Who cares about tradition? The Pope misses his late night pizza runs, which I guess is his tradition.
In a recent interview the Pope Francis I revealed that he doesn’t expect to be pope for very long, maybe three to five years. He has already been sitting on St. Peter’s throne for two.
And thus the fallout continues following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI two years ago. The position has apparently been reduced from one of calling to just another job. Soon it will have term limits.
I can appreciate Francis’ love for pizza, and I am sure it is annoying to no longer be able to nip out anonymously for a late night snack. But he was a cardinal before being elected pope; he knew what the job entailed. He could have made it clear to God and his peers that he had no desire to serve. “Take this cup from me…”
The question, to me anyway, is whether the church (or God) can and should demand more of its people than would be expected in other positions. Is there indeed a higher calling, where sacrifice is expected and accepted? Certainly as I have always understood the tradition, that was the case. Now apparently the rules have changed.
Tradition for tradition’s sake needs to be challenged. I have no problem with that – discussion and dialogue foster understanding. And maybe after 2,000 years of popes it was time to look at whether it was necessary for the head of the Roman Catholic Church to always die in office. But if there was discussion and debate I missed it. Just a pope who announced his retirement, and now his successor is planning on stepping down in favour of pizza.
A generation ago, in an attempt to be more relevant, the Catholic Church abandoned the Latin mass in favour of the vernacular. I maintain this has had an overall negative impact on the church. No longer do Catholics have a common language in every church on the planet. I think having that in common was a real strength.
Yes, the Latin mass had to be explained to those unfamiliar, since no-one speaks Latin anymore. These days most people don’t go to church so anyone visiting is going to need interpretation anyway – everything that happens in a mass will be foreign to them, even if they understand the language.
Maybe it makes no difference if the pope no longer serves for life. I haven’t asked any of my Roman Catholic friends how they feel about it; maybe I am in the minority and everyone else thinks it is a great idea.
To me though it is sad when tradition dies. I hope Pope Francis enjoys his retirement pizza. I wonder if he will find that it is worth it.