Am I still Catholic?

I’ve been asking this of myself lately. This year in Ontario has been quite the year of introspection for Catholics. Earlier in the year the Halton Catholic School Board sparked a controversy by refusing the fly the Pride flag at it’s schools this year. Many other Catholic boards did fly the flag, however there were still hold outs. Sparking a debate on inclusivity and equity within our public school systems.

Then of course the news of 215, then 751, and now approaching over 1,000 unmarked graves of children at Catholic run residential schools. The news is shocking and appalling and has shaken the bedrock foundations on which this country was made. Accountability is demanded from all involved, and this is where the Catholic Church is showing it’s true colours. Today in the CBC, news of how the Church could find $28 million to build a new church in Saskatoon yet couldn’t find $25 million for their obligations to residential school survivors.

The calls in the public for the taxation of the Church and criminal charges to be brought up are growing and not going away. Public sentiment for the end of funding to the Catholic school system here in Ontario is higher than it has been in a generation. I find myself joining their ranks. I am not defending an institution that seemingly wants to preserve a status quo where it can perpetually harm others.

I am not the most pious or devote Catholic. I gave up on that path long ago. However, it appears the Church has done the same. My values and that of the Church are clearly different. The Church has much accountability to answer to before it can ask the First Nations of Canada for forgiveness. Forgiveness is earned. It isn’t something that is handed out on a whim. For an institution that this lesson is a cornerstone of it’s philosophy it is astounding that they cannot practice it. My only conclusion is that the real cornerstone of the Catholic Church is hypocrisy.

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