While I was hoping for an American pope, I’m happy that he’s from the Americas! I’m even more thrilled that from what I’ve read Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio seems more attuned to the mainstream Catholic flock than his predecessor. The new pope shuns excesses, embraces public transportation, and condones contraception (which completely goes against traditional Catholic teaching). And as a Jesuit priest he believes in fostering interfaith relationships—a huge departure from Emeritus Pope Benedict who butted heads with other faith leaders.
Cardinal Bergoglio has chosen to be called Pope Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. There was a seagull sitting atop the Sistine Chapel chimney not too long before the white smoke billowed. Apparently a sign of the good news to come. Moreover, St. Francis is the patron saint of our beautiful city of San Francisco. How much are you loving this pope already?
Many people have seen this announcement of the new pope as an opportunity to state their hatred of the Catholic Church. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. I respect that, but as a Catholic, I can’t help but feel hurt.
I get it. I have vehemently criticized the Church’s handling of the sexual abuse against our children. It disgusts me and I pray for solutions and healing.
Yes, it’s disappointing that Pope Francis is against gay marriage, but we are not all perfect. We cannot expect our leaders to be 100% aligned with our beliefs. There are a lot of things I didn’t like about Obama, but did that keep me from voting for him? Hell no! Nor did I like the fact that Bill Clinton is a philandering sex addict, but does that mean I don’t respect him? Of course not! I love Bill!!!
Truth be told, Abraham Lincoln did not believe in the equality of black and whites. But does that mean, we don’t respect him as a leader who worked toward abolishing slavery? I won’t answer that questions as I hope you’re starting to understand my train of thought and can have some compassion for all of our leaders despite their faults!
Lastly, I take huge offense to people who blanket the Catholic Church as the devil in religious form. Someone said to me offhandedly today, not intending at all to be mean-spirited, “I didn’t think there were any good Catholics.”
Are you F*ing kidding me? Catholic people give. We cook meals for the poor. We tend to the sick. We donate our time and our money. Not just Catholics, but all religions. So don’t give me that crap that Catholics aren’t good people. Just go shove it.
And finally, it perturbs me when relapsed Catholics say they no longer believe in what the Church stands for. You clearly are not going to the right church! Do not let negative publicity and poor public relations keep you from spirituality that’s right for you. You must choose to find it!
I belong to a number of different parishes, but St. Agnes has a very telling statement on the home page of their website.
Welcome to St. Agnes Church
AND GRACIOUS HOSPITALITY.
Saint Agnes draws
WOMEN AND MEN,
YOUNG AND OLD,
GAY AND STRAIGHT,
To what some call
THE LAST CHANCE PARISH.
It is truly Catholic—
ALL ARE WELCOME!