Friday, September 14, 2012

From the Blogs: Finding God on the Margins and in Exile, as a Catholic Woman

Cynthia-Marie O'Brien at Killing the Buddha writing as a Catholic woman alienated from the church but keenly searching for encounter with the living God, about her experience of finding God on the margins:

My religious affiliation survives now in a form of chosen exile, openly dissenting in an organization that, along with being one of the last remaining bastions of institutionalized, codified gender inequality, does not tolerate challenges or questions to its authority. In continuing to identify as a Catholic although I reject many doctrines, I stand at the margins as Veronica does, casting a wide net to think of the marginalized as those disenfranchised by the institution of the Church. Perhaps [Sister Pat] Farrell would identify us, or is even referring to herself, when she says, “People on the margins who are less able to and less invested in keeping up appearances, often have an uncanny ability to name things as they are. Standing with them can help situate us in the truth and helps keep us honest.”

As she says, her mentor in this journey is her godmother Veronica, a former nun, who found she was not welcome in her religious community when she asked her superiors why they chose to cover the copper dome of their Motherhouse with gold leaf--when the teachers in the Catholic high school over which the gold dome loomed had no pension plans and inadequate salaries.

Cynthia-Marie, Veronica, and Pat speak for many others of us who are Catholic but living in exile, I think.

The photo of Cynthia-Marie O'Brien is from her biography at the I-House website.

No comments: