Well, if you've made it this far and still care, I'm sure the question that comes to mind is "why isn't he Catholic already?" Before I get to some practical problems and issues about conversion, I'd like some insight into a more philosophical problem that's been bothering me. I understand that when someone becomes Catholic they must profess to believe all that the Catholic Church teaches to be true. I would not convert until I could say that in good conscience. But how enthusiastic must someone be about a particular teaching?
Take for example. women's ordination. I don't know what it says about me, but this has been the issue that has caused me the most problem as I've wrestled with my attraction to Catholicism. I've read many accounts online of people that have struggled with the dogmas about Purgatory and Mary and the Saints, but these issues have not bothered me much at all. I have no trouble believing and professing the Catholic positions on these issues to be true. But women's ordination has taken me a while longer. I first thought that this position was due to some view of women as incapable of leadership. I now understand that the all male priesthood is due to the Catholic understanding of what a Priest is and what he does.
But here is my question, do I have to like it? If I accepted and believed that an all male priesthood is required, would I be a bad Catholic for being a little sad that this is so? In other words, if you accept that something is true and you don't do anything to contradict the teaching, how enthusiastic must you be? Periodically, I read online a story about some women being "ordained" as Catholic Priests. The reaction in the blogosphere is usually either anger or derision. My reaction is much more one of sadness. I'm sad that they can't be Priests and I'm sad that they don't understand why they can't. Should I be concerned that they don't make me angry?
I know I should probably sit down and talk to a Priest about this, but doing so presents some practical problems that I'll address in my next post. Until then, I'm open to all the free advice I can get, just please be gentle on me.