Thursday, March 14, 2013

5 Reasons I'd Date, But Not Marry the New Pope

Act #72:  Celebrate, and continue to believe.

I'm not Catholic and up until yesterday was clueless about the significance of black smoke v. white smoke.  I did however date a Catholic for 4 years in college and attended mass with him pretty regularly, and three of my closest family friends are also Catholic, so I'm not completely ignorant about the faith.  And like the rest of the world, I'm completely and utterly fascinated with the pomp and circumstance, the fact that the rituals that took place yesterday during the election of the new pope, also took place in the exact same manner hundreds of years ago.  Surely that qualifies me enough to have an opinion about the man that is to provide spiritual leadership for 1 billion human beings, including three of my favorite families, right? 

1.  Peace and social justice turn me on.   He was a fixture in the slums in Argentina and he considers social outreach, rather than doctrinal battles, to be the essential business of the church. He chose the name Francis, after Francis of Assisi, the man who renounced his riches to embrace a life of poverty and simplicity to preach a message of joy and peace.

2.  So does humility.  This man takes the bus to work, chooses to live in a tiny apartment, and cooks for himself. When the bishops met, he always sat in the back row.  He smiled during his announcement!

3.  I'd take brains over brawn any day.  Initially trained as a chemist, Bergoglio taught literature, psychology, philosophy and theology before taking over as Buenos Aires archbishop in 1998.

4.  Sunday dinners might be awkward.  Especially since we often times have our best friends over and they are known to hold hands and sometimes give each other pecks on the cheek.  And they are both men.  The new pope has described same-sex marriage as the work of the devil and a "destructive attack on God's plan".  He has also said that gay adoption is a form of discrimination against children.  That might ruin a good meal.

5.  I'm just not handmaid material.   Yeah, this is where it gets a bit iffy.   I just don't think it would work out for us if he expected my role as a woman to be modeled after the Virgin Mary, "a humble handmaid of the Lord."   Oh, and that celibacy thing might get in the way.  And the contraception thing too. 

So I join the world in cautiously welcoming the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, and it is with great hope that I pray for true spiritual inspiration and leadership for my friends, for 1 billion people that span the globe:

A Queer Prayer for Pope Francis 
With thanksgiving
and hope
I come to you today
Grateful to walk with sisters & brothers
of other tribes
as they celebrate with faithful anticipation
one who accepts the call
as your servant leader
may his ear be inclined
toward your extravagant love
may the hinges of his heart
be oiled with compassion
and swing open
to welcome your ever present spirit
may his hands
reach across borders
geographical and theological
may his spirit
be willing to hear
your still speaking voice
whispered in the dulcet tones
of everlasting grace
may his knees bend
in radical humility
as he prays for your guidance
may his feet take confident
and compassionate steps
toward liberative justice
may his eyes perceive
your beauty
reflected in the faces
of lesbian
and transgender
May he live into his chosen name
and truly regard all
All creation as the mirror of God
and claim love
as the truest of all truths
Oh Lord
May You speak
Through him
May You speak
In spite of him

~ Kimberly Knight

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