You wouldn't get any argument from me on that. It's clear that the Church has had no intention of changing just judging by Benedict XVI's appointment less than a decade ago. These guys are old and disconnected, like you said.TelegramSam said:I'm a practicing Catholic, and I have to say people are largely getting their hopes up without reason. The Cardinals are far, far more conservative/traditional than your average American parish.
The last part of your point here is precisely why I think the Church would be doing itself a favor just by considering a pope who isn't as rigid on social issues. In my mind, they can go in two directions: try to guilt their congregation into having more babies (dat rhythm method! ) or come up with a way to re-engage all of the alienated Catholics into coming back. I'm not saying that people should expect them to change their stance on something like female priesthood, which I was being facetious about, but actually connecting to the idea of being a religion of the people. The story that first comes to mind is the promotion of condoms and contraceptive education to prevent AIDS in South Africa, which is an approach Benedict XVI condemned. If they want to increase their numbers, they're going to have to compromise on stuff like this (and stop getting their current members killed off with preventable diseases).TelegramSam said:Ordaining women and contraceptives are not on the agenda right now, if anything getting the child abuse problems addressed to the extent that they can be is going to be the next priority along with combating the Church's declining numbers.
I have no doubt that what you're suggesting is probably a realistic outcome, if they even let that happen. I'm just happening to see a parallel between the Republican dilemma and what the Church is facing with Benedict's resignation. Both have leaned on a conservatism that's no longer serving them, and they'll need to address it soon or be overtaken by rival factions. It's all so political. I don't think Jesus would approve.TelegramSam said:I think the best in terms of a progressive change would be a non-European (as in Hispanic or African) pope, most likely. I'm not saying I agree with their conservatism, but asking old men who have devoted their lives to studying Classical Greek and Latin while living in academia/Church life to change isn't easily accomplished.