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I am a priest of a Russian Orthodox church. Unlike ministers of Roman Catholic and Protestant (and wealthy Orthodox) churches, I have a regular job - that of a technical writer. I am also a hospital chaplain. My passion has always been in the fight for social justice. I left the Catholic church when Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope. For most of my Catholic life (which is three quarters of my life), I bit my tongue and kept silent in public (though not in private) when the church made decisions and policies that ran counter to my progressive conscience. Friends counseled me to remain and change the church "from within". I did so for many years and in the process, lost my integrity. Finally, after what I saw as another rigged "election" by the conservatives who control the hierarchy (is there any other type with these people?) and the election of Ratzinger, I left.

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