I am a liberal/progressive Roman Catholic. I believe in birth control (chemical and/or barrier methods) for family planning, that anyone called to religious service be permitted to serve as priests and nuns (men or women) and they should marry whomever they want, and that transparency is the best solution to corruption. Because of these views, I am not considered a “real” Catholic by some. They can kiss my royal Panamanian ass.
However, I have received the sacraments of Baptism, Confession, Communion, Confirmation and Marriage. So even though I disagree with some of the Church’s dogma, I still identify socially and culturally, as a Roman Catholic. I am proud to be a Catholic. In fact, the Church taught me, in religious education, to ASK QUESTIONS and learn as much as I could about different aspects of the Church.
Today, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was elected Pope Francis I. This is historic news and I am excited for the future of the Church. Pope Francis lived a life of poverty and the Church can certainly learn some lessons from him. It’s time to revisit this vow, then reflect upon the corruption within the Church. Pope Francis may make some people uncomfortable, but I think it’s time for change.
I don’t expect changes to the Church’s stance on homosexuality, but Pope Francis ministered to ALL. He preaches compassion and I think he serves as a bridge to theological changes. It is essential that he address the child abuse scandal that plagues the Church and its followers. I am confident he will.
So, I am hopeful. This is the type of change and excitement I felt when Pope John Paul II, was elected. A door has been opened. Now, let us all pass through it, and share what makes Catholicism powerful – our compassion.