In choosing Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to become its next pope, the Catholic Church offers those of us who are a part of its membership, and the rest of the world as well, the hope of a spiritual leader who can rekindle the common touch for which Pope John Paul II was so beloved -- and perhaps rid the Church of its reputation for loving the material of this world as much, if not more, than the spiritual.
With the shorthand "OMG" (oh, my God) becoming a huge cliche, it might be worth taking a look at how Americans are seeing the Almighty these days -- that is if they are looking at all.
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The pope has renounced the papal throne. Long live the progressive pope! Such are the rallying cries from establishment voices wanting to see the Catholic Church loosen up now that Pope Benedict XVI has decided to step down. But maybe people should listen to the Church's actual views.
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There are many people today who despise conservative religious beliefs, but they are quick to say, “We don’t want to restrict your religious freedoms in any way. Just keep your beliefs in the church.” What they fail to realize is that the church is not a closet, and it is our private beliefs that fuel our public acts. Shouldn’t it be this way?
On Nov. 29, 1766, Benjamin Franklin wrote for the London Chronicle: "I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. -- I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.
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