Just recently, Pope Francis was named Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year.” I am glad about it, and happy for the positive publicity for the Catholic Church, however, I question the motives of those that voted to bestow that honor upon him. It is truly wonderful that he has emphasized humility and simplicity. I love that he has drawn attention to the problem of poverty around the world. Who wouldn’t love that he wears a simple wooden cross and takes public transportation? It does feel that he is one of us, even though he is the leader of the whole church.
My concern is summed up in this quote I’ve taken from dailymail.co.uk: “Francis has helped to change the view of the Catholic Church as an inflexible institution to one where he as leader now shows openness to homosexuality and women’s leadership in the church.” The Church does welcome homosexuals to mass; however it is never going to condone/bless gay marriage or sexual sin – be it gay or straight!
With regard to women’s role in the church – sure women’s roles have certainly expanded since Vatican II, but The Church will never allow women priests. Pope John Paul II, in his encyclical “ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS,” says basically that this teaching is infallible doctrine. He cites a few reasons and concludes that “Christ established things this way.” Women should not be offended, as he also says, “The presence and the role of women in the life and mission of the Church, although not linked to the ministerial priesthood, remain absolutely necessary and irreplaceable…” The document is very explicit and certainly worth reading.
I am glad to see our pontiff on the cover of Time, however, I am discouraged by the world’s expectations of him. Many people today want a church that bends to their tastes, their preferences, their demands. God is not that way folks! He is, was and forever will be unchanging. He is all love and all justice. The Church that Christ established was created a certain way for a reason. Who are we to tell God that He was wrong?