by Kirby Congdon…….
The change in the church has been noticeable. Even in the Methodist church this writer knows that playing cards was gambling and prohibited as a sin for those born about 1856. And eighty years ago in 1955 Catholicism was still an exclusive sect. Heaven and hell were real entities governing many youngsters who were seeking guidance for behavior in small towns. Now Pope Francis has emphasized the unity of mankind in general. Other ideas are still discursive matters but the relaxation of narrow viewpoints is a relief and an advance toward a common understanding of what were formerly emotional tensions. The separation of church and state remain a wise reference but the improvement of conversations between various ideologies is a positive development relieving us of unnecessary conflicts in our own private psychological developments.
Among the celebrations each contemporary religion was represented by a statement, a prose-poem or song at the Foundation Hall in the memorial area of the World Trade Center on Friday, September 23rd. One young man provided a wordless composition of keening that encompassed an elaborate presentation of sheer beauty to a rapt audience that brought tears to this listener’s eyes because it was an experience in music that he had never had before. We did not need faith to convince ourselves that the performance was any good.
The activities put together on the next day in Philadelphia to honor the Pope were, for this reviewer, inventive but unconvincing. One family’s testimonial included a passing dismissal of recent attention to same-sex commitments. One could not help but reflect further on the predominance of unusually tactful males in so many church organizations. Hypocrisy can often be a subtle character in our lives but we have to let each person progress at his own speed rather than set up prohibitions that are said to be God’s concerns.