Even though I was raised Catholic, I haven't considered myself a true church-going, card-carrying member of the Catholic Church for at least fifteen years, if not more. Oh, I know all the rituals, but my heart usually isn't in it.
I will never forget that when Mr. P was born, the whole child-molestation scandal was making its sordid way through the media. I had already heard tales, but preferred to keep my head in the sand and think that it was just a few "bad apples."
Well, as we all came to find out, it was more than just a few bad apples. Hundreds of supposedly "holy men" either committing atrocious acts, or covering them up. To me, both are just as bad.
It took me a really long time to wrap my head around the whole thing. I didn't baptize Mr. P until he was about four years old, as opposed to the usual six months to a year old time frame. I felt so betrayed, so angry at the Church and its complicity in unspeakable crimes.
In fact, I kept waiting for someone in our required pre-Baptism meeting to ask me why I had waited so long. Nobody ever did. I have to say I was a bit disappointed, because I don't think enough members of the Catholic Church have expressed a real opinion about what happened in a formal Church setting.
I had finally decided that the Church was made up of people, some more flawed than others. But all flawed in some way, as we all are. Thus I made the decision to give the benefit of the doubt to the Church and forgive the small number of people who had commited crimes and focus on the larger number who were doing good works and were well-intentioned.
And so as we see in the news recently, the Catholic Church in Ireland has been found to perpetrate similar horrible abuses upon the most innocent and defenseless of their flock. For decades.
I don't know if I can ever call myself a Catholic again.