Why They’re Leaving The Church


We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.  

My motto…
“Be happily and uncomplicatedly

Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop
of Santa Fe


Why they’re leaving the Church- (Part 1 of 4)

(Let’s be aware of these problems and consider how we Joyful Catholics can help in the solution)

 This has been a rough time for me because some people who are special in my life have given up on Catholicism. A relative, who for her 40-plus years on this planet has been an active and happy Catholic, has now joined the Episcopal Church. Her comment was, “I suddenly realized how lonesome I was as a woman in the Catholic Church. Also, I wanted to quit a lifetime of playing a minor role – a second-rate citizen in a male dominated organization.”

I have empathy for her because I appreciate the splendid accomplishment and acceptance of women in the past seven decades. In the 1950s when I worked for the Hartford Insurance Company (then the largest USA insurer), it was company policy that women could only be typists and secretaries. The excuse for this  restriction was because “Our agents would not feel at ease talking with a  female underwriter.”  Twenty years later, I had a battle to get the bank board on which I was serving to add a woman director. They finally resented and the next year my woman board member was so popular they made her chairman of the important audit committee. Today, 15 of the Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs, and this number is increasing.

A Christian Brother friend, who counsels those who are shaky in their faith, told me that most women agree that at some point we should return to being a church of the
people, but few of them believe it will be anytime soon. They understand that  the aged bachelors who are calling the shots in the Vatican
move with a speed that would make a snail pace seem like an Olympic racer.

As a sign of the times, last month 300 Austrian priests have signed a “Call to Disobedience”, which calls for a parish to have an individual leader – whither man or woman, and for admission of women to the priesthood.

In her book There Is a Season, Joan Chittister, O.S.B., writes about the need for spiritual re-builders—those who take what other people only talk about and make it the next generation’s reality. She is right in that we should join together in our effort to make sense of relationships within our Church. We have made improvement in that the conservative priests who refused to let little girls serve on the altar are now in their dotage or have passed on to the next life. And although most of us can’t wait until 2111 when I predict the Vatican  will accept female deacons, we should now take positive steps to profess our admiration and appreciation for our woman church members. Mother Teresa said, “Holiness is not a luxury for the few; it is not for some people. It is meant for you and me, for all of us. It is a simple duty because if we learn to love, we learn to be holy.”

How do you think this can be done? (aljagoe@comcast.net)


 Other recommended Catholic blogs

Catholic Cuisine

The Shrine of the Holy Whapping




“The Church and the Eucharist” in June/July Homiletic
& Pastoral Review

“It Doesn’t Sing” in July 13, Commonweal.

 “My Water, His Wine” in July-August Touchstone.


of Joyful Catholic Priests

The media loves to publicize bad priests, and we should give recognition to our Joyful Catholic Priests. Send me your recommendation for ones you think merit membership in this splendid group. (aljagoe@comcast.net)

Rev. Robert
Aufieri (NYC)

Rev. Edward
Gorman, O.P. (DE)

Fr. Andrew
Gries (DC)

Msgr. Edward
Filardi (MD)

Jerome Listecki, (MN)

Bishop Dennis
Madden (MD)

Fr. Joseph
Marini (CA)

Fr. John Mericantante (FL)

Msgr. Thomas
Modugno (NYC

Rev. John
O’Donoghue (TX)

Fr. Matthew
Ruhl, S.J. (KS)

Fr. Michael
Scanlon (OH)

Rev. Richard
Trout (FL)

Rev. Hayden
Vaverek (NYC)

Rev. Malcolm
Sylvester Willoughby, O.P. (DC)

Canon Stuart
Wilson (London, UK)


One thought on “Why They’re Leaving The Church

  1. We christians should realise that we have to carry our cross and follow Him. Cross may be pain, humiliation, loneliness, and other difficulties in life. Creating divisions in the name of gender or any other factor and questioning the authority is not helpful

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