I really dislike the Catholic Church

I want to start by saying I really dislike the Catholic Church. I was raised in a very active Catholic family and was very involved in Catholic Christianity up until pretty recently in my life in fact. I stopped attending mass weekly a year ago (I was about 22), but I am trying to start again because I liked going to show God I still had faith in him, even if I didn’t have faith in the institution surrounding me.

There was a Catholic organization on campus that was at every mass in college. I honestly think this is one thing that contributed to me disliking Catholicism. Not only was everyone there fairly conservative and unaccepting of those who might disagree with the Church (gay people, feminists, etc), but the masses were just unfulfilling. Guitars and ‘worship and praise’ hymns really turned me off to Mass. I could get a more fulfilling experience reading from the Bible at home with some icons and incense. I did miss the Eucharist though.

I found myself wanting a more traditional experience so I started trying to go to the Eastern Catholic church near campus. I didn’t have a car and it was far to walk so I didn’t make it that often. After spending time away from Latin Catholic churches I realized how eerily unchanged my life was by not attending Mass. After that, I stopped going to Mass regularly.

A year later and I am thirsting for God and I am thirsting for Christian fellowship. So many of my friends are apathetic about religion, unbelievers, or even hostile opponents of religion. As a young gay person, it’s equally hard to be accepted in that community because I try to hold myself to certain standards of belief and conduct which so many my age and orientation do not identify with.

On the other hand, it’s so hard for me because I feel like a leper when I go into a church. I feel as if everyone can read through me. I don’t want to risk coming out to them because I don’t want to ruin any chance at Christian fellowship or friendship with them.

It feels as if I don’t fit in anywhere fully. I guess I just have to remind myself that Jesus Christ and lots of the prophets didn’t either.

My story doesn’t really come across as hopeful because it’s still a work in progress. Hopefully someone reading it might know they are not alone in their experience. You can email me if you want to share yours with me. I would also like to know maybe I’m not alone in this.

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12 Responses to I really dislike the Catholic Church

  1. Ana says:

    You’re definitely not alone 🙂 & I would gladly like to exchange emails.

  2. Eli says:

    Hi! I just read your testimony and I am encouraged somewhat by it. For the longest time I have felt exactly the way you had felt, as a leper in the Catholic community. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I dared to go to Confession yesterday and began by stating I am gay and currently living with another man. The session went no further and by no means did I receive any mercy or absolution. The only suggestion that was given to me was to leave my partner and then come back for the mercy I was seeking. Oh how I wish it were that simple. Despite all the controversy and everything being mentioned n the news, the hurt has hit home and quite frankly I do not know where to turn spiritually. I had always turned to the Church and God for guidance and strength during times of trouble, I never imagined that the Church would be the one to hurt me the most. I have been faithful in everything else that the Church teaches and have attended Mass almost every week, now i know not what to make of the Church with my faith and hopes greatly weakened.

    • Matthew says:

      Hello Eli, It must be terribly difficult to be in a situation where you are basically forced to choose between two people that you love. Your situation does seem quite impossible right now. From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that God does seem to work things out. In my case, 25 years of my life was spent looking for the ultimate lover. I gave my heart to two men who returned it back to me looking as if it was put through a meatgrinder. I will not venture to guess why, but for whatever reason the whole love thing really never panned out for me and for most of my friends. At the end of the day, the only love and peace I found came through Jesus Christ And the sacraments of the church.

  3. Edgar Cabrera says:

    Hey man!

    The thirst that you have for God is the one that we all have in out lives. We know God loves us and we are constantly seeking His love, the purest love of all. As a fellow Catholic just know that this cross that Christ has given you is a huge one and if Christ didn’t think you would be able to carry it he would have never have given it to you. You are an example to all of us and your reward will be much higher because of the heavy cross you carry. But most importantly, know that we are here to help you and support you, specially when trying to live a Catholic life. If you need anything let me know brother!

    – In Christ
    -Edgar

  4. Catie Schlom says:

    Hi,
    You are such a strong person and I can see that you are going through something that I will never completely understand, but I just wanted you to know that I will be praying for you! May God lead and guide your spirit! God Bless!

    Your sister in Jesus Christ,
    Catie Schlom

  5. Daniel says:

    I think many gay Catholics deal with this struggle. I believe we are all called to a life of service, gay or straight. I think for single gay people, that means that God asks a lot of us, but it also presents great opportunity for a life in Christ that can lead to our eternal salvation. That is so much bigger than our sexuality. Lots to ponder. He may be calling us to great sacrifice, but then great reward as well.

  6. Ross says:

    Hi,
    I went through a similar struggle many years ago; I think all gay catholics do, in reality. Over the years, though, I have discovered that being true to oneself and developing a system of faith that fits one’s unique persona can bring about a serene courage that enables one to meld with the Church. Rome moves slowly, but she does move.
    Thank God for Pope Francis. This may, just may, be a new beginning.
    Bless you!

  7. Mike says:

    I’ve dealt with the same issue (I stopped attending Catholic Mass for a few years, and I went back in November 2008); It was for different reasons I think. But from what I have
    experienced, is that with Jesus, it is not about being gay, straight or bi. Sexual orientation doesn’t matter anymore with Jesus. It is our heart, it’s about love. When we focus on love, instead of sexual orientation, we have a much better image of ourselves, we’re brothers.

    But there will be people (ie: the straight, politicians, even some priests), who will try to hurt our confidence in ourselves and God, on the basis that we’re gays. But don’t be discouraged. I have seen these vicious attacks often.

    I’d says, focus on Jesus, have a relationship with Jesus, and the answer on how to deal with all this will become very clear. Jesus love us, but due to the sensitivity of being gay, we must be careful to not be hurt by negative people. I’d says, seek the friendships of people who will treat you good, and those who are wrong, avoid them. Love is the answer, but there’s Catholics who don’t seems to understand this, they think more in term of clericalism, protocol, ignoring others etc., and this is why Catholic gays are belittled, and it’s a good thing that the mentality is improving.

    • Daniel says:

      It’s not that the Catholic Church doesn’t care or is clueless about love, the problem is that certain actions are sinful. Being gay, bi, or straight is not a sin! But doing something sinful offends God, ourselves, and others. Pope Francis wants us Catholics to embrace ourselves for who we are and love others as God loves us. But he is also acutely aware of the reality of sin. When people talk about “love” often times they equate sexual acts with love which is not right. No more than “earning” money by being a robber. The sole source of our salvation is Jesus Christ and it is only when we surrender to God’s will, rather than our own, that we become truly free. I know this sounds so much easier than done, but when we dedicate ourselves to the will of God, we will be cared for. I wish people did not throw around the word love and especially use it in defense of sinful acts.

      • Nathaniel says:

        Gay people experience the same selfless sort of romantic love as a heterosexual might experience. How dare you boil what we are to just sex. It may make it easier for you to dislike us if you fancy us all selfish, sex-obsessed “sinners” but your insistance on these lies only solidifies my perspective that many Catholics don’t (won’t) even try to understand what it is like to be gay.

  8. Richard says:

    Your definately not alone I myself have felt cought in the middle of my faith and my sexuality not getting full support from either side don’t feel alone keep strong in faith and prayer that’s what has got me through each day

  9. Paul says:

    Noone can read through you. That is Satan making u paranoid. U need to pray as soon as u enter the church because I believe Satan and his minions can attack us even there. Noone has to know ur gay either. That can be between u and God or whoever u feel comfortable with. God Bless and much love. Ur fellow gay Catholic

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