In the years that he has served, Pope Francis has been one of the most controversial popes in history due to his reforms and ideologies, which are changing not only the face of Catholicism, but Christianity at large. Never would we ever have imagined in our right minds that homosexuals would be able to attend church or that the excommunication penalty on divorce and abortion would be lifted.
Unlike most, Pope Francis is not afraid to criticize the church and its ever deteriorating ways over the years. He made sure to remind the church that they were becoming obsessed with moral doctrines pertaining to issues like same sex marriages, contraception and abortion, and overlooking other duties which include catering for the poor and comforting those in despair.
Of course, many priests are not happy with his declaration as it has been the duty of the church and norm for years to remind the masses of what is right and what is wrong.
Lately, the pope gave all Catholic priests the ability to grant forgiveness for abortion. Ultimately, the punishment for abortion in the Catholic Church since the sixteenth century is excommunication; i.e. they instantly fall out of communion. Abortion goes against the fifth commandment “Do not kill”, human life must be respected from the moment of conception.
There have been mixed reactions to this news. For those rooted in tradition it is unimaginable, but for the radicals, it is an indication of a greater change. It is particularly good news for feminists who believe the woman has a right to decide when she wants to bring life into the world.
Pope Francis also passed the same bill for divorcees who also suffer the same fate in the church. He stated that the God we pray to is a forgiving God and everyone needs to be reminded of these attributes. He called for priests to give divorced people a chance to fully return to church and be able to receive communion.
Some of Pope Francis’ reforms include his call for centralized power and inclusion. The pope must collaborate with bishops, laypeople and women in the church. He is also pushing for climate change and getting involved in world matters stepping out of the religious comfort zone.
When asked about gay people, the pope said, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
He pressed that the church should apologize to the gay community for mistreating them.
His neutral stance has drawn much speculation and even led to the rise of issues like the acceptance of gay priests in the Catholic Church.
Among other things the Pope has been out and about. He carried out one of the most important masses of the year in the chapel of a prison and kissed the feet of prisoners. He also called and comforted a woman who had been raped, something his predecessors never did. In this act he also emphasised that the church needs to do more and stop neglecting issues like child abuse.
Atheists can be great people, the pope said, saying people are guided by their conscience and if they follow it; they can never go wrong.
It is safe o say Pope Francis has managed to surprise the world with his freethinking which is slowly remodelling Catholicism and Christianity as a whole.