The Aquinian

Pope Francis, yay or nay?

Pope Francis in March, 2013 (presidencia.gov.ar/ Wikimedia Commons)

I’m not a religious person, but I do see some of the good that comes from religion. Recently, Pope Francis confessed he goes to confession every two weeks. Francis claims even priests and the pope are sinners, BBC reports, and all should seek reconciliation. Is the pope an important figure in the modern age? Some say yes, some say no. I say he’s trying to make the Vatican relevant once more.

Francis is the first Jesuit pope, which means he took a vow of poverty upon entering into the church. He’s taken this vow very seriously. He preaches the need for less greed in the world, especially in his disgust over the Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, dubbed “bishop of bling” by BBC, and his overspending scandal.

The majority of the Catholic Church following  is now coming from impoverished nations, and alleviating poverty is correlated with this. But not everything about Pope Francis is good, and not everything he has done has been “confessed.”

First, Francis made an interesting comment about gay people in the Church. According to the BBC, he said, “that homosexual acts were sinful, but homosexual orientation was not.” Essentially, you can be gay in the Catholic Church, as long as you do not express yourself. Second, Francis has been accused of colluding with the Military Junta in Argentina, supposedly looking the other way when two priests were taken by the Junta and killed. Third, BBC reports that during his time in Argentina he denounced the adoption of children by gay couples.

Pope Francis has been seen as a hard-line conservative when it comes to sexual matters, a moderate when it came to economic matters, and even a moderate when it comes to religious matters. By religious matters I refer to what he said about non-Christians being allowed into heaven, even those who have no faith at all, reported by the Independent. This of course is a blatant attempt to invite those who have left the church to come back, those who will never go to church to see the Catholic Church in a new light, and those of other faiths to feel accepted by Catholicism. Although, saying anyone can go to heaven may not be the nice a gesture it seems. It can be construed as an insult to non-Christians, and non- believers.

Pope Francis is making an effort to do what he can under the constraints of the draconian Catholic Church, and I respect that, somewhat. To have a more compassionate, more accepting, more humble Catholic Church would be nice. Whether this will matter in a world becoming more secular and industrialized, whatever faith, or lack of faith you may align yourself with, you can accept that the less hate being spewed from the Vatican is a good thing, not a bad thing.

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