Sorry and all that, but the Pope cannot change certain aspects of teaching anymore than he can suddenly decide that Christ is not the Messiah or God not God. It's not a question of changing with the times; good Lord, the times can be bad just as an idea or a person can be bad.
While there was undoubtedly something less than consistent about his "Stop being so preoccupied with abortion!/Let's talk about abortion!" chain of commentary this week, the Pope still deserves credit. His actions and words have been constant in their focus on delivering people help, love and protection, rather than on condemning people for their choices or natures. Even Pope Francis's anti-abortion comments to Catholic gynecologists on Friday seemed to centre on the dignity of life, rather than on the sin of those who would take it.
Change in the Catholic church is a slow process. Progressive Catholics should be pleased by the change in language and focus, but not hope for much more. While this type of growth may be enough for the church, the Ontario Catholic school system must be more responsive to issues of equality. Fortunately, the Canadian Catholic community is quick to adapt to injustice.
I was born, baptised and confirmed a Catholic, but I could never relate to the Church. For four straight weeks I attended Father John's 7 a.m. Mass at Saints Peter and Paul in Vancouver in addition to regular Sunday morning Mass. The truth is I knew after my first Mass that I had found my priest at long last.
Immediately after Pope Francis became the leader of the world's 1.2-billion Catholics this week, he prayed for guidance. And it's little wonder. He is the newly elected CEO of the Vatican. The United States, despite a currency mantra of "In God We Trust," has also been forced to undergo serious soul-searching following its 2008 fiscal catastrophe.
With the advent of the new Pope, everyone is talking about how the Catholic church should change. When CBC's Peter Mansbridge, interviewed Cardinal Ouelette from Montreal, his questions were all about how the Catholic church should change. Cardinal Ouellet of course mentioned all the plans to protect children now introduced into the church so that the sexual abuse scandal can never happen again.
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Currently the Church is seeing its membership stagnate and decline in the west. The developing world, however, stands in sharp contrast. The number of Catholics is increasing rapidly in Africa, Asia and South America. Suggestions that the Church needs to reform to survive are clearly North American-centric. What Catholicism needs now is for ordinary church members to play a part in reform.
Good journalists, almost uniquely in our workplace culture, are independent operators and thinkers who don't write stories to fit in with the philosophies of their bosses. I'm reminded of this by coverage of the resignation of Benedict XVl, the 266th Pope of Rome.
While Quebec native Marc Ouellet is considered a leading contender for pope, Stephen Colbert isn't having any of it. The