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Jerry Davich: Next Pope will surely cling to ancient doctrine

Pope Benedict XVI waves faithful as arrives lead Mass RevolutiSquare HavanCubWednesday March 28 2012.  Pope Benedict XVI wraps up

Pope Benedict XVI waves to faithful as arrives to lead a Mass at Revolution Square in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday March 28, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI wraps up his visit to Cuba on Wednesday with an open-air Mass in the shrine of the Cuban revolution.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

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Updated: March 15, 2013 1:24PM



With Pope Benedict announcing his surprise resignation, the question now is who will be secretly elected to take his place in the Vatican, possibly by Easter?

Progressive-minded Catholics have told me they are hopeful for a new leader with more modern views on evolving and polarizing topics, such as same-sex relationships, American nuns, and global secularism, among many others.

But I doubt such a Cardinal will be elected by the papal conclave, to then be signaled to a waiting world with symbolic white smoke from the Sistine Chapel chimney.

No, although the ancient process to elect a new Pope comes during Lent – the high holy season of repentance, renewal, and resurrection – I see the new leader desperately clinging even more than Pope Benedict to traditional beliefs and fundamental doctrine.

Is this the right move as the world hurls itself through the 21st century? I’m not sure, but it’s probably the only move the church has to keep its loosening clench on its one billion followers, its hazy future, and its social relevance.

When surrounded by hostility, modernity, and inevitability, do you circle your wagons and dig in for a battle? Or do you retreat, surrender, and hoist up, instead, a white flag from the Sistine Chapel?

History tells us the former, not the latter. And, as we surely know, the Roman Catholic Church is more about history and the past than contemporary and the future.

Social media backlash

Since writing what I did, above, and posting it Tuesday night on social media websites, I have already received insightful responses from readers. Here’s a sampling.

“So instead of sticking to high morals, they should just change because that is what everyone else is doing, right?” wrote Valarie K. of Valparaiso. “I mean, hell, maybe they could open an abortion clinic and make some real money.”

Mike M. of Crown Point wrote: “The Church is not in the political business of being tolerant. The Church was given the task to teach and preach the Gospel. The Church cannot change what cannot be changed. Only man does that. God doesn’t change, man does.”

“The Church should stick to what it does and has been doing for the last 2,000 years. Changing what was evil to good for the sake of man’s liking is not what the Church can do. So all you Catholic haters can continue to hate. As for me, I will follow Christ and His church.”

Robert J. of Gary added, “Has anyone considered the fact that the vast majority of Catholics have left the church AFTER the ‘modernizations’ of Vatican II? I hope the college of Cardinals elects a strict doctrinal conservative, just like John Paul II.”

On the other hand, “It is sad, because the (Roman Catholic Church) actions have made me understand that I have no place in the church I was raised in,” noted Curt E. of Valparaiso. “I didn’t leave my church, my church left me.”

Black History Month needed?

Is Black History Month still needed in our United States of Ambiguity?

Critics say no, claiming it is long past its expiration date. Supporters say yes, noting that the struggle for racial equality has only really begun in this country.

I’ll be exploring this sensitive topic in my next column, and also on my Casual Fridays radio show, this Friday at noon on 89.1-FM. I welcome your opinion by either contacting me here or on my radio show, by calling in at 769-9577.

Need an intervention?

My Sunday column on interventions failed to note Intervention Services and Technologies, Inc. in Lowell, the firm that counselor Patty Peters facilitated more than 250 interventions.

For more info on that firm, call (877) 478-4621 or visit www.interventionservicesinc.com.

I regret the omission.

Cheating hearts on Valentine’s?

Did you know that Valentine’s Day is one of the best chances to catch a cheater in a struggling relationship? That’s right because the cheater usually has a passionate desire to also satisfy his mistress, or her new guy, by buying the “other lover” gifts, too.

And, even more dangerously, by somehow also spending time with that person on Valentine’s Day. In fact, it’s so dangerous that the days before and after Valentine’s Day have been labeled “Mistress Day.” You’ve been warned.

And the winner is...

Congrats to Post-Tribune reader Heidi Theis, of Crown Point, for being the 10th reader to contact me on Monday morning and winning a gift card for a free couple’s massage at Harmony Massage Therapy in Valparaiso (a $120 value).

Happy Valentine’s Day to you, and also to the dozens of other readers who contacted me that day.

Find more of Jerry’s writings on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, and jerrydavich.wordpress.com.



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