Time is said to change everything and I have seen many changes to the Catholic Church take place in my lifetime. The Church still has issues with abortion, divorce and gay marriage, but it should not be labeled an antiquated institution. Pope Francis is pro-life, and there is a good chance that will never change, but he has softened his stance on divorced Catholics. Pope Francis praised an Argentinean document stating that in some ‘irregular family situations’, people could still receive communion. Francis thinks that through the “help of sacraments”, this could provide a broader effort to support and integrate divorced and remarried Catholics into the life of the church, and this offers direct evidence that Francis supports a significant change in the way individual priests deal with divorced Catholics.
In 2013, Pope Francis said, “If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” There is also that incident where a survivor of clerical sexual abuse was told by Pope Francis that God had made him gay and loved him, and this is arguably the most strikingly accepting comments about homosexuality that have been uttered by the leader of the Roman Catholic church. Pope Francis says transsexuals and gay people should be embraced by the Catholic Church after he met a woman from Spain who later had a sex change to become a man and subsequently married a woman. He invited the couple to the Vatican, where they told him how upset they had been when a local priest had told them they would “go to hell”. Francis responded, “Life is life, and things should be taken as they come. Sin is sin, but tendencies or hormonal imbalances … can cause many problems and we have to be careful. But each case must be welcomed, accompanied, studied, discerned and integrated. When a person (who is gay) arrives before Jesus, Jesus certainly will not say, ‘Go away because you are homosexual’.” Francis then joked saying that they should not go around repeating that the Pope wants to bless transsexuals, as he did not want to have to read that on the front pages of all the newspapers.
When I was young, most of the mass was in Latin, which made it very difficult to follow. All women were required to cover their hair with a scarf or a hat of some kind. No one ate meat on Fridays during Lent and now all of this has changed. Back in the day, communion was only given by the priest and now there are helpers, maybe they are called deacons who help out with this. I was never given wine at communion, ‘the blood of Christ’ as this was only for the priest and now it is common place to receive both the bread and wine. Also the role of women being allowed on the altar has changed since I was young. The church is slow at making changes, but I would not say that it is archaic.