A Liberal Marines Progressive Perspective

Marines are defenders of the republic and the Constitution. That is our oath, that is our purpose, that is our calling. Many are Democrats. This is the journal of one such Marine. This leatherneck's progressive perspective is as follows...

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Location: Southwest, United States

U.S. Marine,0300 MOS,eight years in,honorably discharged,college-educated. To all the damned trolls, you better believe there are liberal Marines. Read "War Is A Racket" by 2-time Medal of Honor recipient Maj.Gen.S.D.Butler, plus Lewis B. Puller, Jr.'s "Fortunate Son" and maybe then you'll understand. Semper Fi!

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Friday, April 01, 2005

The Color of Faith: The Papacy, The Church of Rome and the Future of Catholicism in the 21st Century Posted by Hello
Morning to all aboard the blog. This really isn't a good morning due to all of the human tragedy that has been splashed onto our screens and papers over the last week (the quake in Indonesia/Malaysia, the passing of Johnnie Cochran and the passing of Terry Schiavo, etc.). Now, at the end of the week, we find ourselves focused on the current health crisis plaguing Pope John Paul II. The news came down sometime yesterday that The Holy Father had developed a high fever and some kind of urinary tract infection (although it sounds more like a blood infection has taken hold, i.e., sepsis/septicemia and the Vatican was downplaying the seriousness of the situation). There are now reports that the Pope has, in fact, suffered some form of cardiovascular collapse or cardiogenic shock and is in extremely serious condition (http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=631661). I am hoping that the Pope will somehow pull through this health crisis and rebound with his full or (at least) partial vigor. However, the reports coming out of Rome this morning are sadly grim and foreboding. In typical fashion, the world press has descended on Vatican City like a pack of vultures awaiting the passing of this wonderful human being (even though the press has a duty and responsibility to perform this function in terms of information gathering for present intellectual digestion and as a historical record). Alas, I am quite probably helping to contribute to this "feeding frenzy" of information gathering and dissemination concerning the Pope's health status (albeit in a small way). Either way, my mind is now focusing and crystallizing on the political consequences of the unfortunate passing of John Paul II (if and when it occurs) in terms of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, the choosing of a successor and the Church's constituency. The Pope presides over a "Church of the faithful" that represents over one billion human beings...of all colors, hues and shades (in fact, the photo above is of Bishop Wilton D. Gregory/President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the first African-Amerian to lead the Catholic Church of the United States in this capacity, http://www.catholicherald.com/cns/gregory.htm). My concern is whether or not the Church (again, if and when the sad passing of His Holiness happens) will seize upon the opportunity to install a new Pope who will be representative of the millions upon hundreds of millions of Catholics that are of color. Let me give an historical perspective: John Paul II was the first non-Italian Pope chosen in 455 years (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_Paul_II); before his installation as Pope, he was preceeded by John Paul I (an Italian, as have been most Popes for nearly half a millennia). Unfortunately, John Paul I tragically passed away only 33 days after becoming Pontiff (the shortest term in papal history http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_John_Paul_I); an event that, of course, sent shockwaves throughout the Church body. I remember when this happened because I was in Catholic elementary school at the time (Saint Lawrence Elmentary in Santa Clara, California http://www.saintlawrence.org/elemiddle.html). I also remember the nuns entering the classroom when the news came that a successor to John Paul I had finally been chosen. They came in and turned on the television (a tv that was suspended at such an oddly severe angle in the upper left-hand corner of the room) with the kind of anticipation expected of faithful followers eagerly awaiting news of their new leader. With curious wonder, we learned the successor to the late Pope was to be John Paul II, a non-Italian and the first Polish to attain the papacy in Church history (http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/j/johnp1aul2.asp). My point is that the Church will soon have an opportunity (now or later) to break from tradition and once again pick from its' ranks a leader representative of the Vatican's vision of the future: a 21st century Pope that would be representative of the many shades that embody the staggering variety of humanity that comprises the billions of Catholic faithful. I believe it is now time to really consider a "Catholic of color" to become Pope and thus head of the Roman Catholic Church; particularly a Pope that would hail from Latin America or the African continent. Believe me, I am not the only one that shares this view (http://www.cathtelecom.com/news/204/22.php). Why Latin America and Africa? To put it bluntly, because historically the stalwart faithful of the Catholic Church (the backbone if you will) are from Latin America (South America/Central America) and because it is Africa where the Church is growing the fastest and with a zeal unparalleled in modern history (http://www.stjohnadulted.org/worldchrist1.htm). The African continent is where one will find a zealousness for the Catholic message emblematic of the kind of zeal that established the Church to begin with in the first century AD (http://www.christianitymeme.org/winnerschurch.shtml). In short, to have such a significant and universal institution as the Roman Catholic Church only headed by Caucasian or Europeans is a real disservice to those many that look to the Vatican for leadership, both in a moral and spiritual capacity. Semper Fidelis


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