Here is the legacy of being a woman raised Catholic:
I can’t decide if I am saner or crazier than my teachers.
I can’t decide if I am more or less enlightened now than when I was a
Catholic in good standing.
I can’t decide if I believe anything or nothing that the Church teaches.
I can’t decide if I love or hate the Church.

And mainly I can’t decide why the hell I care.

Paraphrase Isaiah 58:1-9a

[As often, I find in Isaiah words that I can adapt to be what I would say to the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.]

Thus says GOD:
Cry out full-throated and unsparingly,
lift up your voice like a trumpet blast;
Tell my priests their wickedness,
and the house of Peter their sins.
They seek Me day after day,
and desire to know my ways,
Like a church that has done what is just
and not abandoned the law of their God;
They ask Me to declare what is due them,
pleased to imagine they have exclusive access to Me.
“Why do we set ourselves apart, and You do not see it?
exult ourselves, and You take no note of it?”

Lo, you set yourselves apart to carry out your own pursuits,
and drive away my children.
Yes, your setting yourselves apart results in pride and abuse,
striking with wicked claw.
Would that today you might set yourselves apart
so as to make My voice heard through you!
Is this the manner of setting apart that I wish,
of keeping a vocation:
That a man stand proud behind the altar
robed in silk and fine linen?
Do you call this a vocation,
a life acceptable to GOD?
This, rather, is the life that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
Setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
Sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
Clothing the naked when you see them,
and not turning your back on your own;
Casting out the abuser and comforting the abused.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
Your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of God shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and God will answer,
you shall cry for help, and God will say: Here I am.

Staying and Leaving: Catholic Woman’s Version

I have left
And returned
And left again

I have shut the door
And then opened it

I have locked the door
And then unlocked it

I have wept
I have screamed
I have cursed

I have prayed

I have been lauded
For my feminine genius
I have been criticized
For my machismo feminism

I have been told no

But mostly
I have been ignored
I have been silenced
I have been patronized

I stood at their door
And knocked
To no avail

So I walked away
To other doors
Wide open, warm, welcoming

I have left
Except for my heart
Except for my longing
Except for my dreams
Except for my sisters

For those
I have stayed.