A refreshing view from the pope

Despite conservative criticism, Pope Francis’ views speak to younger members.

Connor Nikolic

Pope Francis last week became the first pope to accept the Big Bang Theory and evolution as factual. Moving away from the traditional Roman Catholic teachings of strict creationism, he’s entertaining the possibility that the two are not mutually exclusive.

The conservative, traditionalist bodies in the Catholic Church were unhappy with this announcement, which countered their own teachings as well as those of Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.

Francis has also taken a more progressive stance than the popes of years past, recognizing that it is not his place to judge gay couples and gay marriage, and he has shown openness to contraception and divorce.

This has led some church officials to question their leader.

The Catholic Church has witnessed a trend in recent years — young adults are leaving the church. This is due in a large part to how older, and in some cases outdated, schools of thought are updated.

I was raised Catholic. My family went to mass on Sundays, and my siblings and I attended catechism classes once a week. But in recent years, I have distanced myself from the church politically.

Although I continued to attend mass a few times each year, I began to voice my opinions against the church’s political stances, in particular on their spamming efforts leading up to Minnesota’s 2012 marriage amendment vote.

I am excited to see the direction in which Pope Francis continues to take the church. Moving focus off of culture war debates — and back to the religion’s core teachings — is what will bring back millennials to Catholicism.