Lately I’ve seen a spate of blogosphere posts from Catholics responding to the question, “Why do you stay?”
Rarely am I asked this question. My younger brother, who had some negative experiences with the institution (namely, high school) drifted away from being a fairly dedicated (daily 6:30 AM Mass) altar server (which I was not) to being a professed “recovering Catholic.” When I was being bounced from a parish fifteen years ago, he grilled me on it all: the crazy pastors, the unappreciative parishioners, the low pay, the lack of recognition, the heaps of expectations, the sabotaged relationships. (I actually had one pastor who actively undermined two of my relationships with women friends, and another who expressed surprise when I didn’t trust to share details of my love life with him.) Why did I put up with it? Granted, most of these impacted my chosen vocation, but the undercurrent was the nonsense (as my brother saw it) of Catholicism. Being a fellow 12-Stepper, he suggested there’s no shame in bailing on a sick system.
And perhaps there’s not.
I don’t need to write a substantial essay to convince you (and/or myself) why I stay. I remain a Catholic for one main reason: God invited.
Everything else is just peripheral.
And needless to say, any attempts at crowbarring me out will come to nought.