Will the New Pope ‘Collapse’ the Catholic Church?

Rather than immediately rushing to analyze Pope Francisviews regarding homosexuality — as if they should be any surprise — I have found it illuminating to follow the commentary of traditionalist Catholics on today’s events.

Michael Brendan Dougherty, writing in Slate, has a quite dour appraisal: [Read more…]

New Pope, Same Old Homophobia

White smoke finally billowed over Vatican City today to announce that Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio had been selected as the new Pope.

There’s already a bit of controversy surrounding his election. As the first Latin-American Pope, Bergoglio honored his Italian and Argentinian heritage by choosing for himself the name Pope Francis I, rather than taking the name Benedict from his predecessor. Some say the name change may signal a “new chapter” for the Catholic Church.

But gay rights advocates say there’s nothing new about this Pope’s attitudes toward LGBT people. [Read more…]

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio Elected Pope: What Does It Mean For The Catholic Church?

Habemus Papem! While virtually all the papabili who went into conclave as potential popes came out as cardinals, one minor candidate — Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires — has become the newest leader of the 2,000-year-old Catholic Church.

[Read more…]

Mark Sanford’s Shallow Spiritualism

Mark Sanford is the former governor of South Carolina who infamously disappeared for several days in 2009 to visit his Argentine lover in Buenos Aires; his befuddled staffers were left to proffer a number of excuses for his sudden absence, most memorably that he’d decided to “hike the Appalachian trail.”

[Read more…]

Researchers Say More Americans Than Ever Before ‘Have No Religious Preference’

Another survey is telling us what we already know: The number of Americans who are not religious is on the rise. Researchers from University of California, Berkeley and Duke University went through the recently-released results of the biennial General Social Survey and found that

While some types of Americans identify with an organized religion less than others, Americans in almost every demographic group increasingly claim “no religion” since the trend began to accelerate in 1990.

This continues a trend of Americans disavowing a specific religious affiliation that began in the 1950s but has accelerated greatly since 1990.

[Read more…]