Many people today,
especially those born after Vatican II,
not programmed as a youngster
(like I was)
simply do not believe
the core doctrines and dogmas
on which Catholicism is based,
and, frankly, neither do I.
They don't care about issues
like the virgin birth, immaculate conception, original sin,
consubtantiation, and bodily resurrection.
They just do not buy into
the whole concept of Atonement (Redemption) Theology
and do not believe Jesus died because of their sins.
did not require the death of Jesus
to Love humanity again,
and is not some white-haired old gent
sitting in judgment.
They don't busy themselves thinking about,
or going off to study such concepts
and the literal interpretations placed on them
by fundamentalist preaching.
They have lost respect for the authorities
who try to perpetuate or promote
medieval, simplistic and literal interpretations
of such beliefs and concepts.
is fed by the Catholic Church misunderstanding
of human sexuality,
affirmed by Humanae Vitae
and, specifically, the matter of artificial contraception.
When Church leaders are so obviously way off base on birth control,
one wonders how many other subjects of their supposed authority
are beyond their comprehension?
But the issues go a long, long way further
into the institutional core creeds and beliefs,
beyond questions about sexual plumbing
and who can do what with whom.
Francis seems unwilling to take
any of the fundamental dogmas and beliefs of Catholicism
back to the drawing board.
His audience is basically
the poor people of Third World countries.
He doesn't seem to understand
those of us in the affluent, educated, first world
leaving antiquated institutional religion behind.
His strategy of showing the mercy and compassion of Jesus and God
to the poor of the world
who are often living in situations
that simply ignore many of the dogmatic norms
that Church hierarchy sees
as absolute and unchangeable
may well give Catholicism a fresh breath of life
in the Developing World.
But Francis may not have the slightest impact
on what has been happening with allegiances
to Institutional Church
by ordinary educated people
in the Developed World
who have left
and are moving on.