Interview on March 7, 2022 with Alexis, who is studying history and physics, in the Library Quad at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California.
Do you consider yourself religious?
Alexis: I am a Roman Catholic. My family converted to Roman Catholicism at least 300 years ago.
Do you go to church?
Alexis: I stopped attending Mass during the pandemic. I haven’t gone to Mass for two years.
How about other sacraments? Have you or your family members been to confession, been baptized, or received other sacraments in the last couple years?
Alexis: I have a nephew who was baptized through a cathedral in the city where he was born last year.
When you say you’re Catholic, does that mean that you follow the teachings of the Catholic Church?
Alexis: No. I have sympathy for those practices of being a Roman Catholic. I didn’t choose to be a Catholic. It was my biological parents who decided to make me a Roman Catholic. So yes, I have sympathy for being a Roman Catholic, so I do follow those.
The Catholic Church teaches that abortion is a sin. Do you agree with that?
Alexis: Yes or no. There are a lot of points of view between individuals involved in incidents of abortion. So there’s going to be a lot of personal opinions of that subject.
Do you think it’s evil?
Alexis: No. From my point of view it’s not.
The Catholic Church teaches that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman. Do you agree with that?
Alexis: Well, there has been a lot of reformation into the religious institution of the Roman Catholic Church concerning the changes that occurred because of certain individuals that intervened with the practices, like Martin Luther, who wanted to reform the policies of the Church.
Are you saying that the Church no longer teaches that marriage is only between a man and a woman?
Alexis: No, not anymore.
Do you agree with the Church’s teaching that if an individual commits a grave sin and dies without repenting, he will go to hell?
Alexis: If an individual commits an act of evil, if he doesn’t confess his sin, he will either go to hell or purgatory, which is the tier level between the afterlife. Purgatory is when you confess some of the sins, but not all of them and hell is when you didn’t follow the process of the sin.
Do you believe people go to hell?
Alexis: For me personally, that’s a myth. That’s a myth of being transferred through a lower tier of life, like hell.
Do you believe in any sort of afterlife?
Alexis: Yes. I have some opinion that if I cease to exist in this modern world, I will potentially go through heaven or purgatory or lower.
Do you think purgatory is permanent?
Alexis: No. It’s a temporary residence of individuals that didn’t actually realize their confession or the issues that weren’t confessed through it.
When you say “confession,” do you mean just being sorry, or do you mean going to a priest and confessing your sins?
Alexis: You’re exposing your feelings to the priest of the minor incident that you committed.
Do you think it’s a good thing to be Catholic?
Alexis: I’m not going to object to other individuals of their official religion. I will just expose them to some of my views of life of being a Catholic, not criticize them. I want to be Catholic for my entire lifespan.