Liberal Catholic groups are hoping for change. James Salt of Catholics United says, “The next pope has a unique opportunity to radically shift the agenda of the church.”
The question is less one of direction than of emphasis. The church isn’t going to move away from its opposition to abortion or gay marriage, those who follow the Catholic hierarchy believe. And no matter who succeeds Benedict, women still won’t be donning the collar.
But a renewed focus on social justice, women’s equality, and climate change? Those are the sort of things at least progressives within the church are desperately hoping for from a new pontiff.
“The cardinals can and should consider opening their horizons toward a successor from the global south, such as Latin America or Africa, whose experience represents a vastly different worldview than many church leaders,” Salt said…
“We’re seeing more and more what used to be unusual activities” by Dolan and other church leaders, Catholics United’s Chris Pumpelly said, pointing to the cardinal’s direct involvement in the Republican National Convention last summer and the Conference of Bishops’ aggressive lobbying campaign against President Obama.
“Cardinal Dolan is a handpicked cardinal of the Pope … his decision to become outwardly partisan is an outflow of the mind-set of this papacy,” he said.