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September 24, 2013 at 11:26 AM
A welcome change
I find it extraordinarily refreshing that Pope Francis has articulated and emphasized the core values of the Catholic faith — service to the poor and marginalized that acknowledges the divine in all individuals — by de-emphasizing the rigid dogma that has pitted Catholics on opposite sides of the religious spectrum for the past several decades. [“Pope’s words hint of changes at Vatican,” News, Sept. 21.]
Dogma has been abused by the hierarchy as a litmus test to ascertain how “Catholic” one’s convictions were. Just six months into his papacy, Francis consigned judgment off its high perch when he humbled himself (and thus the entire hierarchy) as one flawed human being among an entire race of imperfect human beings.
He has changed the paradigm of what it means to be a faithful Christian. One is faithful, not by blindly and unthinkingly adhering to rigid rules, but by engaging in selfless actions that embrace the humanity and divine in all of us.
As the perfect example of that faithfulness, Pope Francis may have saved the Catholic Church from itself. When lapsed Catholics are thinking of re-engaging with a new, more open and compassionate Church, that speaks volumes for the important and constructive role the Catholic Church will play in our future social discourse.
Leo Egashira, Seattle
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