In the wake of the latest revelations of abuse in the Catholic Church, I’ve struggled with the theological writing that once inspired me and mended the tears in my fabric of faith. But I find it’s not the theologians who persuade me now. It’s the artists. They remind me why I can’t just walk away—even those who have lost their faith. Isn’t that a strange way of putting it? “I lost my faith.” As if one might carelessly set it down somewhere like a set of keys. Yet that’s often how it happens. There’s no cataclysmic event, no reverse epiphany. Just a sense that belief slipped out of one’s grasp when it was right there a moment ago.
“And then,” as Sister Rose Pacatte writes in her biography of pop artist Corita Kent, “sometimes people just get tired.” Corita’s frustrations with the institutional church during her time as a Sister Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, catalogued in the unflinching Corita Kent: Gentle Revolutionary of the Heart (Liturgical Press), certainly played a role in her decision to leave it. ….