Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Keeping the Faith - Blowin’ in the Wind

ronniemcbrayer300 brownsKENTUCKY (4/14/13) - Now that Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been installed as Pope Francis, I must say that I could not be happier with the papal conclave’s choice. Not that the College of Cardinals would bother to ask my opinion on the matter – I’m not even Catholic – but as a student of religion, one who stumbles along trying to follow Jesus, and a lover of startling, historic moments, I am ecstatic.

All the obvious reasons for my joy come to mind. Pope Francis is the first pope from the Southern hemisphere; the first Bishop of Rome born in Latin America; he is the first Vicar of Christ with a Jesuit background, and the first Successor of Peter to take the name “Francis,” honoring the legacy of Francis of Assisi, the medieval saint who so loved God’s creation and who practiced spiritual and everyday simplicity.

But I am most thrilled for Francis because it means the end of Pope Benedict’s reign over the Catholic Church. It’s not that I had anything personal against old Ben (remember I’m not even Catholic), though his role as “God’s Rottweiler,” the theological enforcer of the Church, made me jittery. My grudge with Benedict goes back to September 1997.

It was the Italian Eucharist Congress, and a frail Pope John Paul II was presiding. The Harlem Gospel Singers had just finished performing for the audience when who should walk out on the stage but no other than Bob Dylan! In pinstripes and a white cowboy hat, he sang three songs that night: “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” appropriate I think; “A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall,” (classic Dylan); and a salute to the youth in the crowd and the aging pope, “Forever Young.”

Talk about startling, historic moments! But bad-tempered Benny, then known as Cardinal Ratzinger, was not amused. He had failed in his attempt to cancel Bob Dylan’s appearance before the Holy See. Benedict, a classically trained pianist, loves classical and sacred music. But his love for song does not transfer to other musical genres.

He has said that all rock music is the product of Satan, he cancelled the Advent rock and roll concert series at the Vatican begun by Pope John Paul, and took a negative view of using guitars at mass. In his memoirs he sneered about Bob Dylan’s appearance before Pope John Paul II, saying: “There was reason to be skeptical – I was, and in some ways I still am – over whether it was really right to allow this type of ‘prophet’ to appear.”

So while there may be many reasons to be glad for Pope Francis’ arrival – many of these reasons complex, political, and theological – my reason is fairly simple. You have to be cautious of giving your whole-hearted trust to someone who doesn’t like Bob Dylan.

But Pope John Paul II seemed to have liked Dylan just fine. As Cardinal Ratzinger stood coldly by, he delivered a short homily after the concert that included lyrics from Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” saying: “You've asked, ‘How many roads must a man walk down before he becomes a man?’ I answer you: One! There is only one road for man and it is Christ, who said, ‘I am the life.’”

Interesting, don’t you think, that the then Pope John Paul spoke of simplicity as the road forward. He spoke as Christ being enough. It has echoes of another Paul, the Apostle Paul, who once said that all his spiritual accomplishments, all his religious fanfare, all his ceremonial ballyhoo, all his pompous credentials, and all his ceremonious posturing were now considered garbage. They were trash. Junk. Rubbish. Literally, it was all manure. The only thing that mattered to his faith was Jesus Christ alone.

I am not terribly optimistic that a single man, no matter how many “firsts” are attached to his new administration, can correct years of encrusted arrogance and corruption or replace the accumulated labyrinths of doctrinal and ceremonial complexity with simplicity. But I have hope. I have hope that change is indeed blowing in the wind.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
2/6/2014 - posted
button coupons
2/6/2014 - posted
2/6/2014 - posted
button classifieds

In Other News...

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 26, 2015

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (1/26/15) — The Madisonville Police Department released the following reports Monday, Jan. 26. George… Read More

Devils Defeat Daviess County, 51-44

OWENSBORO, Ky. (1/26/15) — Senior guard Aric Holman delivered 19 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks to lead Owensboro… Read More
2/6/2014 - posted

Most Read This Week

January 23, 2015 8815

Local Church's Faith Restored; 71 Souls Saved…

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
January 22, 2015 7204

Nortonville Man Accused of Selling Drugs near…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 6309

KYDOT Pre-Treating Roads Thursday in Antipation…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 22, 2015 5898

MCEA Head: Further School Mergers Might Ease…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
January 23, 2015 5733

Parents Face Charges after Marijuana Joint Falls…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 21, 2015 4914

Man Arrested after Allegedly Nodding off on Baby…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 25, 2015 4796

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 23, 2015 4570

Nortonville Woman Charged for Meth Possession

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 3811

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 22, 2015 3721

Local Family Business Changes Hands

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 26, 2015 3811

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 26, 2015 3238

Man Goes to Jail after Allegedly Attacking Family

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Jail
January 25, 2015 2836

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 26, 2015 2019

Madisonville Post Welcomes New Troopers

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper S. C. Recke
January 26, 2015 1963

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 1826

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in General News For All Sites by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
January 26, 2015 1688

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 26, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 26, 2015 1630

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Circuit Clerk's Office
January 26, 2015 1579

Kentucky Highway Crews Prepared for Snow into the…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 26, 2015 1263

McClearn Remains Optimistic I-69 Signs up Between…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Keith Todd

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flr subscribevideoitunessocial rss