The Daily Star
---- — In a front-page story on the pope (Daily Star, Dec. 18), a priest from Cooperstown, after touting Catholicism as the largest religious denomination in the country, directs attention to the enormous numbers of what he calls "non-practicing Catholics."
Here's a reality check for this priest and the church he represents. I and the millions like me who have departed this church are not "non-practicing Catholics." We are NON-Catholics.
We are millions of intelligent, capable adults (certainly not sheep in need of a "shepherd") who reject the medieval notion that by virtue of having been baptized into the church as unwitting infants and "confirmed" as clueless adolescents, we are therefore bound to it for life.
It is unconscionable that the Catholic Church — an institution in undeniable decline in this country — continues as a matter of policy to inflate its numbers by including the millions who have made clear their disaffection by voting with their feet.
How can this church, which complains incessantly about violations of its religious rights, claim moral standing when it daily violates the rights of millions by shamelessly impressing them into its service.
Yes, priest, we have left, and we are not coming back. We have left your archaic and alienating male power structure, your centuries-old asexual/homosexual culture that presumes to instruct women in their reproductive duties, your snake pit of pedophilia — the hundreds — hundreds! — of documented predators still to this day being shielded from prosecution by complicit bishops.
We have turned away from your Vatican palaces, your bloated cardinals wining and dining amid the plunder of millennia, your celebrated Pope Francis offering midnight Mass in sumptuous garments surrounded by accoutrements of solid gold while his "beloved poor" continue to starve.
Why would any person of conscience come back?