I did not grow up with the movie-of-the-week Catholicism. I do not feel guilty all the time, nuns never hit me with rulers, and my family doesn’t hate me because I am gay or becoming Jewish.
Regardless, the structure and expectations of the Church are both absolutely ridiculous. Unlike some folks, I am unable to authentically engage in an institution that I find hypocritical and full of nonsense.
A good example is this news release. With everything going on in the world, right at this moment, the grand ‘ol Pope decides that every Catholic politician needs to oppose gay marriage. Read: every AMERICAN politician needs to be against it, because the current Pope is only concerned with what America and Israel are doing.
This is not a personal reaction from gay man; rather, it is a reaction to the hypocrisy of the Church on several social issues that It refuses to have in any real way. The Church refuses to reconsider its view on contraception, despite the fact that reconsidering might save millions of lives in Africa. If it took an open-minded, reasonable approach to homosexuality (specifically gay men), more people would connect with the Church, have a fulfilled spiritual life with a community, and children of gay parents would not be ostracized from the Catholic community. And on euthanasia, there is a perfectly reasonable argument to be made that the merciful, G-dful act is to let someone’s suffering end, and to have that decision rest with the families - not religious or government entities faithful to ideology, not people.
News articles like make me sick to my stomach, because millions of lives are affected by the words of this deplorable man. The leadership in the Church is only concerned with wielding power and slowing down change, to assuage their own existential fears at the expense of others. Many local Catholic communities are healthy places for people, but they have no real mechanism to affect change because the hierarchy is so top heavy.
Hence, the decentralized nature of Judaism is quite appealing. Although far from perfect, I believe Judaism is a more humane religion, allowing imperfect people a chance to authentically strive for a close relationship with G-d, regardless of any aspect of their life. This is what Jesus taught people; he taught Jewish lessons.
Maybe the Pope should take some cues from the Jews he used to hate so much during his Hitler Youth days.