When my parents divorced, I had to choose between them, but it’s not what you think! Please allow me the chance to explain. Many years ago, my father and mother were married and loved each other. Through the years, their love for one another manifested in the conception of several children, of which I am the youngest. Over time, difficulties arose between them, which caused serious fights and shouting matches. In their marriage, my father was always faithful to my mother, although I’m sure he made some mistakes along the way. My mother, however, was not faithful to my father. Eventually, she chose to abandon the union they had together, which divided my sister and I from one another. I loved both of my parents, but, sadly, my sister and I were forced to choose between our parents at a very young age. Who did we choose? I chose to live with my father, while my sister chose to live with my mother, which led to our estrangement to this day. We now have two different lives and two different ideologies, each stemming from the parent we chose. The fact that we had to choose between our parents, and were forced to be given a different formation and upbringing, all because they couldn’t get along, is disappointing, to say the least. I feel as if we were forced to make a decision, and one with serious consequences, as merely ignorant children. This is something we should never have been forced to decide in the first place, and I imagine that most who read this will probably agree that children shouldn’t have to suffer because of the failures of their parents.
At this point, you probably think I’m talking about my actual father, mother and sister. Though everything I’ve said so far is true of my actual family, I wasn’t talking my family at all! I was allegorically referring to my father, the Catholic Church, and my mother, the Eastern Orthodox Church. Both of these parents are responsible for who I am today, even if one was more dominant in my formation. These two parents were once together, and though both of them had faults, it is true that one chose to break away from the other. Though I was forced to choose between them, since one has the fullness of the faith and the other partially abandoned it, I still love both of my parents. Yes, I will defend my father, in spite of his flaws, and say that what my mother did was wrong, but I’ve also come to a point in my life that, though I’ve been forced to choose which parent I will live with, I will not choose one to the exclusion of the other. Moreover, I will no longer be estranged to my sister and miss out on a relationship with my sibling, the Orthodox laity, simply because our parents, the Catholic and Orthodox bishops, cannot resolve their situation.