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UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Winning Hult Prize team at UMass to travel to semi-finals of competition in March -

December 28, 2016

New Pope, same path for the Catholic Church

Flickr/M.Mazur

The sudden announcement that Pope Benedict XVI is resigning has led many Americans to speculate that the next pontiff may bring sweeping reform to the nearly 2,000 year-old institution. While the news was unexpected, the transition from shock to both curiosity and speculation about the election of another Roman Catholic to fill the papacy took very little time indeed. While many have hopes for a more liberal Pope and Catholic Church in the coming years, the evidence to suggest such a renaissance within the religion is nonexistent. Catholics and non-Catholics alike in the United States and abroad have criticized Pope Benedict’s conservatism in the light of an increasingly secular world. Many individuals have begun to rejoice already for what could be a tidal wave of reform regarding birth control, abortion, homosexual acceptance, the end to celibacy as a part of Holy Orders and the introduction of female priests.

However, the papacy will not be radically altered by the election, which is set to occur by the end of the month. Pope Benedict XVI’s legacy will help to secure the office of Pope as one of traditional and conservative Catholic dogma. During his time as head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict appointed 67 of the 116 Cardinals who will be electing the next Vicar of Christ. There are currently 209 living Cardinals of which approximately 116 Cardinals under the age of 80 will have the opportunity to vote.  Pope Benedict has essentially elected his successor himself by appointing new Cardinals who fit his traditional and conservative theology during his tenure. More than half of those voting were personally appointed by Pope Benedict and with the need of a two thirds majority, as well as an additional vote, it seems unlikely that a liberal Pope willing to make sweeping changes in church doctrine is coming any time soon.

Yet, even though the official doctrine will likely remain the same, the conclave may elect the first non-European Pope for the first time in centuries. Speculation over a Cardinal from Africa, South America or North America being elected as the next Pope are is unthinkable, and it is likely in the best interest of the Church as it continues to expand in those places. The Catholic Church has a deep history in Europe, but every year more Catholics leave the faith and even more are not practicing their religion or passing it on to their children. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has continued to expand its base in continents like Africa and Asia while maintaining large numbers in the Americas. The regional power distribution by votes within the College of Cardinals is disproportionately European as roughly 55 percent of the College is European in origin while Europe accounts for only a quarter of the Catholic Church’s 1.2 billion members. Conversely in the Americas, where approximately 49 percent of Catholics live, is underrepresented accounting for only 19 percent of the College of Cardinals voting power.

Aside from the many Italian candidates, two individuals with a shot at the papacy include Cardinal Peter Turkson, from Ghana, who would be the fourth African Pope but the first black African Pope (the others having hailed from Northern Africa, within Roman territories), and Cardinal Marc Oullet, who hails from Quebec and seems to fit well within the Church that Benedict XVI has run for nearly the past eight years.

Benedict called for a return to Catholic tradition and conservatism that honored the Catholic Church’s rich history and centuries of theological teachings. While some may be disappointed with the continued trend away from modern day relativism which Benedict XVI campaigned for, it is unlikely that such a radical change in doctrine will occur. That is not necessarily something to be unhappy about. The Catholic Church has had hundreds of years of internal debate and dozens of scholars behind its philosophy and Catechism that should not be changed to be easier or more compatible for modern life. If the Catholic Church was to change in all of the ways listed and disregard centuries of doctrine it would simply no longer be the same church. For practicing Catholics, there will likely be little in the news of change in doctrine this Easter, when the next Pope presides over mass, but that does not mean that there will not be a bright future for Catholicism in the 21st century with a continued emphasis on evangelization in parts of the world where the Catholic Church can still help millions.

Robert Daly is a Collegian Contributor. He can be reached at rfdaly@student.umass.edu.

 

 

Comments
2 Responses to “New Pope, same path for the Catholic Church”
  1. We may be religious or not, we may agree or disagree with Pope Benedict’s views, but in my opinion, we have to admire a decision that places the good of the Catholic Church above his own prestige.

  2. CYNTHIA says:

    Pope what kind of spiritual you share

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