So yesterday we saw white smoke and we waited with bated breath to see who the new Pope would be…Pope Francis. I am not Catholic so it actually has very little impact on my personal life and if you’ve read my previous posts, you know I’m not a fan of the Catholic church’s policies and practices. However I will start with some positives: the Pope is not European. I think this in fact a move in the right direction. According to the Catholic Church, 4 out of 10 Catholics are Latin American. Having a voice from a marginalized group may very well create a space for changes in how the Catholic church has dealt with sexual abuse allegations. Also, Pope Francis has a history of creating programs to help the poor and marginalized. It would be great to see the Catholic Church take an active role in helping end poverty worldwide. Historically, the Catholic Church has lobbied for the poor and marginalized and has usually been on the “right” side of justice. It is a step in the right direction. The first order of business for the Pope should be to get rid of all the corruption and pedophiles…that task is probably more daunting than we can imagine.
For my negatives, this Pope still has conservative views concerning marrying of priests, ordaining women, abortion, and gay marriage. So none of that will be addressed during his papacy. The trade offs we make :).
This is what New York Times had to say about the election of the new Pope.
The new pope, known for his simple, pastoral ways and his connection to the poor, is in some ways a contrast to his predecessor, Benedict XVI, an aloof theologian who resigned the office — the first pope to do so in 598 years — saying he no longer felt up to the rigors of the job.
But Francis shares Benedict’s core doctrinal positions and is not considered likely to push changes in positions like the church’s ban on the ordination of women as priests or its strict opposition to abortion and gay marriage.
Do you think the Pope will make the necessary changes? Will the Catholic Church go back to being a dominant voice in society?