I am not a confrontational kind of person. I have always shied away from disagreements and often find myself patting things down when people are involved in a discussion. I bite my tongue and keep comments to myself. I like to think I'm keeping the negativity levels in this world down. However, I need to vent some frustration I have with particular people who are constantly harping on about my church and it's pastor. But I really do not want to deal with the fallout that inevitably occurs when people talk religion. Luckily, I have this blog, which is still fairly anonymous in my community so I can put it out there and still not have to confront the naysayers.
I am Catholic. I go to the church in my community. It's not your run of the mill church. In fact, in it's previous life it used to be a supermarket. Yep. A supermarket. And the pastor of the church is not exactly your typical pastor either. He is a colonel in the US Army. Not only that, but he doesn't have the best "bedside" manner. That all being said, I am so sick and tired of people deriding my church and this priest just because they're not what is pretty or easy. Most of the time I just let people say what they're going to say and say nothing. I have at times stated that the building does not define the church community, the people in it do. What, do they think the first Catholics worshiped in Cathedrals? Honestly, they were probably celebrating the Eucharist in caves back in the day. Just because you go to a "pretty" church does not make your church better than anyone else's. So there.
And our priest? Yes, he is sometimes rude and didactic but he's a person. He's human. Which means he has failings and quirks just like all the rest of us. God doesn't ask us to love only people who are easy to deal with. And sometimes, I think people who take the most issue with this guy, do so because he makes them feel uncomfortable. He makes me feel uncomfortable. He doesn't pat me on the head and say, "good girl, you go to church every week, and your kids know their prayers, and you deposit regular checks into the collection basket." No, he continually asks us, "what more can you do?" "what more can you give?" "how else can you serve?" He insists that people observe all the facets of their faith, not just the ones that are easy and make you feel good. He does not shirk his responsibility to the laws of the Catholic faith. And that pisses people off. They want exceptions made for them. They want him only to validate what it is they do do and not point out where they could be doing a better job. But too bad, so sad for you, because that is part of his job! If I were at a church were I was not constantly pushed to not just be a better Catholic, but to be a better parent, wife, sister, friend, daughter, human, I would start looking for another church.
Why don't these people who never have anything good to say about this church and this priest just go to another church? There are several nearby to choose from. Just go there already and stop whining. There. I said it.