16 April 2008

On Religious Culture.



There is, I think, a really adorable picture of some nuns on the washingtonpost.com today. They look so happy dressed up in their habits waiting for the arrival of the pontiff--who is visiting Washington DC for the next couple of days.

I will be very honest. I am not so sure how I feel about this new pope as I really rather liked John Paul II (even though I know that there are a host of readers who could cite all of his faults as the leader of the Catholic Church).

I was raised Catholic and during what I would argue I was at my most "catholic" I was able to meet JPII in Denver. One of the things I can really remember is that he was a diminutive man (this was in 1992) and he was just so sweet. At 5'3 and three quarters, I felt as though we were nearly the same height; however, he was like WAY closer to the Virgin and the Trinity than I would ever be. I also remember that I was wearing a gap khaki knee length skirt and a light blue shirt and converse chucks because I didn't know that I was going to get to meet him.

I won't ever forget it.

I also don't forget that the Church is rife with problems that have not yet been fully resolved.

And for some reason, with the death of JPII, I feel less connected to the church than I did at my least connected to it.

And while we in DC are dealing with the mobs of people here to see the new pope, I can't help but think of the other big religious news story that keeps catching my eye--the raid in Eldorado, TX in which the members of Warren Jeffs' fundamentalist Latter Day Saints are in the process of possibly losing their children.

I can say nothing about this religious group and whether or not they are an abusive one. I will say that if I were sixteen, I would not want to be married to a fifty year old man. The other interesting thing about this group is that by looking at the pictures of the women, in their puffed sleeved dresses, one can't really tell that they live in the 21st century. Changing the color of the photo to sepia, it would seem that these women (and men, although I've not seen any pictures of them) might as well be settling the west in the 19th century.



1 comment:

Megarita said...

Both those groups find great solace in the past. I'll just leave it at that. (But I loved that picture when I saw it! Made my day.)