Letter to a Priest

Dear Fr. Back-Up,

I am a good Catholic woman, but I am going to stop attending your church.

I was so angry during your last homily that I almost walked out in the middle. You’ve done that before, made me angry while pontificating, and I think I’m going to opt out.

First, you mentioned a pastor in Canada who is being sent to prison for a hate crime. You say he was simply preaching the Word of God, but Father, I read that letter that got him in trouble. It was a hate-filled diatribe against homosexuals, whom he believes are trying to oppress straight culture and “consume” children. He “declares war”. If that is not advocating for violence against homosexuals, I don’t know what is.

He doesn’t present one well-reasoned ecumenical argument against gay marriage. (And I know they are out there.)

He wasn’t preaching the Word of God. I don’t recall Jesus saying anything about declaring war on anybody, including homosexuals. He (Jesus, that is) advocated for forgiveness and love. The letter I read advocated for neither.

Second, “the world” doesn’t hate me because I’m Roman Catholic. “The world” doesn’t hate me because I’m a parent, and no one hates my children. “The world” doesn’t hate elderly people and want to kill them because they’ve fulfilled their usefulness. I’m not sure where you get the idea that “the world” is out to get us and is filled with hate against us.

And even if a person or a few purport to hate us, for whatever reason, shouldn’t they be met with love and forgiveness? Isn’t hate a sign of ignorance and prejudice, and shouldn’t that be fought on every front — not with violence, but with knowledge? Didn’t Jesus himself sit down with sinners and eschew hypocrites?

I’m not a scholar, and (obviously) I’m not a priest. Maybe I am naive in the belief that I hold that people, basically, are good, and everyone is deserving of love. Ignorance and rudeness should be met with humor and as an opportunity to teach, not as a chance to rant and rail against ignorance and rudeness, and to tell “the world” how righteous one is because one is hated.

In the end, Jesus said, “Forgive them. They know not what they do.” If nothing else, that is a road to take.

In Faith,
A Roman Catholic Mom who Sincerely Hopes to be Elderly Some Day