NEW YORK – "Is the pope Catholic?" goes the quip most Catholic faithful thought they would never ask … at least not seriously.
But with a series of recent pronouncements and decisions bucking papal tradition, Pope Francis has many Catholics wondering if the Catholic Church will survive his papacy.
In recent days, the Pope has declared that non-believers – not just non-Catholics, but even atheists – can gain salvation and be admitted into heaven, while his new appointment to be secretary of State, the second most important position in the Vatican, has suggested the Vatican is ready to rethink celibacy and the clergy, suggesting priests and nuns might be allowed to get married.
Now, Catholic faithful are asking, "Will the Catholic Church survive Pope Francis' papacy?"