Disappointment. I was hoping for a Pope that was futuristic and willing to take the Church into the Third Millennium. We will now continue to look to the past and hang on to beliefs that were created over time not by our founder, Jesus, but by men. Men who made numerous errors in judgment throughout the centuries including bigotry, murder, abuse, discrimination and more. This church needs to continue to encourage world peace among all nations and peoples, to admit to past discretions, and to continue the discussion of the uneven distribution of wealth in this world. BUT we also need to assist the family by allowing and encouraging comprehensive birth control (even if prohibiting abortion). We need to have a 2-tier approach to the priesthood by allowing priests to marry and have families if they wish. We need to allow all Catholics their right to the sacraments. This church has always leaned towards punishing its members for its transgressions. I was hoping to see it lean towards love and acceptance.
Susanne Reeves, Riverton, Utah
First off, let's be clear: the Sacraments are NOT a right. Absolutely, unequivocally, not even close to a right. We don't deserve the Sacraments. We really don't. Were God only just, we would all go to Hell. But He is merciful also, and so He freely gave, not out of an obligation or duty to respect our rights, but freely gave us grace, and a normative means to recieve that grace, the seven wonderful Sacraments. Also, as someone who plans on becoming a priest: please, keep us celibate. We've got enough to worry about. Good grief. My love life (and yes, I do have a love life as a celibate) doesn't have the ability to focus in on one person. I want to share! What can I say, my kindergarten teacher taught me well.
Secondly, the logic of "we look back to the traditions of the past, but the traditions of men not Jesus', which are the ones we should be looking at, therefore, let's look to the future..." is shaky at best. And as far as punishing transgressors, we actually have a Sacrament where you can be forgiven of absolutely anything that you did. All you need is honest to goodness contrition. With open arms, the Church waits to embrace anyone who should decide to rejoin the fold.
Perhaps if Benedict started wearing a Starfleet uniform, would he be "futuristic" enough? Personally, I prefer the ones from the movies. And not the pajamas they wore in number one. I'm talking like the ones from "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan". Now there's a uniform! I might even trade in my cassock for one of those bad boys. Heck yeah!
+Ad Majorem Dei Gloram+
"If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.The highest manifestation of life consists in this: that a being governs its own actions. A thing which is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing.”-St. Thomas Aquinas