March 14th, 2013

mene mene tekel upharsin, religion

Habemus papam

So, speaking of religious beliefs I disagree with, how about that new pope? First off. let me admit to being in error: I believed the new pope would be an old white European man; instead, he is an old white South American man, albeit one born to Italian parents in a city well-known for affecting European airs. Nevertheless, he is technically not European, so I would have lost that bet.

My first thought on hearing that the new pope was a Jesuit who would call himself Francis was that if somewhere down the line a Franciscan is elected pope, he might feel obligated to return the favor by calling himself Ignatius. My brain works in strange ways.

My second, and to date last, thought about Pope Francis is that if he's serious about what he said in his first homily today, that the Roman Catholic Church needs to be more focused on the Gospels, that could be a very good thing for the church. A lot of what the church does, and most of what the church leadership does, is geared toward the preservation and protection of the church. A Roman Catholic Church that thinks more about, to draw some examples from the Gospels, feeding the hungry (Matthew 25:35) or treating people the way they would like to be treated (Matthew 7:12) or not holding themselves to be above condemnation while condemning others (Luke 6:37), and less about who can or can't be ordained (not mentioned in the Gospels) or birth control (not mentioned in the Gospels) or protecting its reputation by shielding pedophilic priests and their enablers from prosecution (not in the Gospels), is a church that will be healthier in the long run and better prepared to serve 21st century society.