It is not just the spiritual needs of the people being ministered to in the countries Pope Francis is visiting this month during his tour through South America. While many will be uplifted spiritually from the Pontiff’s presence, he is also hoping to make political peace.
Francis is starting his visit in Ecuador where over a million of the faithful gathered along the highway between the airport and the capitol city Quito. Car loads and party buses filled to the maximum as well as those on foot congregated the avenues hoping to get a glimpse of Francis in his Popemobile. Not even a St Catharines denture clinic can keep it’s patients from travelling to see the pope between appointments.
Our Faith is our lifeline in this crazy world. When we lift our belief level with bridge cranes of hopes and dreams, we feel loved by God and He knows best, then it’s easier to live with the challenges that life doles out on a regular basis.
Towing the line within a strict Catholic doctrine and staying progressive can sometimes be a test of our Faith. While we wait for the Church to open up to more progressive thinking we must stay true to Holy Dogma. As a devoted practitioner one would not want to risk loosing good standing as a Catholic. The sacraments would be denied us.
Holy Communion would be forbidden and burial in a Catholic cemetery not allowed. Two tenets held near and dear to most practicing Catholics. Nonetheless, there have been many. Perhaps the most recognizable public person of recent times to have been excommunicated for disobeying the laws of the Church was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
Pope Francis 1 is a heck of a guy. He speaks his mind. Some would prefer he didn’t, but overall the public’s’ reaction to his transparency has been one of appreciation and approval. It seems that The Bishop of Rome doesn’t do well when it comes to catering to bureaucratic dictates. He purposefully circumvents the papal staff’s censorship preferring to tell it like he sees it. Without the inner circle monitoring his every word he has become known as the Vicar of Christ who may surprise you. This is refreshing and in this author’s opinion makes him even more interesting.
It started when he first took the office and chose 8 different titles, none of which was Pope. He is still referred to as Pope Francis 1, but officially he refused the title in favor of: Vicar of Jesus Christ, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Primate of Italy, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Bishop of Rome, and Servant of the Servants of God. He favored these titles over Pope because they mean more to him for what they actually mean, whereas Pope simply is the Italian endearment for “papa’. It is not a formal title as much as it is a colloquial term.
What is going on with the Church and their stance on gay marriage? Has it changed?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of equal rights for gays. It starts with the right to marry and receive all the spousal benefits, celebrations, limo or party bus rides and general acceptance that one would receive in a traditional heterosexual marriage.
These rights extend to include adoption and parenting along with equal access to assisted reproductive technology. Naturally there is a lot of opposition from conservative political and religious groups, but where is the Roman Catholic Church going to plant its feet?