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 2014 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
3/13 - 16
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
button coupons
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16
button classifieds
2/6/2014 - posted
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

December 24, 2014 10371

Christmas Eve Bloody Brawl Erupts on Dulin Street

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 19, 2014 6150

Armstrong Mine to Layoff 39 by End of Day

in Top News For All Sites by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
December 19, 2014 5233

Dawson Springs Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Detective Sean McCance
December 19, 2014 4700

Woman Flown to St. Mary's after Two-Car Collision

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
December 19, 2014 3935

Vehicle Fire Causes Traffic Back-Up on Pennyrile

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 23, 2014 3801

Couple's Alleged Dispute over Blanket Leads to…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 19, 2014 3651

Vehicle Explodes into Flames on Pride Avenue

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gwen Smith
December 23, 2014 3266

Alleged Theft at Walmart Sends Two to Jail

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
December 22, 2014 3176

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Dec. 22, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
December 20, 2014 2995

KET’s Kentucky Life Segment to Feature Old…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

December 24, 2014 10371

Christmas Eve Bloody Brawl Erupts on Dulin Street

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis
December 23, 2014 2754

Disturbance Results in Vehicle, Foot Pursuit,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Officer Tyler Russell
December 23, 2014 2454

Hopkins County Grand Jury Indictments

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Karen McKnight
December 24, 2014 1529

KCC Hosts 'Gift of Life' Opportunity

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
December 24, 2014 1491

'Frozen' Plays to One Last Packed House at Living…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 24, 2014 1466

2014 Looking Back: World Saddened at Death of…

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
December 24, 2014 1393

Statewide Broadband Initiative Launched

in Top News For All Sites by Office of the Governor
December 24, 2014 1286

True Gift of Christmas Trumps Evil by Richard…

in Top News For All Sites by Richard Nelson
December 24, 2014 1113

How to Avoid Post-Holiday Shopping Crowds

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
December 24, 2014 1056

Holiday Waste by the Numbers

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News

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 © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss