Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Battle With the Vatican

"I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive.  Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note - torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one." ~Henry Ward Beecher

Last night, one of dearest friends came over for a "girls night" at my house. We nibbled on veggies and fruit, drank coffee and watched "Pitch Perfect." As it was getting later, I asked Margaret when she was planning to go to mass (tomorrow.) She was thinking of going to the early mass at 7:45am and I said I thought that might be a good idea for me to... considering it's been months since I last went.

Which is terrible.

See, Margaret and I met at church several years ago (before I left for Birmingham.) I was actually attending a small group Lenten bible study, which turned into a weekly bible study group for a couple of years. Margaret and I were some of the younger ones in the group. She was in her early to mid twenties, and I was in my later twenties to early thirties. We bonded and my life has been richer every since. You see, Margaret is from South Africa - she is a white South African and actually lived through and experience apartheid. I am one of the most curious individuals when it comes to life experiences, so you can only imagine the slew of questions she always gets from me about her country. 

Last night I confessed to Margaret that I am a little upset with the Catholic Church, by no fault of my own. You see, technically.. I'm not in good standing with the Church. How? Well, I remarried. Did not annul the first marriage, so in the eyes of the Vatican, I am committing adultery. Technically, I am not supposed to receive communion. 

Now you may disagree with that policy, and yes, I do also, but it is what it is. In turn, I feel an incredible amount of guilt and I feel as if I am sneaking around with God. It's like I know that God has forgiven me for whatever I have done (I've asked a billion times AND went to confession.) But even with all of the official and unofficial forgiveness- the Church still says, "No, you can't be in full communion with God." 

You would think this would just be a "ceremonial" technicality, but as it turns out, it keeps me from returning to mass. Of course, I've considered converting, but the idea is so distasteful that I simply can't do it.

 I love the way we worship. I love the experience. I especially love the Eucharist.

 But for now, I have to "sneak around" with God. 


AnnaKaye said...

From my biblical knowledge, you are in communion with God no matter if you're divorced or not. And when you ask for forgiveness he gives it freely always.

AnnaKaye said...

from my biblical knowledge you are still in communion with God, it doesn't matter if you're divorced or not. And if you ask for forgiveness he gives it freely always.


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