Thank you for this entire post. I was raised a catholic, and I ran away, screaming, the nanosecond I possibly could. I received some comfort from the fact that my friend's father told me he understood completely. He admitted that "the catholic church has nothing to offer a young woman...in fact, its obsolete tenants force many women away". He and his wife will be thrilled that this man is leaving. They cringed when he was chosen, saying that his hard line would only drive more people away. Anyway, the only way to bring many of those who have left back would be to totally overhaul the entire system. Allow priests (and nuns) to marry so that their "advice" for people dealing with family issues might actually mean something. Allow birth control. Accept homosexuals. Accept women as equals instead of brood mares. And that is just the beginning. But none of this will ever happen. Especially since they are going out of their way to be even more hardline so they can correct the vision of the "progressive" John Paul !!. UGH.