How the world’s greatest Catholic poet healed this ex-Catholic’s heart

Catholic Springtime

Originally at: http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/23/living/dreher-dante/index.html

by Rod Dreher

As a young man, I converted with great enthusiasm to Catholicism, and for 13 years was an ardent Catholic, eager to argue for the faith with all comers. The idea of not being a Catholic was utterly alien to me.

But spending four long years writing as a journalist about the sex abuse scandal destroyed my ability to believe in the Catholic Church’s claims. I didn’t lose my faith suddenly; it was torn from me bit by bit, like a torturer ripping out his victim’s fingernails.

I had never believed that the Catholic Church (or any church) was perfect, and had full confidence that the arguments for Catholicism would enable me to withstand any challenge.

But nothing prepared me for the things I learned in writing about the scandal — the cruelty, the mendacity, the cynicism of the clergy. I eventually lost the ability to believe…

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