a book review of:
Meehl, Joanne H. The Recovering Catholic: Personal Journeys of Women who left the Church. Prometheus Books, Amherst, 1995 includes bibliography and index
This is a women's book. More precisely it is a book explicitly written for women who have left, or are about to leave, the Roman Catholic Church. Stories for these women by these women. It's is about personal experiences and their personal interpretations, including those of the author.
It is important to mention this, because hard-nosed skeptics may be unimpressed by the theorising about how suppression of the universal ancient matriarchy lurks behind it all, or by the assumption that natural catastrophes like lightning are profoundly meaningful. The skeptic will, however, be able to find here a large collection of ideologically- independent facts.
"Isolated, though regrettable, cases of failures of individual humans who happen to be members of the Church, cases which run absolutely contrary to Real Catholicism" - this what you are likely to hear from the Church's, (unless, of course, it is commenting on horror-stories which emanate from competing religions, like the Osho community)
If you ever wanted proof that you can instill the weirdest beliefs in normally intelligent human beings if you manage to get hold of them young enough, here it is. And they are the intelligent ones: they finally did find out, most of them totally on their own and against the resistance of family, friends and their social environment.
Considering this and the picture of horror delivered by the naked facts, their present opinions on the Church are surprisingly balanced and fair-minded. The pro-birth control priest is mentioned there, as well as the liberal professor with his natural interpretation of Jesus' miracles. This is also where most of the women (no "scientific sample" as the author readily admits) finally settle: for a more humanistic interpretation of the Christian dogma. A giant leap forward.
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Last update: October 2. 1995