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Have you read Paul Constant's open letter to the Catholic Church yet? It's lovely and heartbreaking and infuriating and you should read it.

Like Paul, I grew up in a Catholic family, but unlike Paul, I never got personally involved. My parents were lapsed Catholics who went through some of the motions with my older brother (who was sent to CCD), but by the time they got to me, they were pretty much over it. I was baptized at birth, stumbled into an accidental first communion* in my early teens, and sometimes wore a rosary during my Smiths-damaged later teens (if pretentiousness were fatal I'd be dead), but beyond that the Catholic Church was just some weird thing other people believed in.

One of these people was my Grandma Midge, whose real name is Verle, but who is so physically shrimpy (just over 5 feet—like Prince!) that everyone has always called her Midge and now it's her name. She's also one of the best and sturdiest people I've ever known, and any respect I had for the Catholic Church was a by-product of my respect for my Grandma, who was a faithful, churchgoing Catholic for the vast majority of her life.

Then came the pedophilia/conspiracy-to-cover-up-pedophilia scandals of the 1990s, and my Grandma stopped being a churchgoing Catholic. She didn't make a stink about it—she never makes a stink about anything—she just stopped going. I only learned about it secondhand from my mom, who eventually got the closest thing to an explanation to come out of my stoic-by-nature Grandma, who summed up why her seven decades of devout Catholicism were ended by the pedophilia scandals in two words: "They knew."

I am not stoic, and am happy to tell you that any and all personal anger I feel toward the Catholic Church is the direct result of its fucking over of my Grandma, who is now in her late 80s and left without the organized spiritual support system to which she'd been pledging allegiance (and money) her entire life. Even a non-believer like me understands that one of the key benefits of religious belief is the help it gives in navigating and making sense of the end of your life. Instead, the Catholic Church absconded with my Grandma's spiritual retirement, and I can only look forward to the day the last two popes get the crap beat out of them in Hell.

(Also, my Grandma's doing fine, and would probably discourage me from publishing this post, being a non-complainer by nature. But I hate that she's in a seniors community chosen for its close proximity to a Catholic Church that she's now unwilling to enter.)

*—Taking part in a friend's quinceanera for which I had not attended rehearsal, I thought I'd cover my lack of knowledge by getting in line whenever everyone else got in line. Eventually this led to a priest putting a disc of Jesus on my tongue.