When news first broke out that Pope Benedict XVI was stepping down, I knew right away that he was pressured to resign. His conservative values were further alienating the Catholic Church in a world that has become hypercritical of the church’s actions.
I also knew right from the very beginning when Benedict was elected as Pope that his tenure would be very tumultuous for the church. After all, he was already a polarizing figurehead even before he became he ascended to papacy.
So when news broke that Pope Benedict was resigning, I was glad. I knew that the church wouldn’t make the same mistake of electing a conservative pope during a time of great liberal change throughout the world. And I was pleased with their selection of Pope Francis because his history suggested that he would be a Pope for the People and a pope for change – even his Argentine heritage (although Euro-ancestry) hinted of this new aura.
Throughout his tenure so far, Pope Francis’ accomplishments has backed up his liberal history. He has attained an image unlike the popes before him: of course he is caring, fatherly, and devout; but he also worked as a bouncer and had his heart broken. He has done a wonderful job transforming the image of a pope as an untouchable being to someone very relatable. I commend his efforts in doing so (or at least his PR team’s efforts) because he has truly “changed the tone and perception and focus of one of the world’s largest institutions in an extraordinary way.”
I write this blog post because I am proud of the Catholic Church’s change of direction. I hope that the church continues along this path in order to remain a relevant institution of faith.
Personally, I was raised Catholic, grew up devout (especially during college), but lost faith. I don’t have faith in any religion, but I still hold the Catholic Church very dear. I haven’t ruled out returning to the Catholic Church – I think that the idea of having faith is beautiful and brave, but I’m not at a point in my life where I can risk bravery for something unseen and untouchable.