In the waning days of 1976, I stood at the altar with several other seekers and converted to Catholicism. With the promise of spring and spiritual rebirth, I accepted myriad papal edicts, even if I didn’t always exult over them.
Thirty-seven winters later, I wept in horror while viewing the movie "Philomena" — the true story of a young Catholic girl whose child was adopted without her knowledge. While a resident (i.e., indentured slave) of the infamous "laundries" for "wayward" girls, Philomena was forced to give birth under despicable circumstances.
I left the church after 13 years. I learned long ago of the Magdalene facilities — and of my former church succoring pedophiles — so the disillusionment is probably at an apex by this point.
One cannot wholly negate one’s past, but I left the theater tonight with a renewed vow: I shall no longer refer to myself even as an ex-Catholic. The revulsion and sadness has overtaken my heart to such a degree that I cannot acknowledge my immersion in the Church of Rome. Perhaps Pope Francis may wish to apologize to all the young girls who anguished (and some who died) under his church’s morbid prurience.
Annette L. Munson
Salt Lake City
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