So – why am I so anti-Catholic? (in general)
The reasons are many. Recently, we saw a film called “The Magdalene Sisters“, which illustrates the Catholic Churches attitude in Ireland. It dealt with the stories of three girls, who were “guilty” of either having a baby outside marriage, or simply of flirting with boys. For committing these “sins”, they were consigned to a convent laundry, where they would be beaten for any infraction of the rules, and were basically slave labour for the church. There’s more information about the film here. This wasn’t a story based at the turn of the century – this was only the 1960s. The last laundry closed in 1996 – less than ten years ago.
To see a church that blithers on unremittingly about forgiveness and understanding, the way the Magdelene girls (and many, many others) was nothing short of Evil.
My primary reason though is my grandmother. She was, without any exaggeration, a poisonous old cow. She didn’t have a good word to say for anyone, believed herself to be devout, yet always judged everyone else against her standards. The final straw for me was that when my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimers, she packed him away to a nursing home. Fair enough, on that score – they were both in their 70s, I think, and neither was exactly on top form.
However, once he’d gone into the nursing home, she never visited him. Not once. Even when she was diagnosed with a virulent cancer, and given six months to live, she never went to see him, to tell him what was happening. When she died, my grandfather never understood, and my father had to tell him on every visit that his wife was dead, that she wouldn’t be visiting again, and go through the entire shock and grief process with him. For that, I could never ever forgive her.
At her funeral, the Catholic priest was new, and had barely met her. To all those who attended (and I suspect that for a fair number it was really just to make sure the old cow was actually dead) he described her as “a good Catholic”. If she was a good one, I don’t want to meet one that they think is a callous fucker.