Wednesday, March 13, 2013

White Smoke and Mirrors

I check on-line every once in a while, to see if we have a new pope.  But mostly I go about my daily rituals

Even more rarely I talk with someone about electing a new pope, and what that holds for the future of the church.  But that is pretty much a ritual, too.  What can one say?  What the hell do we down here among the rabble know about the inner workings of the Vatican, and even deeper into that morass, about the inner workings of the curia?

But I do know the rabble.  And that buoys me up in these dark days.

This is what I hear, for example, talking with an acquaintance, who is a nominal Catholic.  His point of entry into the world of the church outside his Sunday attendance is the pedophile problem, if one concentrates on the structural aspect of church; or it's the teaching on contraception, if one moves on to the doctrinal/moral aspect.  That's it!  That's the face of the church to the world here among the rabble.

Should I try to dissuade him?  Enlighten him about Benedict XVI's wonderful encyclicals on Love in the Gospels and the life of the faithful (at least that's what I heard; I have not read straight through and studied an encyclical since Mater et Magistra--written by the last of the real popes, John XXIII)?

I'll stick with the rabble, thank you. And I will listen, rather than try to persuade.  I learn a lot more that way.  And what I do learn is a lot more true to the Gospels than what comes down from above.

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