OK. I'm catholic. Raised that way, Married that way and chose to raise my own children in the church. But lately I'm becoming a bit cynical. When we moved into our home we went to this church. They allowed us to become parishioners no questions asked. Well we come to find out we are out of the boundaries for that parish. So if my children need to attend CCD they cannot attend it there.. but they'll take our $$$ on a weekly basis and tuition if we want to send them there for a catholic education. The other parish (that we were apparently supposed to be a member of ) is currently under construction of a new church in addition to a new school.
It started way back when I called to schedule Aedan's Christening. They had to check my file (to see how much $$ we've given to them in the past) and they'd call me back. We *were* regular churchgoers before children and after so it wasn't an issue. Same deal when we called about Chloe's christening.
Fast Forward to 2007. Our parish gets a new Pastor. Slightly younger than the last but he seemed nice enough. First week. Bulletin spells out a list of do's and don't for mass. Don't wear shorts, Don't wear flip flops, don't come in late, don't feed your children cheerios.. and so on with a few other idiotic *rules*. I always dress decently since that is the way I was raised but the way I see it you are there for mass what does it matter in the long run what the heck you were wearing while there?
Once Alexa was born we didn't have her christened at that church. A family friend ( the one who baptised the other 2) is a Monsignor in another parish so we went there. No biggie.. he married us and baptised the other two so we traveled. We haven't been to our church in a bit simply because of all the rules etc. that have been instituted and we are anxiously awaiting the *new* parish church construction. And now after hearing some even more recent developments I am sad to say I won't be back at all.
A family friend is a very active member of the church, volunteers etc. She has a toddler about the age of 2. She got a letter last week from the church asking her to please not bring her toddler to mass anymore and that if that will cause her not to attend then she can simply mail in her weekly giving.
I was flabbergasted that they would actually put it in writing and yet not surprised at all. And I wonder how many families got that same letter. I guess the church isn't open to everyone after all ??