when i was 14 i expressed an interesting in joining the priesthood. the priest i expressed that desire to, said the day i became a priest the earth would open up and swallow my parish.

i suppose i should quantify his response, before i expressed my desire to join the priesthood, i was commenting on what a cushy gig it seemed like; your choice of the ladies, free room and board and a car; i was thinking practically. some years later he and i had an opportunity to converse and he asked me if i was still interested in joining the clergy, but by that time i was completely disenchanted with the church. strangely, `our` new pope leaves me with the same bitter aftertaste i had when i abandoned the church.

growing up in Trinidad, i got a radically different perspective on Catholicism. i grew with a local archbishop and mass in English, even the hymnal was filled with songs written for us, by us. there wasn`t a church choir worth its salt without a pannist and a rhythm section. the church was us and we were the church and part of that was the fact we lived in a plural society.

our nation`s motto is every creed and race find an equal place and at least on the surface it applies. there are Christians of every denomination, Muslims, Hindus and if at no other time, we appreciate each other for the holidays. we celebrate, Christmas, Divali and Eid off the top, plus a bunch of others in between. we don`t have a large Jewish community otherwise they would be in the mix as well.

my point in all of this; the new thrust of the papacy seems geared towards extremism and exclusion which will continue to push more and more people away from the church.

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