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”
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?”
|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?”
|Foreword: Sexual Abuse in the Church and by Christian ‘sects’ such as Christian Assemblies International points to a highly disturbing and continuing trend for sexual abuse to be swept under the carpet and go unreported to police. In this powerful piece of writing, Graeme Ness, a former Uniting Church Minister, reflects on the poison that continues to fester in our communities while a culture of denial and deceit remains the characteristic response of Church and Spiritual leaders.|
FROM RELIGIOUS CHILD TO GIVING UP ON GOD
I was a deeply religious child – I felt the immense divinity surrounding me. I remember driving along in the backseat of our family car looking at trees in wonder of how they came to be. I used to pray to God at night because I could feel his presence around me and I wanted to honour that by saying his prayer.
And then I got older and started to see more… Continue reading “I am Worthy. Reclaiming Myself as a Son of God”
By Shannon Everest
RELIGION AT SCHOOL
For all of my schooling life I attended a Catholic school. It was the same school that my mum went to and also the same school that her mother attended.
Religion was a subject taught in different ways over the years as I made my way from Infant School to Primary, and then to High School. It was a compulsory part of the curriculum, the same as Maths, English and Science. We also attended a mass in church once a week, and when we had events like assemblies or graduations, we would do this in the church. We also celebrated all of the normal religious events in church, like Easter and Christmas. Continue reading “The Way of the Livingness – the Religion I’ve Always Known”