Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SPLIT DECISION: Parker says Pope won’t impact Catholics’ daily lives

So, a coworker told me the other day: “Hey, there’s one thing I won’t talk about at work.”
A pause preceded his answer.
If you can’t talk about religion at work, then it’s really not worth having the discussion anywhere else. A discussion about the Mets starting rotation or how bad the Yankees will be this season could cause a ruckus.
Religion and this week’s topic regarding the significance of Pope Francis, formerly known as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, seems tame enough.
Truthfully, I did not understand the hysteria regarding a new pope, although it’s pretty cool the way they use white smoke regarding a successor.
I don’t understand how one person impacts your ordinary Catholic’s life. He sounded wonderfully interested in helping the poor, but does his generosity translate to Catholics opening their wallets?
Should Trenton’s Catholic Diocese expect a windfall based on Pope Francis’ philanthropic direction?
A report detailed that Cardinal Bergoglio once used public transportation instead of a chauffeured limousine, cooked his own meals, stayed not in the bishop’s palace but in an apartment.
I don’t know if it’s possible to do Pope on the cheap, so to speak.
At some point, Pope Francis will speak on abortion, same-sex marriage, or contraception. His positions as an archbishop on these subjects are already known, but once spoken, will his thoughts change behavior, convince Catholics to spare contraception in place of a spoiled child.
“We should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence,’ that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. The responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors and health professionals,” Bergoglio communicated in 2007.
A CNN survey alleged that 75 percent of polled Catholics said they will more likely make their own decisions on moral questions than to follow Pope Francis’ teachings.
Hmmmmm. Sounds as if Catholics move toward an establishment of their own beliefs, a situation that exists in many other religious circles.
Essentially, Catholics celebrated a new leader but commit toward a self indulgent path for their lives.
If religion continues to conform to human behavior rather than maintain order, especially regarding Christ’s teachings, then this world will yield to destruction.
So, is Pope Francis relevantly important? Only if Catholics follow his lead. Which appears doubtful. Then no.
— L.A. Parker is a Trentonian columnist. He can be reached at



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