Black Smoke RisingMaybe if I were Catholic I would "get it" regarding the selection of a new Pope, but I'm not, and the whole ritual and hoopla seem to me to be relics of ancient history. Black smoke just rose from the Sistine Chapel! The first time I saw that "news", I thought, "How awful! The Sistine Chapel is on fire!" But apparently not. It's just the other half of the duo, Smoke and Mirrors. On balance, has Catholicism (or any major religion, for that matter) been a force for good in the world, or an excuse to change the lives of those who think differently?
Of course there are many wonderful people of the Catholic faith, just as there are many wonderful Muslims and Hindus and Jews and Animists and Shintos and Rastafarians and Jains. As for me, religion pretty much boils down to the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Although the members of a church can provide a very positive social and support group, I don't need a church, and certainly not a males-only-need-apply pope.
This isn't intended to pi** off my Catholic Friends. It's just my personal opinion. Find comfort and guidance wherever you believe it is, but always remember The Golden Rule.