"Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye' while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor's eye." Mt 7:1-6
Umm, yeah. I think I'm done with the flame war regarding my views on conservative Catholics. You don't like the way I believe, or the way I view authority? Maybe if you ever had anything to say to me about any other topic, I would care. But it's not like you're Ann or Brent or my mother or Kate or one of my neighbors or friends or any of the folks who regularly comment here. If you're uncomfortable with what I have to say, maybe you should examine why that might be. I often examine the reasons I'm uncomfortable with things that conservative Catholics say. With things bishops say. With things the pope says. Sometimes, believe it or not, it even makes me change the way I think about this or that.
Do I have a problem with authority? Perhaps. I am congregational at heart caught in a hierarchical church. Am I leaving? No. I do not accept that authority is to be followed with blind, slave-like obedience. If you were regular readers here, you would perhaps have noted I'm a BENEDICTINE. I made a promise of obedience. Not to the level of vow, but I keep that promise. And obedience, (sigh), comes from a root word in Latin that means to listen. Obedience implies conversation. Obedience sometimes means saying no. And my promise of obedience is not made to an archbishop. It is made to a prioress. Who, for some crazy reason, doesn't think that dissent and argument within the Church is a bad thing.
Not only am I a Benedictine, but I've got a little Jesuit training under my belt. Not a lot--it's just a minor in theology under the education degree. But I did get a little exposure to the idea that God gave us intellect. Intuition. A sense of justice. I try to use mine.
Lastly, I'm pretty sure that nowhere in the Bible is it mentioned that I must believe in Pharaoh. The pope is not God. The pope is not the only person the Holy Spirit moves through. The pope is a man, a fallible man in bright red shoes, whose decisions, whether prayerful or arbitrary, are no more or less important than the prayerful or arbitrary decisions made 500 or 1000 years ago by former popes.
I believe that we are all, if we search at all, looking for our way to God. I think it's a Buddhist saying that goes, we're all on paths up the mountain to God, and we will all reach God, except for those who beat the bushes at the bottom of the mountain warning others that they're on the wrong path. Talk of the One Holy True Church is going to get us nowhere. Maybe talk of the Beatitudes will. Goodness gracious.