Friday, March 15, 2013

Dear Jessy - My New Pope

The newest addition to my "Dear Jessy" faux-advice column.  The advice isn't faux, the letters are.

Dear Jessy,

With all the scandal and ridiculousness in the Catholic Church over the past few decades, what's the big deal over the new Pope?

Losing My Religion in America

Artist's Interpretation

Dear LMR,

I totally get how you're feeling, even if I have a different response to it.  The Catholic Church has been less than stellar lately.  From the epidemic of child abuse, to the marginalization of the nuns, things have been pretty cruddy in Catholicland of late.

While I would have jumped at the opportunity to be the new Pope, I was sadly never even approached by a single Cardinal.  I'm totally over it, although the illustration above should give you an idea of how very awesome I would be (FYI - the scanner only does black and white, but the shoes are highlighter orange).

I'm actually pretty excited about a new Pope.  Some things about Francis I that make me happy are his devotion to the poor, and that he studied Chemistry in college - those are both great things!  Of course, I disagree heartily with his take on gay rights, but were we really expecting anything different?  My hope is that he will look in his heart, maybe spend some time praying, and will realize that bigotry has no place in a faith that professes loving one another as one of its main tenets.  I'm an optimistic gal, so I will keep on hoping!

The newest piece of information that leads me to believe the Pope can change his tune, and by changing his tune, potentially change the tune of millions of Catholics around the world, is the op-ed piece written by GOP US Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. Senator Portman was previously anti-gay marriage, but when his son came out in 2011, it caused him to question his beliefs.  My very favorite quote from the commentary is:

"I’ve thought a great deal about this issue, and like millions of Americans in recent years, I’ve changed my mind on the question of marriage for same-sex couples. As we strive as a nation to form a more perfect union, I believe all of our sons and daughters ought to have the same opportunity to experience the joy and stability of marriage." 

I highly recommend you read the entire piece at The Columbus Dispatch.

So, after all of that, I say YES - it is a big deal that we have a new Pope, even for lapsed non-Catholics like me.  Try to see the world through my rose-colored glasses; there is so much potential for positive change!!

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