Monday, February 18, 2013

Papal Pontification

By now, the news has spread around the world that Pope Benedict XVI has resigned his position as leader of the Catholic Church. With the new Pope being elected some time in March, this gives the world ample time to discuss who should be appointed as the next Pope. And no, this post is not going to be my ruminations on the Cardinal that I believe should or will ascend from the enclave. Off the top of my head, I can only name a couple. In looking through the list of all the active Cardinals, I only recognized the names of a couple more. Cardinal trivia ain't my thing. To be completely honest, I do not even know much about Benedict XVI, much less the crew of gentlemen who may follow him in history. (I would classify my lack of papal knowledge as average to above average Catholic.) Regardless of who the next Pope might be, I have a ground-breaking idea for him. Maybe it is my work rubbing off on me, but the next Pope should focus on getting some of that low-hanging fruit immediately following the emergence of that white smoke from the roof of the Vatican.

The range of topics that could and can be discussed in terms of the Catholic Church is long and controversial, but I do not wish to dwell on those. Perhaps another post. Instead, ask yourself this: How is it that we are living in the year 2013 and there are not female Catholic priests/bishops/cardinals/pope? Who can honestly tell me a legitimate reason as to why a female is not fit to wear the cloak of Christ? Exactly. Not a single defensible position can be made to refute my stance. History is not a valid argument. Neither is "well, they can be nuns." The Catholic Church is so antiquated on issues involving women. This new era in the Vatican would be a terrific time to move toward bridging that gender gap. Since its inception, the Church has been controlled by a bunch of white-haired men. That. Is. Wrong. My mother is in her 40s (you are welcome, Mom) and she was unable to be a Eucharistic minister for a large portion of her life. Females were not allowed to be alter servers when I first started as one back in elementary school. How has time passed the Church so rapidly? Or maybe the question is how has the Church refused to move with the world? Regardless of how we got to now, it is time to move forward to the present. It starts with righting a wrong that has been lingering for centuries.

I understand that there might be bigger and more important decisions to be made in the initial year as Pope. However if my name got called, I would be looking to create a renewed interest in the Church that I now shepherd. That interest could be generated with a single step towards the modern world we live in, rather than dwelling in the archaic nature of history. That interest can be sparked with one simple decree: "Women, we are equals. Feel free to immediately enter the seminary to become a priest. And I am sorry that it took us so long to say that."

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