Spring ~ a Season for Change

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Français : emblème pontifical Italiano: emblema del Papato Português: Emblema papal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did you hear we are getting a new pope?

Benedict made it what…. 8 years? He did have a hard act to follow with John XXIII changing things the way he did in the sixties with Vatican II. Then came Paul and the two John Pauls. Not counting the first John Paul who went out early the way most popes do by dying after only serving 30 days, JP II kind of brought back the dynamic in the pope-hood.

Of course, the Catholic Church has been riding some pretty rough tides lately that even JPII couldn’t have calmed. There has always been grumblings about the church and its money and its power, but all that is nothing compared to the priests and child abuse charges that started surfacing some decades back.

Disgusting, contemptible, unbelievable, shameful, heartbreaking, life-altering ~ I can’t think of enough adjectives to describe my feelings. But I’m not here to debate the handling of that mess. My brother and many of the boys in my neighborhood were altar boys. They say nothing happened to them. There are those who are fighting this fight. I support them.

But what of the Church now, in the 21st century? Is it time for a Vatican 3?

I have debated this subject with family, friends and even the parish priest and I have to say I am torn. I never considered myself, or anyone in my family, one of the “good” Catholics. Sure, we went to church on Sunday, attended parochial school and received all the Sacraments. With nine children, my Catholic mom and non-Catholic father did their best to pay for the schooling and keep us in line with its teachings. But we never said grace at meals, we never really had any religious statues or a crucifix in our home, we even stopped going to Mass on Christmas and Easter because my mom said it was too crowded.

But I always loved the traditions, the celebrations, the music, and the mystery surrounding the church. Vatican II changed some of those traditions by taking away Latin Masses, dressing down the nuns, turning the altar around so we could see what the priests were doing during the service, and even allowing non-priests (lay people) to give us Communion and girls to become altar servers. Big changes for the traditionalist in all of us.

So do we now let priests get married and allow women to take on this traditionally male role? Do we build stadiums with flat screens and coffee bars instead of cathedrals?

There is probably room for some much-needed changes and hopefully this new pope can turn things around but from me, this “not so great” Catholic, I can’t say the church needs to get with the times because times will always change. There will always be that new religion right around the corner designing itself to please the masses. And that’s okay because if it makes you a better person, that’s good for all of us.

But I think there is a reason the Catholic Church is still here and getting a new pope is big news. And although I do not attend mass on a regular basis, I know when I do it’s a safe and comfortable environment for me.

Bottom line is I think we really need to look deep into our souls and ask ourselves what we need to fill our spirit and live a good life because it’s all pretty basic ~ treat all with love and respect.

All the rest is just trimming.

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One Response to “Spring ~ a Season for Change”

  1. Susan Says:

    Good story for the times!

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