Originally posted March 14, 2013, at Skating in the Garden in High Heels Under My Alb. Republished with permission of the author.
Well, not being Catholic, maybe I don’t get to say “we” have a pope. But still it was all very exciting yesterday. Social media just makes these events so much more fun.
I have to say I wasn’t too excited before this as to whom they might choose; it all sounded like so much same old same old from grumpy old men. And many will argue that Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, is more of the same. Certainly he’s not going to move the Roman Catholic Church forward when it comes to women or gay people. But seriously, did anybody really think that was going to happen?
But a cardinal from South America, known for his simple lifestyle and care for the poor, who calls himself Francis, I think that has to be about as best as that conclave could have come up with. Right away there was some confusion as to which Francis he was taking, as there is also the missionary Francis Xaiver, a Jesuit, which Francis is. But soon the Vatican came out saying he had taken the name Francis of Assisi because of his love for the poor. A very good sign.
There is some grumbling because of his relationship with the military dictatorship in Argentina in the ‘70s. He should have been more outspoken against them. If you don’t want to be a persecuted minority, you are always going to risk getting your hands dirty looking complicit in things Jesus never would have done. But that was the choice the church made back in the time of Constantine.
Like I said, it was all very exciting and I felt very hopeful. But in the end, it is still a church run by old men who still rely on smoke signals. Most of my gay and unchurched friends on Facebook did not share my giddiness. And the truth is, it’s like the English royalty. I love to watch and follow their pomp, but I don’t want royalty in the U.S. And while I love that there is a pope, I don’t want one for me, thank you very much.
Find a link to Joelle Colville-Hanson’s blog Skating in the Garden in High Heels Under My Alb at Lutheran Blogs.