I am a cradle Catholic: born into the faith, educated in the schools, still practising (well, after an earlier gap of 15 years).
Being a member of Catholic Women Speak helps to keep me in the fold. Even amongst my Catholic friends I don’t always feel I can say what I really think.
There is a culture of being ‘a café Catholic’ that meets with some disapproval. In other words, select what you like and leave the rest. No longer can I accept an unquestioning stance. The way I see it is that I have been given an independent mind and spirit so I use it.
It hasn’t always been this way. For years I coped by leaving my intellect at the church door. This, despite, running a business, being the main earner, raising a family, running a home.
My theological studies stopped when I left school. Now I gobble it up. Feminist theology is a recent discovery and mind-blowing. How naïve of me to have accepted a male perspective on Scripture and my faith all these years when I would never have been so unquestioning in any other area of my personal or professional life.
I have found new ideas, new inspiration, new online friends and a new confidence through CWS. I feel less alone as a Catholic woman.
I have many doubts but I live with them. At the end of my life I will be happy with the tag ‘café Catholic’ as long as they add ‘Nevertheless she persisted’.