Going a different way

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It was Pope John XXIII who said it was time to open the doors of the Vatican wide and let in a whole new breath of life (fresh air and fresh thought).

He was suggesting big change for the Roman Catholic Church.

Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to accomplish his dream.

With the historical stepping down (the fifth of the two-millennium-old church) of the supreme pontiff Pope Benedict XVI, perhaps now is the time for a grassroots revolution to begin inside the Vatican walls and a new set of directives to be drawn up to elect a future pope.

A different route

How about Roman Catholics around the world electing their Pope themselves through a universal secret ballot, same as with elections of our government representatives?

A Pope of the people chosen by its people.

The Roman Catholic Church under a new pontiff must immediately address the biggest problems weighing down on it, namely the molestation of innocent boys at the hands of priests and high-ranking clergy.

It is time to reflect on the type of new-generation priests who will be allowed to enter the Catholic Church.

Perhaps now is the time to allow women to become priests, and married couples and same sex couples as well.

We can be certain that these actions will not win approval from established old-time Roman Catholics.

That is understandable and respected.

But then, how about John XXIII’s idea of sweeping change that needs to happen. That whole new breath of fresh air and reflections he suggested?

 The church is currently using advertisements in mainstream media encouraging fallen away Catholics to return to their church.

In my view, they will return only when those responsible are rigorously honest about the past and clear about the future.

Now is perhaps the time to consider real revolutionary change.

How about the election of a woman for pope?


Bill Westcott

Clarke’s Beach

Organizations: Roman Catholic Church

Geographic location: Vatican

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Recent comments

  • Charles Kennedy
    March 16, 2013 - 11:47

    If a woman can give birth to the son of a god ,you think that maybe she could be a pope.

  • Colin Burke
    March 16, 2013 - 08:54

    'We don't need a Church that moves with the times. We need a Church that moves the times.' And 'Only a living thing can swim against the current; any thing inert can float with it.' These are not exact quotations from G.K. Chesterton, but they're close.

  • emartin
    March 16, 2013 - 08:15

    A direct vote for Pope? Think of the logistics. First how do you determine who gets to vote? Simply show your baptism certificate or something really strenuous like having gone to Mass at least twice year at Christmas and Easter? How do you collect the votes from 1.2 billion people most of whom live in 3rd world countries? Finally I would add that with the majority of Catholics outside of the "west" and growing in number the Pope that would be voted in would hardly be someone that would represent your decidedly western neo-colonial interests.

  • Leo Hodder
    March 16, 2013 - 00:29

    It was discusting to watch the TV coverage as a group of "red hatted" pedophile protectors went behind closed doors to elect a leader. How can they live with the guilt for all the young children whose lives were damages by the clergy. It is time for the Pope to be elected by the people, just like any other governing body.

  • Doug Smith
    March 15, 2013 - 13:42

    Mr. Westcott, why did you bother to write such a nonsensical and wimpy letter? To suggest that Catholics throughout the world should each cast a vote for Pope is just insane. There is nothing in the Catholic church’s history to suggest such a possibility, the church is an autocratic not a democratic institution. All important decisions are made by priests, bishops, cardinals and popes not the people. Your meek suggestion that, “Perhaps now is the time to allow women to become priests, and married couples and same sex couples as well”, comes across as a feeble statement that even you are not sure of. Who pays attention to wishy washy statements like that? Of course its time to make these changes, its past time. You go on to state that old-time Catholics will not accept these actions. That’s true but then you go on to say “That, is understandable and respected.” Yes it is understandable but it should never be respected. It is outright discrimination of the worst sort, it is a total disrespect of human rights. Mr. Westcott wake up. This is not the Middle Ages. Now, you did write something that sense; that the Catholic Church needs to be honest about the past, however, that’s not going to happen, ever! Even this new pope has a “dark past” according to reports in The New York Times and National Post . In particular, the human rights group HIJOS which represents children of the estimated 30,000 people kidnapped and murdered by the military junta 1976-83, Thursday renewed claims he was complicit in stealing victims babies and turned in priests, who were then tortured. Doug Smith,GFW

    • Danny
      March 16, 2013 - 00:42

      Like all organized so called religion.They hide and cover up sick crimes from those who are spose to shepard the flock.They get non profit status and have assets well into the Billions.They conduct pompus events showing how holy they are yet hide criminals ...not one open minded person falls for such gross misconduct or would worship in a church where gross things continue to happen...If a true loving God who spose to have given us free will...many forget about the consciense he separated us from animals with.Each day I see adults & question that part.