atheism catholicism English faith Francis I New Pope

The new Pope

The Catholic church just elected a new Pope. His name will be Francis I, he is Argentinian, and he looks like a good person. And his election is instilling some mixed feelings on me.
I was raised Catholic. As a kid, I was an altar girl in my little village. I took my First Communion in a beautiful dress, and have fond memories of preparing for it with Don Donato, my village’s priest at that time. I went to a nun’s school. I even spent two years in a nun’s boarding school. At age 13 I stopped being Catholic, I lost faith and swore that I would never send my kids to a Catholic school. I had seen enough of the contradictions within the Catholic church.
When I got married, we had a civil wedding at my parents’ garden. In a bout of inconsistency, I baptised my kids at my father’s urge. He had been very sick, and it was important for him, so we obliged. In a second bout of inconsistency, when it came the time to pick a school for little L, we chose to send him to a Catholic one. It is academically sound, small, and the closest I have seen here to European schools, so I was sold rather quickly. Also, the Catholic church is very effective when it comes to management, be it registries of any kind or academic institutions. But I had never had doubts about my lack of faith.
Until today. Today I find myself absolutely hooked to CNN’s coverage of the new Pope’s election. And I feel excited. There is a new guy in Rome, and he looks like a really good and approachable person, and he speaks my native language, and he seems to be the living proof that the Catholic church is willing to move forward.
And this Sunday, for the first time in twenty years, I may walk into a church on my own will, without anyone getting married, without baptism or funeral, without my son pulling my hand so he can see St Nicholas.
And I may listen, and I may give them a second chance.

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