As a child this time of year the conversation in the playground was always ‘what are you giving up for Lent?’. I went to a Roman Catholic school and so everybody invariably had an answer, usually the predictable ‘chocolate’ or ‘fighting with my siblings’.
This year I’m looking at it slightly differently. I know some polyamorists are also christian but they seem always to describe themselves as practicing a ‘liberal christianity’ in the U.S. For them, I think it’s wonderful that their faith can be supported in a community which allows them the freedom to be who they are.
I on the other hand, find myself feeling utterly alone. The church of my childhood is long gone and I no longer fit the definition of a ‘good Catholic girl’ in anyone’s book. My relationship choices do not fit with my official religion’s view of morality and I will not give them up nor can I see my love as sinful.
I cannot believe God made me to be unhappy but I know of nowhere I can share such faith as I do have without pretence.
To be honest, my issues with the Roman Catholic church run much deeper than merely my relationship choices and far from the church catching up with me, it is actively moving further away in a direction I find increasingly hard to defend or even accept.
I miss the mass though, the candles, the incense, the ritual, the beautiful words, the sense of sharing*, all so precious to me and now so distant.
The hardest part of this though is that I am a ‘cradle Catholic’ brought up that way by parents who still have faith and because of their faith I cannot explain my choices fully without hurting them badly. Still I am giving up Catholicism for Lent, with much sadness.
*and the kink of course. I mean, Catholicism is a religion designed for kinky people and there’s a whole post right there…