A bad choice could set back the cause of the Church's renewal even more. A mediocre choice will only ensure that the Church continues to wallow in the current woes. A truly wise, visionary choice will lead the transformation of the Church to ensure its vitality for generations to come.
While many people are forced to be remain closeted in a still often homophobic society, the closet nonetheless should never be seen as a healthy place. It suffocates its occupants and, when combined with power, has them victimizing many others.
What most of us see as victory, conservatives do not see as defeat. Those on the losing side of history have much longer memories than the rest of us. They keep resurrecting battles most of us thought had been decided long ago.
When my parents enrolled me in a Catholic school in Pakistan, our neighbors expressed a concern: Will my faith be at risk because of attending a Catholic school? As it turns out, the Catholic school taught me the lost Muslim value of grappling with disagreements in a non-threatening way.
Q. Can you please explain what the heck is going on in Rome?
A. Well, Pope Benedict XVI retired and now Catholic Cardinals from around the world are congregating to elect a new one.
It is time the Conclave of Cardinals action is one that displays leadership, not authority. It is time they acknowledge the leaders they already have for the faithful.
When Benedict issued his resignation a few weeks ago, those of us who know about Celestine immediately thought of the 1294 pope, and what happened to him. Like Celestine, I have to believe that Benedict, too, wanted to get out alive. And so, now, we need a pope who loves to clean things up.
For much of my life, I thought of work as a means of monetary gain. Work was a way for people to make money, to escape poverty, not a way to find spiritual fulfillment.
Might this be a moment when all sides of the Christian church lay aside their differences? More specifically as Protestants, has the Reformation passed its day?
The picture he and other cardinals paint of sexual abuse victims who demand accountability in the Catholic Church is of unreasonable, insatiable, judgmental, self-righteous and hard-hearted aggressors. Mahony's words send the message that victims should just forgive and forget.
No matter where I travel, whether it's to Louisville, Ky., Vienna, a remote island in the Caribbean, Paris, Montreal or Quebec City -- I see revamped Catholic sacred spaces and cathedrals stripped bare.
These questions come to me as, almost simultaneously, the pope resigns, America's leading newspaper reports day after day about continuing sexual abuse, homosexual culture and political intrigue in the Church, and Professor Wills, this country's most longstanding and prolific Catholic gadfly, publishes perhaps his most iconoclastic book yet about Christian faith.
A precise, wise and great director orchestrated the video of Benedict XVI's flight toward oblivion. The inexorable trajectory of the helicopter in front of the background of a majestic and exhausted city, the hypnotic hum of the blades as the only noise, accompanied by the bells of Rome, which tolled the newly Vacant Seat -- for the first time, joyfully.
Is it possible that the next pope might revisit this and change centuries of Catholic tradition?
This is my letter of resignation. To be honest, I really don't know about the whole protocol over retirement for a guy like me. It turns out I am the first quitter in about 700 years in this neck of the woods. Mamma mia!