Hello, everyone! It is my first time here...didn't know -exactly- where to post, but I guess the youth related section will do it (I'm still young, after all!). So. What's the matter? While -I AM- Christian and all, it's a few years I don't frequent churches. Minus, of course, extraordinaire cases (A friend's father funeral, for one.). And honestly, I don't feel particularly guilty. But before you misjudge my choice, I will tell you of an episode wich opened my eyes... It happened...7? 6 years ago, maybe. We were exiting from a funeral... I remember there was a man near the graveyard's entrance. That man had lost an arm... was a Filipino, and was begging for FOOD. Not even money...FOOD. Now, what had shocked me is that no one, not even the PRIEST had even given him a GLANCE. Like, he was not even there. Only my father listened and helped him. Now, I live in a small town, in a region wich, in general, is still a bit conservative towards strangers (North Italy). But still. That man was a PERSON. His same fate could happen to any of us, anytime. Those people, my fellow countrymen, had just listened to words of the Bible, of how we must help those in need... yet had done NOTHING. And thus, I was led to think... what's the point of a church? To act as a place of spiritual communion, was my immediate answer. For everyone to hear the words of the Bible and try to make the world a better place... But since that day, I opened my eyes. The church was full of hypocrisy. The same people who, outside, were praising the Lord here and there, smiling and all, in their houses could turn out to be... not-so-nice people, with some inclinations towards racism. Our old priest was possibly one of the few reasons I actually enjoyed the church... he was a feets-on-earth, incredibly passionate and funny person, who lived WITH the people, taking care of ANYONE's problems. Our town's fraction priest was a very close youth friend of Pope Vojtyla (His house has even a golden plate to commemorate the fact...). He sometimes came to our town's church, but I remember watching one of his functions. He was your very-old yet very-combatant kind man, who took no half-measures to help people out, even if that meant taking care of someone's else crops because the owner was sic or away. Not so the new priest. He's young, yet seemingly knows NOTHING of the town. And he works here since 8 years or so. Even my father, who held all of our previous priests in high respect (They deserved it, during fascism we had a priest doing catechism hid from persecutions. He was a former army general, and took his risks.) stopped going to church. In the last years, I've seen the priest only once, in the bank. He looked at me with extremely cold eyes, as if I was robbing or something, or if I was a criminal. Even when I saluted him, he did not react. Now tell me, what sort of HOLY man is he, if he doesn't even know good manners! I'm not the only one, in this situation, I reckon. I live my life at the best I can, respecting the christian guidelines. I sincerely believe we're all brothers and sisters in this world, and that everyone is worthy of receiving, and everyone is able to give help and love to others. Thus, I believe that's what matter in a christian: if you're close to Jesus, it's because of your actions, not because you listened to somebody else's interpretation of the bible many times in a week. Not all my countrymen all like that, mind you -- many are in fact very nice people. But I can't help but to think, going to church is a bit of a hypocritical action at the moment... Am I wrong? Thanks for reading the wall of text!