I have no idea who Sharon Owens is and neither do I really care. She's probably not a truly bad person, however, this mindset in which "I have it all figured out" and then going on to cite poorly thought out, highly specious examples of what passes for your reasoning is all too prevelant these days amongst the phony smart and the intellectual wannabe's.
Ms. Owens writes that she has made her choice and that she is "leaving the Catholic faith". Fine, whatever. Best of luck to you. I was raised in a mixed faith household myself (Catholic-Baptist) in which I attended both services as a youth and I eventually settled on Presbyterianism in my adult life. How I came to that conclusion is a topic for another day and I guess, in a manner of speaking, that I sort of "left" the Catholic church as well. That being said, I still have a great deal of respect for an institution which produced such great thinkers the likes of Sir Thomas More, St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas among many others.
I guess it's the reasons that Ms. Owens provides that causes me to take issue with her decision so let us examine some of them, shall we?
On the one hand, they (Catholics) know of child clerical abuse and the long-running cover-ups, yet they continue to send their children to Catholic schools
While I can't speak to statistics on the other side of the pond, I know that Catholics in this country (US) have examined the issue quite thoroughly and concluded that celibate, Catholic priests commit fewer abuses than Protestant ministers. While not one single instance of abuse is acceptable, a child is 100 times more likely to be abused by a school teacher than a priest and I don't hear Ms. Owens advocating homeschooling as a result of this US Depatment of Education statistic. Link.
They (Catholics) know about the women in Africa dying of Aids, yet they continue to drop loose change into charity tins, as if that’s going to feed all HIV orphans
I find it hard to believe that she is advocating that charitable giving to help these kids should be halted or is somehow misguided. Perhaps she is frustrated with the overall level of giving. If donations are meager, then start by contributing more yourself Ms. Owens. Who knows? Maybe you will start a trend.
I do not expect them (priests/Pope) to understand the complexities of a life lived at a more human level
Puh-leez! This is getting outright silly. They are every bit as human as any of us.
I don’t expect them (priests/Pope)) to understand how it feels to abort a pregnancy started by rape
Getting an abortion does not "unrape" the victim in this case and opting for the violent option destroys the one, truly innocent party in this tragedy. I am aware of only one study in which rape victims were interviewed after having an abortion and the respondents indicated, overwhelmingly, that the abortion procedure only made memories the sexual assault worse. Link
I don’t expect them (priests/Pope) to understand how it feels for a man or woman to come out of the closet after years of pretending to be happily single, or even happily married.
And just maybe there are priests that are struggling with homosexuality. Is that so much of a stretch? If they are in fact wrestling with identity issues, then might they know something about what it's like for someone else that is going through a similar situation?
All of this adds up to a lot of nonsense masquerading as an editorial. I wish her luck in finding some like-minded, ill-informed "moderate branch of Protestantism" congruent to her own way of thinking. Heaven knows there are plenty out there on this side of the Atlantic that have sold out and spout off the same left-wing talking points that she does.
P.S. Some of the more erudite readers of this blog might have noticed the old "Red Hand" (Unionist) flag of Northern Ireland on display up above. I regularly peruse the Irish newspaper The Independent for the Irish point of view. However if anyone is aware of another outlet that has decent editorials in Northern Ireland apart from The Belfast Telegraph (UK) then please feel free to post a link to it here.