Pope Francis May Not Be The Pope We Want, But He’s The Pope We Need

francisNormally, I tend to defer to Arik Bjorn when it comes to writing about matters of religion, but with the most recent proclamation by the Pope, I am going to have to make an exception to that rule.

Every time a new Pope is elected by the conclave of cardinals, we see a number of different reactions (except when Cardinal Ratzinger was elected — I don’t think anyone had high expectations for him).

First, there’s indifference. I’m pretty sure a lot of people fit into this category. It’s the, “I really could care less, dude, religion is a joke” apathy that comes from many folks I know. I totally get it, but there’s a reason why you should at least pay attention. We’ll get to that in a little bit.

Second, you have a lot of people who believe that no matter what, the Church is incapable of changing its ways.

Third, there’s the high hopes people. Since we (myself included) aren’t a part of it, we’ll just roll our eyes at this group. Whenever black smoke comes out of that chimney, it’s like a Catholic version of Beatlemania. Liberal Catholics hope that the new guy will finally lift the ban on women as priests, stop saying that contraception is a sin and leave gay people alone. Conservative Catholics hope that the new resident of the Vatican apartment will reverse the Second Vatican Council, make all masses Latin again and for the love of God, get those altar girls back in the pews where they belong.

I think Pope Francis (the first Pope to ever take Francis as a name) really got liberal people in category three’s hearts all aflutter with thoughts of a Church that they’ve always wanted. How nice would it be to have coffee and donuts in the church hall after Mass with that lovely gay couple down the street? It would be a welcome change of pace to sit in your pew on Sunday morning without feeling guilty about the birth control you’re on, wouldn’t it?

If you were hoping for any of the above, it’s not going to happen. If you thought there was a chance that your daughter could grow up and be a priest, don’t hold your breath. The Catholic Church is not going to change its position on any of these things any time soon, if ever. This is not “Extreme Makeover – Vatican Edition.”

Why should those of us who aren’t Catholics actually care what the Pope says or what the Church’s doctrines are? Because approximately one-sixth of the world’s population and one-fourth of the US population is Catholic. While quite a few Catholics (especially those in Europe and North America) don’t live their lives in lockstep with Church teachings, there are many (members of my own family included) who do.

Pope Francis isn’t changing the Church’s rules, he’s just softening the tone. He is moving the primary focus away from obsessing about people’s sexuality and placing it instead on the poor. If we can get 1/6 of the world’s population and a quarter of the US population to care more about economic justice and less about keeping people from getting contraception, that’s a huge accomplishment. This will never be the Church you want, but at least for a little while, this may just be the Church (and Pope) we need.

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  • Bo_Regard

    Militant, fanatical, wild-eyed, hellbent, pro-abortionists best not get their hopes up. Murder is still murder.

    • Pipercat

      … and logical fallacies are still illogical.

    • Michael Siever

      Ugh, I get so sick of this nonsense. Abortion bans are literally as effective at preventing abortion as gun control laws are at preventing gun deaths and voter ID laws are at preventing voter fraud. People are still going to get abortions, no matter what happens with abortion laws, so we might as well keep them safe and legal. And I hate it when absolutists like you say “You’re either pro-life or pro-baby-murder! Choose the right side!” bullshit. If anything, we are more pro-life than you are, since we look out for the mother’s health, try to make contraception affordable and easily accessible. But, oh no, “Contraception is murder, too!” according to you fetaphiles, because it cheats nature. Yes, because the rhythm method works so effectively at birth control…not! And women naturally ovulate and miscarry eggs hundreds of times in their lives, so their bodies naturally induce abortions throughout most of their fertile years.

      • Pipercat

        Fetaphiles are cheese enthusiasts. How about fetuphiles? 🙂

      • Michael Siever

        Fixed! Thanks!

      • Bo_Regard

        You were a fetus once… and you evidently survived…

    • HiVeloCT

      Want to bet that there aren’t more children already born being killed by bad parents than there are abortions? How many unwanted kids have you adopted? Got anything to offer besides whining?

      • Bo_Regard

        Does that justify killing them? You and Adolf Hitler think alike.

      • Michael Siever

        You lose the argument by default, according to Godwin’s law…

      • Bo_Regard

        Nonsense. I simply responded to ONE of your replies. This is far short of the necessary longer thread dialogue needed to support “Goodwin’s Theory.” Your comment was disturbingly reflective of Himmler’s and Goebbels’ attitude on who to murder and who to not murder.

      • Michael Siever

        It doesn’t matter how long the argument was. You lost it the second you mentioned Hitler. The Nazi’s were pro-sterilization, as in wanting to robbing certain women of their reproductive rights and cycles altogether. Forcing women seeking them to do it off the grid in back alleys with coat hangers risks their lives, as well as their reproductive systems. We try to save the women’s lives, as well as keeping them from going sterile, so like I said, ironically, the pro-choice movement is probably more pro-life than the “Let’s just ban abortion from taking place in a doctor’s office, murder said doctors to prevent them from providing abortions, slut shame single mom’s and their bastard children, and never hold the fathers/rapists/men accountable for why there are women seeking abortions in the first place” pro-birth pro-lifers that you side with.

      • Bo_Regard

        No one is forcing anyone to kill an unborn child. Murder is illegal, yet people still do commit it. Abortion should in the vast majority of cases (99%) should be illegal and abortionist prosecuted for murder. Hitler also dealt with “the undesirables, the inconvenient, and the mutants” by killing many of them before and after birth.Unborn children should be brought to term. If not, then the mother ought to be prosecuted for first degree murder. No child would be shamed if born. That child would be rescued. The child who survived should be taken away from its mother due to her child neglect and endangerment. Fathers need to be hunted down and ordered to pay up which is very possible. You take the quick and easy way out. Just like Hitler did.

      • Michael Siever

        Chew on this, big guy: 33% of men court-ordered to pay child support in Travis County (Austin), Texas don’t make their payments, period. God knows what it’s like in the rest of the USA. Only 35% of infants placed for adoption get adopted out. That number goes down to 14% for children over 5 years of age. Most people don’t want to adopt outside their race, either, so that plays a huge factor in it. And they only want to adopt newborn babies, not 5-year-olds or 10-year-olds. Many men don’t want to date single mothers because they don’t want to raise some other guy’s kids. So, just how many kids have you adopted? How many single mothers have you dated? We live in a very shallow society, where we will not settle for taking things that aren’t in the condition we want them to be. Once you come to terms with that, you’ll fall off of your soapbox.

      • Bo_Regard

        I am not a “big guy”. I am a black Jewish lesbian. I do not appreciate your stereotyping. My first name is Bohemia.

    • Edward Baker

      Tell that to the Bushes who Murdered around 1,000,000 people with their 3 wars …….

  • Sam Brosenberg

    Batman Pope!

  • Edward Baker

    Anyone in this day and age that still believes in myths Cant be trusted …
    Reality and Science Rules!!!!

    • Bo_Regard

      LOL… Quack scientists are attempting to evolve the Scientific method into a Religion. Science is based on relative theories, but some are believing that they are absolute scientific facts. Atheists have their gods.

      • OakenTruncheon

        I like Gould’s definition of science, as the systematic reduction of error.

      • Bo_Regard

        So much for induction.

      • OakenTruncheon

        How so? What do imagine the purposes of challenges and verifications to be?

      • Edward Baker

        The Atheists are why you are still alive . Vaccines eliminating polio,smallpox ,diphtheria, Measles ,Mumps ,rubella ,typhoid….you`re an Idiot Scientists dont Have gods …..Just Facts…..They put us on the moon while someone`s god flew planes into the Twin towers ..Where was your god to stop theirs ?

      • Bo_Regard

        Stalin, Mao, Pot, … all atheist… they killed tens of millions. Along with Hitler they made the 20th century the worst century in human history.

      • Morrison

        For someone who professes to be as knowledgeable as you do, it’s remarkable how you seem to have no grasp on what the “straw man fallacy” is.

      • Gary Menten

        Hitler was a baptized Catholic who never renounced his religion. The agents who carried out his genocidal acts were almost all Christians of one denomination or another.
        Try again….but this time try bringing cogent facts to the table.

      • Gary Menten

        You are so full of it you just can’t comprehend the sheer idiocy of what you just wrote. Scientific method is the exact opposite of religion. Two, science is not based on relative theories, it is based on observation and scientific method. Three, every scientist in the world knows that he could be wrong. This is why science works. Anything you put forward is constantly being tested, however when a hypothesis is disproved, it is almost always by other scientists using scientific method. No scientific theory has ever been disproved by scripture or clerics spouting religious dogma. The quacks are the ones holding holy books.

    • Guy_in_Kingston

      You mean like the hoax of climate change?…..yeah I agree.

      • Edward Baker

        Its right in front of you and you cant see it …….Feel sorry for you pal ….Its october and its 80 degrees up here ….

      • Guy_in_Kingston

        Just a hoax…nothing more. Sorry you got suckered.

      • Stefano Fava

        Republican or junkie/tinfoilhatsoldier spotted, shots fired. Missed. RELOAD SOLDIER! ;:S

    • OakenTruncheon

      Go read Weber, Jung, Campbell and his student Derens. There will be a quiz. After that we will peruse some advanced coursework on the design and assessment of advertising and marketing campaigns. If there is still time, we will have a look at military psyops protocols.

      • OakenTruncheon

        Then again, you still have a point with that trust thing.

    • Bo_Regard

      One should really not treat Science as a Religion.

      • jchastn

        One should not treat religion with anything but utter contempt. Fairy tale beliefs in neverwonderland. Human adults should grow up and know better. Learn science. Learn Math. Learn language arts. Learn valuable subjects. Reject the lies and hatred of churches. Let the natural world be your church. Be your own inspiration.

      • Gary Menten

        No serious scientist does. Go home.

      • Bo_Regard

        But Atheists do.. and go home.

      • Gary Menten

        Wrong.

  • Rita Jane Clark-Smith

    This Pope is truly a gift from God.

  • Cleome

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It’s a beginning.

  • Christine Holmstock

    love this pope. he is truly a wonderful man, not trying to be a wonderful man. he has a warm smile, a heartfelt greeting, and a person who will meet you on an level. god bless pope francis.