4:32 p.m. - 2005-04-03
BIG APARTMENT NEWS
BIG POPE NEWS
I'm Catholic. Not practicing, but not Protestant, Muslim, Jewish, Wiccan (though others seem to disagree)... I don't agree with everything the church historically or currently has done or professed. Like a beligerant, rebelling child, I have struggled to obey the rules and have faith in God.
But, the church has always been home, and the Pope has always been my father. I'm sure if he had known me, he would have seen right away that I am a brat who walks about in a faith limbo. Neither here or there, but tied, nonetheless, to the church. I wanted to go to Mass Saturday and today to pay my respects, but couldn't bring myself to go to any of the local churches. Catholic churches here aren't what they used to be in the city. They don't even feel Catholic. But, I had the itch to go home for an hour or so. I feel a little lost without my patriarch.
But, we can't keep them forever. I know that. And soon, once the conclave is complete, we'll have a brand new Pope. And no, I'm not hoping for big changes. I don't expect a new, modern, updated church that says that abortion, birth control, divorce, or even female priests are OK. The church is the church, and if it changes with "The Times" it would lose its stregnth, its legitimacy, its familiarity and its fundamentals. The Pope is not the President. The Pope is the leader of the oldest Christian church known to man. Its been around for almost 2000 years. Unchanged in its essentials. That's something.
It has been corrupt. It has been manipulated by men with political aspirations. It has been unjust. It has been unyielding. But it is what it is, and if you don't like it, you don't have to be a practicing member.
I use birth control. I believe that divorce can be the only option. I strongly suspect that Mary Magdelene and the role of women in the church have been wronged by men who feared. Somewhere in the Vatican there are answers. I would love to have them. But until then, I will remain a non practicing Catholic with an open mind, and a bratty disposition toward some of its teachings. Just like a grown up kid with a mother and father, I don't have to believe or obey everything the church teachs me. There comes a time when you start to think for yourself and ask questions. But you love them, and you come home for holiday dinner and you take care of them when they need it.
So , I prayed for the Pope, and for the Cardinals who will be choosing the next one. I prayed that he will be as generous, and open minded as the last one. Visiting the world and all its children, and openly loving them despite their opposing beliefs. Maybe the next one will continue drawing the world closer together and making it a better place.
As for John Paul the Great, may he rest at his father's feet, like the obedient, loving, loyal son he was on earth. I'm happy for him. He has gotten to meet his maker, and will be celebrating the joy of Heaven for eternity. Maybe if I'm really lucky one day, they'll spring me from purgatory after a million years or so for good behavior and I'll get to give him a great big hug. He's meant a lot to me, ever since I got to see his kind face looking at mine from the tops of my father's shoulders. I was truely sitting on top of the world.