Did I leave the Roman Church, or did it leave me? Maybe we left each other; maybe it doesn't matter. But let us be clear: I am still a Eucharistically-centered Christian in love with the saints and mystics, and most importantly, Jesus. But the Eucharist, the saints, mystics, and Jesus embrace a whole lot more than just the Roman Church!
I wish I could hang in there but I can no longer take the abuse from the Pope, the bishops, and many priests; I refuse to take part in my own oppression any longer. The hateful language they spew forth over gay/lesbian and women's issues befouls the Church. Their response to the abuse crisis has rendered their moral authority flaccid. I thought I could hang in there until the "seeds of regeneration" break ground or at least have that hope, but I no longer have that desire. Merely finding an inclusive parish does not solve anything, either.
But, I also have theological reservations with this Church. For one thing, where does one draw the line with theological disagreement? When does one stop being a Roman Catholic? It seems to me, that many, whether conservative, liberal or somewhere in between, want their dissent and their Church as well. That can only happen to a point, but then it can go too far and a person has to ask himself or herself that all important question.
So, for now at least, I dance in the Heart of God, interconnected with all life. It is "outside" the Roman Church, but a place of grace nonetheless, as a friend of mine said upon hearing I had decided to leave. If I am called to embrace a Christian tradition later, it will most likely be the Episcopal Church, as I find myself more in sync with Anglican theology, delightfully finding God in the messiness of ordinary living. It is both Catholic and Reformed, as am I; it is within it that I practiced for over 15 years.
I am, however, one of those odd ducks who both loathes, yet is somewhat attracted to, organized religion. It is not always the most comfortable place to be, but it is there that I stand. It seems I didn't "leave" anything after all, but, rather, embraced the fullness of living within the joy of God.