ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Ahead of the selection of a new Pope, in a matter of weeks, members of the local Catholic Church are hoping to see a modernisation of some of the church’s doctrines.
“I think the world has changed drastically and the church needs to, not conform to the world, but keep up with the world,” Catholic D Gisele Isaac said.
“(The church needs to) offer solutions to some of the problems we now face that we didn’t have to contend with before.”
Isaac said under Pope John Paul II, the church embarked on a social agenda that she said needs to be maintained.
Another member of the church, Ruby Henry, while stressing that Catholics should not do away with their convictions, said there was room for change going forward.
“I think they should allow priests – for those who want – to get married,” she said.
“I think it would allow for a better rapport and a better delivery of counselling when persons are coming before the priests for marriage counselling.”
Isaac also suggested changes to the priesthood saying, “I am just looking forward to the day when women will be ordained priests.
“I think the church needs to put down its bucket where it is, and instead of crying out for vocation from young men who are not interested, the Catholic Church is borne up by women, and I would like to see us step into the role where we can serve fully as priests,” Isaac noted.
The Papal conclave, which may take place before March 15, will see the meeting of Cardinal Bishops in Rome to choose the new Pope.
Isaac said the United States has a black president and she would like to see a Pope taken from the African continent.
“It would do a lot for Catholicism. It would build on the kind of goodwill that John Paul left,” she said.
The current Pope, Benedict XVI, announced on February 11, that he would be demitting office come the end of this month.
The Catholics said, while surprised by his decision, they respected his choices.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)