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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:37 pm 
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Living in hope
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JewelSong wrote:
I don't think the question is whether or not the Church will continue to oppose gay marriage. I think the question is how much emphasis will be placed upon it.

I am cautiously optimistic that this new Pope *might* just be more concerned with ministering to the poor and the sick than with whether or not two people of the same sex get married.


Voronwë wrote:
Maybe I'm just a cynical old git, but I'm not optimistic at all.


I'm not either, as far as same-sex marriage and other changes go. The conservative position is so solidly established that Pope Francis can support it by simply saying nothing at all on the subject.

I don't want to have to turn in my cynical old bag card, but I do think there's hope that other forms of social justice, such as fighting poverty, will get more attention from the Church than they have been getting.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:22 pm 
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I doubt it. I think he will continue Benedict's emphasis on preventing the so-called secularizing of the Church. If one looks below the surface of the patina of modesty and compassion for the poor, one finds that his views are strikingly similar to those of Joseph Ratzinger before his elevation to the Bishop of Rome.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:51 am 
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But was any other outcome a real possibility? If you look at the constituency which voted, the choice of a social progressive was never in the cards.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:31 am 
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You never know what a Jesuit might do though...they are the "bad boys" of the Church, according to some. They definitely march to their own peculiar drummer.

So...as Prim said, my hope is that more emphasis will be placed on helping the needy, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and stuff that Jesus, you know, said to do.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:48 am 
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Impenitent wrote:
But was any other outcome a real possibility? If you look at the constituency which voted, the choice of a social progressive was never in the cards.


I do sometimes get the impression that a lot of people, both within and outside of the Church, were holding out for a non-Catholic Pope.

The Catholic Church is not (primarily) a social justice organisation and it certainly is not a platform for pursuing a progressive political agenda. It is a voluntarily association of people who believe in the principles of the Roman Catholic faith and wish to see them preserved, supported and spread in the temporal world. If (like me) you don't like those principles you are free not to be a member of the church. But I don't expect the Catholic Church to bend to the will of secular society.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:49 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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Well said, Lord M.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:58 pm 
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halo optional
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Wow, Lord M. Very well said, indeed.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 2:39 pm 
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Well, yes, but I hear practically every self-identified Catholic I know that Catholic Church, the organization, does not reflect their idea of Catholic faith. It is, of course, a small sample. They may say that their church, their priest, are wonderful. Just not The Church.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:44 pm 
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Lali Beag Bídeach
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And I hear just the opposite from the Catholics I know, so it may just be dependent on our sampling of friends.

They may think (and I think) there's a lot of room for improvement within the RCC, especially within the upper echelons. But I don't know if our definitions of improvement will coincide with the type of social progressivism secular society wants.

My definition of improvement would be to deal honestly, justly, and swiftly with corruption, immorality, and illegal activities, including abuse. I would also encourage an improvement in spiritual growth and discipleship of the Catholic people.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:24 pm 
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Wrong within normal parameters
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Everyone always thinks organizations are horrible except for the couple of individual members they know personally.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:37 pm 
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Well, that's because individuals are seldom horrible.

But organizations have a way of becoming their own thing...not a group of individuals at all, but something else. Something inherently horrible, as it were. ;)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:33 am 
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Meanwhile...
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Yeah, it depends on who rises to the top of an organization. Sometimes it's the cream, but not always.

Lali, I'm sure individual Catholics or Catholic communities have vastly different ideas of "improvement." My point is that it's not fair to say that the choice is between fully agreeing with the Vatican and not being a member of the church. That last being a very difficult choice if one believes that their personal salvation is tied with their faith.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:58 am 
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The RCC is probably the world's largest membership organisation, so obviously everyone will not agree with the Vatican on everything. The Church itself, I believe, openly recognises this. But there is a gap between not agreeing with everything and not agreeing on a whole suite of pretty fundamental matters of doctrine.

The other thing worth pointing out is that the views of the bulk of Catholics may not be represented by the Catholics we know. The strength of the Church today is in the global south. Europe and North America probably have fewer than two hundred million Catholics between them. There's four times that many in Latin America, Africa, the Philippines and other developing nations. I suspect that this new fellow is probably a good fit for a lot of them on a whole range of issues, from poverty to sexual ethics.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:00 pm 
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And yet Argentina has legalized same sex marriage, as did other predominantly Catholic countries (Spain, Portugal, parts of Brazil and Mexico).

Humans have an amazing ability to hold mutually exclusive beliefs.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:33 pm 
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Brazil and Mexico also have dropping birth rates. Also, a very devout Filipina I used to work with (she moved on to greener pastures a couple weeks ago :() has said that, compared to having kids you can't afford to care for, birth control is a lesser evil. So I'd be careful with any assumptions about the Global South. I suspect this new pope might surprise us in ways much more significant than paying his hotel bill in person.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:24 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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The more I read about this stuff, the more oddly irrelevant the Pope and church leaders seem as apparently Catholics will just do and believe whatever feels right to them regardless.

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