As most know I am and have always been Catholic. It is as much a part of me as my hair color. And like hair color, over times it changes shades. I'm not the little kid with straight blonde hair any longer. That was many years ago. And as I have grown, so too have by beliefs. Neither am I the curly-headed auburn colored lad of times gone by. At this time in my life, I'm more blondish-brown with a touch of gray blending in on the sides. As I have changed, so have my thoughts on my Catholic faith.
The election of a Pope is something that happens several times within our lives but I think the termination of this conclave could have far-reaching consequences within the Church. With the subsequent election of a new Pope to sit in the seat of Peter, we are on the threshold of the possibility of monumental change in the Catholic church. There has never been a doubt for me as to the tenets of the faith I have lived my life by. I think most Catholics believe their own experiences within the Church would fall into that type of scenario. That's not to say we all don't struggle with what we are asked to do within that faith. We are human and subject to the frailties of the human spirit.
I think what most of the faithful struggle with is the framework of the structure the Church has built up around itself. The padgentry and rituals of the Church are there to help give permanence and history to us commoners. Unfortunately that structure gets in the way in the modern world. The faithful are simply no longer a flock of sheep to be herded into heaven without comment. The Catholic populace is highly educated and this is where the conflict with Church structure begins. We challenge this hierarchy as outmoded in a world where we are as educated as those who lead us. In the past, that was not the case.
Whoever is elected to sit in the chair of St. Peter must begin to look not at the doctrine of Church teachings but the structure of how the Catholic church is built. That is the threshold that we as a faith should step over. Hopefully our new Pontiff has the courage to break with traditions that, though in place for two-thousand years, simply have no place in the modern world.