History was made today. By pope-ular vote, a Pope was elected and now we are Pope-less no more. A collective sigh of relief.
I took to Twitter and Facebook as it all unfolded and unleashed a lot of Pope Puns. "Smokin' in the conclave." "Smokin' Pope." "Little Papal, Big World." "Ah...look at all the lonely Papal." Just click those red shoes together..."Oh Francis...there's no place like Rome."
Alright, I realize that to many this is a weighty subject and believe it or not, I respect that. I snark because I am a recovering Catholic who spent eight very long years in Catholic school and even more days of obligation trying to dodge CCD classes. I was refused the opportunity to get married at the parish I grew up in, went to school in, received all my sacraments in, went to my father's funeral, my mother's second wedding, and played guitar at mass in...because...wait for it...I didn't "belong" to that parish. You see, I lived a few miles out of their jurisdiction. Oh, and we couldn't get a priest to marry us out in the showiness of Nature because that ain't how they roll. When I asked the priest why the "two or more gathered in His name" adage didn't apply to outdoor weddings, he was quick to give me the Catholic version of "It is what it is" and that was, as they say, that.
I watched today. I can't say I don't think it's all smoke and mirrors and a little bit of voodoo antiquity. I'm sorry. But the Catholic church has been blowing smoke up my plaid pleated skirt since long before today, honey. My mama didn't raise no fool. She tried. But I'm kinda stubborn I guess.
I'm a classic over thinker; which means that I have a lot of questions and I wonder what it all means and where it all came from and I guess I don't do too well when it comes to being denied answers and accepting dogma.
I do hope that the newly elected Pontiff can affect some much needed and desired change in the church. I hope they can heal some of the wounds that have been afflicted. Those are heavy issues for another time and another blog. Not mine. Not now.
I wrote "Days of Obligation" not so much as a jab to my "spiritual" upbringing, but a reflection on those years spent wondering what my place was in all of it or if I had a place in it at all.
What I did take away from my religious upbringing is the sense of community it provided. That, to me, was meaningful and will always stay with me. That is something I want for my children. But my husband and I are going to let our kids decide for themselves what they want based on a knowledge of all religions.
As for our wedding, we ended up tying the knot out on the terrace at an old tudor mansion in Akron, Ohio - out in the showiness of Nature - in front of God and everybody who showed up that day. And a Unitarian minister officiated. We liked the fact that we could customize the ceremony and make it more about our relationship, less about recruiting future followers. It was just as we wanted. And at our request, as he introduced us as husband and wife, the minister told us to "Go forth and be excellent to each other!"
And really, when you peel away all the rest of it, isn't that what it's really all about?