The Catholic Church might be growing in Latin America, Asia and Africa, but in the United States and Europe, attendance has been lagging for the past few decades. When Pope Benedict XVI was first elected, there was hope he could reignite the passion for religion many have slowly lost. Unfortunately, that never proved to be the case. In fact, an argument could be made that he attracted more negative than positive headlines during his tenure by moving the Church to a move conservative stance on certain issues and not doing more to prosecute priests who covered up crimes being committed against children.
With today’s election of Pope Francis, however, there is serious optimism for the first time in years. There’s legitimate hope that a new face at the top of the food chain may coax wayward believers back into the fold. There’s hope Pope Francis may push the Church toward acts of service and away from the judgmental viewpoints that have driven some away.
What do you think? Will Pope Francis be able to turn things around for the Western World, or will the slow exodus away from the Church only continue on the seventy-six-year-old’s watch? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below…
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