This should sting. I know it stings me, and I don’t even know these men.
At the Iowa State campus, a big part of our mission is drawing in students, and giving them an anchor for an adult life in the Catholic faith. People do drift away, and that always is sad for me. Of course, some of those folks are graduates, and they’re going off in the way they should–to careers, marriage, and other parishes in other cities and towns.
Others find too much hypocrisy, not enough welcome, too much misunderstanding, or other things that make the Church more of an obstacle to God than a means.
And some people just leave in a snit. Others float away before they or anyone else knows it.
My decision to be a Catholic and a Christian was intentional from the beginning. Leaving or drifting away is so far from any sort of a choice I don’t always get why people float away or cultivate that snit. I have seen, sadly close-at-hand, serious misbehavior on the part of priests, the occasional bishop, and others in church positions where they should have known better. I’ve been in the position of helping people find meaning or picking up pieces. And on occasion, I fail to uphold the values I should. I don’t think I’ve chased anybody out of the Church. But my tongue and pen are a problem from time to time.
I think Catholicism needs a much more serious evangelization effort. We should pursue non-believers and inactive believers like our eternal lives depended on it, not theirs.
Blogging will be light from me for the next week or two. I have my usual start-of-semester heavy workload, plus a freelance assignment, plus a turn as the lead person for the adult portion of our parish’s whole community catechesis. I’m grateful to Neil for his series on Christian Unity Week. You may see a few posts from me on Friday. I’ll return to RCIA and to Msgr Marini’s talk a bit later.