Not sure if any Catholics read this blog, but enjoying Pope Francis’ visit is quite the challenge for me. Are you struggling as well or do you find this historical event a joyous occasion for the Catholic community?
On one hand, it is amazing to see how he touches people. For example, when he spontaneously stopped his car in Philadelphia to bless a boy with cerebral palsy, I was instantly brought to tears along with the boy’s mother and father. It is also refreshing to see his approach as a commoner, a Pope of the people as he has come to be known.
On the other, it is completely disappointing to hear him talk about climate change and the sanctity of life as it pertains to criminals but not to the unborn. He references family but never gets to the point of the attack on marriage and how we must uphold the definition being between a man and a woman. He hugs and kisses Obama but does not scold him for the religious persecution that is occurring in this country as a result of Obama’s laws and Supreme Court appointees. I also find myself wondering where is this Pope’s scolding of socialism and communism, two ideologies that have led to the genocide of tens of millions of people????
I spoke to my Priest about my feelings, looking for a reason to like and trust this Pope. My Priest expressed to me that the Pope’s approach is bringing people back to the Church. At first, I felt good about this. Logically, in order for the Catholic Church to thrive and survive, we need more parishioners, right? My initial response to this question was “of course that is right.”
However, the more I thought about it, the more I questioned it, I found myself asking “what good is it to bring people back if they support issues that are in direct conflict with our Faith like abortion and redefining marriage? How is that good for the Church?” The only outcome that I see for the Church is a Church that is watered down and weakened, and, in fact, is not the Church at all. In a society where morality and good will are already falling apart, we need the Catholic Church to stand as a beacon of light even if it stands as a minority. As I heard in the Homily yesterday, no matter how bad things seem, good always wins out over evil.
Well, that may be true, and I do believe that message, but if the only good (the good that is created by a true Catholic identity and moral law) we know fades away by way of its own doing, attempting to be more acceptable to a backwards culture, then, we may find, there is no hope.
Having said that, I refuse to give up hope, and so, I beat on, knowing Christ will triumph in the end.