Pope Francis and the Speech Hoax

Recently there was controversy online regarding whether or not a speech written by Pope Francis was really said to the public. While some regard the whole issue to be a complete hoax, stating the unlikeliness of such as a speech, others remain optimistic.

It is unfortunate though, that the speech was a joke of sorts written by an online new source similar to The Onion. The article is titled “Pope Francis Condemns Racism And Declares That “All Religions Are True” At Historic Third Vatican Council”. Notably, the most obvious clue to the inauthenticity of this article lies in the title. There has not by Third Vatican Council. The last one was held in 60s.

Yet even though the contents written may not be true, I think the author was smart enough to touch upon a number of topics that were relevant not only to Catholics but the religious sphere in general.  Had he or she not addressed these topics, the hoax would have never taken off nor would people have been so convinced of its authenticity.

Included within the article were snippets of how Catholicism is now a “modern and reasonable religion, which has undergone evolutionary changes.” It continues to state that it has come to abandon all intolerance, and accepts all religions as true. Even more absurd were its statements supporting same-sex, pro-life, and pro-choice.

Catholicism has always represented the conservative side of Christianity. This is why these supposed sayings by Pope Francis were at the centre of such outrage and shock. Under Pope Francis’ reign, he is tasked with refreshing the Catholic Church and modernizing it to a point. While he is still considered conservative, the current Pope’s views are seen as more leftist than Pope Benedict XVI.

I would argue the new Pope is making a noticeable break from Vatican tradition, facing political issues head on and presenting a more all-inclusive attitude toward human right. Either way, I think the changes to Catholic Church have been aplenty since the Francis’ inauguration. He has broken away from tradition and is beginning a silent revolution to change the Catholic Church.

Spirituality and Religion

Recently in English class we were debating and discussing the difference between being religious and being spiritual. Previously, I did not realize there was a difference between the two but further analysis has revealed otherwise. I thought I would share some thoughts.

Being religious meaning adhering to a certain set of specific system of belief, worship, or conduct that prescribes certain responses to the existence.  I see spirituality as a deeply personal connection to a greater force which cannot be personified. Therefore religious people can be spiritual. However, spiritual people do not necessarily have to be religious. Many people who do feel that deep personal connection but who are not affiliated with any organized religion prefer to refer to themselves as “spiritual”.

I see religion as a way to help people achieve spiritual connection. In a sense, many who are spiritual but not religious actually have a greater grasp of life and their existence because in order to be spiritual, one must have a clear goal or a purpose which leads them to believe.