In 2002, I abandoned my Catholic faith, after a priest of the cloth in Falls Church used the pulpit to explain that women couldn’t properly understand the suffering of Christ.
Maybe it’s my mistrust of the Catholic Church after that incident that leads me to think that the Pope’s visit today is unimportant. Growing up, I had the chance to see His Holiness John Paul II at Laguna Seca raceway, except that our bus broke down on the way to collect us from my small California hometown. We were stranded without a way to get there. I remember being incredibly disappointed, though my disappointment paled in comparison to my mother’s. We watched on TV instead as the Holy Father took bread, blessed it and broke it, and distributed it to the tens of thousands who had gathered to hear him speak.
Sure, I understand what makes people Believe. Belief is a powerful thing, it gives us will when we might not have it otherwise, it gives us strength when we are weak, it gives us comfort when we are sad.
Perhaps if it were John Paul II again, I might understand the excitement. He reached out to the world and sought to make the faith more accessible to all. This Pope, though, has been more controversial, making changes to the mass to return it more closely to the obfuscated Latin origins, as well as with no new policy for dealing with the problem of abused children by people of trust in the Church, I think I will stay away a bit longer.
So, if you are a fan of His Holiness, by all means, get excited and worship in your faith today. Me? Just another day, only with more crowds, and more closed roads.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs