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Scoot Blog: Is the new pope too old?

Catholics have a new pope! 
The new Pontiff is Pope Francis from Argentina – the first Latin American pope in history. Pope Francis will not have a number with his name. That only comes when there is a second pope Francis – then he will become Pope Francis I. 
The new pope takes control of the Catholic Church at a time when the sex abuse scandal looms as the perhaps the church’s biggest challenge. This is also a time when many Catholics, especially in the United States, are hopeful that the new pope will lead the Church in a more progressive direction.
My first reaction to the selection of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, who is 76, was that the Catholic Church has selected another pope who begins his reign over the Church at an advanced age and this must be a sign that the Church is not interested in becoming more progressive. But then, I had another thought.
Pope John Paul II was 58 when he became pope and he was hailed as a younger pope who would steer the Catholic Church in a new direction. Pope John Paul II was actually a very conservative pope and in the face of cries for change essentially maintained status quo. 
I have always tried to judge people, not by their age, but by their personality and that’s the way I will judge this new pope. Paul McCartney is 70 – just 6 years younger than the new pope and many of the Baby Boomer rock stars have hit their 70s. I am proud that Baby Boomers, as a generation, have redefined what it means to mature and they continue to influence the world. Though Pope Francis, at 76, is technically not a Baby Boomer, he is close enough to give me hope that he will be an open-minded pope and not just adhere to rules because they are rules.
I know people in their 30s and 40s who act older than many people I know from the Baby Boomer/Rock Generation. Age is measured more by attitude than by years alive. So, while the new pope may appear to be older on paper, there is no reason to believe at this point that he will rule the Church as an ‘old man’.
As I wrote in a previous blog, it’s time for the Catholic Church to eliminate certain ‘rules’ that reflect an outdated mentality of mankind rather than what God may intend. It was ‘man’ who decided that priests could not marry. Many Biblical scholars teach that it is important to consider the social and political times in which the Bible was written and to respect the progress we have made as a species on this incredible planet. That would certainly mean a change in attitudes toward women in the Church.
I have seen people get older and become more reticent to change. My hope is that Pope Francis, who becomes pope at the age of 76, will serve as a vibrant pope who is open to only the change that will make the Church as much a home for spirituality as it is a bureaucracy.
The Latin world is celebrating this first pope from Latin America and like the Republican Party is doing now, the other cardinals are trying to figure out what they can do next time to attract the Latin community!
I was also hopeful for another sign that the new pope would be progressive. Since two popes have taken the names of their two favorite Beatles – John and Paul – I was hoping for Pope George Ringo!
There are 78 million Catholics in America – that’s about the size of the Baby Boomer Generation. When the white smoke poured out of the chimney at Vatican City today, all of the news channels and the networks went to live coverage of the historic moment. I was at the dentist when the new pope was announced. Following this blog is a picture I took of my dentist, Dr. Stephanie Phillips, a few of the staff and a patient at CBD Dental, who gathered around to watch the announcement live! This was indeed one of those moments.

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Topics : Religion_Belief
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Locations : Latin AmericaVatican City
People : FrancisGeorge RingoJohnJorge BergoglioPaul McCartneyStephanie Phillips

03/13/2013 8:09PM
Scoot Blog: Is the new pope too old?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
03/14/2013 7:46AM
New pope might not be as conservative as his age might suggest, but still, how many of legacy he can
Wish the pope in good health for a long long time.
03/14/2013 9:04AM
This is why the Catholic church has a problem appealing to younger people
Every Pope is out dated when they are elected. Why can't the church find a young man who can bring some fresh ideas? Welcome back to the same old, same old.
03/18/2013 1:53PM
The Pope does nothing !!!
All those people who were so excited to watch the election of the new pope and so enamored when the new pope was chosen are fools. If they think anything is going to change, as if the new pope is going to rewrite history and save humanity from itself, they are idiots. The definition of crazy is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. These Catholics get so excited when a new Pope is elected as if they expect him to make significant changes to the Catholic Church. They never do. The day after this Pope was elected he said he was not going to change any of the Church’s positions on major issues. Was anybody really surprised? If we learn anything from recent history, or even ancient history, the pope does nothing. The Pope, the Vatican and the Catholic Church have had the same moral and spiritual point of view for the last 2,000 years, since the death of Christ. The Catholic Church is still stuck in the year 100 A.D. They have shown absolutely no desire to change, evolve, improve, be progressive or embrace modern life. When men wrote the Old Testament (that's right, God didn't write the Bible, men did) they wrote it to reflect the social and moral values of that time. When men wrote the New Testament, they upgraded and revised the Old Testament to reflect the social and moral values of what was then, modern times. The Bible has not been rewritten in two thousand years. Life has changed immensely in last two thousand years. But the Pope, the Vatican and the Church haven’t. Most people can apply the moral basic principles of the Bible; -don't lie, don't steal, don't cheat, don't kill -worship God first and foremost (no false gods before Him) -and treat others the way you would like them to treat you to modern life. But the Pope, the Vatican and the Catholic Church can't. Most Catholics are like me, not Catholic anymore or, if they are, they are Catholic but believe in; -homosexual rights -the benefits of married priest -the benefits of female priest -abortion (they don't believe it is right but they believe that is a decision everyone should have the right to make) -and contraception (birth control) - not only do they believe in it but they use it. It is called responsibility. I don't believe God is in favor of people acting irresponsible. But I guess the Pope, the Vatican and the Catholic Church are. Sure, in the year 100 A.D. before birth control, the only way to not get pregnant was to not have sex. But now due to modern technology and women's rights, attitudes have changed ---but not the Pope, the Vatican or the Catholic Church. Humanity, technology and moral, ethical and spiritual applications change in an attempt to keep up with modern life. Religion needs to change also. If the Pope, the Vatican and the Catholic Church continue to refuse to change, they are going to be “left behind or trampled underfoot”. The Catholic Church’s membership goes down in number every year. Even the older Catholics I talk with disagree more and more with the Pope and Vatican. Eventually, they are going to have to change their positions on certain issues or they are going to become less and less significant until they eventually disappear.
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