About Me

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Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Stuck In The Middle

A Pushmi-Pullyu

It is very difficult to be both a progressive thinker and a faithful Catholic.  To be both pro-life and a Democrat.  To be both a feminist and to be pro-life.

One one hand, I am opposed to the HHS Mandate that will change the definition of "Church" so that Catholic hospitals, universities and social service agencies will be required to provide health insurance that will cover contraception.  But on the other, I am fully supportive of the Affordable Health Care Act, which will provide much needed health insurance to previously uninsurable folks like my 18 year old nephew with Juvenile Onset Diabetes.

On one hand, I am completely in favor of the Democratic platform for more jobs, a more fair tax structure, and increased help for the poor and marginalized.  On the other hand, the Democratic platform is strongly in favor of keeping abortion legal.  I usually vote Democrat, however, because the Republican platform is not in keeping with the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, which includes a preferential option for the poor (except for their anti-abortion stance).

On the one hand, I fully support women's rights in the home, society and the workplace, but on the other hand, I am not fully convinced that women should be ordained priests in the Roman Catholic Church.  

I had two very difficult conversations recently - one last night and one this morning.  The one last night was with two religious sisters who are upset about an article that Charles wrote recently, about the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's recent assessment about the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  I was saying "apples, apples, apples", and they were saying "oranges, oranges, oranges".  It pretty much went nowhere, and we agreed to disagree.

The other conversation was this morning, with my best friend.  We usually don't talk about religion - she was raised Catholic, but fell away and now practices Buddhism.  We usually don't talk about politics - she is a extreme liberal and I am, well, it's hard to describe (see above).  

But, I needed to talk about the conversation last night, and how hard it is to express what I believe.  We ended up talking about how women religious, being women, are being oppressed by the male Roman Catholic hierarchy (her opinion), and how regardless of the women religious leaders' personal opinions about women's ordination, they are required to uphold Catholic teaching (mine).  She kept saying "apples, apples, apples", and I kept saying "oranges, oranges, oranges", until I said, "I can't do this anymore", and left.

It has been a hard couple of days.

Pray for me.


  1. OH Paula! We are sisters. Just to further complicate the matter, I strongly believe the government has no business saying who we should marry. That makes me a prolife, progayrights catholic and a registered Democrat! At the same time, I do not consider myself a "liberal Catholic;" I support the Magisterium and I embrace church doctrine.

  2. I will pray for you, certainly. I think the Democratic platform has gotten itself twisted a lot in the last few years, so I can understand your dilemma. In the end, you have to decide which issues are most important to you in this upcoming election and who would best represent your core beliefs.

    I am a proud conservative and have reaffirmed my values countless times throughout my life. So I align myself predominately with the Republican party. Unfortunately, I believe that both parties have led this great nation down the path of financial ruin due to overspending. I fear that our best years are now behind us and we may never get out of the gigantic hole that has been dug.


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