so, as of yesterday we have a new pope. i'm not catholic (or christian, or a member of any organized faith), but i've been paying attention. it's cardinal joseph ratzinger...or pope benedict xvi, as he's now known. he's a rather hard-line, conservative, "traditional" catholic. that disappoints me a lot, even though it's probably not my place.
people are afraid that this new, conservative pope is going to make the catholic church even more conservative...i kind of tend to doubt that. i don't think there's going to be a huge difference in the direction the church takes during benedict xvi's papacy compared to john paul ii's...but i think that's the problem, and that's why i'm disappointed.
i held out some hope that there would be a more progressive pope...and now that hope is dashed. in the back of my mind, i did have a sliver of hope that there would be a pope more open on issues like homosexuality, women in the clergy, birth control, abortion...just because there are so many catholics in the world, and i think that a more progressive pope would do at least something to make people more tolerant. i don't know the viewpoints of all the cardinals in the college...but i'd hope there's at least a few who would be fine with opening up a discussion on any or all of those issues. i wouldn't expect a pope to change the church's stance overnight...but even opening up a discussion would encourage more openmindedness. that's really all i feel i can realistically ask for, for now.
maybe next papacy.