Monday, July 25, 2016
I grew up in the Cold War, East versus West. In grade school in the Bronx, we practiced drills, hiding under our desks, in case Russia send us a hydrogen bomb by air. Whatever was going on in South America, was of no concern outside of geography class. In my church this has all changed because today we have a Pope from Argentina. He lives in the Vatican which is very concerned about protocol, business as usual, law, and the protection of the institution, The Roman Catholic Church. This pope seems to have bought a Latin American focus to Rome. He is not uninterested in the above agenda, but he is interested in the Gospel, specifically what Jesus had to say about caring for the forgotten, the poor, the outsider, and those who do not seem to fit nicely into the legal structure of the church. This goes beyond charity for him. He calls for a change in structures of society. It is a bit of a conflict, Pope and Vatican hierarchs, and maybe many North American bishops in general. As in the Cold War, many people take sides, and their side is right while the other side is all wrong. I pray for dialogue, compassion and openness. These are all gifts of the Holy Spirit who is the one really running the church. God is always coming into our lives in unexpected ways, not according to anyone's plans. The Incarnation attests to that.