There are times I feel like I am a character in a comic book when it comes to my faith. Like Superman, who is considered the representative of all the positive ideals of America, I feel that people see me like that with regards to my faith – that I am Catholic Woman, fearlessly swooping in and taking care of their Catholic needs until there’s a happy ending. That would be fine except for the following:
1. I don’t have any superpowers.
2. I don’t have a costume.
3. I’m not the positive embodiment of being Catholic.
To explain where my idea of “Catholic Woman” came from: a good number of my everyday friends and acquaintances are not Catholic, so I am called upon to answer questions about Catholicism. Most of these questions are along the lines of “Why do Catholics do/believe (fill in the blank)?” and I’ll happily answer those as best I can. In the course of answering the question, there is an assumption that I agree with everything the Church says, when in reality I don’t. So the question I face next becomes, “Well if you disagree with it, why are you still Catholic?”
I am still a Catholic – partly out of cultural identity, but also out of a true belief that despite my odds with the Church I still feel that this is where I belong. I believe I can make the Church stronger due to my disagreements than by leaving. However, from what I’ve gathered from others, is that if I identify as a Catholic, then I must (in their opinions) agree with everything.
Spare me the cape and tights, and while I’d like the superpowers I don’t think they’ll be coming anytime soon. I’m not “Catholic Woman” fearlessly flying into the ecumenical problems of the world and offering up the “right” Catholic answer to those in need. The beauty of the Catholic Church is that it is universal; there is no one embodiment. We are many, we are wide-ranging in looks and temperaments. Our faith, however it may come and whatever its strengths, is greater than any superhero ever could be.
Sarah Albertini-Bond fully confesses to not being a superhero but thinks superpowers would be cool and is not sure she could pull off a cape.