It is heartening to hear that Pope Francis had earlier given up a palace for a small apartment, preferred public transportation to a chauffeur-driven car and cooked his own meals (“Conservative with a common touch,” March 15) and that on the first day of his papacy, he picked up his luggage from the hotel, paid the bill himself and chose to ride with the other cardinals in a minibus shunning the ‘Vatican One’ limousine. The faithful the world over would be anxiously waiting to see his approach to abortion, same-sex marriage, contraception, celibacy on priesthood, interfaith tensions and dwindling congregations. If he decides to bestow on the clergy (at least up to the priest level) the option of marriage, it would be a path-breaking step which will go a long way in addressing the issues of paedophilia and sexual misconduct.
The gap between Christ’s teachings and the behaviour of some elements of the clergy is already a matter of serious discussion within the Catholic community. Whatever his views on various issues, the Pope’s stand on social equality and justice is enough to bring the lost sheep back into the fold.
The faithful from across the world welcome Pope Francis. It does not matter to which country he belongs. It is hoped that he will help the world establish peace, justice and universal brotherhood.
Very few spiritual institutions are exempt from sex scandals and breach of mandated ways of behaviour. The editorial “White smoke or fresh breeze?”(March 15) crisply underscores the plethora of daunting problems that is facing the Catholic Church. It is encouraging to see that the new Pope has the right credentials to pull the Church out of problems and pilot the papacy to its goal of authentic spiritual ministration.