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The Big Yellow Book

Seeing the World from Both Oculars-- a Bananaslug's Journal

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The Roman Church after John Paul II
I'm getting ready to go to Mass. Yes, I am once again attending the Roman church of my youth. And "what a long strange trip it's been" too. Like many people of my generation, I am one of the god-struck. Beginning with the reassessment of the Roman church started by Pope John XXIII and the Vatican II Council, when I was in grammar school, my spiritual life has been marked by searching instead of security, by journeys begun rather than coming home.

In my twenties, I fell away from organized religion, and began a deep interior life as a solitary practitioner. Like many Wiccans, I do what works, not what is supposed to. And I have always maintained this deep interior. In my thirties, because I got married and started a family, we went back to the Roman church (my wife surprised me by converting from her lifelong Methodism) and we stayed as Roman Catholics until the height of the pedophilia scandalss and the gay bishop of Santa Rosa CA scandal, when we started attending the Methodist church (it was a pretty "high church" congregation, so I felt reasonably at home, and I found that there was no special magic about the Mass as a concentrator of clean spiritual energy, a Methodist service worked fine too.

So, now I am back attending the Roman Church. But I have significant reservations about (not doctrine exactly, but) the Church's interpretation of what being a Catholic Christian is.

It will be very interesting to see who the Cardinals select...as one of them noted the other day, "It isn't all politics. The Holy Spirit is involved here, too." Nobody expected an obscure Polish archbishop to get it last time...and while I have reservations about some of his conservative positions, nobody can object to the job he did establishing the Church's role as defender of the ideals of democracy and social justice.