Catholics at a Crossroad... As Viewed By Someone Outside the Faith
I am not a Catholic. As a matter of fact I am not a Christian. I am of the Jewish faith. So then, why should I have a voice in the matter of the selection of a Pope?
Well the simple truth is most of my friends are of the faith, including the late Bishop Kenneth Untner and the current Bishop Joseph Cistone. I grew up in The Bronx surrounded by Catholics, schooled with Catholics, and respecting Catholics. Further, the church represents 1.2 billion souls whom share this planet on which we all live.
But, the church seems to be in turmoil. We hear of scandal after scandal, from pedophilia to leaked private papal documents. There appears to be a shortage of priests and a shortage of the faithful filling church pews. We have all seen the church promote consolidation, including here in the Saginaw Diocese.
The conclave participants are faced with choosing a new leader to guide the church to a more prosperous future, both from a religious and administrative perspective.
Do they choose a purely religious leader to guide the spiritual needs of the faithful? Or, do they choose an administrator capable of restructuring what appears to be a dysfunctional Vatican? As an outsider I believe the Cardinals need to find that one person possessing both of those qualities plus one other.
I believe the new Pope must also be a master at public relations. The Catholic Church needs an honest, forthright Pope able to address the sins of the past as well as the promise of the future.
May G_d bless those with the awesome responsibility of selection. May the white smoke signify a new day for an historic institution of faith.
Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Andy Rapp, Q-TV, Delta College, or PBS.