My father is Catholic. I was baptized Catholic. I am dating a Catholic. All that being said. Those who are close to me, know that I am generally, pretty pissed at Catholicism in general. Don't get me wrong, the religion I converted to (Lutheran) not that much better. But at least there I get the feeling that there is some effort to be progressive. Women as pastors etc, nobody is refused communion depending on who THEY vote for.
I have had long talks about this with my boyfriend, father and my friend Phil, who's in seminary on his way to becoming a priest. I get angry often at what I perceive to be "moral authority" from Catholic leaders. They condemn any woman who needs an abortion but yet their church history is full of shuffling around pedophiles. Talk about protecting the innocent children.
Women are given bogus reasons for not being allowed to enter the priesthood (well Jesus and his disciples were all men-- first of all not every biblical scholar agrees with that, second of all, Jesus and his disciples were all Jews. Does that mean only Jews can lead mass?) Also the harping on no contraception obviously grates against my beliefs. If you're a Catholic and want to use natural family planning-- more power to you. That's your right and belief but stop telling countries to vote the same way you do. The days when Vatican governed the world are over. Stick to the people who show up for service at your church and leave the rest of us alone.
All that being said. Keep a watchful eye on what is going on right now. The church may be heading in the right direction as they begin to discuss whether or not condoms should be allowed.
By their logic, contraception is bad because it acts like an abortifacient (well I completely disagree but it's beside the point) because they believe sperm + egg meeting = baby. Okay, but condoms don't work like that, if a condom breaks and sperm and egg meet there is nothing but natural causes which could stop a fetus from forming. Their beef against condoms is that it could encourage pre-martial sex. Well, everything in this world encourages pre-marital sex. And when there are sex-workers, or child brides involved, their choices are limited. As one Vatican official brought up, It cannot be fair if a wife is married to a man who is HIV positive to deny her a condom to protect herself. Yeah, I would agree.
Hopefully correct decisions can be made to stem the global epidemic of AIDS. Since so many are loyal followers of the Catholic faith, this could be a major victory.