A New Era in the Catholic Church?

Pope Francis Civil Unions

With the approach of holy week and the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis fast approaching, let’s watch the highlight and low-light reels for this week as big decision are coming for the Catholic church.

Pope Francis and GLAAD: Oh you knew it was coming. The surprising fact many may not be aware of is the fact the pope at one point supported civil unions for gay couples. The focus though for the LGBT communities had been his public stance on gay marriage, mainly that it’s a “destructive attack on God’s plan”, and his opposition to gay adoption that it discriminates against children. However according to Huff Post as recently as 2010 then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio suggested the church support civil unions as a compromise of sorts as at the time they were legal in parts before the gay marriage bill was passed in his home of Argentina. Although the bishops rejected his suggestion, Argentina passed the law making it the first South American country to do so. While some are optimistic about the new pope, some who knew him before are less. As Esteban Paulon, president of the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transexuals, told the Times, “The reality, beyond what he may have said in private meetings, was that he said some terrible things in public…He took a role, in public, that was determinedly combative.” GLAAD President Herndon Gradick shared the same sentiment in a statement to Huff Post, explaining, “For decades the Catholic hierarchy has been in need of desperate reform. In his life, Jesus condemned gays zero times. In Pope Benedict’s short time in the papacy, he made a priority of condemning gay people routinely.” Oh by the way GLAAD the Pope does not only answer to God he has to answer to his congregation and the Curia so anyone in his position has an uphill battle ahead…give him some time cut the man some slack he has been pope for 2 minutes.

Pope Francis and Mislead Flock: As we all know or have seen, the pope traditionally holds Mass of the Lord’s Supper in St. Peter’s Basilica or the Basilica of St. John Latern reports Catholic News Service. This year, Pope Francis decided to do things his way and break with tradition by celebrating Holy Thursday of next week washing and kissing the feet of juvenile prisoners in Rome’s Casal del Marmo. The service typically includes washing and kissing the feet of 12 people commemorating Jesus’ humility towards his twelve apostles. The service is not atypical for the pope as in his former life as Argentine’s Cardinal Bergoglio he often held Holy Thursday ceremony in jails, hospitals or other locations associated with the poor and infirm according to Huff Post. According to Agence France-Presse, Pope Francis wants to narrow the gap between the laypeople and the Church.

Pope Francis and The Incredibly Shrinking Priesthood: As the congregation around the world becomes bigger even in the U.S., the problem of no one to lead these congregation has become increasingly apparent. In order to deal with the priest shortage, the Catholic Church has decided to look to former Anglican leaders to fill the void reports Huff Post. The number of men entering the priesthood in the U.S. has dropped about 20,000 since 1975 while the number of the faithful has increased by 17 million according to CBS. Allowing Anglican priests to convert was a way to solve the problem as seen by former Pope Benedict XVI who issued an edict in 2009 to create “a new structure to welcome some disenchanted Anglicans into the Roman Catholic fold,” Time notes. At a Vatican news conference last October, Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect for the Congregation of Doctrine of the Faith, according to the New York Times, commented that Anglicans who wish to convert would now be able “to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony.” The New York Times of course in an article about married Catholic priests raised some interesting questions as married priest were banned in 1123 by the First Lateran Council however married converts have been allowed since 1980:

First, are they doing as good a job as other priests? If the church has decided that celibacy confers certain gifts on priests, does it follow that married priests are worse at serving their congregations? Second, wouldn’t celibate priests be a little resentful of colleagues who get to serve the church and have sex too? And third, if the married priests are doing a good job and not provoking envy, why keep the celibacy rule for priests in general?

Still the transition has been smooth for many of the priest and even entire congregations to convert to Catholicism. Lewis, a converted Catholic priest who leads St. luke’s now Cathloci pareish in Bladensburg, MD., told PBS: “We left the Episcopal Church not because we were running away from the issues of the Episcopal Church. We left the Episcopal Church because we were running to the Catholic Church … The theology of Rome, the authority of Rome, the unity in the Holy See and in the bishops: that was appealing to us.”

Sacramento New Year’s Eve Shooting: 2 Killed In Violence After Fireworks

Sacramento New Year’s Eve Shooting: 2 Killed In Violence After Fireworks.

Why do people do these things and for that matter continue with this nonsense? This is why owning a gun does not help the situation more guns leads to more violence and more access to weapons for everyone. The shooters in these stories and the infamous shooters of mass killing sprees do not own the guns they take them from other people. Why are we as a people perpetuating violence and ignoring the real issues?

AOL.com Video – Santa Uses Sign Language With Deaf Boy

AOL.com Video – Santa Uses Sign Language With Deaf Boy.

This is so sweet. The video says it all and will touch your heart that a complete stranger will go the extra mile for someone they don’t know. This is happening more and more across the country. I hope Santa inspires you to go the extra mile. Happy Holidays!

AOL.com Video – Secret Santa Gives Away $200 at Mall, Then Splits

AOL.com Video – Secret Santa Gives Away $200 at Mall, Then Splits.

Another Christmas story to make you smile. This woman was giving a Christmas card to strangers then leaving before they could say thank you. The money she left with the card ranged from 100 to 200, but it put a smile on people’s faces and a perk in their step. The only description for the woman was a hat and a coat. Maybe you have seen her…Happy holidays and spread some cheer by making someone smile.

AOL.com Video – Dentist Office Employees Surprise Shoppers as Secret Santas

AOL.com Video – Dentist Office Employees Surprise Shoppers as Secret Santas.

This is an awesome story. Just in time for the holidays.

AOL.com Video – ‘Layaway Angels’ Help Families This Christmas

AOL.com Video – ‘Layaway Angels’ Help Families This Christmas.

I wish there were more people like this. Merry Christmas, be a secret Santa and watch this video.

AOL.com Video – Lego Gives Boy With Asperger’s Out-of-Production Model

AOL.com Video – Lego Gives Boy With Asperger’s Out-of-Production Model.

Touching story and a moment of holiday cheer. Thanks Lego you are an angel for doing what you did. Watch the video.