I was raised in the Catholic Church, but left when it became a closed, judgmental place. I was further alienated when the Church refused to admit, apologize and provide reparations to children who were the victims of abuse at the hands of priests. Finally, the unrealistic expectations with regards to contraception in modern relationships left me wondering if I would ever feel as part of flock ever again.
Pope Francis has done so much to bring lapsed-Catholics, like me, who are politically left-of-center, but still identify as Catholics, spiritually. His words and actions are congruent and his emphasis on creating a place where dialog may take place is gratifying to see.
His visit to the US, was joyful, thoughtful, evocative and unifying. It displayed everything that made the Catholic Church the place of community I remember, from my childhood.
Pope Francis is shaking things up in a “Jesuit” way, and I pray for him to travel safely and enjoy great health for many years. We need his voice on the world stage, his leadership in the Catholic Church to continue to investigate the banking practices of the Vatican, and as a true representative of St. Peter, the Vicar of Christ on Earth.
God bless you, Papa Francisco!
In his final two days in the United States, Pope Francis provided his most explicit focus on the highly contested social topics of marriage and religious liberty, and he did so by avoiding full support to either the U.S. bishops or the LGBT community on both topics. And in his final public appearance, at the Philadelphia Mass, he made, in the words of a National Catholic Reporter news story “a strong exhortation to American Catholics to be unafraid of trying new things, even if they seem to threaten long-practiced traditions or existing church structures.”
On the morning of September 27th, the pontiff addressed bishops attending the World Meeting of Families, and made his most direct remark about the growing acceptance of marriage equality around the globe:
“Until recently, we lived in a social context where the similarities between the civil institution of marriage and the Christian…
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