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Wed Mar 13, 2013, 04:08 PM

Francis is the new Pope and more reasons why Pope Benedict resigned

Will the newly chosen Pope Francis stop the Church's shrinking? Paul Gorrell is a Ph.D., heads up an executive coaching and leadership development firm located in New York City, and spent five years in the Roman Catholic priesthood. He says the Catholic Church is shrinking and points to the former Pope Benedict as one of the problems in a recent essay for Religion Dispatches. Gorrell said:

The focus of Pope Benedictís reign has been to draw sharp boundaries that strictly define what it means to be a Catholic, what it means to be a priest, and how the Church should reconfigure itself in order to exile members who are not true believers.


Pretty stringent for some modern day Catholics, many of which want the church to mellow out on issues like abortion, gay rights, sex before marriage, Priest celibacy, to name just a few. Many questioned his interpretations of Vatican II, in comparison with his traditionalist beliefs. Many Catholics did not accept Benedict's claim that:

"Protestant churches are not 'true' churches, judges priests on their identity (gay priests must leave) rather than their actions, stops dialogue on any topics that do not meet the Popeís approval (such as the possibility of women priests), sheds gay people from its ranks and fights against their rights, ignores the diminishing number of priests and the effects of this shortage on Church communities, and calls on Catholics to form the 'perfect society' resembling the ecclesiology of Opus Dei.


Some have been basically excommunicated in that a number of American politicians were asked to remove themselves from communion lines and, recently, priests have even denied parishioners communion if they vote for a political candidate who favors abortion rights.

Pope Francis has his work cut out for him, a job that many of the Conclave Cardinals interviewed said they did not want.

Read more here: link:http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/1059/the_incredible_shrinking_catholic_church|



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Reply Francis is the new Pope and more reasons why Pope Benedict resigned (Original post)
Nasty Jack Mar 2013 OP
IrishAyes Mar 2013 #1
No Vested Interest Mar 2013 #2
IrishAyes Mar 2013 #3
Fortinbras Armstrong Mar 2013 #5
IrishAyes Mar 2013 #6
IrishAyes Mar 2013 #4

Response to Nasty Jack (Original post)

Sat Mar 16, 2013, 08:53 PM

1. I'll bet Pope Francis is up to the job

Last edited Sun Mar 17, 2013, 01:10 PM - Edit history (1)

Years ago a snarky deacon once held the communion cup almost behind him when it was my turn, but I looked at him and almost boomed, "AGAIN I SAY, AMEN!" He wasn't about to budge either, until the priest who believed the same as the deacon but didn't want a scene nodded to him and things went on as normal. It was all over politics.

When I do return to the little mission here where I retired, if any such thing happens again and I do get totally refused, I'll appeal straight to the Pope. This one would stand by me, I'll bet. Regardless, even if he does hold St. Peter's chair, he doesn't outrank him!

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Response to IrishAyes (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 01:02 AM

2. I don't believe you will be "totally" refused

There are many, including our new Pope, who will stand by you.

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 09:28 AM

3. Another reason

... thank you, for considering my internet connection vital and not a luxury. In the divide and conquer game, it's just as effective to make a person feel alone as to make it so. There really are some few decent people here with whom I enjoy cordial relations; however, I don't really have a part in their lives. I can count on one hand the chummier sort, and even there we don't see each other all that much. My two best friends are both chronically ill (not that uncommon at our age) and almost housebound. It would be thoughtless of me to overtax their strength, so we do a lot of email because that way nobody's therapy or nap or anything else is disturbed. I try to be thoughtful when it occurs to me!

Overall point being, my spiritual task here is two-fold: not only to develop as much genuine regard for others as possible*, but also not to fall for the idea that I CAN be truly cut off from the Church worldwide and universal. Wasn't it Isaiah who whined to God that he was the only one left with any devotion, and God said hush now, there are many you don't know about.

*I've always been in awe of Dorothy Day, partly because she set (and at least largely met) the bar higher than I can even imagine. She said in essence, "I can tell you exactly how much you love God. You love God as much as you love the person you love the least."

Oy vey, Maria as Joey Bishop used to say. I'm in dutch now.

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Response to IrishAyes (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 11:41 AM

5. If it had been me, I would have asked if he knew Canon Law.

Specifically, I would have asked him if he knew Canon 912 which says "Any baptized person not prohibited by law can and must be admitted to holy communion." Now, who is prohibited by law? That's covered in Canon 915, "Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion."

Now, have you been excommunicated? No. Are you under interdict? Again, no. Are you "obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin"? (Essentially, this means someone who is divorced and remarried but who does not have an annulment.) No. Thus, under the law, you have an absolute right to communion, no matter your political views.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 21, 2013, 02:03 PM

6. Bless You!

I'm going to print out your statement and keep it with me when and if I'm able to return to our mission church. The one and only thing that can absolutely keep me away from anything is when the situation becomes actually too dangerous. I'm only a lifelong careful observer, not a professional shrink, but I have seen that people willing to stoop to grievous lies against the innocent are not going to stop; they're in too deep already and the Evil One has them by the throat. Head Hen is deeply neurotic to say the least. With a passing reference to inappropriate attachments and the tiny town's rabid xenophobia, I'll leave it at that.

When I can return with reasonable safety, however, I shall - again, with your statement in hand. I've read the canons before, of course, but never was good quoting chapter and verse especially not when upset. The priest I consulted in St. Louis was helpful and sympathetic both to me and my desire to avoid letting the whole mess spin entirely out of control. But he did not refer me to any canon law defense, either, as you have so kindly done. I'm forever in your debt.

BTW - if anything I said here leaves you scratching your head, feel free to check out my journal for other posts on the local culture that would help fill in the gaps. The one I call Head Hen - that's her actual common nickname - is not any kind of nun, just a self appointed boss of everybody and everything. I cannot in my wildest moments even imagine any nun acting like that.

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Response to Nasty Jack (Original post)

Sun Mar 17, 2013, 01:13 PM

4. Something I forgot to mention this morning...

....in regard to your comment about cardinals who didn't want the job: that's why there's a 'Room of Tears' for a new pontiff. For contemplation of the road ahead. You might well know about it already, but I'm sure some readers might not.

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