The Burning of the Notre Dame – Disaster or Messenger of Truth?

In light of the recent fire that devastated the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019, there were many things that occurred in response to this event that felt very disturbing to me and highlight both the current and historical hypocrisies that exist in our business and geopolitical landscapes.

Soon after the blaze was extinguished and the damage was assessed, there was a groundswell of support to fund the rebuilding of the structure after the French president Emmanuel Macron promised to rebuild the structure within the next five years. Continue reading “The Burning of the Notre Dame – Disaster or Messenger of Truth?”

My Journey Back to God

I started out in life with a very warped notion of who or what is God. I understood from my Catholic upbringing that he was a man in a robe, sitting on a throne in an area of the sky called Heaven. I imagined him to be a bit like ‘big brother,’ observing our every move.

I understood from what was shared with me that he was someone who was judgemental and had the power to send people to hell for all eternity. Continue reading “My Journey Back to God”

The Catholic Church and Sexual Repression

I was brought up by a Catholic mother and a Church of England father and the main religion of the house was the Roman Catholic faith: we went to church every Sunday and I went to a Catholic Convent Boarding school in the UK, which was run by nuns. I was a boarder there from age six to thirteen and continued as a day girl until I was seventeen.

There’s one aspect of my upbringing that is really only now sinking in, and that is the sexual repression. Continue reading “The Catholic Church and Sexual Repression”

Being Gay

I grew up in a Catholic environment and at the age of 4 (yes, as early as that), I knew I was gay and that if I were to ever be in an intimate relationship with another, my natural expression was to do so with a woman. There was nothing sexual in this knowing as a young girl, just a simple knowing and that it felt super OK and natural, from inside of me. This was a beautiful time for I allowed myself to simply feel and be me for me. Continue reading “Being Gay”

Catholic Religion Today – is it a Healthy Option?

Is it healthy to be in a religion today? Or can being in a religion seriously damage our health? I have been exploring these questions with regards to my own relationship with the Catholic religion.

I was ‘recruited’ by the Catholic religion at birth and this was further cemented with my baptism and first holy communion, then by entering a Catholic boarding school at the tender age of six. Even though I made a choice to leave the religion when I was 18 because of the indoctrination I experienced, it has affected me all of my life. Continue reading “Catholic Religion Today – is it a Healthy Option?”

Secrecy and Sexual Abuse: Is the Confessional failing the Church and its Members?

Foreword: Sexual Abuse in the Church and by Christian ‘sects’ such as Christian Assemblies International (CAI) points to a highly disturbing and continuing trend for sexual abuse to be swept under the carpet and go unreported to police. In this second in a series of writings, former Uniting Church Minister Graeme Ness, reflects on the role of the Church and the Confessional in an age when denial and deceit continues to be the characteristic response of Church and Spiritual leaders to this most pressing issue.

When the Uniting Church in Australia (UCA) released a paper addressing issues of sexuality for discussion across the UCA in the mid 1990’s, one of the older ladies in one congregation said “I don’t know why we have this paper. We have never talked about these things, and I don’t want to talk about them now.”

A few years later I spent two hours with a lady in her 70’s – she was in hospital and was dying. The lady was very agitated and moving restlessly; the family couldn’t understand what she was worried about. After some time she told me she had been sexually abused by her stepfather when she was 11 and I was the first one she had told about it: that experience of sexual abuse had scarred her life impacting on all her relationships. The sad thing was that it was only as death came near that she talked, accepted that the sexual abuse was not her fault, and finally released the hurt and the tension in her body. Continue reading “Secrecy and Sexual Abuse: Is the Confessional failing the Church and its Members?”