Seminary students react to Pope’s resignation, future of church

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The Swiss Guard has abandoned its post at the entrance to the door of the Pope’s residence, officially ending Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s time as the leader of the Catholic Church.

The Pontiff Emeritus will spend the next few weeks at a summer home before moving to a small monastery within the vatican grounds.

The transition to a new pope now begins.

Will the next pope hold true to the same ideals that have been in place for centuries, or will he change the church’s stance on controversial issues– like abortion and contraception– to win people back to the faith? That is what is at the heart of the debate now.

As Pope Benedict the 16th closed his career as the leader of the Catholic Church, the walk toward becoming a member of the clergy is just beginning for Tim DeCrane and Adam Antone.

“It is that joy that I want to bring to others,” said Antone.  “That sense of the love of God.”

Both are students at Marion University, both are in the Bishop Simon Brute Seminary.  Both feel called to priesthood, and both back the teachings of the recently retired father.

“I admire him for his dignity and for the way he was very prayerful about this decision and how even thought he is retired, I know we are going to get a wealth of knowledge from him,” said DeCrane.

A number of churches around the Circle City are putting up signs, thanking the Pope for his work. Meanwhile, activist groups worry about the church’s future.  They say the church’s stance on recent legal issues are cause for concern.  They argue the entire Catholic Church is at a crossroads.

“I think the Catholic Church needs to change or die, because they are on the wrong side of history,” said Center For Inquiry Executive Director Reba Boyd-Wooden.

Boyd-Wooden said she feels the church’s stance on issues like:same-sex marriage and contraception have led to people leaving the church.

“I would hope they would elect a pope that will want to liberalize and modernize the Catholic Church,” said Boyd-Wooden.  “I think the future of the Catholic Church depends on it, as well as a lot of people that they are hurting.”

Boyd-Wooden hopes the next Pope will be more liberal, shaping the church’s current view to match much of the modern world. The pair of seminary students believes ancient traditions still hold true.

“It is not a popularity contest,” said Antone.  “The church is about teaching the truth.”

“I do not want to see it go one way or the other,” said DeCrane.  “I want to see it as Christ wanted it to be, and in the way that Christ founded it to be.  I think that is the way the church should be run.  It is His church.”

Pope Benedict the 16th cited a “lack of strength of mind and body” as his reasons for stepping down.  Some experts are saying the next Pope could be elected on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

12 comments

  • Steverino

    I appreciate your interviewing the two Marian University seminarians for this story. However, it's ludicrous that you chose to interview the executive director of the Center for Inquiry for comments as to how the Catholic Church should change to "attract those fallen away back into the pews." This organization's mission is totally secular as evidenced by the following statements from its website.

    The mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values….
    Goals:
    Fostering a secular society requires attention to many specific goals, but three goals in particular represent the focus of our activities:
    1.an end to the influence that religion and pseudoscience have on public policy
    2.an end to the privileged position that religion and pseudoscience continue to enjoy in many societies
    3.an end to the stigma attached to being a nonbeliever, whether the nonbeliever describes her/himself as an atheist, agnostic, humanist, freethinker or skeptic.

    • Eric

      Sure, most of us at CFI are secular, humanists, skeptics, and the like, but one of the hallmarks of the Center for Inquiry is that we are very tolerant and understanding realists, who support everyone's right to believe what they want. We know the Catholic Church won't just go away, since it's one of the largest sects of the largest religion in the world. We just hope that Christian leaders may at least start to understand the real problems that they're having within their own faith tradition, especially including the reasons for attrition.

  • B. ABEYWICKRAMA

    Why HIS HOLINESS THE POPE admits church's stormy waters,when OUR LORD JESUS personified THE FISHERMAN PETER TO A ROCK and said "PETER YOU A ROCK AN D UPON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD THE CHURCH.. May God grant His Holiness great strength to carry this CROSS OF LIFE ON THIS EARTH..FOR SOME MORE YEARS………PRAISE THE LORD.

  • Torin

    Personally, I don't see how Papists can be Americans and a believer. If you believe in the American principle, "for the People, by the People" how can papist support a man, not elected by the laity and speaks with the voice of a god. I just don't understand the compartmentalization Papist do in order to believe in their doctrine.

  • jayceemabia

    I think papal decision is a commendable one and our leader should emulate that. Its not a most that one must die in power when you no that lack the strength of mind and body to carry on. To God be the glory.

  • Andy Anderson

    I used to be Catholic, I have seen enough of the Vatican’s actions to realize that they speak with no moral authority.

    The person from CFI is right — either the RCC starts actually listening to the faithful, or it’s going to continue on its way toward irrelevance. We’ve got a Prince of The Church from L.A. who spent years knowingly covering up for child rapists on his way to Rome right now to elect the new Vicar of Christ on Earth. This is in spite of thousands of Catholics asking him not to do so. I don’t recall anything from the Gospels where Jesus covered up sin instead of rebuking it.

    I don’t need the Vatican to stand between me and God. They need to face reality instead of hiding behind fancy costumes and pious fraud.

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