WASHINGTON, October 15, 2013 — Pope Francis is causing a stir among the Vatican clergy, the media, and the public for his willingness to have dialogue about the future of Catholicism and his message of inclusion.
Catholicism has come under fire by those who claim the religion’s beliefs are outdated. Even practicing Catholics say Catholic principles should reflect the norms of society and should be more relevant.
Pope Francis is moving in that direction, saying it is time for the Church to be more inclusive.
The Pope recently spoke to a Vatican news publication about his positions on homosexuals, the role of women and the excess of corruption scandals under past Pontiff’s. Pope Francis stated that, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge?”
As for the role of women, Pope Francis recently gave a major a speech about the full inclusion of women in the church, referring to it as being “sterile” without female a presence. Women are important in the Bible. The Virgin Mary plays a major role, as does Ruth, Ester, Sarah and countless other women. Women play a major role not only in the Catholic faith, but in the overall teachings of Jesus Christ.
Francis has received many questions about the Catholic Churche’s struggles over the years with discrimination, corruption and sexual scandals that were later covered up. The Pope’s response, “they shouldn’t become disillusioned by corruption in Catholicism, and dialogue resolves these matters”. Once again, the Pope is moving to define the problem and resolve it, something past Popes and even Cardinals avoided, especially when dealing with the media.
Pope Francis appears to be implementing, not just talking about, a policy of inclusion. However, his ideology is butting up against the conservative establishment, dominated by rigid old men who have forgotten about servitude.
Imagine if the entire Catholic hierarchy implemented the Pope’s ideology and re-connected with the average person. What if religious leaders visited prisons, sat with drug addicts, or worked directly in poverty stricken areas?
Perhaps such a move would stem the hemorrhage of those leaving the Church.
Pope Francis’s open-minded political agenda brings fresh ideas to the Catholic Church while adhering to the true principals of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Although already controversial, this Pope has taken the extra steps required to make ‘people’ his priority—which is just what the Catholic Church needs at a time when clergy scandals were hitting news cycle regularly.
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