We’re Catholic. I mean Steve and I are not super Catholic, but we go to church on Sundays. Mostly. Sometimes. Others in my family are Uber-Catholics, especially that one family member who writes occasionally for Catholic think-magazines.
Still, I am sad for my more Catholic family members that this institution is digging its own grave. Their faith is pure, and they’ve been misused by the clergy.
I’m also sad for the communities that they’ve served. In his 80s, my dad volunteers nearly full time for a food pantry at his church that serves 800 families. The other volunteers are also in their 80s without any new recruits to hand out groceries or hand out turkeys at Thanksgiving. In another few years, will this group still exist? Who is going to help those people when those volunteer organizations die out?
Parochial schools are closing all over the country, except when they’ve been able to get their hands on vouchers that keep the doors open. Those schools have relatively low tuition and have served poor urban areas for years. Both my parents benefited from them. Can urban schools absorb new students?
I’m sickened by the stories that are coming out this week. Positively sickened. And I’m so, so sad that along with a diminished church, we’ll lose out on all the charity work and community building that Catholic parishioners have been quietly doing for ages.