Log in

No account? Create an account

The times they are a-changing

pope-francis-rolling-stone-01292014-instagram-2Rolling Stone is a magazine published every two weeks that focuses on politics and popular culture. In recent years, the magazine has resumed its traditional mix of content, including in-depth political stories.

Thursday's edition has a very long article and front page photo of Pope Francis. What is that saying I wonder? "Cool"? Can't see poor Benedict XV1 making it. The magazine itself says "its contributing editor, Mark Binelli, learned “that Pope Francis is making a noticeable break from Vatican tradition, facing political issues head on and presenting a more all-inclusive attitude toward human rights – and that Catholics are appreciative.”

It presents the Pope as a man tied to religious tradition on one hand and fighting to bring the church into a new era with the other. As the cover (bottom right) suggests, "The times they are a-changin'."


I am still reserving judgement on him.

Every time I see a picture of Pope Francis it makes me think of the actor Jonathan Pryce. They could be one of those Seperated at Birth pictures. IMHO... lol.......
Hugs, Jon
I hope he isn't just acting.
I can't remember what it was off the top of my head, but there have been a couple of things said about him, that make me pause to lay praise on him.
I think it was something that he wasn't very supportive of the LGBT community when he was a cardinal.
I'm not sure from your post if you read the article or not.

Benedict XVI was largely seen fairly disastrous in the US. He was, according to most people I've talked to, far too conservative and traditionalist. His comments on making the church smaller were not welcomed apart from the ultra-traditionalist members who seem upset that so many American Catholics are pretty liberal and considered "cafeteria Catholics". A large number of people seemed to feel unwelcome at Church under him.

While quite a bit of the hierarchy of the Church in the US tends to be conservative, the flock is further to the left, especially on social issues. I've seen it mentioned in polls that around 50% of American Catholics are pro-choice, even more have no problem with contraception or female priests. A poll taken a few years ago showed that out of all of the major religions in the US, Catholics tended to be the most in favor of gay marriage becoming legal. The last poll I saw (in 2013) showed over half of US Catholics were in favor of marriage equality. All of these are things that the Church would frown on.

So, with a new Pope who at least seems more to the left (his stance on income inequality, his comments on a "gay lobby" in the Vatican" and the fact that he doesn't seem to be in bed with the ultra traditionalists.

I wonder how long this honeymoon with Pope Francis will last. It will probably get to the point where people start speaking up more about ordination of women or marriage equality and then he'll not bend on these issues and people will become disappointed.

As an aside, there was a satirical new story about Pope Francis a few months ago online. The article said that he had just concluded a super-secret Third Vatican Counsel and that the Pope had said that "all religions are true [religions]. Before realizing this was a hoax, a number of my Catholic friends online began celebrating. I'm sure there will be similar hoaxes about female priests or the pope sanctioning gay marriage and the people who don't realize it's a hoax will start cheering.

Thank you, much appreciated.
I don't know if it is "the left" or Francis is a-changing".

As a life-long Catholic I believe, as does Francis, that no matter how "left" he appears to go he CANNOT change those teachings you mention and remain a Catholic never mind Pope.
I am also a life-long Catholic and wouldn't really have a problem if he changed those things. Honestly, a sizable percentage of Catholics here would probably agree with me.

I kinda think that the Church will slowly be forced to do most of them (a total change on abortion is probably the least likely).
Isn't the pope infallible? If so, it seems he certainly could change those things.
Of course my faith in and love for God are at the core of my relationship. But how these are exercised is also important. To me, 'love' that makes no demands on me is questionable even in the human context.

Edited at 2014-02-01 10:43 (UTC)
Amen! And again i say, amen!
He's a good PR man, but that's it. Nothing has changed, nothing will change.
I wonder. His directive to Papal Nuncios, who select new bishops, recently was:

‘Be careful that the candidates are pastors close to the people, fathers and brothers, that they are gentle, patient and merciful, animated by inner poverty, the freedom of the Lord, and also by simplicity and austerity of life.’ And he goes on, ‘Above all, the bishop must watch over the flock, to keep watch, to imbue hope, that they have the sun and light in their hearts to lovingly support the plans God has for his people.’

Edited at 2014-02-01 11:09 (UTC)

'Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
Don't criticize
What you can't understand

Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'

Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend a hand
For the times they are a-changin' '

As you know, I think he needs to state a position on women's rights both within and outside the church and to get a grip on the curia. Until then, I too will reserve judgment.

But there'll always be something else . . .

The Holy Spirit breathes where it will
Very very little can not be changed
The church is a human institution created by humans in time
God can act as he/she will act with any group of humans in any time frame
To deny that is to limit God
If God is limited he/she is not God

For the catholic church all those hot button items are not scriptural but time created.
In my opinion, the first to go will be a celibate clergy. Historically some clergy was married into the middle ages. In recent time, Anglican clergy was invited to come in, stay ordained and bring their wives too. Priest shortage will make this a viable option.

Women priests will come. A case can be made both historically and scripturally.
Necessity will push it.

Contraception was approved by the commission in 1968 but Paul was too cowardly to enact the change. The Spirit has already spoken in the church . Women use contraception.

Marriage did not become a sacrament until the middle ages. Women were seen as vessels for procreation and marriage was a way of legitimatizing offspring.
Redefine marriage as union of individuals for the purposes of God and it is opened up to a combination of genders.

Abortion is tricky. It has always been practiced. But the embryo was not always seen as ensouled until later in pregnancy.

Francis may not change any of the above. The church moves slowly. But he is, like John, opening windows. He is allowing the Spirit to work.

All things happen in their course. Individuals need to be guided by the Spirit speaking in their conscience. (that's approved catholic teaching - Yes. it says "guided by the church" but a guide can take you in the wrong direction)

women's rights, the curia, etc.

No doubt these both need to change. And also the Vatican Bank where the emphasis is too much on BANK and not nearly enough on vatican.

It has been said that John Paul I wanted to change all these things plus the opposition to contraception. He lasted less than a month, we are not sure how he died. Murder is not entirely out of the question.

I think Francis is a good man, i would like to see him stay around for a while. But i will not complain if he moves slowly or if he takes on the corruption in the BANK first because reform of the bank would not go against traditional teaching and the lure of money would be less influential in other issues.
I had my hesitations when he was first brought into the office, but he does seem to be connecting on a more level field with the 'common man', rather than rising above to issue proclamations and edicts. If the church actually wants to grow and continue to be viable in this day and time, the church has to acknowledge that those who have differing beliefs, as well as those pushing for change within its strictures, are worthy of respect and that some of their ideas may well be worth implementation.

Of course, it won't affect me unless they re-establish the Inquisition, so I'm probably fairly safe now-a-days where I certainly wouldn't have been as little as 100 years ago.

The church has to understand that sex is not just for the purpose of procreation, that homosexuality is not the same as pedophilia, and that women can and should be ordained if they can meet the criteria of everything except external genitalia. Birth control is not a sin, condoms help to prevent the spread of disease as well as act as a birth control method, and LGBT people are people equally welcome under the church as heterosexuals. Let's see if Francis can continue what he started and truly embrace the people.

- Erulisse (one L)