Hey guys. I've been doing a lot of thinking about our discussion on Friday night regarding the Catholic Church, and I feel I must defend the religion that I am a proud member of.
I did some research about this whole "priest gay sauna" thing, and the real story is that the sauna is part of an apartment complex that was purchased by the Church a while back. They were unaware that the sauna was a meeting spot for homosexuals when the building was purchased. Yes, there are a few clergy that live in near vacinity of the building, and one that even owns an apartment in the same complex, but there is no proof that any of them "lure children in" to the building (which was the exact accusation made).
In general, I have always felt a strong anti-Catholic undercurrent from some of the members of our group. I respectfully ask those members to stop with the snide and derogatory comments. Yes, there have been horrible mistakes made by members of the Catholic Church in the past, and some of those mistakes were made by some of the highest officials. However, I challenge any of you to find an organization that is run by people, religious or secular, that does not have any members who make stupid choices. We are human, and we make mistakes. And, instead of focusing on the bad choices our members make (which are the only ones that ever make the news, of course), maybe we could try focusing on the TONS of good things the Church does.....the charitable organizations, the social justice initiatives, the counseling and helping those in need, etc.
I do want to apologize for the comment I made about the local nuns here in Erie. I have a great deal of respect for them - they do a ton of community work for our city, and our Diocese would not be half as strong as it is without them. My problem with SOME of them (not all) is that some of them claim to speak on behalf of the Church but yet what they teach is very counter to the Biblical and Magisterial teachings. Now, I am not saying that our teachings should never be analyzed or questioned - I believe they should. And while I agree with about 95% of what the Church teaches, there is indeed about 5% that I wish the Church would change. However, I do not agree with some of the methods that our local nuns use to try to advocate for that change, which ranges from simply teaching incorrect doctrine all the way up to defying Rome. The better method is dialogue and peaceful debate. Yes, the Church changes slowly, which can be VERY frustrating at times. But, I do believe that our current Pope especially would be one open to fruitful dialogue.
So, again, I would ask that the members of our group who vocally bash the Catholic faith to please stop doing so. Thanks much!