I was born to loving Catholic parents.
I was baptised at the age of 1.
I made my confession at the age of 8.
I received the Eucharist at the age of 10.
I was confirmed at the age of 12.
I believe in God.
So why am I losing my religion?
Am I the only one?
I have been told the Catholic Church is the ultimate symbol of selflessness, devotion and charity.
I have been told to give arms, and I want to.
Am I the only one to realise the Catholic Church is full of angels and demons? Apparently not.
Brother Luke Sakers surveyed Catholic high school students and found only 13% attended Mass and Robert Dixon’s study found only 37% of youth are satisfied with Mass.
This is me in the spotlight, a young man, wondering if he should join the legions of young Catholics committing exodus from the Catholic institution the likes of which have not been seen since the Israelites deserted Egypt.
We believe in a God.
We believe in social justice.
And we believe that the institution is anachronistic.
We are a lost generation.
The problem with the institution is that the demons have been in the spotlight. This demon is Beelzebub, the lord of the lies. His lies ensured that the demon of inequality has festered, like an open wound, vile with pus. This demon has caused a psychological pandemonium, where we, the Catholic youth completely distrust the church as an institution.
So now to talk about the demon.
The demon of inequality tells us men are authoritative preachers and women are nurturers.
The demon of inequality tells us women can’t be priests, and men can’t be nuns.
The demon of inequality tells us because relations between men and women are with the express purpose of procreation, they are “natural”. And that, because Queer relations are not, they are unnatural.
The Catholic Church claims to have theological authority about these matters, yet we are left wondering “Why”? Our response from the institution? “Shut up and accept it”.
The Catholic Church has forgotten that their practices should reflect Jesus’ actions. Jesus lived and loved those on the margins of his society: the leapers, the taxpayers and the prostitutes. Christ made no comment on homosexuality, our religion is meant to be Christian, and so we are left wondering; “shouldn’t the David open his gates to the Queer community?”.
“Love one another, as I have loved you.”
Love. One. Another.
That’s what Jesus said about love.
The institution has forgotten Jesus’ plea from Matthew’s Gospel: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
The institution’s refusal to open discourse and to answer our questions leaves us seeing the church as one huge anachronistic demon of inequality.
As a young catholic, I feel obliged to present to you my solution; and it has begun, with an angel in the spotlight. His name? Jorge Mario Bergoglio who at the age of 76, became known as Pope Francis: the leader of the Catholic Church. A leader who wants us all to feel a part of the church with a recent ABC Newspoll showing 85% agreeing with the direction Pope Francis is taking the church in.
This is a man who has said “the feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions”, “we need to be more open to same sex civil unions” and “the pedophiles must be rooted out…there must be sanctions”. The pope must admonish those who continue to dance with the demon of moral hypocrisy, who are pushing us to exodus.
Young people want the church to ask the questions we are asking. Catholicism can recover from its mistakes, but one thing the church cannot recover from is a mass exodus from youth.
The Catholic youth want discourse and want answers from their leaders.
The Catholic youth want to be inspired by angels in the spotlight rather than the demons that have pushed them away.
We, the Catholic youth want God.
The Catholic institution must not keep us from God, for that would be the greatest sin of all.
Artwork: The Musicians by Daniel McKay