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While many of us come from different backgrounds and faiths, order no rx precose I believe sharing those experiences and perceived differences make life more interesting, order no rx precose as well as when we listen to others there are often the revelations that show how similar we really are. Order no rx precose The Brave Women of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church abuse stories are exasperating, order no rx precose but a few lay writers give me hope. women2a.jpg Ellen Painter Dollar I love a good story. That’s why I’ve been captivated in recent days by stories concerning the Catholic Church abuse scandal. Not the newspaper spreads with timelines showing who knew what, order no rx precose when they knew it, order no rx precose and what they did or didn’t do about it. I’ve read some of those stories, order no rx precose but they do not captivate me. I’m captivated, order no rx precose rather, order no rx precose by the complex, order no rx precose inspiring stories of lay Catholics and, order no rx precose in particular, order no rx precose the stories of three Catholic women who explain why they remain Catholic. Order no rx precose NPR featured two essays, order no rx precose the first by writer Elizabeth Scalia, order no rx precose whose essay is a poetic meditation on the dark and light that coexist in creation. Order no rx precose Scalia understands that “everything, order no rx precose from our institutions to our innermost beings, order no rx precose are seen through a glass, order no rx precose darkly, order no rx precose” yet she holds on to her faith’s “bright hope.”

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In the second NPR essay, order no rx precose novelist and poet Julianna Baggott writes of leaving the church but retaining her Catholic identity. She honors the nuns and priests who welcomed and educated her mother during a troubled childhood and who schooled Baggott in a radical, order no rx precose inclusive faith. Baggott credits the church for shaping her as a writer, order no rx precose for “the basic rule of storytelling is show, order no rx precose don't tell. Order no rx precose Christianity shares this idea — the word made flesh. Of all the Christian denominations, order no rx precose no one does more bloody, order no rx precose impassioned showing than Catholicism.” Finally, order no rx precose religion scholar Donna Freitas, order no rx precose who has published a guest essay on Her.meneutics, order no rx precose debuted her new Washington Post column called “Stubborn Catholic” this week. Her first post revealed her own experience with priestly sexual impropriety. That experience left a scar, order no rx precose but that scar is only one piece of her Catholic identity. Order no rx precose Catholicism “is my family, order no rx precose my friends, order no rx precose my professional life as a theologian and scholar of religion. It's the way I mark time during the week and the year and the food I cook depending on the holiday. It is a childhood and a lifetime of experience.” These women are so brave. To understand why, order no rx precose just read the comments following their essays (although really, order no rx precose I want to say don’t, order no rx precose because the vitriol is discouraging, order no rx precose sometimes sickening). There is so much scorn, order no rx precose from those who accuse the writers of delusion for believing in any kind of religion, order no rx precose of sheep-like stupidity for their allegiance to such a damaged old institution, order no rx precose or of traitorous malice for speaking publicly of their church’s faults. I am not Catholic, order no rx precose but I am writing a book about reproductive ethics. Because the Catholic Church, order no rx precose in general, order no rx precose has more to say about such matters than Protestant churches, order no rx precose I read a lot of Catholic resources. While I don’t agree with every Catholic position, order no rx precose I respect their thoughtfulness and integrity. I believe that, order no rx precose when people of faith are discussing difficult, order no rx precose emotion-laden topics (sexuality, order no rx precose childbearing, order no rx precose vocation, order no rx precose identity), order no rx precose we owe it to other people of faith to understand the context and community out of which their beliefs arise. When I was part of an evangelical fellowship in college, order no rx precose I was perplexed to come across a book titled something like Catholics Are Christians Too. Having grown up in a New England town where most of my friends were either Catholic or Jewish, order no rx precose I was already pretty clear that Catholics were Christians. I didn’t understand why someone had to write a whole book about it. That was one of many lessons in how Christians like to label other Christians to make clear who is serious about this Jesus stuff and who is just a poser. In my college days, order no rx precose people called themselves “strong Christians” or “disciples” to differentiate themselves from those who (in their perception) liked to get dressed up and sing hymns on Sunday but didn’t really love the Lord. In my 20s, order no rx precose I attended a nontraditional urban church where people who had painful histories with mainline churches were unable to believe that anything good could come out of Methodism (or Lutheranism or Episcopalianism). I have spent the past 10 years in Episcopal churches where evangelicals and Roman Catholics are, order no rx precose on occasion, order no rx precose perceived less as brothers and sisters in Christ and more as anachronistic cultures by turns quaint and threatening. I too am prone to pigeonholing other believers based on what kind of church they attend, order no rx precose how comfortable they are uttering the “J” word in casual conversation, order no rx precose and whether hand-clapping, order no rx precose guitar-strumming praise music makes them ecstatic or uncomfortable. When I listen to people’s stories, order no rx precose though, order no rx precose my preconceptions fade in the light of the wondrous mix of grit and grace that resides within each of God’s children. When I read news stories about the Catholic Church, order no rx precose I want to throw my hands up in exasperation at all the lies, order no rx precose cover-ups, order no rx precose and hypocrisy. But reading stories by Catholic writers reminds me that all churches are, order no rx precose below the institutional trappings, order no rx precose leadership styles, order no rx precose and music preferences, order no rx precose groups of sorry, order no rx precose sinful, order no rx precose grateful, order no rx precose grace-filled, order no rx precose beautiful, order no rx precose blessed people. When we hear and welcome people’s stories, order no rx precose in all their complexity, order no rx precose we discover that we hold much more in common than not. Telling one’s story publicly, order no rx precose especially given the poison spewed freely on Internet comment boards, order no rx precose is courageous, order no rx precose plain and simple. I am grateful to these three women whose stories offer more insight and hope than any breaking news story ever could. Original article can be found at:  http://blog.christianitytoday.com/women/2010/04/the_brave_women_of_the_catholi.html Ellen Painter Dollar is a writer who focuses on Christian reproductive ethics and disability theology. Order no rx precose She is writing a book for Westminster John Knox Press (forthcoming in 2011) about the ethics and theology of assisted reproduction and genetic screening. Order no rx precose She blogs at ChoicesThatMatter.blogspot.com and Five Dollars and Some Common Sense. Order no rx precose She has written for Christianity Today about disability and genetic testing. Order no rx precose She also wrote on adoption and in vitro fertilization for Her.meneutics.