Pushed over the edge ...

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! (Matthew 18:6,7)

My sensibilities have been offended.

For seven years I have defended the Catholic Church in spite of the corruptions, abuses, contradictions, unholiness, lukewarmness, permissiveness, and liberalism of her leaders over the centuries and into modern times. Now it has become personal.

Mere clerks in local parishes are deciding on behalf of members of my family...

Here are my gripes which likely will never in my lifetime be addressed by the Catholic Church. Read more about my views as an "Ecumenical" Christian.


Marriage ...

Here is what the Catholic Church teaches about marriage:

My daughter is getting married. But in order to get married as a Catholic she has to get paperwork from the parish that confirmed her and "officially" joined her to the church. But alas, that parish didn't have the records of this. So we were trying to persuade some office clerk or administrator that my daughter was really a confirmed Catholic after all and to persuade them to send a letter to the other parish to that effect. When office clerks start running things and making important decisions like whether my daughter can get married or not, it is time to find another church home.

Then she needed proof that she had never been married. They wouldn't believe her or her mom. Instead they needed a priest who she had never met nor talked to vouch for her. This is simply too weird.

Then she needed to prove that she was baptized. More of the same.

Finally, her brother (who is an anti-Catholic Protestant) had to provide a written statement that she was free to marry in the Catholic Church. How bizarre can it get.

My sensitivities are offended that my daughter's wedding is subject to absurd bureaucratic procedures.

Related article ...


RCIA ...

My wife has been trying to join the Catholic Church for six years.

Some of the RCIA programs were teaching things contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church and were liberal (liberal Christian).

Then she was interrupted because we moved. Each time she had to start over at the beginning. In some parishes she was told it takes a full year and there are no shortcuts. Yet according to Catholic teaching she should easily be able to join as a baptized Protestant who has learned about the Catholic faith and believes it.

She was about to finally join this year but she had to go out of the country during Easter.

She had to produce documented proof that she was baptized. But she was baptized in a Protestant denomination which doesn't believe the same things as the Catholic Church about baptism, and this church went out of business many years ago. Plus, this denomination was not on their list of denominations so they assumed her intentions were bad or that she was lying.


Miscellaneous Gripes ...

The laity is generally unactivated. Exceptions are (1) church helpers and administrators, (2) charismatic, entrepreneurial leaders who start ministries, and (3) those dedicating their time to charity work or joining lay orders.

Spiritual deadness in the church.

So few Catholics know the Bible.

Alcohol (even to excess), cigarettes, gambling, swearing.

Insistence that we must formally join a local parish.

Marian devotion (I have a Marian devotion so my comments aren't against Marian devotions) ...

Too much emphasis on the church hierarchy. As a lay person I'm getting so bored of hearing the clergy talk about the clergy.

I don't believe Jesus would approve of the rule-based emphasis.

Vatican II explains that the bishops are the teachers and the defenders of the faith (link). But how can unbelieving bishops teach and defend the faith? And how can unholy bishops teach and defend the faith?

I recently learned that if I were to call my local parish to have a priest come over and administer last-rites that he wouldn't come because I am not an "official" member of that parish even though I have been going there for years and paying tithes for years. (In fact they treat me like a stranger).

Such a strong emphasis on the Eucharist. There seems to be no concern for whether the parishioners are languishing spiritually or whether there are opportunities for fellowship — as long as they go to mass once a week, that is enough.

My wife went on a Catholic retreat. It was liberal Catholicism.

I went to a bookstore in a monastery. There was a devotional book which used Tarot cards.

I went to mass at a certain Jesuit University chapel. The priest started by saying, "In the name of the Father, the Son, and Sister Spirit." I walked out.

I went to a mass and the priest called the first person of the Trinity "God the mother." I walked out.

My (former) bishop doesn't seem to even be a Christian. He doesn't teach or defend the faith. In my opinion he is not a bishop at all. He talks about tradition, church buildings, his travels to parishes in his diocese, of re-receiving the faith in every generation; of finding unity with Anglicans and Episcopalians; but he never speaks of Jesus, or of dogmatic or moral teaching, or the gospel by which we are saved.

How can a council of unholy, worldly, unbelieving, heretical bishops possibly be led by the Holy Spirit to determine true doctrine?

Clergy steeped in homosexuality and pedophilia.

Read more: Gay Marriage | Homosexuality

I don't believe that an unholy or unbelieving priest can confect the Eucharist. But how can I know who is and who isn't? (I am not a Donatist)

Most priests don't seem to have a very deep spirituality. Their homilies are either "churchy" or fanciful. Rarely do they talk about the readings. All too often they let someone else give the homily. I went to one parish and a woman gave the homily — her topic was to persuade us that Buddhism is really just as good a faith tradition as Christianity.

A hobby of mine is to study Church History. So many bad popes and bishops. I feel sorry for the many Catholics over time who have had such a crummy spiritual life. Only in rare times and rare places does the Catholic Church seem to be orthodox and holy.

Emphasis on minor points in the Bible as if they were major.

In ecumenical councils, doctrines are determined by voting. This is outrageous. There should be consensus among all including those of other generations.

Liturgy of the Hours is difficult — too much page-flipping.

Why should King Henry VIII have to ask to pope for permission to marry?