Fabulous Rome

I have been blessed to live in and visit Rome many times. This recent visit was extraordinary and once again I experienced the grandeur of the eternal city. Currently there is a buzz in the city because of the new pope. He has evidenced a deep pastoral concern for the people and especially for the plight of the world’s poor. Also he has, to the dismay of the Roman Curia ,voiced the opinion that good works can lead to salvation for all, even atheists. These are all good, but it still ignores the reality of the church’s teaching on contraception. The theological foundation for this teaching is without strong roots and ignores the consequence of this promulgation towards poverty in the third world. Also still in many countries Church leaders protect the reputation of the church instead of children. There are many wonderful aspects of the Roman church, but I am still aware that the church has a legacy of bias as well as care and compassion. It is one thing to voice concern for the plight of the poor but to ignore the reality of contraception is to support poverty.. Also the pedophilia reality continues to surface all over the world. The church must restore the confidence that scandal is not the issue but rather protecting all children is the mandate. Other burning issues are the rightful role of total equality for women as well as the issues of gay love and marriage. These are not simple issues but if the church of Rome is to be again fully be the source of the “good news”” it must be open to the evolving realities of the world. The keys given to Peter were not meant to lock the door and treat the faith as merely a safe in which to keep the rules. John the twenty third opened the window and subsequent pope’s closed it. Now is the time to open it again.

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