It seems a little ironic that I am currently working on my last issue of Contact (our Parish Newsletter) in the midst of all the controversy about the Catholic Church, particularly in Dublin. I have really enjoyed my time working as part of the large Parish team of volunteers who work on a wide variety of projects within the community. I am drawn to voluntary organisations ever since my time working for The Alzheimer Society of Ireland. It is within such organisations that you meet and work with such committed volunteers – people who give of their time and talents for the good of others. That in itself is most satisfying.

I have been involved with Contact (Parish Newsletter – keep up) since 2003 and have been its editor for the last two years. I took the decision to ‘retire’ mainly to free up some more time to devote to my own writing (or more correctly to indulge myself in an experiment to see if I am in fact a writer). The Christmas edition is to be my last one. And although I will be a little sad to no longer have regular contact with some very good people, it does seem fortuitous that it is now that I am moving away from formal work with the church. Because right now it is not somewhere I feel at all comfortable.

Like many Irish people (and parents in particular, I would imagine) I am very angry with ‘the church’ – by which I mean the organisational structure. I am horrified by the huge gap that has opened between ‘the faithful’ and the hierarchy. Irish Bishops just don’t seem to grasp the horror of their cover up and self protection which sacrificed innocent children for decades. I cannot understand how these supposed men of God, Bishops who have been named and criticised in the Murphy Report for their handling of paedophile priests are still in office and clearly feel no need to resign. These men, so called Princes of the Church, are as far away from the teaching of Jesus as it is possible to be.

And of course, I wonder if any of this could have happened if women had been included in the structure of the church, and if God had been given a female aspect. I doubt it.

But I don’t want this post to be a rant. Let me just say, I am angry. I am sad. But I am very glad to be cutting formal ties with the structure that is the Catholic Church.

And so as we come to the end of this year and first decade of the second millennium, it seems that many of the Mayan prophecies are coming to pass. The world is being cleansed of greed, evil, power and ego. And I am hopeful that as we head towards 2012, our world will have moved into a place of greater Awareness and Love. The transition is definitely very painful but the end result will be heaven on earth!

Anyone else want to share their feelings?