03.02.2023 Features

Let’s Get Real: We Don’t Live in Churches; We Live in the Real World

Lets Get Real: We Dont Live in Churches; We Live in the Real World
03.02.2023 LISTEN

Pope Francis, of Italo-Argentine descent, is unarguably the most intellectually, culturally, morally and humanistically enlightened leader of the Romantic Catholic Church that we have had in our time. And one wishes that most of our Continental African Christian Religious Leaders were like this very decent human being. I mean, that many of these African religious leaders thought progressively and wisely like him, especially when the subject of critical thinking verges on the protection of the rights of all humanity, regardless of sexual orientation or lifestyle.

Pope Francis is unquestionably the Man and the Organic Leader of Our Time. In the specific context of this conversational column, the highlight or spotlight is on the imperative and the inalienable necessity for the most influential leaders among us to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable ones in our fold, in particular members of the LGBTQI+ Community around the world (See “Pope Francis Clarifies Homosexuality and Sin Comments in New Note” Metro 1/29/23).

His objective and morally and intellectually dispassionate ability to readily recognize and distinguish the Christocentric concept of “Sin” from other behavioral acts of patent “Criminality” makes Pope Francis at once a Postmodern and a Postindustrial Thinker of Pauline Persuasion or Descent, although an even more compelling case could be made for the preeminent Roman Catholic Prelate vis-à-vis the doctrinal precepts and the known and extensively recorded practices of the eponymous and immortalized founder of Christianity.

It is also quite obvious that the psycho-spiritual journey of the former Archbishop or Cardinal of Buenos Aires has not been an easy one of a delicate balancing of conflicting ideological doctrines. Still, what makes the former Jorge Cardinal Mario Bergoglio a figurative Breath of Fresh Air, as far as the doctrinal and ideological leadership of the largest and foremost Christocentric global institutional establishment is concerned, is the fact that right from the beginning of his election by the Conclave or College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church, Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio made it emphatically clear that his papacy would be one that was studiously geared towards the “Humanization” of Christian Cultural Praxis.

He may not have used these same exact words, but it was quite clear that the newly elected Pope Francis intended to make the practice of Catholicism and, by extension, Christianity more practicable and humanly livable than it had been in the past. On the critical lightening-rod question of same-sex intercourse or sexuality, the former Cardinal Bergoglio has not been the least bit ambivalent. Neither has he attempted to fudge issues or questions up. He does not promote homosexuality but he is significantly quick to underscore the fact that this putatively “countercultural practice” is not a categorical act of criminality within the strictest context of human existence in our secular or non-religious contemporary society.

Which, in effect, means that it is inappropriate and extremely unjust to incriminate or criminally legislate this purely natural expression of the humanity of members of the LGBTQI+ Community, in spite of the fact of its subcultural revulsion among members of the dominant binary or heterosexual community. On this count, Pope Francis could be aptly described as a leader who has psycho-spiritually or psycho-psychically reached the very height, apogee or apex of Christocentric Enlightenment. He is far more intellectually and psychically enlightened than those of his predecessors who were, nearly every one of them, seemingly pathologically conservative, dogmatic or much too intellectually close-minded or parochial to fully appreciate the “chaotic” diversity of humanity in all its existential manifestations in the cosmos or the natural world.

When he matter-of-factly calls the cultural practice of homosexuality as “Sin,” this is primarily to be envisaged within the strictest doctrinal concept and context of Judeo-Christian Philosophy. In Judaic doctrinal and cultural practice of yore, homosexuality was envisaged to have warranted the exacting or meting of capital punishment on the guilty or “Evil Practitioner.” But, of course, under the progressive and the revolutionary Christocentric dispensation, it verges more on the legal order of a misdemeanor than a Class-One Felony. Which may very well put conservative and neoconservative Christians, especially hereabouts in the so-called American Bible-Belt, and much of the Evangelical Third World, as it were, for the most part, decidedly way out of kilter with normative Christocentric creed and doctrinal practice in the contemporary era. In short, Pope Francis is a Revolutionary Leader sui generis. Perhaps much more deserving of Beatification and ultimate Canonization or Sanctification even while he is still alive and here with the rest of us on Earth.

*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
January 29, 2023
E-mail: [email protected]