Congratulations to all Catholics on the new pope, Francis I. As a member of a church that not that long ago replaced a beloved leader with a new, beloved leader I have some idea of what this means. Still, a picture in my local newspaper the next morning really brought it home for me. It portrayed the reactions of students at the Catholic high school not far from my house. Their expressions made it clear this was an important event to them. I’m glad you have a new leader, and it’s someone who gives you hope and inspiration for the future.
There are, of course, those who are taking advantage of this occasion to further their criticism and ridicule. Not that they’re likely to listen to me, but shame on them. If they’re really concerned about people living up to their standards, I have to ask—how are you doing at living up to your own standards? What? Not perfect yet? Then why don’t you go work on that, and let them enjoy this historic moment.
Criticism has its place. It should never be a way of life.
The Catholic Church does much good in the world. I admire their principled stand on so many moral issues that society has been quick to abandon for convenience. I can hear the Yesbuts queuing up even now—save your breath. I’ve heard it all before, and I’m not here to be critical today. I stand with anyone who will stand up for the things I hold to be true, however imperfectly.
The Catholic Church now has a new general in their fight against a darkening world. I wish him well; I wish him all the strength, courage, wisdom, and inspiration God can grant him. May this be a joyous era for those who follow him as their leader.