Saturday, October 15, 2005

Top 12 Reasons Why I am a Pseudo Catholic

1. I am Pr0-Choice (a woman has every right to her own body)
2. I don't go to Confession (I confess my sins to God directly, anywhere, anytime)
3. I don't pray the Rosary (I find it meaningless and boring)
4. I believe in Divorce (esp. if your spouse beats you, cheats on you, gambles, and does drugs)
5. I believe in Marriage between Homosexuals (after all, you marry a person, not a sex)
6. I am not Religous but Spiritual (rituals are meaningless if you don't treat others humanely)
7. I am appalled at so many of the Vatican's riches and its non-action during the extermination of the millions of Jews in WW2 (as well as the unaccounted coffers; excessively elaborate churches and cushy lifestyles of many of our parish priests in the Philippines)
8. I don't believe that Procreation is a necessity for a Marriage to be validated in the eyes of God (and that sex is also meant to be enjoyed between husband and wife, and not merely used as a means for procreation)
9. I believe that couples should Live Together first before tying the knot (and to have as many meaningful -- not promiscuous -- relationships as possible so one can choose the best person to marry)
10. I believe that Birth Control is a necessity in this day and age of overpopulation esp. in the poorest sectors of society; STD's and AIDS (and, let's face it, people are going to have sex and there's nothing anyone can do about it)
11. I believe in Euthanasia (did you watch Million Dollar Movie? 'Nuff said. If not, on a personal note, if I -- knock-on-wood -- were to become severely paralyzed or a vegetable; and a huge financial and emotional burden on my family, it would be truly cruel to deprive of me of the ultimate relief from my suffering and loss of dignity.
12. I don't believe in doing good just so I can go to Heaven. I believe in doing good so I can help people.

**Maybe I should re-entitle it "Top 12 Reasons Why I am a Thinking Catholic". I started following my own brand of Catholicism during my college years when people and events(i.e. the real world outside my "convent school") shaped my understanding of how my religion should play an effective role in my life. It's been a subject of several debates between family, friends and even with myself! But, it has worked wonders since I still count myself part of the flock vs. totally severing my ties with the Church due to my disgust with its outdated rules. But I really think that the Church will have to change some of its policies in order to keep up with the times. If it doesn't it will just be viewed as a judgemental, rigid, and unforgiving institution and not as a place where people can seek solace, feel love and acceptance, or simply be a part of God's family.


Blogger Bandit said...

I agree with you too Shy. I call myself a non-practicing Catholic, as opposed to a non-Catholic altogether. HUGE topic for discussion one of these days. I'm just glad I didn't marry a "nutter".

9:09 PM, October 15, 2005  
Blogger shyguy said...

I know...imagine if we were both with religious fanatics? We'll both be in deep sh*t! However, I have wisely kept my mouth shut in front of Jay's Mom since she has very strong views about it. Besides, keeping the peace between myself and my Mom-in-law is my priority. But, if she asks, I will definitely send her this list 'coz I am no hypocrite! :)

10:08 PM, October 15, 2005  
Blogger Pam said...

Most of the beliefs of the present day Catholic Church are really outdated and medieval. I guess what's really important is that we believe that there is a God (or whatever name you call that Supreme Being you believe in) who is good, whom we strive to emulate (by being good to others and to ourselves).

Should we continue this discussion during our next girls night out?

10:44 PM, October 17, 2005  
Blogger mayapapaya said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:25 PM, October 18, 2005  
Blogger mayapapaya said...

Sorry ... I hit a wrong button. Anyway:

Hmmm. If I remember college theology class correctly, the Pope has only spoken ex cathedra, or claimed infallibility, on two matters of doctrine: the immaculate conception and the assumption. I'm not sure if this admits fallibility on other doctrinal pronouncements -- and if so, what the implications are for Catholics, practicing or otherwise.

One other thing I remember from Th131 is that Catholics have a duty to "educate our consciences", meaning, to learn what the doctrinal pronouncements are and the reasoning behind them. And, I may be remembering this wrong though (it's been so long ...) if we, in conscience, disagree with these teachings, we are not sinning if we don't follow them. The big responsibility is to indeed "educate" ourselves. When you consider that some of the best philosophical minds in history of mankind have applied themselves to theological issues, the process gets a bit daunting. Considering further that the venues for education pretty much dry up after Catholic school, and that the issues involved are broad and wide and cut to the core of daily life, it's no wonder that the debate gets muddied up, separate and incompatible camps are formed, and the Church seems in danger of losing its relevance.

What I think is most disturbing about the present papal regime is what appears to be an intolerance for open debate and discussion. Shortly after B the 16th became Pope, the Jesuit editor of a magazine dedicated to Catholic thought and opinion was forced to resign; methinks that an intellegent presentation of both sides of the issues is precisely what the Church needs. B the 16th has also campaigned against liberation theology; now raise your hand if you think that social involvement is actually a necessary offshoot of growing up privileged in a third world country. There are also new guidelines in the offing preventing gays from entering the seminary; meanwhile, yes, the biggest divisive issue in recent memory -- pedophilia in the priesthood -- has largely gone unaddressed; and besides aren't seminarians not supposed to have sex anyway?

One scary thing the Pope has said is that he would prefer a much smaller church comprised of strict adherents to the faith to a large one filled with questioning and doubt. Or something to that effect. This thinking seems a small step away from religious fundamentalism. And is precisely the wrong answer for thinking Catholics.

1:31 PM, October 18, 2005  
Blogger mayapapaya said...

PS Here's the Jesuit editor resignation story. My previous link doesn't seem to have worked.

1:36 PM, October 18, 2005  
Blogger shyguy said...

Thanks for the link, Maya! Really disturbing and sad to think that another great thinker has been muzzled by our present Pope. I hope that we're not going back the age where people are condemned as heretics, like Galileo, or worse, for speaking the truth about what's really happening outside the plush confines of the Vatican. And, thank god for Theo 131 (although I must've been asleep when the prof made that pronouncement). Now I feel less 'guilty' about having my own beliefs. And, lastly, re Benny's campaign against liberation theology and other similar actions, this is one of the reasons why my own uncle quit the priesthood to start his own non-profit, low-cost housing firm. He found the Church too slow and too bogged down by bureaucracy to even do something as basic as giving shelter to the poor living right outside the Loyola campus in the 60's and 70's!

10:22 PM, October 19, 2005  
Blogger midicrux said...

I had yet to reconcile my being a mother and my somewhat-former-pro-choice views.

Yet I know that if I were in a delicate situation, I would choose to have an abortion.

Shy, you've articulated the kind of Catholic I was and still am, except that I pray the rosary on occasion--whatever purpose it may serve.

Yes, I also agree that these dilemmas make us "thinking" Catholics; at the same time, we remember the most important lesson of all: to be kind, to be humane, to "love thy neighbor as thyself."

It's a lesson prized by the humanist tradition, and not by religious fundamentalists who are too busy imposing their beliefs on other people. As you say, we are kind to people because it is the right thing to do, not because we want to go to Heaven.

See you all soon!

5:20 PM, October 27, 2005  
Blogger shyguy said...

Mida, thanks for sharing your candid views esp. about being pro-choice. Abortion, while truly repugnant, is something which I will also consider if I were in a really desperate situation (e.g. friends and family have abandoned me; I have no access to money for child support or if I am underemployed/unemployed). Sad, but Life can really be a bitch sometimes and we all have to find a way to survive somehow.

11:40 AM, November 05, 2005  
Blogger ragamuffin girl said...

whew! the comments are just as revealing, mentally and spiritually-challenging and interesting as the blog itself. i've always leaned more towards FAITH and everything it implies (suspension of disbelief, placing great confidence and trust in something unexplainable, feeling and knowing instead of seeing and thinking...)as opposed to RELIGION.
i have to admit i don't agree with everything you wrote, shy, but i do give a resounding YES, and even a double YES, to most of them.
although still a loyal DAZER (i was actively involved in the ICA DWTL until I graduated from UP) who considers God (Allah, Jess, Buddha, Supreme Being, Greater Force... names don't really matter do they?) kabarkada (and i talk to HIM that way), there are so many doctrine-driven church beliefs and rituals that are not only impractical and imposing, they seem to alienate so many people and ignore relevant issues.
Many "atheists" i've met in recent years sum up what what Mida says about humanist tradition. although i think atheism is the easy way out (and I would staunchly, though not always successfully, defend my faith), these people are the kindest, most humane ones i know, and not just in words or thoughts. in the battlefield of everyday life, they are the silent heroes, nursing, tending, mending. surprisingly enough, moral values are more deeply ingrained into them than most Catholics I know. what a sad state for the Church. about time they (and that includes us thinking ones)do something about it.

4:35 PM, November 25, 2005  

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