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The Catholic Church ... A New Beginning
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The Catholic Church … A New Beginning

By Bernadette A. Moyer

“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” St. Francis of Assisi

A new Pope has been named and for many Catholics this is an opportunity for a new beginning. It is no secret that the church has been dwindling in support and entrenched in scandal over the past few decades. A church that was one so relevant is viewed by many as becoming irrelevant and one that has disrespected itself in the handling of mass sexual abuse cases.

Many like me are thrilled that he is a Jesuit and taken the name of Francis, both are so revealing, however he is also known at taking a conservative hard line with both abortion and same sex marriage. A church wanting to grow its youth population will have much difficulty when taking such a hard line against gay and lesbian marriage. Young people today didn’t just grow up color blind and without prejudice most are blind to any stigma associated with sexuality. Most young people today grow up having friends that are openly gay.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” St. Francis of Assisi

Jesuits are known for being well educated and progressive in social justice issues, however they are also known to be more outspoken and many have openly embraced the idea of same sex relationships and marriage equality.

Besides the history of the sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and its cover ups, the position they hold on gay and lesbian relationships will be huge crosses to bear and big obstacles for true growth in the Catholic Church wanting to attract a youth population.

What is not to love about a man that gives up the palace for a one bedroom apartment and takes the bus rather than a limo? Perhaps even if we disagree on some of the social issues we can respect a man that puts service above self.

Clare of Assisi was one of the first followers of St. Francis of Assisi; their work was rooted in serving the poor. Taking the name of Francis, from St Francis of Assisi has to be the best response to a society struggling with poverty and a lack of humility. As Pope Francis begins I would think that this quote is most fitting; “Start by doing what is necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” St. Francis of Assisi

My prayers for this Pope and all in the Catholic church is that we practice what we preach and embrace all people even those that are not like us. When we take on God’s work we must accept and understand that God created all of us not just the ones that are most like us …

Prayers for Pope Francis and the entire Catholic Church as it embarks on a new beginning!