It has been a year since the white smoke poured forth from the chimney erected atop the Sistine Chapel signaling the election of Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis. Pope Francis, with his "Who am I to judge?" has opened the door.
When women participate as a "non-minority" in any social structure, dialog and decision-making patterns become more collaborative. More options get on the table.
Growing up in a Catholic household and attending Jesuit schools gave him a religious vocabulary he then brought to deep questions. His discovery of music became a search for truth. Over time he learned that art is not truth but points to truth.
Art historians, curators, and critics offer extensive commentary on the minutest details and nuances of artworks but ignore the glaring and obvious falsification of biblical history.
We have droughts out West and cold, snowy winters and more of these will continue. Will we be able to read the signs, join with our fellow citizens of Earth, and do what we need to do to produce a "new type of thinking?"
Ever visit an historic church after it's been refurbished? With smoky grime washed away, colors become vibrant. Sunlight brightens once hidden corners. You see the church as never before. It's an old church, but suddenly it seems new, even awesome.
For me, this generation holds more hope than any previous generation I could name, including my own.
I periodically go to religious services for their moments of quiet and reflection. Too often I leave feeling the faith leader missed an opportunity to reach the congregants and to advance the cause of humanity. But I am also fortunate to know some faith leaders who, like the Pope, dare to show the way.
When making plans to attend this momentous occasion, it's important to know what to expect in order to make the most of your experience!
Genuine charity or philanthropy requires, above all else, that we are dedicated to seeing to it, first of all, that every human being has access to all the basic human rights.
"Dear young people, please, don't be observers of life, but get involved. Jesus did not remain an observer, but he immersed himself. Don't be observe...
Not feeling the love? Sorry, but when I consider these issues, I just can't. I hear the kinder, gentler tone. I note the warm and fuzzy optics. But as for the prospect of real change -- no. I don't see it.
Bill de Blasio has lifted the left and is a man to watch in 2014. I have a hunch that the next Democratic nominee for president will be watching him closely, too.
This debate has played out over the ages in numerous venues. The Bible is filled with warnings about the dangers of wealth and the responsibility to take care of the widow, the orphan and the stranger in the community.
Sure, the religious right is still teamed up with conservative politicians in their battle against gay marriage, abortion, and immigration reform -- but the days of Americans actually heeding what they say is over.
Pope Francis is being celebrated for his ability to change the conversation of the Roman Catholic Church. His communication skills coupled with the stature of the papacy have brought a new tone to discourse within the church and captivated those of us outside that communion.