New Pope, Same Old Catholic Church?
The new Pope, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, of Argentina, has gotten world-wide attention since his appointment last week. Now called Pope Francis, he is the first to name himself after St. Francis of Assisi, the first Latin American and the first to have gone against the tradition of praying for the flock in the first address, rather than asking the flock to pray for him.
Emelyn Carpio expresses a similar view. “If the new Pope takes different positions on issues such as birth control, I do think it will bring back younger Catholics who have distanced from the religion,” says the sophomore. “They will feel that the religion understands their needs, and they will feel more connected to it.”
Not all young Catholics have the same opinion. “I would prefer that the new Pope rules the church as all of the other Popes have done it before,” says one Catholic student who preferred to remain anonymous. “I think it is a tradition that should not be changed just because the world is changing.”
However, this student wanted the newly elected pope to have a stricter stance on the scandals like sex abuse and frauds in the Vatican Bank. “I believe that the scandals have influenced our view of the church,” the student says. “I always thought that the church was something to view with respect, but if some of them are doing so many wrong things, how are we supposed to feel confident with them when we are going to confess and when we want to talk to them.”