Friday, March 15, 2013

A Few More Thoughts on the New Pope

The new Pope seems theologically conservative.  I don't expect to see a change in the church's stands on contraception, ordination of women, marriage for priests, same ses marriage, etc.  But he is described as a person who does not put himself above others.  He asked for the congregation to pray for him before he blessed them.  He took Francis as a name--in honor of someone who gave up riches to lead a simple life.  He took public transit back in Argentina.  He cooked for himself.  He followed soccer.  He is reported to get up at 4:30 AM.  It seems that his focus may be more on social justice issues--which is a lot of what Jesus focused on in his teachings.

So, while I may still have some views that diverge with the church and the pontiff, I believe that there is a strong possibility that I will feel a greater connection.  That I could imagine myself getting to know this Pope.  If we go back to the description of some presidential candidates past--I could imagine sitting and having a drink with him in ways that would have been hard to imagine with other recent Popes.

Yes, he is 76.  As a result, his tenure as Pope is not likely to be the longest.  But perhaps given what I have mentioned above and all the "firsts" about this Pope, it is a sign of a different focus to come.  We shall see.  

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