My position has always been that the Church belongs to all Catholics (the name means "universal" after all) and the best way to be an agent of change is to do so from within. It's our Church. Everyone deserves a voice and you can't have a voice if you're not there to be heard. Stay and be part of the conversation, even if the conversation is at times uncomfortable. We need all voices. We are a chorus of many parts, not a single note that drones in unison. We are a family and when families disagree, hopefully we don't just all run away because there are differing opinions.
Leaving doesn't help effect change as is proven by the hundreds of thousands (perhaps more?) who've already left (10% of all Americans identify themselves as former Catholics.). Leaving has happened in droves and it hasn't changed a thing.
So, anyway, I was ready to post some thoughts on the Elie article, but then I read this post by Franciscan Dan Horan over on his blog Giving Up Your Pew Is Not The Answer. He said what I was thinking better than I could. Let me know what you think. - FT
Resignation: that’s what American Catholics are feeling about our faith. We are resigned to the fact that so much in the Roman Catholic Church is broken and won’t be fixed anytime soon.
So if the pope can resign, we can, too. We should give up Catholicism en masse, if only for a time.
In traditional parlance, Benedict’s resignation leaves the Chair of St. Peter “vacant.” So I propose that American Catholics vacate the pews this weekend.
We should seize this opportunity to ask what is true in our faith, what it costs us in obfuscation and moral compromise, and what its telos, or end purpose, really is. And we should explore other religious traditions, which we understand poorly.
Franciscan Friar Daniel P. Horan, OFM, is the author of the blog Dating God.