By DJ Ramirez |

On Sunday, I went to mass, just as I have been doing every Sunday of my life. At mass, I have been taught that the Catholic Church is the only real church–the only place where I could find the truth.

In recent years, I have begun to doubt that.

I have not prayed a rosary in ages. I have not been to confession since Easter. I have not had communion since May.

The longer I wait, the more I dread going. Not because I feel guilty, but because I don’t. Mostly, I just feel angry. I feel lost.

I have so many questions and feelings that are difficult to put into words.

How can an institution that proclaims so ardently about the power of love, the power of acceptance, the power of God, be so hypocritical? How can the Church that preaches about truth and trust keep something so obviously evil a secret just to save face?

For the past few weeks, I have read article after article in The New York Times about the missteps of the Church and the coverups that have been going on for much longer than the Vatican would care to admit. The anti-Catholic sentiment that has been amplified by these scandals makes me uneasy.  Just last week, I saw an advertisement by the Freedom From Religion Foundation encouraging Catholics to leave the church.

Honestly, I am tired of it. Tired of the accusations, tired of the broken promises and tired of the lies.

I am tired of the Vatican telling us to pray. We have been praying. I am tired of them talking about fixing things instead of them actually doing so. What makes matters worse is all the infighting going on in Rome. There are many clerical officials who oppose Pope Francis and his vision for the Church, such as Archbishop Carlo María Vigano who wrote a letter accusing the Pope of covering up abuse. I don’t believe that Pope Francis is without fault, but continuously criticizing and accusing him does not solve anything.

I would feel strange not being Catholic. Despite all these dark twisted things, I know there is good. I know there is love. I know there is hope. My family has shown me that. My grandmother has been devoted to God and the Church for most of her life. I swear that woman is alive through her sheer faith and love for God. She passed on that faith to my mother, who passed it down to me.

Although I remain disappointed, I will get up next Sunday and I will go to mass.