Growing up in the Catholic Church, and having been indoctrinated into the teachings of the only door to Heaven possible, I grew up fearing that anything I did could send me to an immediate and fiery eternity of damnation and torture. This belief stayed with me as I entered my teen years, but I began to drift away from what I saw at the time as a boring and senseless recital of the same old prayers, the same old routines and the ever present money collection plate that came around not once, but twice during the course of a service.
When I came to the age that I was allowed to think for myself, I decided that there had to be other avenues of religion, and that by merely checking them out, I could not possibly be committing a 'mortal sin', as I had been taught. And so began a life long journey of discovery that would take me from church to church, doctrine to doctrine, and faith to faith.
I attended the services of many different Christian denominations, listened to their different approaches to the Bible and what they believed it meant, and decided that I needed to interpret what the Book meant to me personally. To understand it's impact and power, if any, it would have on my way of thinking, without the influence of overbearing preachers, priests or nuns. What I discovered stunned me, and changed my entire outlook on life.
Having always felt that something was missing from the 'official' version of the Bible, I started researching The Council Of Trent, and how from 1534 to 1563, men argued over which books were considered holy, what doctrine would be followed that did not diminish the power of the Catholic Church, and more importantly, which abuses would be overlooked in order to further enrich the Pope himself. Flabbergasted, I couldn't believe what I was reading, and when I came to the years of the Inquisition, was absolutely horrified.
I started to realize that the teachings of Jesus had, throughout the past 2,000 years, been corrupted, twisted, and used to promote political agendas, and to enrich certain individuals. That in order to gain and maintain a grip on absolute power, that not only had the Catholic Church turned away from the teachings of Jesus, but so had Christian churches of all kinds. Realizing that what had occurred at The Council Of Trent was nothing more than an attempt to consolidate power and riches by discarding widely held Gospels written by other Apostles and by Mary Magdeline, it explained why the 'accepted' Gospels sometimes differed in accounts one from another.
Knowing now that women were ordained as priests and bishops as far back as 500 A.D., and that it was only AFTER the much ballyhooed Council of Trent that women were shoved to the back burner under the claim of 'primary truth', I could no longer in good conscience be a part of what I felt was a lie.
The recent excommunications of three women who were ordained as priests by in good standing Catholic bishops, and the excommunication of those who helped them prepare for the ceremony shows the Catholic Church, and more importantly, the Vatican, as an emperor with no clothes. A 1997 discussion of the issue of women priests by a council led by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. At first spewing forth the notion of 'primary truth' as the reason from Scripture why women had to take a subservient role to men, the Cardinal quickly backed off as dissent came from even other Cardinals as to the nature of his argument. And so the argument became that it was 'secondary truth'. Or in other words, he made it up. For his efforts to keep women in their subservient role, Cardinal Ratzinger was rewarded and rewarded well. You know him today as Pope Benedict XVI.
It should be noted that Ratzinger was well known for his use of excommunication as a means to get others to do his bidding. At the aforementioned council, he ordered a theologian to sign a document declaring that his findings of 'secondary truth' were true and the only doctrine that could be followed. To dismiss out of hand all arguments in favor of church equality for men and women alike. The theologian refused and Ratzinger had him excommunicated. Then he found a more pliable sucker.
But the fact is that although when asked, I still answer that I'm a catholic, I do not believe in their corrupt doctrine any more, and haven't for a very long time. So I guess Ratzinger can go ahead and excommunicate me also. Because his excommunication means absolutely nothing, and was begun as a means to control a frightened population. As was the paying of priests to submit a request to God, because only they, you see, had the power to communicate with the Almighty. To this day, in virtually every Catholic church, you'll find statues with prayer candles nearby. And right next to that is a collection box, where although not 'mandatory', all good Catholics know you're supposed to drop some bills in there to expedite your prayer on it's way.
What I believe now is the literal words of Jesus, and the true Gospels that have long been buried and kept away from public view. People the world over still don't understand that the Bible was a cherry picked Book of Gospels. Ones that would only bolster their case for power, money, and dominance. One that would justify the subjugation of women, and one they could use as a weapon against the populace. And use it they did. And use it they still do.
These are not men of God, these preachers of hatred and anger. These are not Christians, these are anti-Christians, because they do and say the exact opposite of everything Jesus said and commanded. To love one another, not claim the power to keep any group of people out of the sight and hearing of God. To give to the poor, not build churches made of the finest marble and gold. To greet each other with a warm embrace, not boil people in oil, burn them alive, and torture 'confessions' out of innocents that you then kill. Saying you're sorry about that does not make the truth of the matter go away. They have twisted Holy Word to make excuses as to why they live lives of luxury, while their constituents live in abject poverty. They claim to help the poor, but they never really do. The church is nothing more than the world's richest corporation, and as in any corporation, it's all about the bottom line. They wish for more illegals to enter the country, and for the American taxpayer to foot the bill. But only because those illegals would be barely educated, and more easily swayed into joining the world's largest cult. Which in turn, means more money for those at the top of the cult's food chain.
We should all applaud the bold move by these women and encourage others to join their ranks. Because absolutely no one has an exclusive communication link to God, and those who tell you they do are liars and their words come not from on high, but from the other place, the one they use to terrify you into submission and obedience not to God's will, but their own. Don't listen to their chanting and hypnotic rituals designed to lull you into a false sense of security and the familiar. The Word of God awaits in ALL of the accounts of All of the Apostles, not just the ones they felt would allow them to dominate life on earth forever. Yes. Go ahead and excommunicate me also there Pope Benedict. I must be a heretic also, because I agree with those women who wish to become priests and bishops, and serve God, not the unyielding whims of men.