I was something in the 60s but now I'm just sixty something.

The Pope App

on March 16, 2013

2013-03-16 10.17.36

The world has a new pope! Now we should all download the new Pope App so we can keep up with whatever archaic business Pope Francis is up to. I wonder how much the app will cost? A tenth of your income perhaps? There has been a lot of hoopla about this as if it really means we will see any significant changes in the Roman Catholic Church. This use of technology is supposed to help draw young people back into the faith. Somehow I can’t see the younger generation jumping on the doctrinal band wagon just because the Vatican is using social media. On the positive side, Pope Francis is a Jesuit and Jesuits are known for their smarts. Young people like smart. He’s also from South America and is a product of the Liberation Theology movement which swept through the southern hemisphere in the 1950s and 60s advocating social, economic, and political justice. Young people also like this ideology since when they were growing up everybody got a blue ribbon. But he has already spoken out against women priests and gay marriage. Oops! I guess it’s just social equality for some. Women and gays are to remain behind in limbo. I doubt this line of thinking works for the younger generation. Frankly, it doesn’t work for me either. I expect we are all going to hear the same old stuff, albeit preached a new way.

Still, this new connection from the Vatican could have far-reaching implications throughout Catholicism. This could be the biggest thing since the Church went out on a limb, got rid of Latin, and began proclaiming the faith using languages people actually understand. It took great courage for the Church to risk understanding among its followers. The people began to realize that molesting the altar boy was not actually part of the mass.

Now we could be entering a whole new format for worship. Maybe there will even be a Vatican 3.0. The future generations of Catholics, instead of staying home and watching mass on TV in their pajamas and getting into the wine early on Sunday, can go to church by simply logging in. Finally, all those well-chosen confirmation names will have a purpose. They can become holy passwords.

Think of the choice of parishes!

At St. Twitter’s…. when the priest tweets, “Peace be with you.”,  we can all tweet back, “And also with you.”

At Our Lady of Pinterest…. we can “pin” the virtual holy communion where we can visit it all week to remind us that no matter how many sins we are out committing we can repent repin next Sunday.

And for those special services how about Holy Facebook Basilica ?

Pope Francis shared Easter mass.

Sunday at sunrise.

“Christ is risen!”

1.1 billion likes.

This is not as farfetched as it may seem. The new mystery of faith is how a person can type a few words on a keyboard and the whole world can read them. Gives a whole new meaning to the term “religious icon”.

How about it? Do you think it can work?

9 responses to “The Pope App

  1. Dave Steven says:

    You haven’t been to church lately. The changed “and also with you to “and with your spirit” last year.
    Oh, and St. Helen’s and Our Lady of Fatima in Schenectady are now Blessed Kateri Tekawitha”. That’s actually pretty cool since she is a local.

  2. sixtiestosixties says:

    Still doesn’t sound right to me.

  3. says:

    Philis, I consider this offensive and intolerant. Never knew you could be so angry and disrespectful. Unsubscribe me to your blog.


    • sixtiestosixties says:

      I am sorry you took offense at my post. It was not meant to be disrespectful to the Church. It was meant to both make fun of our growing reliance on social media and to lament the large number of people who are leaving the Church. I worry that our society is losing a sense of real community. What more valuable community do we have than our local church parishes? Facebook friends will not show up at your door when you are sick or lose a loved one. We have a whole generation who does not understand this yet. All they know of the Church (any church) is what has gone wrong and has been in the news. Not what love it can bring to a life. There is a Pope App and I used the fact in a very sarcastic way to express a sadness I have in this disconnect. As much as I love technology it will never replace real live people.

  4. Catherine says:

    It was suggested by members of your former book club that we read this blog. Most got as far as your altar boy comment and gave up. As active members of the Catholic church and just plain people, Dennis and I find this extremely offensive regardless of your contention that it was written to be humorous. You should have written your reply to Joan as your blog instead of this bitter attack on Catholics, although I don’t believe your reply to her was sincere. You obviously are not aware of the changes in the church nor care enough to participate in and support efforts to renew and restore the faith.
    You are however entitled to your opinion however you choose to voice it.
    I don’t require a reply as I will no longer be reading this blog.

    • sixtiestosixties says:

      Apparently, I have really stepped in it on this one. What was supposed to be about social media replacing real community has become more about the Catholic church for many. So let’s talk about it.

      Perhaps rather than doubting my sincerity Catherine, you could take the opportunity to open up a conversation and share some of the great things I know your parish is doing to renew and restore faith. It has always been my intent to try to get people to talk and share on this site.

      There is much in this post that reflects positively on the Church. There are links to Pope Francis, a humble and compassionate man, the Jesuits who are the stars of Catholic scholarship, the new Pope App, and Liberation Theology which upholds Jesus’s teachings to care for the poor and downtrodden. (This is also taught in the Old Testament as instructions to leave the gleanings in the fields.) There is a reference to tithing which is supported biblically, to the holy sacraments of reconciliation and communion, and to the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics rejoicing to the risen Christ on Easter morning.

      As for the jab at the sexual abuse scandal, this is a fact of the church and still raw. It was a breach of both civil law and divine law. Not everyone agrees that this has been dealt with sufficiently. These altar boys, as well as 2,000 years of women have served the Church with pure love in their hearts. They are Catholics too! Rather than a bitter attack on Catholics I would argue that I am defending those devout Catholics who, despite being marginalized by the very institution they willingly served, have hung onto their faith with great hope. I know quite a few of these people personally. I stand by them.

      Christianity teaches that Jesus is both human and divine. The rest of us are mere mortals stumbling along, trying to do our best but we don’t always get it right.

      So come on folks! Talk to me! What’s going on in your place of worship to wed tradition to the modern world. What worries you about real communities being replaced with virtual communities. And please, be respectful.

  5. Francis William says:

    I read with interest, your comments and reactions to the “sixtiestosixties” POPE APP blog , presented this month. I am a 65 year old lifelong practicing Catholic and also a plain man from a family who were also plain, lifelong practicing Catholics. I grew up in a small parish and was an altar boy for over six years. I served two masses each and every Sunday (in Latin) and served at all of the weddings, funerals, and baptisms. Although I attended public elementary and junior high school, I was frequently excused from school to join our priest as he attended to “shut-ins” at the local hospitals and the sanitarium. I also swept and mopped the church floors each week, shoveled the walks and driveways when needed and counted the collection as I rolled the coins and banded the bills. My mother wanted me to be a priest.

    I was taught to respect my elders, exhibit good manners at all times, always tell the truth and hold the Priest in my highest respect and trust…he was next to God. I was to be obedient to my parents, the Priest, my teachers and all adults. I worked hard to live up to these very important core values.

    The fact is, I was sexually abused by our Priest as a young boy. I had no sense of what was right or wrong with that or what to do about it. I have since found out, as have many others have, that this has happened many times in many places and there is empirical evidence to substantiate that this IS A FACT. For people that did not experience this or have any first-hand knowledge of any one who did…I think it is fair to say that they should be disqualified from sitting in judgment of others who have had this experience. I hardly think the blog writer’s statements constitute a “bitter attack on Catholics”. I continue to be a Catholic and have forgiven my transgressor…and do not feel under attack by this particular blog.

    How can you possibly know what is in the head and heart of a blog writer or judge them to be sincere or insincere by a few words? That would be no different than me concluding, based on your response, that you are narrow minded, naive and overly sensitive to an issue that has been proven to be a fact. I cannot say that of you however…even though I am offended by your unwarranted attack on this particular blog post. I thought you said you were a “practicing” Catholic? I have learned, thru my continuing studies and observations, that sometimes we attack others who remind us of our own insecurities, self-doubt and personal disappointments. Confronting one’s own challenges head-on is far more productive, healthy and more consistent with Christian Doctrine.

    On a more positive note, I chose not to be a victim and went on to study and graduate from a Catholic university focusing on theology and philosophy. I for one, am very aware of the good changes occurring in the Catholic Church and support them. I would like to see them occur even faster but I understand there are practical limits to our human capacity to make changes and adapt to changes.

    I would encourage you to open your mind and heart and be more tolerant of differences in people and ideas. This was a strong message from St. Thomas Aquinas and most certainly included in the teachings of Jesus Christ. By doing this, I believe you may find greater spiritual peace and not dwell on impediments or minor obstructions as you journey through life…and hopefully achieve a greater sense of happiness and peace.

    I did not become bitter, vengeful or suspicious of people’s intentions after my abuse. I wish you well in your effort to help support and restore the faith in our wonderful Catholic Church.

    Peace be with you,

    The Journeyman

  6. Scott Miner says:

    You’ve said so eloquently what I wanted to angrily reply in defense of my friend…thank you sir for coming forward with your story.

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