Monday School: Pope Francis The First


Welcome back to Monday School! Your ongoing “Rational Corrective To All That Nonsense They Tried To Teach You Yesterday!”

As I am sure everyone is aware, the Vatican huddled their Cardinals all together to select a new pope to replace Eggs Benedict who was obviously tired of all the Sith jokes.

As a result, the runner up from the previous conclave, Jorge Mario Bergolio, was made the new Pope, who will know be known as Francis the first.

After doing some research I have discovered some interesting things about Francis, some good and some not so good. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess where Francis stands on issues like abortion, euthanasia or homosexuality. It’s pretty much the same old, same old… and by that I mean an old homophobic, sexist and out of date geezer who’s going to tell us all what we should be doing with our lives.

To paraphrase the Who: Meet the new pope… same as the old pope.

Here are some interesting things you may or may not have known about Francis the first:

– has lived for more than 50 years with one functioning lung. He had the other removed as a young man because of infection.

– is the son of an Italian railway worker and a housewife.

– trained as a chemist.

– is the first non-European pope in the modern era.

– In 2001 he washed and kissed the feet of Aids patients in a hospice.

– speaks fluent Italian, as well as Spanish and German.

– Though conservative on church doctrine, he has criticised priests who refuse to baptise babies born to single mothers.

– Until now he has been living in a small flat, eschewing a formal bishop’s residence. He also refused to use a limo funded by the church and prefers to take public transportation to work.

Doesn’t sound too bad, eh?

Well, let’s take a look at the staple issues that are in conflict with the church. Starting off with Homosexuality. Here is what Francis said about gays and lesbians:
“‘Let’s not be naïve, we’re not talking about a simple political battle; it is a destructive pretension against the plan of God. We are not talking about a mere bill, but rather a machination of the Father of Lies that seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.’ He has also insisted that adoption by homosexuals is a form of discrimination against children.”..Source
Well, Francis… do you know what I think is discriminating and abusive to children?

Young boys being raped by priests and the Vatican doing everything in their power to cover it up and prevent the victims from getting the justice they deserve. It will be interesting to see what Pope Francis intends to do as more scandals surface. Will it be the same old cover up, or will be actually clean house? We’ll have to wait and see… forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.

Here is Pope Francis on Abortion:

“He once called abortion a “death sentence” for unborn children, during a 2007 speech and likening opposition to abortion to opposition to the death penalty. In an October 2, 2007 speech Bergoglio said that “we aren’t in agreement with the death penalty,” but “in Argentina we have the death penalty. A child conceived by the rape of a mentally ill or retarded woman can be condemned to death.”” Source
The usual drivel with it comes to abortion. It seems that aborting a child that was forced upon a woman is murder, but he doesn’t seem to care about the sin that was created by her rapist. Typical black & white response to a problem that is in a high definition world. I’m also a little disturbed by his reference to the mentally handicapped as retarted, which I am sure he’ll get an earful on if he says that again in public as pope.

When it comes to the issue of condoms, Francis has been quoted as beliving they “can be permissible to prevent infection”. That would be huge step forward if Francis had the minerals to repeat that statement in the not too distant future.

Here is a picture of then Cardinal Bergolio taking public transport to work. He was offered a limo but refused to use it. He also lives in a small flat and lived a very simple life for a cardinal. I find that interesting, a cardinal that actually practices some of the simple life most priests are supposed to live.

Speaking of that, is he still going to opt for modest accommodations or will the rest of his days be spend occupying the marble and guided hallways of the vatican? Will the needle eye be much bigger in Rome or will Francis live a life more simpler than past popes?

In the end, I’m conflicted about Francis. When it comes to the issue of abortion, gays and a few others… he’s holding the same party line the Vatican has been giving for centuries, which is frustrating. Yet on the other hand, I see Francis as a step up from Benedict as he seems more approachable, more humble and more human. The fact he doesn’t look like a Sith is helpful too…

Pope Francis is by no means a perfect man, but no one is. He’s made mistakes and we all have. I’ll be watching, as will a lot of others to see what kind of a leader this man will turn out to be. Will Francis help the faithful move forward and catch up with the 21st Century?

It will be interesting to see what happens, but I’m very skeptical about any real change happening with this pope. I’m hopeful based on what I’ve read, but forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.

So that’s my first impression of Francis. Comments?


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