Let’s begin this post with some family history. My mother grew up in a conservative family as well as during the liberalizing sixties and seventies. Like the little hippies they were/are, she and her siblings protested and found themselves liberal. My father, a big hippie from a conservative family, became a libertarian. His family is still very conservative. They never pressured my brother and me to feel one way or pour facts and figures of why a leader was good/bad. James and I made our own decisions, and we are both proudly liberal (woah I betcha couldn’t guess that).
Catholic school, however, if you didn’t know, is majority conservative. Eighth grade at St. Edward’s, I remember more support for my main man Obama, but that might have been because he was so new and hype (or maybe they were just really cool people). We cheered when he won. But then I came to Saint Gertrude and it was like death glares to anyone who would speak of the president in a good light (Paige didn’t mind, however). I met a few other liberals, and we clung to each other like the world depended on it. But most of those liberals were Protestant, and the number of other liberal Catholics was so much smaller, and they’re still hard to find here (maybe I should check out Catholic Campus Ministry).
As the lazy liberals we are, we never go to church (Honestly, I can count the number of masses outside of school I’ve been to in the past few years on both hands). School taught me to always go to Church, and I tried to hide the fact that I didn’t attend weekly masses like my peers as a little kid. It wasn’t until I was older and understood why-we don’t agree with the Church on a number of platforms, gay rights, pro-choice, etc. The traditionalism of the Church didn’t feel right to us, but we do good deeds, love everyone, while believing in and praising Jesus Christ in our lives.
Enter Pope Francis (add a holy “ahhhh” from a choir). In case you didn’t know about Catholic’s newest sweetheart, he chooses to not live in the papal suite, follows the simple life, and preaches about an inclusive Church, open to us all. He’s a living reminder of St. Francis of Assisi, who I have a special affection for since he was a friend of St. Clare and I did my saint report on her in first grade.
So, have you heard what he said? About gay rights, abortion, and contraceptives? The Church is too obsessed and if they don’t lay off, things will tumble “like a house of cards”.
This man is going to bring us to the twenty-first century. Finally, a pope on the left side! May I add that the Church teaches that the pope is infallible? That means, because he holds such a divine position, he cannot make any mistakes. (What about past popes who said otherwise?)
I’m so excited to see what else this humble man has to offer. He and I think similarly, so I’m excited that someone else Catholic agrees with me. We may never find out why Pope Benedict left the papacy, but I believe that things happen for a reason, and now we have Francis. I’ve heard that many Catholics thought the Church was out of touch with society, and Francis will bring it back. Now, if you excuse me, I’m going to go sit at my mailbox and wait for the next Catholic Virginian to see what that typically conservative newsletter has to say about my new best friend.
“If a person is gay and seeks the Lord and is of good will, who I am to judge him?” – Pope Francis