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    Posted February 12, 2013 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Catholics: Your views on new pope

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    A bit saddened, a bit joyous and a bit upset at the bash party from others


    I must admit, I was a bit surprised by the Pope's announcement of his resignation. However after reviewing several articles, there was some indication that his resignation would come soon. Although he was not my first choice (or ranged anywhere near my top choices of future Popes) in 2005, I respected the fact that he was the head of the Catholic Church even though I didn't agree with his ideology.

    I've heard several people say that there should be an age limit to be Pope but I disagree. I don't believe one is too old to carry God's work and the resignation of each should be entirely up to them. They do have that option. I applaud Pope Benedict XVI for making this difficult decision. He of all people experienced how his predecessor, Pope John Paul II suffered with his own illness up until his death.

    The one important lesson that Pope John Paul II taught the world is that illness and age should not be an impediment to work. In many countries around the world, age discrimination exists. By not resigning, he showed the world that "old people" can work just as hard and passionately as the young folk if given the opportunity.

    My first choice in 2005 was Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria. He's a very gentle man but a strong theologian and somewhat traditionalist but not as conservative as Pope Benedict XVI. His beliefs were very similar to Pope John Paul II, so I'm hopeful that he may be selected this year. :-)

    I liked Pope John Paul II's character and his power to convene the masses because of his ever jovial spirit and the optimism he always reflected in the people. He highly favored the youth because he believed they were the future. And in turn, they loved him back. Again, teaching the world that one is never too old or frail to get the job done.

    Where I disagreed with Pope John Paul II was his methods of evangelizing when it deviated from traditional Catholic teachings. During his 20+ year tenure, he allowed the charismatic movement to be implemented during mass in order to win over converts and people who had previously left the church.
    The traditional and theological teachings of Pope Benedict XVI is precisely what I liked about him but understandably alienated many others who over the span of a lifetime, only knew his predecessor. I, myself, grew up knowing only one Pope in my lifetime, Pope John Paul II, until his death.

    In a move that branded him a conservative, Pope Benedict XVI prohibited the "charismatic movement" from freely expressing themselves during mass - a move that I personally agreed with. However, there were times where I felt he "rolled back the clock". Other liberties we all took under Pope John Paul II, were no longer permitted. At times, Pope Benedict XVI was a bit too traditional for my liking but I expected it based on the way he carried himself before being elected Pope.

    Now that he has announced his resignation, although a bit saddened, I am having some fun with it. In 2005 I heard about the "online betting" sites that were trying to guess who would be the next Pope and what name he would select. I was in mourning then because the man I had always considered my Pope, had just passed away.  Although, I'm glad I didn't bet then because while most were placing bets on Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany (now Pope Benedict XVIth), I would have lost if I had selected my first choice then, Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria.

    Curiously, the recent odds are in favor of Cardinal Arinze this time around and Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan -- the latter because of his stable relations with the Muslim community and while somewhat of a traditionalist, has alienated himself in recent years from the conservative order. The rumor is that they are looking for a younger Pope within the "new order" to move the Catholic Church forward (or at least where Pope John Paul II left off) rather than the "conservative order". I do not expect the "dramatic change" that many in the U.S. are pushing for nor am I for it. Baby steps are good enough for me.

    I would be disappointed if Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico is elected as the next Pope because although he condemns the drug war violence from the pulpit and publicly chastises the privileged for not helping the poor, he takes no shame in rubbing elbows with the elite. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the US is another one I would be disappointed if elected, mainly because his views are a bit too liberal for my liking.

    I am however, a bit taken aback at the online vitriol fueling from the announcement of his resignation from non-believers. Yes, there is some mention of the sex abuse scandals that has rocked the Catholic Church in recent years but a lot of the attacks on Pope Benedict are on a personal level. Some call him an "evil" man while others seem to believe that his resignation will bring about the "disclosure" that we are not alone in this world. Hey, I believe in little green men too but I highly doubt the Pope's resignation has anything to do with extraterrestrial beings inflluencing his decision to step down.

    As I mentioned before, there are many things I don't agree with my Church (theological and otherwise) and many others I disagree with from other religions, but not because of it I would speak negatively of either one.
    Would any of my disagreements with my Church ever cause me to change my religion? No. There are good and bad things in every religion. I disagree with the Catholic Church on many issues but none of the other religions in this world are perfect either. Frankly, I enjoy the history and traditions of my religion - the good and the bad.

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