As someone who was brought up in the Catholic Church/School (and am proud of that part of my own history) and then public school, I have a feeling of being let down by organized religion. My Mothers side is Irish Catholic and my Father has Christian values. I myself have stepped away from the church and most religious ideologies for personal reasons. I am a believer in God as a term of relating to what is bigger than man can ever understand.
With all the controversy within the Catholic church regarding the treatment of thousands of victims of the worst crime a human can commit other than murder, and the way the priests have been shuffled around to escape legal action I find it impossible to believe in religion. I am spiritual, an understanding that lies within me that I have no need to explain, and that faith has helped me personally on a million levels.
I recently learned that the new Pope, Pope Francis is a man of great integrity and bravery. I have learned that he got involved in the priesthood in his early thirties and studied philosophy. This is profound to me but not nearly as profound as the knowledge that Pope Francis has known what it is to be in love. CRUCIAL....
A man or woman who has experienced true love, abstract and vulnerable has the potential to see the human condition as it is as opposed to how it might be taught. I am positive that this is why Pope Francis has embraced the Gay community and seems to care more about humanitarian issues than the long line of Popes before him. This is a revelation, a PROFOUND step in the right direction. Pope Francis has the power to enact real change and even though I may not step in a church anytime soon, Pope Francis has made me proud to be associated with Catholicism in a way I never was before. This is a man to watch and celebrate. A true believer in both God and mankind. I am hopeful.