There are many reasons why I am not a Roman Catholic, and as I watched Pope Francis burn through thousands of gallons of jet fuel during his recent trip to the U.S., flying from one east coast city to the next when any environment respecting, global warming fearing, humble man would have taken the train or walked (as one group did, walking from Baltimore to Philadelphia to see him), I couldn't help thinking about the contradictions.
Much of the oohing and aahing from the media covering the papal visit was about how he reached out and touched the handicapped and children. One of the strengths of the Roman Catholic church is the way it inspires people to do good works such as caring for the sick and the elderly.
One of its weaknesses is that it sometimes appears to teach righteousness through works.
One of the strengths of the Roman Catholic church is that it sometimes treats its people like sheep.
One of its weaknesses is that it sometimes treats its people like sheep.
One of the strengths of the Roman Catholic church is the way its people sometimes choose to ignore papal teachings.
One of its weaknesses is how it inspires people to go through mental hoops in order to ignore its teachings.
One of the strengths of the Roman Catholic church is the huge numbers that turn out for special worship services.
One of its weaknesses is that huge numbers seem to turn out for worship when the pope comes to town and the rest of us are left to wonder, "Just who is being worshiped here?".
Any church can be inspirational and disappointing at times.
How many of you were inspired in some way by Francis?
Was John Boehner inspired to resign as Speaker of the House after the Pope asked Boehner to pray for him?
Was Nancy Pelosi inspired to change her mind on her anti-Roman Catholic political views?
Was I inspired to swim the Tiber?