Liberal, Devout, Educated Catholic opinion on the Pope's Resignation
For many people I know, and for many I know that read my blog, In my Catholicism I am one of the most:
devout - in that I actually am a practicing Catholic
liberal- in that my opinions are well formed but often rooted in experience and real life tensions and I usually think the church should change- I might use the word realistic rather than liberal.
educated -yup, 2 theology degrees from 1 from a Catholic University the other from a Catholic seminary for Jesuits, other religious men and women and lay. I'm no theologian but I know my stuff, imperfectly but I've got a lot of info stored up in my head...
That probably means that most "Catholic" bloggers out there consider me a heretic. Or think that my liberalness is offensive and that I should be done being Catholic. Well, fuck them. It's my church too.
But anyway, I feel like, because of these three characteristics I should comment on the Pope's resignation.
So here goes.
A. Foremost, this won't (probably) change much.
The current Pope and the one before him basically choose all the people that they are going to choose from. That means that they mostly think like the previous 2 Popes. The chances that things will change greatly or drastically are staggeringly small. Mostly, I think the hiearchy will continue to operate in a total power vacuum, be mostly irrelevant to people's lives and probably won't do much to heal the sexual abuse scandals or the problems of the limits of ordination.
B. It doesn't change my ministry at all
Other than the fact that there will be a LOT more conversations about the Pope in upcoming weeks it doesn't change anything about the church right now. It definitly doesn't change anything about my day to day work. I almost wrote that I don't care. I do care. Just not a lot.
C. I am actually impressed
This Pope was way less terrible than I feared. I remember other liberal Catholics crying when they found out Ratzinger would become Pope, but really it hasn't been too bad. He has basically done nothing and has not been the jerk that he was when he had his previous job.
Also, it's pretty bold to do something different like retire. I think he is honoring that age is not everything and that managing the RC Church is kind of a big job. So having an elderly man run it might not be the best thing for everyone. It's humble, in that the Pople is being honest about his own abilitities. Way to go
D. Finally I am hopefull.
John the 23rd wasn't supposed to do anything and he made Vatican II happen. He was a secret badass. So who knows what will happen. I acutally do think that the Holy Spirit does amazing things when people are open to it. My prayer is for the openeness of all the Cardinals and the future leaders of the church- and frankly, I include myself in this need to be open to whatever happens.