Why I Still Call Myself Catholic

It’s the question I get more than any other: Do you still consider yourself a Catholic?

It’s the critique I most frequently receive on this blog site: Just leave the church if you’re so unhappy.

Spending seven years at a Protestant divinity school, first as a student and later as an employee, enriched and expanded my understanding of what it means to be Catholic. Before arriving at graduate school, I grew up on Long Island in an Italian Catholic family that rarely went to church. Though I went to religious instruction, received the sacraments with the rest of the girls and boys, and attended church on the big feast days, the influence of the institutional church (involvement in parish life, connections with priests and nuns) was distant at best.

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