring state. He came for a long weekend, to meet my friend from school whom he met online (playing video games!). Our conversation including his very honest thoughts and experience with required celibacy. I assure you it was as negative as we could expect. Again – it is not how Jesus structured His church.
Another topic that came up at this retreat was the churches standing on same-sex love. Jesus never spoke on same sex love. The commandments he gave to us do not speak against same sex love. We are all children of God. It makes no sense that God would gift people with loving relationships and expect them not to touch each other. Love making is an extension of His gifts.
What the men of the church (at least those in powerful seats) fail to grasp is – each time it is suggested to a mom or dad that their son would make a good priest is they are suggesting that a parent is to teach their child that they are to remain without loving human relationships throughout their life. No wife, no truly intimate human relationship, no one to grow through life and our Father with, no children, no grandchildren, no one to grow old with. Why would anyone wish this on anyone? God is with all of us, our loving Father see’s us all the same. God did not want this, Jesus did not teach this – he lived and died to bring about a change in faith, God, Love.
Look into the eyes of a mother and tell her that she gave birth to a homosexual “freak” of nature (in essence that is what is being taught), that the child that grew in her womb for nine months, that she lovingly nourished and nurtured is never to have a loving romantic relationship because it is sinful. How… do you do that? How do you have the nerve to do that?
I am sure I may be riling a few feathers, especially of those more fundamental or conservative readers. Give me time, I will back up everything I say. It is time for the church to make changes, it needs to grow. If it does not make a huge shift, it will see more people walking out the doors to worship and celebrate the very loving God who graces us with everything we see, everything we taste, touch, smell and celebrate. He is good.