March 23, 2013

New pope says surprising things

I heard a few things about the new popeyguy on the news last night. I was able to track one of them down in a HuffPo article:
But Francis...added that atheists and believers can be "precious allies" in their efforts "to defend the dignity of man, in the building of a peaceful coexistence between peoples and in the careful protection of creation."
Benedict would never say that. Never. This pope is giving a lot of people hope.

The other thing I heard on the news was something he said about priestly celibacy. I haven't been able to track down the exact quote, but in another HuffPo article I found mention of something he said in 2012, when he was merely Cardinal Bergoglio:
As for celibacy among priests, Bergoglio said that he -- "for the moment" -- was "in favor of maintaining celibacy, with all its pros and cons, because we have ten centuries of good experiences rather than failures." 
The article doesn't include what I heard last night on my local news. The best I can recall, it was something like this: "Priestly celibacy is a matter of discipline, not faith." Note that I put quotes around that, but am paraphrasing from memory. What I suppose this to mean is that Roman Catholicism, the religion, says nothing about priests not being allowed to marry. It's merely a church tradition, and one that was adopted in "modern" times (in the 1500s, according to some records). Thus the rule can change.

Interesting times ahead. And of course, the most interesting aspect of all this is that Benedict tried to stack the deck of Cardinals with conservative, head-in-the-sand authoritarians. Yet that hand-chosen group of cardinals seems to have chosen a breath of fresh air as pope. It's a stunning turn of events.

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