The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is a real organization made up of real Catholic leaders. Its Twitter handle is @USCCB.
The Twitter handle @USCCBP — with one extra letter that stands for “Parody” — typically riffs on the Church’s problems. Last month, for example, it tweeted, “What’s it like being a woman in the Church? LOL literally no one here knows.”
But on Wednesday, that parody account asked a simple question that some people seem to have taken all too seriously. The answers were more informative that anyone could have guessed.
In ONE tweet, tell us about the time you felt least at home in the Catholic Church.
— U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (parody) (@usccbp) March 31, 2021
When a bishop made up a false story about me, and spread it around online, knowing that I couldn't defend myself without breaking a confidence. The story was later rebutted by two other bishops, but the damage was done.
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) April 1, 2021
This is really lame compared to everyone else’s but I was iLA w 2 babies when @JimGaffigan was working on something & found the nearest parish to hotel for Mass. It was mostly elderly people & right at communion my newborn had a colic fit. Quickly walked outside until the screams
— Jeannie Gaffigan (@jeanniegaffigan) April 1, 2021
When a new pastor of a parish I’d been connected to since I was 16 rudely told me in public and in front of my children that he would not sign a Godparent form because I did not go to Mass in the middle of a pandemic. My 5 year old later asked if we were kicked out of the church.
— Kevin Ahern (@kevin_ahern) March 31, 2021
The local Knights of C signed a petition to get the pastor to fire me from volunteering as the Confirmation catechist because I wrote a newspaper column supporting my daughter coming out. I had already resigned from my paid parish DRE position months before.
— Valerie Schultz (@vsschultz1) March 31, 2021
When I went for surgery to remove the remains of our child from my body and my husband saw the medical term "abortion" on my records. It tore his soul. The church is horrible in how it treats (ignores) parents of children who never saw the light.
— Deeds (@DeedleDumm) March 31, 2021
The Sunday after Trump was elected when the priest said "let's all give thanks for prayers answered" and everyone around me clapped and cheered.
I wish I'd walked out then and never gone back.
— R Bratten Weiss (@Prof_RBW) March 31, 2021
When I was a kid altar serving for a bishop, and he told me to be careful with his crozier, because it was worth more than my daddy made in a year.
— Dill Brick (@eadillon1) March 31, 2021
When as a divorced woman – not remarried – I was asked to step down as a CCD teacher by a priest later identified as a credible child molester.
— Roberta Steve (@Bertie913) March 31, 2021
When I was told by several people (including a priest) that if I vote for Biden it was a mortal sin and I was unwelcome to take communion. I researched the Lutheran Church for weeks and still think about it.
— sblawyer (@stblawyer) March 31, 2021
When my parish refused to let a sister (nun) interpret my first communion for my deaf parents who use ASL because “it would be distracting”..
— Marie Coppola – Disability is Diversity (@MarieCoppola68) April 1, 2021
When I wrote a piece for America about why Catholics should take feminism seriously and a reader wrote to tell me I should shut up and spend more time on my knees.
— Kaya Oakes (@kayaoakes) March 31, 2021
Being told by my archdiocese in the middle of a pandemic with cases climbing that the dispensation for not attending mass was over and that it was a mortal sin not to attend. As a physician, I feel as though they were gambling with parishioners' lives.
— Janissa Muller (@jkayemu) March 31, 2021
When I heard a priest ranting "I can't stand this talk about mercy anymore. All we get from Pope Francis is all this charity and mercy stuff".
I later found out he liked to promise endless purgatory+burning in hell to the deceased at any funeral service he was allowed to hold.
— C.old N.ovember (@exilschwable) April 1, 2021
Even if the question was asked as a joke, the responses should be taken seriously by actual Church leaders. The Catholic hierarchy is doing more to push people away from the faith than the rest of us are doing to pull them in our direction.
(Thanks to Philip for the link)