Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Trustee Paulina Gonzalez Brito addresses the crowd at Berkeley City College’s 50th anniversary celebration. The event featured a block party along with a groundbreaking ceremony for the college’s new Milvia Street building. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
‘We’re still rising’: BCC celebrates 50th anniversary
College throws block party and breaks ground on new building
Sam O'Neil, Associate Editor • May 6, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
PCCDs classified employees pose for a pic at the first-ever professional development day for classified professionals. PCCD Chancellor Tammeil Gilkerson reflected on the event in her report to the Board of Trustees. (Source: PCCD)
Peralta’s leadership search, CCC public safety earmark, and “rumors” discussed at 4/9 meeting of PCCD Trustees
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • April 24, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024

    I’m a Shaky Catholic

    I need evidence the church is going to stand up to evil it preaches against. — By Alice Robinson

    Our Lady of Lourdes Church, located on the northeast side of Lake Merritt, has been a church since 1921. (photo by Michelle Snider)

    By Alice Robinson

    From my actions in the pew and in my life, you wouldn’t notice I’m a questioning Catholic. This fall, I even planned to go on a pilgrimage to visit ancient sites like St. Teresa’s hangout in Avila, Spain, but the trip was canceled due to low sign ups.

    I worry that the phrase “questioning Catholic” sounds like I’m afraid to take the leap to leave the church. In my mind there’s nothing worse than existing in the middle. There are lots of reasons I like the church-my religion is part of how I navigated life choices and battled depression in my 20’s. I’m now 41.

    For all of its good points like helping the poor and an unbending faith, Catholic rituals and beliefs at times suffocate me, or at the very least, don’t allow comfortable breath. Mass can feel like a conformist exercise where everyone repeats the same remarks in a monotonous voice.

    I believe women should have the right to an abortion. However, I’ve listened to many a ramble by priests proclaiming with conviction that life begins at conception, but I can’t help but question what a church brass that appoints only men to the pulpit can know about women’s bodies.

    Most Sundays I sit on the hard bench, smiling gamely, an examining-things Catholic but not yet comfortable making a full-blown exit.

    The Catholic Church is being confronted with new and severe scrutiny, due to the uncorking of abuses by a Pennsylvania grand jury report a couple of months ago. The report accuses 300 priests. I grapple to understand why this hasn’t already come to the surface.

    Major leaders and priests seem to have difficulty standing up to evil in their parishes. Since the report, Pope Francis has taken minimal steps to address the abuse.

    Clearly, the church is suffering from a “see no evil, hear no evil” mindset. Ignoring the rampant actions of these abusive priests will not improve the situation down the line or lessen chances of future abuse.

    Church leaders seem to think that existing in their own removed Vatican world will protect them from being held accountable. I’ve seen the abuse addressed in church on Sunday mornings. Comments about the topic always come with a muted tone instead of a fierce one.

    This is the way the Catholic Church has coiffed itself over many decades, softly — but there is often an undercurrent of embarrassment and cluelessness, instead of taking responsibility or promoting changes like allowing priests to marry.

    In Catholicism, we’re taught to revere priests, to assume they are good — for crying out loud, we call them “Father.” The inherent assumption that they are virtuous is part of the embedded problem.

    Catholicism has a lot of ancient practices that officials have never changed. But a lot of the archaic ways of thinking are no longer feasible in 2018. The natural tendencies to think all priests are good are preventing people on all levels from reporting and punishing abusers.

    My mom, Maria Robinson, a Texas Catholic, said with anger about offender priests, “They were supposed to protect people.” She is bugged by their abuse of power.

    As my brain is wired to do so, I’ll probably land in church this weekend. When it comes time to give money, I plan to put a note in the basket, explaining that I choose not to give because of the recent abuses. It’s unlikely that this action will cause a sensation, or that the priest will notice.

    But it feels like a daring statement to me. Maybe it’s OK to uniquely analyze this faith.

    And still be Catholic.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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