Friday, April 01, 2005

Pope

As John Paul II spends his last moments alive, the future of the Catholic church seems uncertain. There hasn't been a new pope in almost 30 years, and with dwindling church attendance throughout the world, it seems as though the once all-pervasive Catholic church is in a slow decline.

I foresee a variety of things happening to the church in the next few years. Depending on the pope, I think that it would be appropriate and possible for the church to call another ecumenical council. The Vatican III council will address a variety of things, particularly all the issues of sexuality that the church more or less ignored during the 2nd Vatican council. While I have no basis for making these predictions, I believe that any number of the following things will be addressed:
  • The problem of decaying conformity in liturgy.
  • A reform in liturgical music, increasing homogeneity and reducing the amount of songs like "One Eagles Wings."
  • The decreasing number of clergymen, and how to increase their numbers.
  • Allowing priests to marry.
  • Rethinking the stance on birth control.
  • A new commitment to reunifying a shattered Christian church, including mandatory and unbiased education in Catholic run institutions about the Orthodox churches and protestant churches.
  • A new inclusion of the laity in both the liturgy and daily operations of the church.
Additionally, if the pope is particularity radical:
  • Rethinking the stance on homosexuality, possibly allowing same-sex marriage (this one is a long shot).
  • Acknowledging the huge numbers of closeted priests, who should be allowed to at least admit their sexuality.
  • Allowing female deacons and possibly priests.
To clarify, it should probably be clear at this point that I'm not particularity attached to any church, and while I grew up in the Catholic tradition, I don't identify myself with it any longer. These are simply issues that I see the church as needing to address, and issues which I think society at large might benefit from having the church address.

No matter what happens, I certainly hope that the important steps the JPII has taken in unifying the church, as well as his acknowledgement of the importance of youth will not only be respected in the church, but among the rest of the nations institutions as well. John Paul has perhaps overstayed his welcome as pope, but he certainly did a good enough job.

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