Holy Smokes! A New Pope!

T. Rex and new Popes: history.

Right as Lent kicked off, the old Pope decided to announce his resignation. Granted, the Church has been awash in controversy for a while, and documentaries like Mea Maxima Culpa highlight what is likely only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the crimes committed  in the name of faith. The Vatican’s decided to go ahead and elect what is a non-European Pope from South America. A bold move to elect a Jesuit, those guys do have strong social justice ties.

I should know, I spent three-ish years at at Jesuit university being softened by the calls for conscience, competence, and compassion. Still, it’s a nice gesture, given that the history of the Americas is similar to that of other colonized areas. I’ve yet to find a way to succinctly describe it as well as Desmond Tutu does: 

When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said “Let us pray.” We closed our eyes. When we opened them, we had the Bible and they had the land.

It’s a little over 500 years later, but representation has now officially happened. It won’t right the countless wrongs committed in the name of conquering peoples for the sake of monetary riches, but it makes me want to believe that the Church can move beyond its archaic views and get back to its roots: the people. The new Pope can’t undo the past, but I hope that he is willing to move the Church to a position where injustices are no longer tolerated.

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