Who are we?

Yes, "The Cranky Catholic" is a "we," more than a "me." (Just like the Holy Trinity, yo!)

We are a family who, through tragic genetic and personality quirks, are generally critical of most everything. This gets tiresome when applied to ourselves, but we have learned to live with the trauma.

Geographically, we are from the Northeastern US, and enough said about that for the present. Dad is a so-called Cradle Catholic who grew up in a Catholic neighborhood and attended Catholic grammar and high schools. Mom is a "convert" (a detestable term, but more about that another time) who has been a Catholic for about 8 years. Son 1 and Son 2 are a junior and freshman, respectively, in high school. We are a churchgoing family -- every week unless it is more stressful to go than not. Dad and Mom co-taught Sunday school for many years, and Dad is working on a masters degree in Catholic Lay Ministry - a smattering of philosophy, theology and Church history.

We'll decide when and how to use our names. Right now, that's still in the family debate stage.

We are to the left of most people politically and are probably best described as social justice Catholics, to distinguish us from the Rosary Catholics, single-issue (i.e., anti-abortion) Catholics, papolatrous Catholics, Lite Catholics, Easter/Christmas Catholics and Marian Catholics.

We think we represent a hitherto unrecognized branch of Catholicism that doesn't get a lot of attention. At least that's our little conceit.

Having a couple of young 'uns in the nest, we were really torqued by the recent priest sex abuse scandals. We have made an unspoken commitment to never let the Church off the hook for that heinous bit of skulduggery. We are devoted to keeping the Church accountable, denouncing its lies and obfuscations, and kicking its butt to keep it in line. As baptized Christians who share in the priestly, prophetic and kingly roles of Christ, it's the least we can do.

We too are the Church. And in spite of attempts to isolate and dismiss us, we are staying. We hope to be the institutional Church's worst nightmare: loudmouth lay people who don't give unearned respect to the clergy and aren't awed by authority.

Somehow, we have this crazy idea that this is what Jesus would do. After all, the only people that got him cranky belonged to institutional religion or wanted to. Like it or not, doing Jesus's work of making "churchies" miserable makes us feel all happy.

And now, to work...