George Carlin once joked about Dover, Delaware, calling it “The city that means well.”  I have to believe that most of the time, we all mean well.  None of us intentionally sets out to ruin anyone else’s day, do we?  Well, not unless you’re Simon Cowell or Donald Trump, that is.

So here’s the big question. Does God give credit for good intentions?

With all of the clergy abuse scandals in the news lately, many people have issues with the Catholic church.

So I give a lot of credit to the diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, for surveying a few hundred “lapsed Catholics” and publicizing the results.  It’s the latter part that really won points from me.  They gave the honest answers from former parishioners to the press and let the world into their private cloister.

One complained about a “Pastor who crowned himself king and looks down on all.”  Others took issue with the focus on contraception and homosexuality. Most of the respondents were female and over fifty.

“That’s a critical demographic. If we’re losing the 53-year-old women, we risk losing their children and their grandchildren,” Charles Zech, the study’s co-author, said.

Now that they’ve released the results of this survey, the true test remains this:  what will the church do to change things?

Just as Lori said in her insightful post, “Female role models don’t exactly abound in the Catholic church.”  And as SueBE eloquently reminds us in her post, the whole point of religion is “to create communities of love.”  Maybe this outreach is a small step in the right direction.

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