Monday, June 23, 2014
Communing, Communicating, and Excommunicating
"How is it I can feel peaceful, glorified, connected in the literal presence of sharks? That next to them, I can forget to be afraid? And sitting still in the house of God, I feel myself drowning.”
---Nicole Hardy, reflecting on a swim with sharks, compared to a seat in the pew, in Confessions of a Latter Day Virgin
This morning I read an article about Kate Kelly, a member of the Mormon church.
Last night twelve men, church leaders, sat to review whether Kate Kelly, and how she asks questions, fall enough within to stay In, or are too far outside.
They met to determine if she will be excommunicated.
I am drawn to these stories right now. Not because I am Mormon. But because the stories are abounding and they are not just in the Mormon church but in many churches.
Some journeys are hard to speak of while we are on them.
I've been moving from a practicing Roman Catholic to a practicing Cafeteria Catholic.
Which means: I take what I like and leave the rest.
For those who take Everything, the term Cafeteria Catholic is not a light one. It is indicative of someone with commitment issues. I guess that is now me.
Social justice and contemplative nuns and monks and Thomas Merton and the Jesuit tradition of asking questions and the Franciscan tradition of deep compassion? Yes please.
Also, examining and acknowledging the history of all the good stuff, along with examining and acknowledging the history of all the shameful and wretched stuff. Yes.
One without the other means there is no healing and no growth. One without the other is stagnation and continued secrecy. Air and acknowledge the dirty laundry because it needs to see the light of day in order for any transformation to occur. For those who were and continue to be injured. And for those who did the injuring.
Sometimes growth and healing is a big huge mess at first. And religions are not exempt from this.
These two questions are coming up in churches of all traditions:
What are we going to do about The Women?
What are we going to do about The Gays?
Many religious institutions come back with the same answer.
This leads to a lot of smaller meetings, starting with, What are we going to do about Kate Kelly?