A study came out recently all about what Catholics believe compared to what all Americans believe.
I just want to mention two issues in particular.
First is marriage equality. 55% of all Americans said they support gay or lesbian couples getting married.
Now, this is something forbidden by the Church. The Catechism even says “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” The supposedly-great Pope Francis believes that.
And yet the study showed that 60% of Catholics support gay marriage. 60!
The second issue is abortion. 53% of all Americans said it should be legal in all or most cases.
The Catholic Church calls it a “grave offense.” It’s completely anti-abortion.
But guess what? 51% of Catholics said they support legal abortion in most or all situations.
What the hell?
And how many Catholics out there do you think believe that a consecrated communion wafer is literally a piece of Jesus’s body? Or that the Pope knows best? Or that women should never be priests?
So here’s my question for those of you out there who call yourselves Catholic but disagree with so many of the Church’s positions: Why?!
Okay, maybe I can try to answer that.
Maybe you don’t think the Church’s positions on these issues are dealbreaks.
Maybe you just like the tradition and ritual of Mass and you don’t care what the Church has to say about social issues.
Maybe you have pressure from your family to remain Catholic.
Maybe you’d like to see the Church change its positions on these issues, and you figure you have a better chance of making that happen if you’re still a part of it.
Maybe you’re Catholic in name only and you couldn’t tell us the Pope’s name if your life depended on it.
Maybe a Catholic school just happens to be the best one in your area so you were willing to do the bare minimum to join the Church.
But here’s my plea to you: The Catholic Church is a destructive organization.
For all the good it does in some situations — and there are definitely some amazing priests and nuns out there — the Church makes the world a worse place by standing in the way of progress.
If you care about women’s rights and LGBT rights, then the best thing you could do is get out of the Church. Stop calling yourself a Catholic and supporting an organization that hurts progress on these issues.
By coming up with shitty reasons to stay in a bigoted club, you’re perpetuating the problem.
It’s bad enough that Catholics believe saying a few Hail Marys will absolve your sins… but why give money to a group that fires great teachers in Catholic schools for the “sin” of getting married to the wrong kind of partner? (That happens a lot.)
And I haven’t even mentioned all the sexual abuse scandals yet.
Here’s the problem with surveys like the one I mentioned earlier. They ask people if they’re Catholic and run with it.
If they limited Catholics to people who actually agreed with the Church’s beliefs, those numbers would be decimated.
What was also interesting in that survey is how many people thought Pope Francis supported gay marriage. Of the Catholics who supported marriage equality, nearly half of them said “the Pope agrees with me!”
So a lot of Catholics don’t even know what their Church teaches on these issues. And yet they keep the label.